There’s something about the tanginess in Thai food that compels me to revisit my favourite Thai joint over and over again, despite the heat from the chilli bringing tears to my eyes time and again. To me, that’s the masochism of Thai food that keeps people hooked. My favourite Thai joint is located in the deep Eastern side of Singapore, with the befuddling oxymoron for a name – Downtown East.
The Basil Inn is one of the better Thai food in Singapore in my opinion. It is unpretentious, and the busy restaurant conjures the image and experience of a casual Thai eatery in Bangkok (read: bustling and questionable service standards). The food is excellent and the variety causes us to over-order each time we visit. I have my favourite dishes and the dilemma is always between fish or chicken.
One of my staple at The Basil Inn is their tom kha gai ($8-$12), a chicken coconut soup. Don’t be fooled by the pleasant pale colour; it is rather spicy and certainly wakes up any sluggish palate.
The olive fried rice comes with a fried egg and mango salad and some pork floss, great if you want a fragrant one-dish item when dining alone.
My other staples include a vegetable (above) and the fried pork (below)! The pork goes well with rice and is nicely seasoned.
And no Thai meal is complete (ok, I exaggerated) without a seafood vermicelli Salad. Again, do not be fooled into thinking this is an innocuous dish; it is spicy and flavourful and yet another dish that will result in rice guzzling.
Do prepare to queue if you come after 7pm, but I would say one needs to try Basil Inn at least once before drawing your own conclusions as to whether it is one of the best Thai eatery around; or at least in the Deep East of Singapore.