Last Updated: May 31, 2018
Family-run Baan Ying serves up some of the best of Bangkok’s home-style Thai cooking, with many menu items inspired by recipes from Northern Thailand. This outlet is the family’s first foray overseas, and they currently have seven other restaurants across Bangkok.
The restaurant’s name ‘Baan Ying’ means ‘Home of Ying’, and is named after Auntie Ying, the lady boss who helms the business and the kitchen. She prides the restaurant on the authentic and hearty dishes, all served up using the freshest and quality produce from Thailand.
The new restaurant space at Royal Square Novena is large and spacious, decked out in simple wooden furnishing, with a couple of small trees in the centre. Large panelled glass windows flank the restaurant, letting in plenty of natural light, especially during the day.
Based on the family’s love for minimalist design, Baan Ying’s interior is designed to look like an extension of the dining area of their own home kitchen; inviting guests into the warm comforts of their family-style dining concept.
We started our meal with the Classic Thai Iced Tea ($4.80) and the Iced Butterfly Pea Tea ($4.80). The Thai iced tea was very milky and had a light tea fragrance. It wasn’t too sweet at all, even though there was condensed milk at the bottom. The drink also came with bits of grass jelly as well, which was an interesting change!
I love butterfly pea drinks, and the Iced Butterfly Pea Tea was my obvious favourite between the two. It was extremely refreshing and reminded me of a milder version of calamansi, especially with its strong citrusy notes.
A unique dish that really impressed me was the Fried Morning Glory Salad ($10.80). One would typically expect Thai salads to consist of julienned raw vegetables tossed in a dressing, but this dish was made up of crispy deep fried morning glory leaves, accompanied by a bowl of fragrant stir-fried minced pork, fresh shallots and prawns.
The salad is meant to be eaten tapas-style, with the minced meat and prawns atop the deep fried leaf. This was one of the most memorable dishes for me as it had an interesting play on textures between the various components. The shallots also added a refreshing bite that prevented it from becoming too jelak.
A great sharing dish to have when you’re here is the Stir Fried Crabmeat in Curry ($14.80). This savoury omelette-looking dish was delightfully rich in curry flavour and generously heaped with succulent crabmeat.
I’ve had versions of this dish in Thailand, but what set Baan Ying’s apart was the ‘wok hei’ flavour that perfumed the dish, and it is hands-down the best I’ve had outside of Thailand. A wholesome and tasty dish, just give me a bowl of rice with this and I’ll be satisfied.
A classic Northern Thai-inspired dish is the Signature Green Chilli Fried Rice ($9.80). It came paired with other condiments like dried chillies, cashews, bits of pork crackling and pan-fried moo yur (a type of traditional Northern Thai sausage), along with a fiery chilli sauce.
I found this dish a little too spicy for my liking, but my dining partner loved pairing the green chilli rice along with the fiery chilli flake sauce and savoury moo yur. Approach with caution!
To my surprise, I dug through the rice and found a hard-boiled egg in there! The addition of the egg helped to mellow the strong flavours of the rice, chilli and condiments, and also provided some textural contrast to the other dry condiments.
A Thai meal isn’t complete without the staple Tom Yum Goong ($16.80). The soup was slightly on the sweeter side because of the sweet chilli paste and fresh king prawns used, and tasted more mellow in comparison to the strong sour and spicy tom yum soups that have been localised to our palate here in Singapore.
If you’re a fan of the latter, perhaps switch this up with one of the other soups on the menu to avoid disappointment.
The Steamed Sea Bass with Lime and Herbs ($32.80) was an impressive dish, featuring succulent sea bass topped with a herb medley of lime, ginger, bird’s eye chilli and garlic.
Ladle some sauce onto the tender fish meat, and this would be an utterly scrumptious dish that would work great for sharing between two to three pax.
The fish was flaky and naturally sweet, and there was no fishiness in the sauce at all. It really did pack on some heat, so do look out and avoid biting any the bird’s eye chilli seeds!
This is another dish that would go really well with a side of plain white rice.
We ended our meal with the Rainbow Ruby ($4.80), a classic Thai dessert. Instead of the typical red rubies though, Baan Ying gives their version colour with natural food colourings such as the butterfly pea flower.
The yummy rubies came in a sweet, fragrant coconut soup that reminded me of Bubur Chacha. Those who have a sweet tooth will love this dessert!
Baan Ying impressed us with their delicious and no-frills authentic home-style food, made all the more special with that extra touch of warm Thai hospitality, which made my dining partner and I feel right at home in the restaurant.
Some must-tries include the Fried Morning Glory Salad, Stir Fried Crabmeat in Curry and the Steamed Sea Bass with Lime and Herbs. Make Baan Ying the place for your next family dinner or for a meal with friends, cause I know I will!
Expected damage: $15 – $30 per pax