To say 2021 has not been great is an understatement. Still, life must go on. And I’m gonna wrap up this shitty year with an awesome find! In the midst of all unpleasantness, I stumbled upon a new establishment along sleepy Tyrwhitt Road. Hue was barely a week old, and it took us 2 turnarounds, and the lack of a better choice, before we decided to give the nondescript restaurant a go.
Hue is plainly decked out. Except for a neon light that shouts “The Hunger Is Real”, the room is a sea of greys, beige, sandy cool tones. Service was an exemplary of their cuisine, every staff member showed warm, courteous Thai hospitality throughout our quick lunch. The menu reads like a page from a child’s story book, delightful names like What The Fish! and Three Little Pigs immediately caught my eye. With just around 17 items, including desserts, it is one of the smallest menu I’ve experienced at a Thai restaurant. Our server, a polite young lad, whom we later found out was the owner, recommended their specialties and we shortlisted a couple of “less spicy” options.
Wrap It Up. As the name applies, you’re presented with a platter of condiments including sauteed minced pork, flat rice noodles, crushed peanuts, coriander and chopped birds eye chili to be wrapped up in crisp butterhead lettuce and enjoyed with a mildly spicy homemade sauce. To be honest, it didn’t look very exciting aesthetically. The pork looked pale, the rice noodles looked pale, and save for the bits of red chili and brown crushed nuts, everything else was just green, green and green. As guided, we mixed everything in with the rice noodles, gave that a good toss before spooning some onto a lettuce leaf. I un-enthusiastically took a bite and to my surprise, it tasted no where near pale! As a matter of fact, the pork was well seasoned, tender and moist, flavoring the noodles very nicely. The coriander adds a little chivey zing and some toasty, crunchy peanuts always hits the spot. The sauce was indeed mildly spicy but packed quite a punch nonetheless. I had to request for a 100% un-spicy substitute, which the kitchen whipped up in a jiffy. My new dip, a limey savory one, gave the wrap a clean, fresh taste which was totally appetizing, I could not stop rolling wrap after wrap! I would love extra crushed peanuts, as that would elevate the crunch pleasure even more.
Moocano comprises of sticky glutinous rice topped with grilled pork collar, served with a special dip. It was a big portion. Big chunks of grilled collar meat adorn glistening glutinous rice. It smelled terrific! We poured the accompanying shiny glaze over the pork and rice, tore up the meat and mixed everything up well. Some of the pork tore apart effortlessly while some took a bitta yanking. Maybe they’ll be fine between my teeth, I wished silently. This reminded me of a deconstructed Chinese rice dumpling (Bak Zhang) at first bite. It was sweet with a tinge of soy saltiness and subtle spice aromatics. That special dip? Was very special indeed. A little spicy and so deep in flavors. I’m guessing shallots, chili, garlic, lime in an umami fish sauce. It balances the heaviness of the rice, cuts the sweetness of the glaze and enhances the porky-ness of the meat. As filling as glutinous rice is, this was also unstoppable-y delish! As expected, not every piece of the pork was tender. Score a fattier piece and the meat melts nicely into the rice. Pick a lean one and you kinda get stringy, jerky-like meat. Pork collar is usually marbled with streaks of fat; so it puzzled me why there was quite a bit of dry, lean meat in there. So either braise it longer or QC the cut before cooking. Or, as suggested to young lad owner, try a fattier cut like belly or knuckle. Hmm… my mouth waters at the thought of that!
Before your meal begins, you’re served an amuse bouche of watermelon cubes with fried shallot ringlets. No doubt simple, but a nice touch and the juicy fruit was thirst quenching-ly appropriate for our hot weather. Also worth mentioning, the Classic Thai Ice Tea… One word- authentic!
I love Thai cuisine for its hard core Thai flavors. But despite looking and tasting not entirely Thai, Hue has managed to pimp classic Thai food without going overboard and ruining the whole Thai affair. I was definitely impressed with those special sauces and dips which lifted their respective dishes competently. They certainly shout Thai flavors but not in a loud, overwhelming way. I am more curious now, about What The Fish! and Three Little Pigs. And I am excited to try their version of Thailand’s national dishes like Tom Yum and Padthai. Its a bummer I could not eat, show and tell more on this visit… So I guess I am going back!
Hue @ 123 Tyrwhitt Rd, Singapore 207549 Phone 9018 0992
Disclaimer- This is not a sponsored post.