The Singapore dining scene, especially in hip urban hot-spots like Robertson Quay is fast becoming a breeding ground for greedy restaurateurs who have no guilt about charging extraordinary pricing for mediocre food. Nestled around such establishments in the Robertson Quay area is a hipster-ish eatery that may easily be mistaken for such a place, but refreshingly is something quite the opposite.
When we were invited down by the lovely folks at Soi 60 Thai to come back and try their menu, we jumped at the chance. With little expectations (and a big appetite), a group of us turned up at the venue, only to be instantly greeted by the friendly staff who had reserved a comfortable table with spanning views of this newly revamped space.
Soi 60’s open-aired concept, snuggled along the river, looked different to the time we were there last (opening night). She looked like she was having more fun. A young street artist added an authentic feel to the warm & welcoming space with his rendition of traditional Thai masks. Diners enjoyed a perfectly lit ambiance with some groovy beats to get you in the mood for Soi 60’s delicious & creative cocktails selection. Yes, we tried them all.
“We can go through the menu or you can leave it to us to bring the dishes out as and when it’s ready” was the comment from host Craig Hemmings. We all looked at each other and closed the menu, and knew that things were about to get very exciting. Dish after the dish, we were served what strangely felt like very simple and authentic Thai dishes, but yet so eloquently prepared with such fresh and uplifting flavors. Craig and restaurant manager Tim Dobson were always on hand to explain the dishes and more importantly the chef’s philosophy on how they were created. We were sold!
I sat down with Craig in between courses to ask him a few questions..
AD: Can you please tell us a little about the type of food on offer at Soi 60?
CH: We are “contemporary Thai”. That is a mix of traditional and contemporary Thai food. We offer traditional dishes of the highest standard and contemporary dishes using traditional ingredients and techniques with a fresh, modern approach to produce, flavor and presentation.
AD: Thai food is Thai food – what makes your food different?
CH: Traditional food executed at the highest standard together with interesting modern food using the fresh ingredients and flavors of Thailand. (all our produce is brought in from Thailand by the way )
AD: You mentioned that the chef has a unique way of “keeping things simple”, what are the 3 must have dishes people should order to experience this fantastic simplicity?
CH: The crab betel leaves. Fresh daily betel leaves from Thailand with fresh crab and Nam’s subtle coconut, lime and chili sauce which enhances the crab. Fresh, simple and delicious.
Steamed sea bass. This dish is all about the freshness and quality of the fish. Simply steamed, fresh ginger, spring onion and coriander salad with Nam’s ginger, chili and lime nam jim.
Pork ribs. Simple, no fuss presentation. Pork baby back ribs braised overnight in Nam’s master stock. Then cooked to order on the grill and brushed with a reduction of the stock. Served with lime and Nam’s green chili and coriander sauce.
AD: What can people expect from the “total” experience at Soi 60?
CH: Our description is a “contemporary Thai restaurant offering a relaxed, professional and affordable dining experience by the river”.
Our approach to food has been discussed. Our cocktails are first class, we offer options for all dietary requirements, the room is relaxed and fun and the service is warm, professional and friendly. You can treat us as your drop in local or have an interesting degustation of contemporary Thai executed at the highest level.
With Tim Dopson as manager the floor understands each tables requirements and everybody leaves happy. A happy guest is one that believes they have received “perceived value”. That the level of food, service and ambience outweighs the cost..
AD: What do you say to people who are fed-up at paying extraordinary prices for mediocre food in Singapore?
CH: Soi 60 was started because of this point. Casual dining at a high level offering high “perceived value”.
Below you will find some pictures of the dishes that we indulged in, but in summary, I would like to share this. You can head to some of the higher end (and higher priced) Thai restaurants in town for a unique take on classic dishes. The food will be good in most cases but the bill will not. Soi 60 has successfully developed a unique proposition that is priced right and promises to show you a good time, all while you enjoy an honest & refreshingly uplifting menu. It really is that simple folks.
Head down and say hi to the boys and don’t be surprised if you find me there sipping on the passion fruit mojito!
Yes it looks like an ordinary Pad Thai… but trust us, it’s better!
These sliders were a HUGE hit with both the boys and girls on our table.
Duck pancakes.. succulent meat waltzed around a delicious sauce. They didnt stay on the plates for long!
Could this be the star of the show? Fresh crab beetle leaves shipped in direct from Thailand. So simple, so smart.
No nonsense baby back ribs, cooked to perfection that will no doubt capture your attention – as it did ours!
Zingy, simple and packs a flavorsome punch.. this “party starter” of a salad must not be missed!
A desert that that will make you go “bananas”!
What do you get when you cross a panna cotta with a coconut? Something that looks like this (but not for long).
#01-04 The Quayside, 60 Robertson Quay, Singapore 238252. Opening Hours: 5:30pm till late (Wed-Sun), 12pm-3pm (Sun for lunch) T: +65 66356675