Soi 60: Contemporary fusion-Thai along the Singapore River
When one mentions good, authentic Thai cuisine, hearty local eateries like Nakhon and Spicy Thai-Thai would come to mind - not some bar-restaurant in an expat-centric location, boasting fancy menus with Western dishes like duck confit.
That pretty much describes Soi 60. Located at The Quayside, among an abundance of bars, is the contemporary Thai restaurant and bar. Opened almost exclusively at night, it sees a marjorily expat crowd. Still, don't be so quick to write it off. It may be unconventional, but it's this difference that makes Soi 60 wonderful.
Soi 60 boasts an extensive menu spanning appetizers and larger sharing plates. From the traditional Tom Yum Soup (S$14++) to novel fusion BBQ Pork Ribs with green sauce (S$24++), there's something new for everyone. Health nuts would be pleased to know Soi 60 accomodates a variety of dietary needs, and features vegetarian and gluten free dining options. For those who'd like to try a little of everything, Soi 60 offers a tasting menu at S$48++ with a minimum of 2 diners.
Fresh Spring Rolls (S$10++) - Northern Thai sausage, Thai herbs, peanut hoisin sauce
We started the meal with a variety of small bites. Heavily influenced by Vietnamese cuisine, the Fresh Spring Rolls (S$10++) and Crispy Duck Pancake (S$12++) came wrapped with an abundance of fresh herbs and tasted astonishingly fresh. The latter, stuffed with shreds of duck confit and sweet lychee flesh, was delicious enjoyed with the accompanying black vinegar reduction.
Another interesting appetizer, the Salmon Tartare (S$14++) saw fresh chunks of salmon seasoned with lime juice, fish sauce and chili, paired with the common Thai tidbit prawn crackers. While great eaten together, it's a pity the salmon turned out a little too bland. Crab Betel Leaves (S$14++) - picked crab, coconut milk, peanuts
The unanimous favourite however was the Crab Betel Leaves (S$14++). Pickled fresh crab, paired with a single vibrant green leaf, this dish was so simple yet innovative. I loved the herb and peppery undertones of the betel leaf that lent a very interesting flavour and crunch to the dish.
For the veggie lovers, there are several salads to choose from including the ubiquitous Papaya Salad (S$14++). They aren't bad, but we'd recommend keeping your appetite for the delicious mains and desserts.
Mixed Seafood (S$24++) - Scallop, prawn, squid, chili, lime leaf, glass noodles
It may seem a little expensive for glass noodles, but the amount of fresh seafoods makes this more than worth the buck. Tossed in their homemade sweet chili sauce and topped with fresh herbs, this was pretty yummy if not slightly salty. Note that this comes in a fairly large portion and can be shared among 3-4.
Red Crispy Duck (S$22++) - Pineapple, tomato, Thai basil salad
Soi 60’s duck confit comes interestingly paired with flavourful Thai curries. Diners have a choice between the usual red or green. Professed the spiciest of their curries, the red curry was oddly more sweet than savoury/spicy. The star of the dish on the other hand was nothing short of delicious. Braised prior to frying resulted in a well-seasoned, juicy and tender fall-off-the-bone meat. It ticked all the right boxes. A must-order despite the lacklustre curry.
Iberico Pork (S$26++) - Slow cooked, Thai spiced crust, pickled ginger and young garlic salad
This, got us all gobsmacked. Marinated overnight for at least 24 hours, then crusted in a variety of spices and chargrilled, the succulent lean pork was stunning. The spice crust was addictively crunchy, and added a welcomed kick to the quality pork. It may be pricey, but this is dish no one should miss.
Black Sticky Rice (S$10++) - Fresh mango, coconut cream. Tasting portion pictured.
For desserts, be sure to try Soi 60's rendition of mango sticky rice. The Thai classic here takes a local spin, featuring black glutinous rice instead. It's reminiscient of our burbur pulut hitam.w Here the black rice adds a delectable nutty and earthy flavour to the tropical dessert.
Ginger Creme Brulee (S$10++) - Lime curd, black berries. Tasting portion pictured.
Indeed a novel Asian twist on crème brûlée, Soi 60 was too heavy-handed on the ginger which ended up overpowering the delicate custard. The usually less attractive lime curd thus becomes the star of this dessert, helping to balance the overly spicy custard - though points to getting the wonderfully caramelized crisp crust.
Butterfly Pea Tapioca (S$10++) - Young coconut, pineapple sorbet, Mekhong rum (optional)
The stunning shade of blue here was the reason we ordered this. Naturally dyed with the flower of butterfly pea plant - hence the name - this dessert was a complex combination of flavours and textures that made a delightful end to our meal. Soft and chewy bloomed tapioca, tart and crunchy pomegranate, creamy sweet coconut, and a fantastic pineapple sorbet. Spike it with some of that Mekhong rum and you're all good to go. This would be perfect with just a little more crunch.
With that, the meal ended on a high. The dishes may be pricey, the ambience too ang moh, the cuisine straying far from tradition; but where the food is delicious, this difference is celebrated. If you visit past dining hours, fret not for Soi 60's drinks are too sure to please. With yummy fruitty drinks like Raspberry Mule (S$!8++) and Thai-inspired ones like The Coconut (S$18++), there's definitely something for everyone.
Soi 60 Thai
60 Robertson Quay
The Quayside #01-04