Lemon tree very pretty

9 10 2011

Fish in Ginger Sauce, D'Lemon Tree Thai Kitchen & Café, 173 Bencoolen Street, Summer View Hotel, Singapore 189642 (This and all photos, taken with my Blackberry Bold 9780)

 

“DO YOU like Thai food?”

The question, in its simplicity and straightforwardness, managed to make me pause.  And excitedly compose a reply.  In between hitting the keys in staccato, I would close my eyes and imagine catching a whiff of lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, and galangal.  Undeniable flavors of the land of the free.

I hit the send button and in minutes got a response.  Apparently, my answer in the affirmative merited an enthusiastic recommendation from my correspondent, a new friend I made at work here in Singapore.

And that’s what’s amazing about friends – old and new.  They’re one of only two you can really trust when it comes to places where to eat.  The other is a long line.  A long line is always a good sign.  (Though here in Singapore I’ve seen longer lines outside Chanel and Louis Vuitton on Orchard Road than most anywhere else.  Haha!)

While striking up a conversation with one of the wait staff, I realized that D’Lemon Tree Thai Kitchen & Café has both.  After all, I went there on a friend’s recommendation.  And usually, before the restaurant’s 11:30 AM opening time, a line would have formed outside, patiently waiting for a taste of Thai.

My friends and I went there for the lunch special.  It consists of tom yam soup, a spring roll, a slice of fish cake, a choice of entrée, sticky rice and mango for dessert, and overflowing lime juice, coffee or tea.  And oh, there were buffet tables where everyone had access to phad thai, and an array of desserts.  For those who opt to veer away from the really spicy, the restaurant offers an alternative to the traditional tom yam.  For that day, they called it the Chef’s special, a clear soup chockful with chunks of vegetables.

Tom Yam

 

Spring Rolls and Fish Cake

 

Stir-fried Vegetables

 

Glass Noodles with Chili and Mint

 

Fried Rice

But I love tom yam and must’ve had it from Penang, all the way to Manila, to Bangkok (at the international airport), and now here in Singapore.  Tom yam is the traditional Thai hot and sour soup, flavored with bird’s eye chilies, lemongrass, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, and fresh lime juice.  I was told that it originated from the southern part of the country where the shrimp is plentiful.  It was the Bangkokians who added roasted chilies in oil that had since given the dish its characteristic reddish color.  I’ve had it with and without coconut milk, and do love both versions.

Second bowl of Tom Yam

 

Fresh Coriander Leaves, coarsely chopped.

So it goes without saying that D’Lemon Tree’s rendition – one without coconut milk – had a lot to measure up to.  Their version was spicy hot, something that bites back but in a nice way.  It was, as my new friend said, full of “good stuff” – shrimp, squid, fish.  A sprinkling of coarsely chopped fresh coriander leaves rounded up the flavors of what I would always lovingly refer to as “Thailand in a bowl.”

For my entrée, I chose the fish in ginger sauce, which was served in a small plate on a lacquered tray that had equally small portions of stir-fried vegetables, glass noodles with mint and chilies, and special fried rice.  The fish was delicate, made perfect with the accompaniment of ginger strips with every bite.  I thought I wouldn’t feel stuffed, given the “small” portions.  Towards the end of the meal, I pulled myself back and stared at the lacquered tray telling myself, “Now looks could really be deceiving.”

While my friends relished their desserts, I couldn’t be distracted from my second bowl of tom yam.  In my mind, I thought that the soup was kind of authentic that I needed a passport to be enjoying it at the moment.  Then I snapped out of it and knew that all it took to be savoring this value-for-money meal were my ez-link card, six short bus stops, and exactly SG$ 9.99 in change from my pocket.

Sticky Rice and Mango

 

I love the sticky rice so much more than the mango. Here, I'm having seconds, courtesy of my friend.

 

Kap Kun khap

 

Copyright © 2011 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.

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One response

17 10 2011
Kalamayaddict

I think i should try this place. Well it’s actually the title that caught my attention… And i guess i just knew the song… Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet.. But the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat.. Hehe.. Wala lng. 

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