Cheap & Good

Cheap & Good: Thai-style nasi ambeng for 3 in Arab Street

The Rice Platter has green curry with chicken, mango salad, vegetables, beef, spring rolls, fish cakes and eggs.
The Rice Platter has green curry with chicken, mango salad, vegetables, beef, spring rolls, fish cakes and eggs. ST PHOTO: ANJALI RAGURAMAN

While there are plenty of options for family-style nasi ambeng in the Arab Street area, the Thai version at Sticky Rice offers a spin on the Javanese classic. 

The Rice Platter, as it is called at this halal Thai joint, is priced at $28.50 and comes with a generous mound of white rice in the middle. It is meant to be shared by two to three people. 

Instead of rendang and begedil, however, the rice is surrounded by a bowl of green curry with chicken, green mango salad, stir-fried vegetables, fried beef strips, spring rolls, fish cakes and the mysteriously named “son-in-law” eggs, which are hard-boiled then deep-fried so they have a crispy golden skin. 

I later find out that the egg dish is called Khai Luk Khoei (son-in-law eggs in Thai). 

The accompanying sweet-sour sauce – made from tamarind and fish sauce – is meant for the eggs, but goes well with all of the dishes.  

The mild green curry is tasty and light, as if it is made with coconut milk instead of coconut cream. Meanwhile, the deep, burnt-orange colour of the Thai-style fish cakes belies their subtle flavour. The som tum, or green mango salad, is fresh, but could be a little spicier. 

Shared among three people, the portion is just right. The platter is not overwhelmingly heavy on the stomach and I imagine it would work well for the lunch crowd from the office buildings surrounding Arab Street. No danger of a food coma here. 

  • STICKY RICE

  • 23 Bali Lane; tel: 6294-0118 or e-mail enquiries@stickyrice.com.sg; open: noon to 3pm, 6 to 9.30pm (Mondays to Thursdays); noon to 3pm, 6 to 10.30pm (Fridays and Saturdays); closed on Sundays

    Rating: 3/5

If you don’t want rice, there is also the option of a lo hei-like Pad Thai Platter ($28.50) that comes with chicken pad thai with prawns, omelette strips, crispy chicken skin, bean sprouts, peanuts, and lime and chilli powder. 

The restaurant also offers staples such as basil chicken rice ($7.50) and a classic tom yam soup ($6 with chicken, $7.50 with seafood).