Pratunam Market Place & Bar: A mini Thailand, complete with mookata and a vendor’s cart

Pratunam Market Place & Bar in Sunshine Plaza on Bencoolen Street is about 3 years old, and opened its doors pretty much just when Covid hit our shores. Despite that shaky start, they have gone on to become a reasonably popular place to eat, just outside the almost-too-saturated Bugis area.

pratunam - storefront

When we got wind of it, the Thai eatery had launched a loklok and mookata buffet. Now, that sounded like 3 well-spent hours to our ears. Alas, it was not to be! We missed out on what turned out to be a short promotion that ended on 20 October 2022, by less than a week.

pratunam - vendor's cart

Despite that disappointment, my dining companion and I were quite taken by the quaint setup with the street vendor’s cart parked on the corner. There used to be indoor seating here but that’s no longer the case, and you won’t hear any complaints from me about that.

Two gigantic air coolers whirred away, competing with the pop songs for our attention. It was slightly muggy. We were sitting 2 metres from the road. Wow. Closest to Thailand I have ever felt in Singapore.

Chope Reservations

What I tried at Pratunam Market Place & Bar

pratunam - mookata

My dining partner and I chose the Mookata Set (S$24.90). This set is normally served with chicken broth but you have the option of topping up to Tomyum Broth (S$5), which we did. We also went for the optional Cheese Dip (S$4.90) and 2 bowls of Steamed Rice (S$2 each).

pratunam - vege set

Our platter of vegetables arrived first, laden with lettuce, cai xin, and sliced shitake mushrooms as well as a reasonable serving of vermicelli. The meat platter was decidedly bigger.

pratunam - meat platter

It was brimming with 8 fish balls, 5 pork belly slices, 8 crab sticks, 2 pork sausages (cut up), 4 seafood tofu pieces, 4 handmade meatballs (pork), a little pile of squid, some sesame chicken and ginger chicken (basically, chicken with a mountain of chopped ginger on it).

This set also comes with 2 bowls of chilli dipping sauce and 1 bowl of pork lard. We had the tabletop cooking set fired up and cooking away in no time.

pratunam - close up of meats

Of the meats, the pork belly was especially divine and the sesame chicken was enjoyable, too. However, my favourite of the night was, I’m surprised to say, the ginger chicken.

Ordinarily, a dish like this would fall squarely into the realm of ‘average’ because it’s so common. Here, though, I believe it was how the freshness of the meat combined with that of the ginger to elevate it above the other meat.

pratunam - cheese pull

We also enjoyed the smooth, soft fishballs immensely and our meal was helped nicely along by the cheese dip. As I dipped every morsel in its gooey goodness, I was reminded of a recent visit to Meow Barbeque.

I don’t usually like squid because it usually has a tough, stringy texture. However, we managed to cook some of the pieces just to my liking and found that they went very well with the rice.

pratunam - tomyum soup

Be prepared to squirm and pant if you’re a wuss like me when it comes to spicy tomyum. A soft drink is definitely recommended to soothe the burning. (All this after I had asked for the soup to be mild). Mind you, the soup itself is intensely flavourful, so no complaints there.

pratunam - mookata set

The Mookata Set is recommended for two but both of us ran out of steam before we were anywhere near the end. I suggest you order 1 bowl of rice for every 2 people in your dining party to begin with and only order more if it falls short.

If you consider yourself a big eater, Pratunam Market Place & Bar has a challenge for you. It’s the Pratunam MAMA Challenge (S$49.90). Finish a bowl of Mama noodles, prawns, meatballs, giant king crab stocks, roasted chicken and eggs within 30 minutes and not only is your meal free but you will be given an extra S$50 as a prize!

Let me warn you, though, I don’t think it’s as easy as it sounds!

Final thoughts

pratunam - mookata set

While I was sorely disappointed at missing out on the Pratunam Market Place & Bar loklok and mookata buffet promotion, the charming décor, friendly service and roadside dining setup gave me distinct Thailand vibes.

The dining area is on a reasonably quiet street (at least on the evening we were there) and that helped to make the food and conversation more enjoyable. I would certainly eat here again but I think this concept is better with a larger group of people than just 2.

pratunam - mooping

I would also like to try some of the more exotic fare and am thinking specifically of the Mentaiko Mooping (S$11.90 for 3 sticks) when I say that. They have a poster advertising it with a caption reads “You won’t stop at 3 sticks”. I dare say they’re right!

Expected damage: S$12 – S$50 per pax

Other articles you might like:

Sawadee Thai Cuisine: Premium Thai SELECT-certified Bugis restaurant makes sauces, dips & entire meals in-house daily

J-KL Bak Kut Teh & Thai Paradise: S$6.50 herbal bak kut teh done just perfect at Hougang coffeeshop 

Price: $ $

Our Rating: 4 / 5

Pratunam Market Place & Bar

91 Bencoolen Street, Sunshine Plaza, #01-17, Singapore 189652

Our Rating 4/5

Pratunam Market Place & Bar

91 Bencoolen Street, Sunshine Plaza, #01-17, Singapore 189652

Telephone: +65 8168 1524
Operating Hours: 5pm – 11pm (Tue to Thu & Sun), 5pm – 12am (Fri & Sat), Closed on Mon
Telephone: +65 8168 1524

Operating Hours: 5pm – 11pm (Tue to Thu & Sun), 5pm – 12am (Fri & Sat), Closed on Mon