For the uninitiated, Mookata is a Thai barbeque steamboat that has gained a fair bit of attention from the local foodies. With its grilled succulent meats and vegetables stewing in flavoured broth, the iconic Thai fare makes for great comfort food.
Tom Yum Kungfu replicates the energetic street scene of Bangkok in the leafy enclave of Serangoon Garden. With its riot of colours and vintage-looking decor, the 100-seat outfit is a cool space to hang out while indulging in authentic Thai flavours.
To create the vibrant atmosphere, restaurateur and ex-interior designer Kelvin Glam worked with Raymond Seow, the design director of Free Space Intent (FSI). Flamboyant and playful, the 2,200-square foot space has been creatively clad in kaleidoscopic mosaic tiles and a mishmash of trendy furniture similar to that of their first and sister branch located in Boat Quay.
Nestled amongst a string of low-rise shophouses, Tom Yum Kungfu sets itself apart from its counterparts with a striking wave facade constructed from a combination of concrete and tiles. Neon low-hanging lights, retro-shaped ceiling fans and bold chairs inside further enhance the retro vibes of this relaxed spot.
Pop art and Thai movie posters rest upon concrete walls, complementing the large feature wall made of colourful mosaics. A kooky collection of cushions, which resemble cut fruit, were employed to soften the unyielding concrete benches all while injecting elements of colour and fun. Inspired by the street lights found in the alleyways of Thailand, tea cans were upcycled and fashioned into novel pendant lights for the restaurant. Even mundane exhaust pipes have been given a facelift– images of robots and other nostalgic local elements were printed and stuck onto the surfaces of the structures.
This exuberant backdrop is perfect for a robust meal. Gather your family or friends for some authentic, no-frills Thai nosh and bask in snappy Thai pop tunes as you tuck into dishes such as deep fried kang kong, which comes with a special sauce made by the restaurant’s Thai Chef, the spicy steamed seabass and charcoal grilled fish. The fish has been coated with salt first to trap the moisture and allows the meat to stay tender once grilled. Naturally, every meal here is incomplete without their signature crowd pleasers – the Mookata and UFO Mookata. Though it is an uncommon practice in Singapore, Tom Yum Kungfu uses charcoal as their main source of fuel for both steamboat types, making this a bona fide Thai experience.
2 Maju Ave
tel: 6285 0345
This article is adapted from an article originally published in the November 2016 issue of SquareRooms.