Newly relocated from the more unchartered territory of Foch Road to a space amongst the high flyers in Singapore’s bustling and most famed shopping street, Orchard Road, Haha Thai’s Ngee Ann city outlet offers a relaxing escapade from the stifles of city life.
Carrying a modern Thai concept, Haha Thai sports a raw, industrial finish that exemplifies a simple casual setting with use of white brick walls and exposed pipes that just screams hipster.
Accumulating experiences from different parts of Thailand, Haha Thai’s chefs seek to continually innovate and experiment to bring out ingenuity with authenticity in their dishes. Certainly a refreshing change from your usual Thai fare, Haha Thai brings something new to the table, and we were delighted to have been able to try out their dishes.
Swordfish Sashimi ($14.80). A daily special, this unique appetiser is dependent on their fresh catch-of-the-day, so you can expect interesting concoctions and amazingly fresh dishes daily.
This dish is more popularly known for its Japanese roots, but actually also has Thai street influence despite its name. Raw Prawn salad (Gung Che Num Pa) is a variation of this raw dish using prawns instead, while the choice of swordfish might be tending more towards the Japanese side.
Blending iconic Thai flavours of sweet chilli, lime with hues of bitterness from the bitter gourd, Haha Thai’s innovative starter intrigued us very much, and definitely left a great impression.
Haha Otah ($8.80). Featuring hand-minced and mildly spiced mackerel, this Otah dish was very generous with the chunks of mackerel within. With a slight starchiness to it, the coconut flavours were present while spiciness could have been ramped up a little as a Singapore Otah that’s not spicy isn’t really an Otah is it.
Being an ultimate Thai foodie, I could say that this Tom Yum Talay ($9.80 S/$16.80 M) was definitely something different from your usual Tom Yum fare.
Featuring less spicy notes with layers of subtle sweetness and a milky base, and of course a citrusy zest, Haha Thai’s tom yum talay managed to impress the skeptic in me.
I found it refreshing palatable, and easy on the throat (you know how some tom yum soups leave a scorching trail of burning hell down your throat), and with the slightly sweet aftertaste, it’ll leave you finishing the whole bowl.
Buttercorn Prawns ($18.80). Haha Thai presents a semi-floss-oatmeal and buttered corn mix atop fat, juicy and fresh tiger prawns. The giant tiger prawns were really huge and fresh, while the buttery textures of the toppings enhanced the taste of the dish. It wasn’t that lasting an impressions though, but definitely not too bad a choice.
Haha Bak Mee ($10.80). Also another variation as per your usual Pad Thai, Haha Thai offers a somewhat moister (and more Singaporean) version that is supposedly of Southern Thai influence. This dish was like a mix between Char Kway Teow and Pad Thai.
Still carrying a distinct Thai flavour characterised by the fragrance of lemongrass, it introduced sweeter and more flavourful notes and wetter textures, which is what, I’m sure, Singaporeans love about their char way teow. A must-try, but really tastes more local than Thai.
Haha Himalayan Snow-Baked Seabass ($49.80). One of the pricier options on their menu, I would certainly think that the seabass is bordering on over-priced, but lives up to the quality served.
Coated with himalayan salt then baked, Haha Thai managed to integrate different layers of taste into the fish, subtly salty yet fragrant. The fish was really fresh and maintained its clean firm textures, proving to be a house favourite. Do peel off the skin before tucking in or you’ll get a whole mouthful of salt!
Seth: I’ve had prior experience eating this Thai salt-baked fish, so I knew to take off the salt crusted skin. Perhaps Haha Thai could let customers know how to eat it too when they serve this fish, as I’d expected quite a few customers to just dig in.
Illy Crema ($3.80). A soft serve ice cream softie tracing its roots to the strong flavours of Illy Coffee. It is topped with a rice krispy-like treat, coated with a light swatch of sugar malt.
Coconut and Thai Iced Milk Tea Ice Cream ($4.80 for double scoops). I liked the refreshing taste of the coconut ice cream, it wasn’t as milky as I hoped for, but still carried a creamy texture that allowed it to be light on the palate.
However, the Thai Iced Milk Tea flavour was a little unrefined, introducing a slight sandy and bitter aftertaste.
In contrast though, the Thai Milk tea drink served here is pretty good and doesn’t have that heavy bitterness.
Overall, I really liked Haha Thai’s interesting edgy take on the usual Thai food scene in Singapore. You should definitely try it out for yourself, where it provides a pretty averagely priced option as compared to the many overpriced restaurants dotted over Orchard Road.
Haha Thai is also not one to compromise on quality and the freshness of its food, so you can be sure that you’ll receive the most premium and best option available when you choose to dine in.
Expected Damage: $17 – $35/pax