(This F&B establishment had since ceased operations.)
I usually write about places that are out of hawker centres or coffeeshops, and usually right after the first visit. Thai Jing Jing, however, is one place that has taken my heart ever since my very first try, and I have always felt like I should write about them but always failed due to the lack of full coverage for the stall. I would usually order just a rice set, and most of the time the same one, but they do offer a wide variety of noodle and zichar-style Thai dishes as well that is great for big groups to share. It has been a while since we have visited them, especially since they have moved from their old stall at Jalan Berseh Food Centre where we used to visit them whenever we were working nearby, to a corner stall in a coffeeshop at Hougang Central which coincidentally also houses 5 Star Corner which we have covered a while ago.
First to show up on the table was the Thai Fish Cakes, which comes in a set of four. Simple as it can be, but this started the meal off well especially with its soft and springy texture, coupled with an otak-otak like flavour without being too heavy-handed with the turmeric and chilli, balanced out by the refreshing scent of lemongrass that perfumes it subtly. Definitely did set the expectation of the meal right!
Served almost at the same time with the Thai Fish Cakes was my favourite dish from Thai Jing Jing of all time; the Deep Fried Garlic Pork. Usually, if I am alone, I would always opt for the rice set option which is accompanied with a sunny-side up over the rice. This was the small portion, and already the portioning is just so generous! One thing I really love for this rendition of this dish here is how savoury the chunks of juicy pork can be as though cooked in a sauce with all the flavours absorbed and accompanied with pungent, but crispy bits of fried garlic all over which gives it that intense flavour which is simply addictive. It is so delicious, I had consistently ordered it for every single visit here; that’s probably a testimony of how good this is in my mind.
One thing I particularly like about Thai Jing Jing about their Tom Yum soup is that you get to choose the soup base and ingredients that fancies you; they offer a Red Tom Yum, Clear and a Tom Yum Coconut base, alongside choices of Seafood, Prawn & Mushroom, Mushroom or Chicken & Mushroom for what comes in the soup. This is their Clear Tom Yum Seafood Soup in Medium portion size; the small sizes are not offered from Seafood soups. This is by far one of the better Tom Yum soups I have ever had; the fact that it is clear makes it rather refreshing especially for its undisturbed tanginess from the spices such as coriander and lemongrass, and also a slightly sharper spiciness, missing of the creaminess of coconut milk which can make Tom Yum soup a tad overwhelming and heavy at times. Coupled with all the generous amount of fresh seafood that came within ranging from mussels to prawns and sotong, this is a pretty good item to share around for big groups. The only regret that we had; not ordering rice so that we can mop up every single drop of that soupy goodness.
We usually cannot do a zichar meal without egg, thus, we ordered the Onion Egg. While the onions were curiously lost here somehow, we were already pretty fascinated with how they decided to serve this dish in. The fried bits of egg gave it a delightfully crisp texture while a small omelette sits within. The small tip on how to eat this as described by the lady boss is to take the fried bits and dunk them into the Tom Yum soup and let them soak all the liquid and flavour up; definitely, yet another take to this simple dish!
Stir-Fried Bean Sprouts with Tofu was yet another simple dish. We ordered the small portion of this dish as well. Featuring crunchy bean sprouts cooked in gravy, the hint of beefiness in the gravy made this dish a pretty good break in between the heavier tasting dishes such as the Deep Fried Garlic Pork, or whenever things just got a little bit too spicy with the Clear Tom Yum Seafood Soup.
Since we did not order rice, we shared a single portion of the Pad Thai. I am not one who orders Pad Thai usually, so perhaps I cannot give a proper gauge for how this one is like. No matter how it is, the rice noodles were certainly slurpy, flavoured with a lightly spicy sauce with a tomato-like zing, similar to Thai Chili sauce while being topped off with fresh prawns and an omelette egg.
Thai Jing Jing is a place I find myself consistently wanting to make repeats to, even though I am not particularly one who craves for Thai food much. The quality of food here is commendable, and its execution is pretty authentic to my opinion. Seeing how the partners have operated the business from Jalan Berseh to Hougang, they do seem to love what they do, having a passion for Thai cuisine and taking pride in the craft that they do. Food quality and prices have also been rather consistent throughout the few visits even after the move; the bill for the entire spread featured here was just $37. Do note that the waiting times for the food to be served can be a little long during peak periods, for the kitchen is operated by just one person. That being said, this is one place that you should hit if you love Thai food and are looking for one that does not break the budget, and certainly a spot to visit if you are one who lives in the north-eastern part of Singapore.
Thai Jing Jing
Blk 805 Hougang Central
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/THAIJING2