Huaplachongnonsea Junior ร้านหัวปลาช่องนนทรี (Central World – Bangkok)

Huaplachongnonsea Junior

Address: Central World, 6th Floor, Unit A 603-4

Operating hours: 10.00am to 10.00pm

Introduction

Since my first trip to Bangkok, i wanted to try out this Huaplachongnonsea (or they called themselves HPC as per their logo), but the main branch is just too far and too inconvenient. Huaplachongnonsea is a non-mainstream non-touristy restaurant that sells traditional Thai food and i have much difficulty looking for it’s information because this place is very little mentioned in Singapore blog or forum. Even their official website and facebook page is in Thai – http://www.huaplachongnonsea.com/

After much research, I realized that they actually have a branch at Central World! Apparently, the branch that i am visiting is a “Junior” version. I have no idea what is the difference but i keep my finger-crossed that their food are as good as the non-junior branch like how some people described online. Here’s the “Junior” website in English: http://www.huaplachongnonsea.com/junior/

My must-eat for Huaplachongnonsea will be their signature Hot Pot Tom Yum Soup (they even use the hot pot in their logo) , Roasted Pork Cheek and the highlight – Thai-style Curry Crab Meat!

Click to see my list of consolidated Bangkok Food Itinerary

Hot Pot Tom Yum Soup

Surprisingly, i didn’t manage to get a really good Tom Yum Soup in Bangkok. If you do have a good Tom Yum Soup recommendation in Bangkok, feel free to share! I heard Ban Khun Mae and Nara Thai serves pretty good Tom Yum Soup. But this Hot Pot Tom Yum Soup from Huaplachongnonsea manage to satisfy my craving for a good soup!

This is the coconut milk version and note that it is slightly oily. So what is better than a pot of spicy and sour Tom Yum Soup? A pot of piping hot, spicy and sour Tom Yum Soup!!

I’ll definitely give my vote to Huaplachongnonsea for the most satisfying Tom Yum Soup in Bangkok till date. Large portion, big fresh prawn, piping hot soup, flavorful, spicy and spices infused Tom Yum Soup, and at a reasonable price of 270 baht!


Roasted Pork Cheek

This is one disappointment for me as I was expecting a char-grilled pork cheek with a little burnt on the surface but there isn’t any. This pork cheek has a tinge of sweet coconut taste which don’t exactly enhance the taste in my opinion. This also has something to do with the way the chef cuts it, which makes the pork cheek rather tough on the teeth. I thought a good way of preparing the pork cheeks is to slice them into thin slices.

Salted Fish Kai Lan

Best Kai Lan dish ever! But provided you like salted fish. The whole dish is overpowered with the aroma of salted fish which makes it rather salty and goes very well with white rice. I can finish the whole bowl of rice with just the vegetable alone. But a word of caution, this dish is really salty, but in a way that I favor.

Curry Crab Meat

This is my favorite dish of Huaplachongnonsea. We have chilli crab in Singapore and the Thais have curry crab! I did a search on instagram for this restaurant and apparently this is one of the most popular dishes in Huaplachongnonsea, which i made this a must-order for my visit. Like the Hot Pot Tom Yum, this cost about 270 baht if i remembered correctly.

Best thing I like about this dish is – there is no need to de-shell the crab as the kitchen had already removed all the shells and stir-fry chunks of fresh crab meat into their special curry gravy. How I wish I have some fried man tou (steamed bun) to go with it.

Some may find this dish a little too oily but I heck it since it’s an overseas trip and won’t get a chance to eat this when I return to Singapore. Like how we Singaporeans say it – “Just whack only!”. I will be back for more of this.

Conclusion

I looked around Huaplachongnonsea and noticed there are not much foreigners in the restaurant. Almost all the guests are locals. Actually even for me, if I don’t already know this place, I probably won’t set foot into this place as there are just too many other tourist-friendly-looking restaurants at Central World.

The total damage is about S$36.00 for Hot Pot Tom Yum Soup, Roasted Pork Cheek, Curry Crab, Salted Fish Kai Lan, Rice, which is reasonably enough for four people. The price seems pretty reasonable for a restaurant located at Central World. If you ask me, I will visit this place again for their Curry Crab Meat and Hot Pot Tom Yum Soup and and other dishes as well.

Map of Central World

Nakhon Kitchen

Nakhon Kitchen

Address:  Hougang Street 21 #01-341 S530212

Operating Hours: Daily: 12:00 – 15:00, 17:30 – 22:00

Introdution

I won’t term Nakhon Kitchen as a restaurant but more of a neighborhood eatery situated in the heartland of Kovan. This place serves considerably good Thai food at an economy price. Each dishes range from $5.00 to $8.00. Some say the food is great, but some said it’s overrated so i gonna it out myself! I visited this place twice, once on 8 August ’13 during the afternoon and a second time on 9 August ’13 during the evening. Both times, Nakhon Thai is crowded and there’s always a queue forming outside the place.

Pandan Chicken

Apparently the best seller at Nakhon Kitchen is the Pandan Chicken, with every table ordering at least one portion. It was sold out during lunch! We only manage to have a taste of this dish on the next day when we came back during the evening. I can already smell the fragrance of spices-infused chicken while unwrapping the pandan leave. Although it’s deep fried, but it’s not dry at all, and in fact it’s really tender. i can see why some customers ordered a second or even a third portion and why it’s sold out.

Pad Thai

Like how my friend will normally judge a good dim sum by it’s Har Gow and Siew Mai, i would judge a Thai food place by it’s Tom Yum Soup and Pad Thai, then i realize that there are exceptions. The Pad Thai of Nakhon Kitchen is OK. Not bad, not spectacular, but OK. There’s a lack of the typical fragrance or the “kick” that a Pad Thai has when you munch on them. I thought this is something that i can skip and save my calorie for some other more awesome stuff offered on their menu.

Clear Tom Yum Soup with Prawn

I would really like to mention this Tom Yum Soup. This really really suit my taste as i love my Tom Yum soul to be sour, and it must be spicy, and Nakhon Kitchen’s version got it all. I was not exactly ready for this soup when i took my first mouth and i almost got choked by it’s spiciness. In my opinion, this Tom Yum Soup is gotta be in my top 3 favorite Tom Yum Soup.

Stir-fry Minced Pork in Basil

The stir fry pork is decent, taste like a typical Thai restaurant dish. I actually particularly like the long beans which adds an overall crunchy texture to the dish.  Too bad this is not one of the outstanding dishes of Nakhon Kitchen so if i have to choose, i would choose to order other dishes. Don’t get me wrong, it’s just that other dishes are better and i only have limited stomach capacity, and money.

Cashew Chicken

Oh… I like this.  Cashew Chicken. This is a very crispy version with a thin layer of sweet and sour sauce coated over the chicken. Some restaurants offer another version that is actually wetter with loads of cashew nuts but i like this version better.  One of my favorites that comes after the Tom Yum Soup and Pandan Chicken.

Deep fried pork

I mistook this for the cashew chicken that was served to another table but who don’t like deep fried crispy pork strips? Actually to be frank, this pork strip is a little bit tough on the teeth, but is really crispy. You can literally hear the crunching sound in your ears when you sink your teeth into one of these. Those who  like garlic will favor this dish because it is so full of it.

Kangkong Belacan

This Kangkong surprises me a little. Chilli is not too overpowering with it’s generous portion of dried prawn and garlic. I particularly like the way the veggies are cooked till it’s really soft, unlike some Kangkong when I had a hard time munching and chewing on them.

Thai Tapioca with Sugar Syrup and Coconut

Love this dish cus most importantly, it’s not too sweet, and i love the taste of smooth coconut milk and soft Tapioca, and it’s only S$3.00. The only down side is – this dish is really sinful and fattening!

Mango Glutinous Rice

The glutinous rice is actually tasty by itself even without the coconut sauce. Too bad the price is a little expensive (S$5.00) for it’s portion. Can’t get enough for sharing 1 portion.

Conclusion

Apparently i have no problem with Nakhon Thai Kovan branch. I heard from my friend that they served cold dish at the Bedok branch, taste is only so-so, overrated etc. But i am rather satisfied with the overall experience. Despite waiting in the queue, you can place your order first so that your dishes can be served to you soon after you get yourself a seat. Those who live nearby queue up at the take-away queue to save yourself from waiting in the long queue. Initially, I was a little surprise to see their staff allocating only two people to a four pax table. They could have earned more if another couple can share this table. But i think they do have a certain service standard to maintain like how a restaurant will never ask a couple to share a table with another couple. Their service is considerably fast for it’s crowd and price is very reasonable for it’s quality. I can see myself going back to this place soon.