Thai food is one of the most exotic cuisines in Southeast Asia, mainly because of its use of strong flavours coming from different herbs, spices, and other ingredients. If you haven’t tried Thai food yet, then it is best that you prepare for the outburst of flavours first so that you know what exactly to expect once the food is served.

You don’t have to get anxious, however, if you’re going on a Thai food trip. There are dishes that are great for first time eaters, and these help in adjusting your taste buds to the cuisine.

Among the most recommended Thai food in Singapore for first time eaters are:

  1. Yum WoonSen

Yum woonsen is a spicy glass noodle salad that is common in various Thai restaurants. This is a very good way to open the doors to the world of Thai food, as you are immediately introduced to the cuisine’s strong spicy palate.

Unlike the typical noodle dish such as Pad Thai, yum woonsen consists of thin glass noodles, scallions, onions, tomatoes, squid, ear-type mushrooms, lime, and chilli peppers. Since it is a wet type of salad, it can get very hot and spicy. You may have to prepare a glass of water to quench your thirst in case you can’t stand the spice.

  1. Chicken dishes

When it comes to chicken dishes, you may want to try these two popular meals: Gai Pad Met Mamuang and Tom KhaGai.

Gai Pad Met Mamuang refers to chicken and cashew nut stir fry. It is a simple stir-fried dish consisting of chicken portions, chopped cashew nuts, shredded carrots, and young corn. This dish falls under the savoury palate, and compared to other meals it is not spicy.

On the other hand, if you want to know how chicken tastes like when wrapped in coconut sauce, then you should have a plate of Tom KhaGai. This dish consists mainly of chicken pieces cooked in coconut milk and galangal, infused with a variety of herbs and spices. Tom KhaGai can be very filling especially when it is paired with steamed rice, making it perfect for hungry eaters.

  1. Seafood Bpoo Pad Pongaree

Meanwhile, if you want to try your hand at Thai seafood dishes, then the top choice would be the Bpoo Pad Pongaree. This dish simply refers to stir fried crab with curry powder, although it is not spicy as expected. The tangy flavour of this crab dish comes from the curry and not chilli peppers, making it tolerable to those who are not used hot flavours yet.

  1. Other side dishes

To help you get acquainted with Thai flavours, you may want to check out their side dishes first, as these taste milder compared to main course meals. Among the highly recommended side dishes for you to try are the Pad Pak Boong or the stir-fried morning glory which is infused with fresh garlic, and the Pad Pak Loo-um or mixed stir-fried vegetables.

  1. Desserts

Who says Thai food in Singapore is made up of savoury dishes? Of course they have a wide array of sweets as well! Among those to try is the KowNiaoMamuang, a staple in almost every Thai restaurant. This sweet treat comprises of sticky rice and ripe sweet mango and is served usually after dinner.

You may also want to try GluayBuadChee, or uncooked banana in coconut milk, which is best consumed during afternoon snack (as it can be heavy on the stomach), or Sung Kaya Fuhk Thong, which comprises of sweet egg custard and pumpkin, or Lawt Chong which is made of noodles in coconut milk and topped with jackfruit.