December 22, 2016
The wait is finally over – the famous Greyhound Cafe from Bangkok has reached our shores and taken full advantage of its space at The Paragon Orchard. The highly anticipated opening stems from all the hype that the fashion-meets-food cafe has generated over the years.
Hailing from Bangkok and now boasting six other outlets in the region, the Greyhound Cafe brand ensures consistency and yet uniqueness across the board. The chic interior and open concept in Singapore is everything I expected it to be and more.
Get a seat at a table in the glasshouse to take in the iconic black and white murals and graffiti, hand painted by Thai artists. I’ve always loved Greyhound’s incorporation of greenery and flowers in the cafes, and the detail that goes into the design is impeccable.
Be sure to look up and admire the suspended plants and handcrafted butterflies made from recycled Thai soft drink cans!
Trust Bhanu Inkawat (Founder/Creative Director) to have worked with highly trained chefs to recreate Greyhound Cafe Bangkok’s signature trendy menu here in Singapore. Featuring a menu laden with an array of Thai and Thai-fusion dishes, Greyhound Cafe is known for serving authentic Thai food with a twist.
Straight off the bat, the drink selection caught my attention. Opt for any of the granita flavours (I went for a classic Thai Tea) if you’re in need of a refreshing accompaniment to the impending spicy food.
The shaved ice and gao milk tea paired well and surprisingly didn’t melt too quickly. The Iced Tea was also pretty fun to drink, with tea frozen into ice cubes and served with a slice of lime.
Moving on to starters, the Famous Chicken Wings are a must-try. The wings are lovingly marinated in fish sauce (which might be my favourite seasoning EVER) and coming from a recipe passed down from Mr Inkawat’s very own family… you can tell these are going to be good.
The marinade was on point but I only wished the wings were juicier. Still hit the spot though!
Other signature starters to try include the Green Curry, which is interestingly served with chunky toast instead of the expected rice. The twist definitely makes for a lighter lunch option, so you’ll have more stomach space to try the other sharing dishes.
If you’re only planning on getting two starters, get the wings and the Complicated Noodle. Aptly named because it could get messy in the DIY process, this dish excellently combines noodle sheets, fresh romaine lettuce and betel leaves, a yummy minced pork sauce and garlic chilli concoction.
Bundle everything together and the flavour explosion is Thailand in a bite.
I’ve been dying to try the Tom Yum Soup, which uses Thai river prawns instead of the usual variety. According to the chef, this enhances the flavour of the broth which packed a punch and leant more towards the sour side.
Oh, and the other surprise twist – ravioli! I could get used to pasta in tom yum soup.
For an equally delicious alternative, go for the Asian Black Mushroom Soup, which is honestly one of the best mushroom soups I’ve had in Singapore so far. The addition of chopped Chinese mushrooms took me right back to my childhood days of homemade soup on a rainy day.
You wouldn’t want to miss having the Pad Thai, which was a pretty authentic version of the classic. The vibrant components on the plate all came together nicely as any good pad thai should, and you can adjust the spice level to your liking with the chilli flakes served on the side.
While I struggled to justify the price of this dish, I could not fault the interesting flavour combination. East-meets-West in this Thai take on spaghetti aglio olio, with chicken, basil leaves and fresh peppercorns.
Take on those peppercorns with caution; they meant it when they said ‘spicy’!
Another main that you should definitely try is the Crab Meat Fried Rice with a Twist ($28). Spoiler Alert: The twist refers to there being more crab meat than fried rice. You definitely get what you paid for with this one.
I’m pretty sure I’m going to only want to eat mango sticky rice like this from now on. Serving it in a cup makes for optimal appreciation of this famous Thai dessert – you get all the components in one scoop!
$13 may seem like a steep price to pay for a slice of cake, but it’s the effort and individual ingredients that make this dessert so worth it. The crisp Greyhound biscuits, fresh coconut cream and actual meaty bits of coconut flown all the way from Thailand… a layered crepe cake of dreams.
Greyhound Cafe has resonated in the hearts (and tummies) of many, being one of the few cafes that has successfully blended food and aesthetics. The latest outlet in Singapore stays true to that, albeit at a greater price.
It’s a place to head to for Thai-fusion cuisine that you know is going to be good, and remember that in Singapore, you pay for ambience as well. Sharing a few dishes with friends will get you the most bang for your buck and the extensive menu will keep you coming back to try more.
Expected Damage: $20 – $40 per pax