Nimman Soi 9, Tampines: Revel in the impressive Thai Fried Kway Teow With Chilli

Ex-owner and chef Jane Pamakham, of now-defunct Jane Thai at Orchard Towers, is back to serve you mouth-watering authentic Thai delights at Nimman Soi 9 at Tampines.

Nimman Soi 9

21 Street Eating House was a little difficult for this North-East resident to locate, but the crowds that were already settling in for their evening meal was a sign that this place had an already-ardent following.

What I tried

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Nimman Soi 9’s Prawn Cake (S$10 for four pieces) was on the pricier end, but they were larger than others I’d seen. I appreciated how it wasn’t as greasy and could easily be portioned to feed almost all six of us.

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The insides were dense and fat with sweet prawn meat, which was a welcome contrast to the crisp deep-fried breaded crust. This was a great side order to start the meal.

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I always give the Pandan Leaf Chicken (S$6 for four pieces) a go when at a Thai restaurant. For four pieces, S$6 didn’t exactly break the bank. The only downside to eating this is having to figure out the best way to unwrap the intertwined pandan leaves with as little mess as possible.

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Also, most times, the morsel of chicken that greets you is abysmal and this one was sadly no different. The portion of the chicken was disappointing, although it did make up for it in taste. It was smoky and sweet, while subtle nuances of pandan could be detected every few bites.

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I really wanted to like their Pineapple Chicken Fried Rice (S$5.50), but even with generous chunks of pineapple scattered throughout, I could barely taste the familiar sweet-acidic flavour of pineapple.

There was also very little chicken thrown in, making you think you could’ve contributed the S$5.50 to a much better dish, like the Prawn Omelette (S$6).

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Although the Prawn Omelette was too greasy for my liking, it was satisfyingly fluffy with an ample amount of plump prawns buried beneath the eggy pancake. So far, this was the only dish at Nimman Soi 9 that caught my attention.

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The Basil Chicken Rice (S$6) had a mediocre presentation, lacking heat as well as a balance of spices. I prefer my basil chicken rice a lot spicier, and this one was very tame.

It did, however, carry a lot of potent basil notes, which was absolutely lovely on the nose. Oh well, I suppose if you’re insistent on making this spicy, you could request for a spicier version upon ordering or ask for more cut chilli on the side.

Thai Fried Kway Teow With Chilli

The star of the evening for me was the Thai Fried Kway Teow With Chilli (S$6), a dish that I took a chance on without expecting much. The wok hei was incredibly aromatic, and it was aptly spicy enough to make me break out in a decent sweat.

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Just recalling how this dish tasted is making me salivate; especially when remembering how the balance of sweet and salty notes was right on the money. The portion was good enough to share between two if you plan to order other dishes—otherwise, order this solely for your own consumption and revel in this impressive dish.

Steamed Seabass With Spicy Lime Sauce

Another stand-out dish was the Steamed Seabass With Spicy Lime Sauce (S$22). Growing up, I never liked the steamed fish my mum made (shh, don’t tell her that!), given that it was too bland. Blame it on the age, but I’m starting to learn how to appreciate this pedestrian but comforting Asian dish.

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I suppose it’s the addition of lime and chilli that made it addictive because everyone at the table couldn’t stop grabbing a heap of flesh each time. The spiciness didn’t bother me one bit, with its tangy and sweet edge that really got my tastebuds reacting favourably.

We polished off every last bit of meat, right down to the bone.

tom yam seafood soup

Of course, I had to order the Tom Yam Seafood Soup (S$6), although I wish it came in larger size options (and not a single size). The soup was too sweet, and there wasn’t sufficient spiciness to keep me interested for very long.

Even though the size of the prawns was commendably larger than usual, I couldn’t justify ordering another portion should we return to Nimman Soi 9.

mango salad

The Mango Salad (S$7) really surprised me, because I’m not a fan of sour foods. Young mangoes don’t tickle my fancy, and less so when they’re shredded and thrown on a plate raw. The version here was surprisingly palatable for me; it was only subtly sour, with plenty of nuttiness and sweetness to mute it.

Final thoughts

Considering the journey I’d have to make to come here, I’m unsure if I would ever return to Nimman Soi 9. But that’s about the only reason why I wouldn’t.

In reality, I really enjoyed the Thai Fried Kway Teow With Chilli, Steamed Seabass With Spicy Lime Sauce, and Mango Salad.

For East-dwellers, the hunt for Nimman Soi 9 is well worth the effort.

Expected damage: S$6 – S$10 per pax

Price: $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

Nimman Soi 9

201 Tampines Street 21, 21 Street Eating House, Singapore 524201

Our Rating 4/5

Nimman Soi 9

201 Tampines Street 21, 21 Street Eating House, Singapore 524201

Telephone: +65 8569 2482
Operating Hours: 9.30am - 9.30pm (Mon - Fri), 10am - 10pm (Sat & Sun)
Telephone: +65 8569 2482

Operating Hours: 9.30am - 9.30pm (Mon - Fri), 10am - 10pm (Sat & Sun)

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