Located at Wingfield, near Star of Saigon, Aranya Thai Restaurant is a modest place to enjoy Thai cuisine. Despite its seemingly far-off location from the city, it is still quite popular with the locals, attracting a decent sized crowd during the peak dinner hours.
A good choice for a dish that is not too filling, the Larb Gai is a salad consisting of minced chicken with Thai herbs, onions, coriander, mint, ground roasted rice with a dry chilli lime dressing. The meaty texture of the chicken mince went well with the coriander and mint with the salad dressing giving the dish a delectable tangy flavour with a hint of spiciness.
Larb Gai (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
One of the dishes that were offered as a special, the crispy pork belly in their Stir-fried Crispy Pork Belly with Chinese Broccoli was cooked just right and partnered wonderfully with the Chinese Broccoli (Gai Lan), which had the right amount of bite to it. The sauce (which we think is oyster sauce) used to stir-fry the ingredients enhanced their flavour with a delicious savoury salty flavour.
Stir-fried Crispy Pork Belly with Chinese Broccoli (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Green Papaya Salad with Family Condiments is a more filling version of their Green Papaya Salad. This dish includes chicken wings, pork crackling and rice noodles served alongside the papaya salad. As its name suggests, the portion is large enough to be shared with a small group. This is the best Green Papaya Salad we have tasted so far, with generous strips of green papaya and a delectable tangy dressing. The chicken wings were crispy and juicy with the pork crackling and rice noodles completing the dish.
Green Papaya Salad with Family Condiments (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Their Praram Long Song is one of various stir-fries which can be ordered with your choice of chicken, beef or seafood. The beef option we chose for this dish was cooked to the correct doneness with the right amount of peanut flavour coming from the peanut sauce. A bit of extra texture was also provided by the seasonal vegetables cooked with the beef.
Praram Long Song (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
We could not resist ordering their Green Chicken Curry because green curry is one of the signature Thai dishes. The chicken was cooked just right with the vegetables having the right amount of bite to them, all served in curry gravy with the degree of spiciness that we liked. My father loved the curry gravy so much that he was drinking it like a soup. A vegetarian version of this dish is also available for those that cannot eat meat.
Green Chicken Curry (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
For those that prefer to eat noodles rather than rice, their Pad Thai is a good choice. The noodles were cooked to al dente with a delicious char-grilled flavour, with the sauce used to cook the dish providing it with a delectable savoury flavour. Aside from the chicken option we chose, this dish can also be prepared with beef, seafood or as a vegetarian dish.
Pad Thai (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
We were offered complimentary dessert of Coconut Sticky Rice with Homemade Custard and Vanilla Ice Cream on both our visits. This dessert is one of the specials on their board. The sticky rice had a lovely chewy texture with the custard having a flavour similar to kaya, a popular Asian spread made with eggs and coconuts. Everything was tied together by the creamy taste of the ice cream.
Coconut Sticky Rice with Homemade Custard & Vanilla Ice Cream (Photographed by Jonathan Phoon)
Ambience of the restaurant was very pleasant with the tables spaced a good distance apart from each other. The décor was simple and elegant and we were very impressed when the owner told us he did most of the work himself. Free off-street parking is provided in a car park next to the restaurant.