Quick Bites: Anantara Thai Food

Anantara Thai Food
As anyone who is a frequent traveller to Thailand should know, Thai food in Singapore is watered down, largely not to scare the (relatively) delicate Singaporean palate. Anantara is the rare store that doesn’t compromise, offering punchy and bold dishes that leave you sweating and tearing from the chilli.
One of the standouts is the Larb ($5): a faithful reproduction of the intensely spicy dish that’s served in Northern Thailand. Spices like lemongrass and ginger are cut into thin strips, deep-fried. A mix of tongue-numbing ground spices, which includes star anise, cumin, cinnamon, provides the spice. You can choose between minced chicken and pork, and these are fried in a hot wok and served with cabbage and rice. Having a peranakan grandmother, I’ve grown up with eating chilli padi just for kicks, but the Larb was humbling. It basically kicked my ass.
The menu is kept very small, unlike other Thai hawker stores that sell a huge plethora of dishes. There are also weekly specials that are written on whiteboards.
The store is run by two Thai sisters who were street hawkers in Thailand. One of them married a Singaporean man and are now here, much to our benefit. As I was chatting with them, one of them remarked sadly that the Larb wasn’t authentic enough. I quickly reassured them that what’s merely good enough for them, was already excellent for me. I suspect that you’ll come to the same conclusion as I did.
Anantara Thai Food
Chinatown Complex Market and Food Centre, 335 Smith St #02-121 S050335
Closed on Tuesdays