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Review: HAHA Thai @ Ngee Ann City

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HAHA Thai has outgrown their old branch along Foch Road, and has set foot in the luxurious Ngee Ann City. I was extremely excited when Serene approached me to have a meal at Haha because I’ve seen a lot of their food on Instagram. And I just couldn’t wait to try THAT red velvet lava cake!

Unlike most of the Thai restaurants which brand themselves with the traditional Thai-inspired interior design, there was really nothing Thai looking about Haha Thai. Taking on an industrial theme, this place was extremely spacious and homely with its warm lights.

The Food
Photo 14-5-15 11 46 30 am Photo 14-5-15 11 50 06 am Photo 14-5-15 11 50 11 am Photo 14-5-15 11 50 17 am Please pardon the shadow on the table, I forgot to crop it away. I ought to be shot, I know. But hey, don’t be mean. Anyway, their signature dishes are marked with a Haha before the name of the food, e.g. Haha Otah.

The Chefs from Haha Thai hail from Southern Thailand, where their food, according to Serene tend to be less spicy and sweeter. This point may need some getting used to especially with the dishes we are familiar with at other Thai eateries.

For starters, each table will be given a cute bowl of welcome soup, which tastes pretty much like tomyum that is a little more acidic than usual to whet one’s appetite! It was indeed very appetizing and I couldn’t wait to get started with my lunch!
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Our first dish was the Swordfish Sashimi, which I can’t find on the menu.
Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetThick slices of Swordfish, which were tender and succulent. My eyes immediately lit up when I bit into them, as the freshness of the sashimi overwhelmed me. The pairing of the sweet thai chili sauce with this sashimi was right on point, and definitely makes it more palatable. Great dish and a really good start to our meal!

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Haha Otah ($8.80).  This is their homemade otah with Mackerel, topped with chicken floss. I LOVE OTAH, especially thick, chunky ones like the MUAR OTAH. For this, it was thick and packed with flavors, you could even find chunks of mackerel in there. I like! Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Hamachi Collar ($28.80): This could get a little hard to cut but trust me, the effort taken to cut this, is definitely worth it. I’m not a very fishy person, but this one, takes the cake for me. YUM. Really really tender meat and it’s just DELICIOUS. This serving is good for 2!

These seafood dishes have definitely set the bar high for us for the subsequent dishes to come.

A Thai meal is never complete without Tom Yum soup and of course, Phad Thai, right?
Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetSeafood Tom Yum Soup, could do better with more acidity and heat. It may be because of where the head chef is from. This bowl of soup was a little underwhelming for me. The flavors were slightly muted due to the lack of spiciness. It would be great for someone who can’t really take spicy food well!

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Phad Thai ($10.80), was lacking in the wok hei taste, and some parts of the dish tasted a little too raw for our liking, like the bean sprouts. We’ve had better, but the serving of this Phad Thai was pretty huge, and generous ingredients too!

Both of the dishes were a little disappointing, as compared to our other Thai food experiences at other establishments. The origin of the chefs may have constituted to the difference in taste and flavors of these dishes. I guess they will need some time for adjustment and fine-tuning based on their customers’ feedback, and do some trial and error to fit the flavors to the local profile. Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset This Sambal Kang Kong ($8.80), for example, was overly sweet. Unlike the savory and spicy Sambal Kang Kong we are usually used to, this plate was just… Sweet. Serene explained to us that the chef is still getting used to modifying his recipes based on feedbacks, and he has since cut down on the amount of sugar he uses DRASTICALLY in his cooking!

And now, on to the favorite segment of any meal.. DESSERTS!

HAHA Thai makes their desserts IN-HOUSE, by their very young and talented Serene!Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset  We, of course, went for the Red Velvet Lava Cake ($10.80). The red velvet lava cake had an amazing ooze of cream cheese and red velvet. Paired together with coconut ice cream, this combination was a match made in heaven. Besides, it was also not overly sweet. Perfectly balanced, and it will definitely end of your meal on a very satisfying note! Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset As I am not a fan of Mango Sticky Rice, I didn’t go for their signature sticky rice. Because no matter how good it is, I WILL NOT, WILL NEVER appreciate it. So, we went for the Thai-ramisu ($9.80). Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset Tiramisu with a slight twist, with the lady fingers being infused with Thai Iced Tea. Together with the tinge of alcohol, and this aromatic thai iced tea, the boy and I fought to finish this ingenius creation. A myriad of flavors in this one, I highly recommend it!

Oh before I end off the post, Haha Thai also serves up a mean Thai Milk Tea ($4.80) (HOORAY!), which is not too overpoweringly sweet. If you’re looking for something to feel less sinful with your feasting, go for the Haha Fruit Cider ($4.80), the acidity makes you feel like you’ve washed out all the oil from your system, and you could go for more desserts again!
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Closing Remarks

I really loved the seafood dishes of Haha Thai. As they have branched out from a seafood supplier, it is no wonder why their seafood dishes were so FRESH and delish. I was really impressed by ALL the seafood dishes, and I dare say I’ve had the best fish here in my entire life. Hehe!

Their usual thai dishes may not be so much to my liking due to the disparity from my expectations built from visits to other establishments, but with a bit of tweaking, I believe it would get better with time! The prices on the menu may be a little on the high side, especially for Thai cuisine. But they do have affordable set lunches available on weekdays for the working crowd in the area. Haha Thai may not be halal certified, but our muslim friends are welcome to visit as they do not use any lard in their cooking. Besides, special requests can be made to the kitchen for vegetarian patrons for all of their dishes, and in my case, I could ask for a less sweet version of a kang kong, and also, a spicier tom yum!

Such versatility is definitely welcomed, but the crux for the success of Haha Thai is to figure out the optimal standard flavors for the mass market.

How to get there?
Ngee Ann City
391 Orchard Rd
#05-29
Singapore 238873

Opening Hours
Mon – Thu:
11:30 am – 10:00 pm
Fri – Sun:
11:00 am – 10:00 pm

Contact:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/HahaThaiRestaurant/
Instagram: @hahathai

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