Jane Thai Food: Great Food with Dodgy Origins

The moment I heard that Jane’s opened a branch at Simpang Bedok, I immediately found an excuse to go. Jane’s original branch is at Orchard Towers so it’s not surprising that it has to push out authentic down-home food for the many Thai workers of the night there. It helps heaps that the food is very affordably priced too! I’ve been quite a few times with family and friends. This review is a hodge podge of the dishes I’ve tried at the various visits.

I always tell people to try the claypot mussels with basil ($8). It’s a massive pot of an uncountable number of fresh mussels cooked in a super nommy lemongrass-chilli broth. Now here’s the catch: see the green lip on the mussel shell? It’s kinda fluorescent don’t you think? It doesn’t really show on the photo, but the edges of each mussel piece hidden also has a strange fluorescent green lip too. I painstakingly took out that green edge from each mussel muscle before eating. DC has banned me from ordering it again because he thinks it’s radioactive. Eat at your own risk.

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The mango salad is well up to standard. It pulls no punches with the shallots, raw garlic and fish sauce shouting out strongly. Thumbs up also to the generous serving of dried shrimp and toasted peanuts tossed into the mix. The fried catfish part (crispy fish with mango salad – $20) isn’t as good. It’s a tad oily and not that authentic because the fish bits seemed to be coated in some kind of batter instead of just being fried into crisp-spongy goodness. Give it a miss.

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Go for the deep fried snapper instead. It’s expertly fried so that the fins are super crispy – I crunched up most of the fins and little bones. Make sure you have it with papaya salad, the two go together a treat.

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The pandan chicken ($10) is good too. I hadn’t any in ages because it’s generally crowded out by spicier options, but was very glad that Jean suggested it. It was very savoury and flavourful, with strong notes of pandan and caramelised oyster sauce. I liked that the chicken pieces weren’t too oily and some bits were almost crisp. The pandan wrapper kept the chicken very moist. A must if everything else is too spicy!

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And then the tomyum soup ($10). It’s fantastic. I always prefer the clear version because of the cleaner flavours. They also generally add some holy basil to finish the clear version. The heady herbal notes are magic to the seafood broth. The seafood version comes with some radioactive mussel, so order the prawn one if you’re dodging the, um, dodgy. Otherwise, enjoy the fiery fragrant soup. Jean and I slurped cautiously and steadily at the soup and after a while realised that both of us were finding it really hot but just couldn’t stop because it was that good. The pandan chicken really helps as a foil at this point!

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Jane’s has plenty of other good dishes. They do a credible stirfry with plenty of wok hei (the kang kong and bean sprouts are good), and their curries are fine too.

Oh, and the dessert? I haven’t had a good experience with dessert, so I suggest you stuff yourself to the gills with the excellent savoury food here. If you really need something sweet, go to the ice cream shop next door. It’s not bad.

Jane Thai Food
314 Bedok Road
Bedok Shopping complex
Tel: +65 6449 9201

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