[Singapore] Thai lunch at Nimman Soi 9, Tampines

Stallholder-chef, 62-year-old Khun Buachan Pamakham, known to her customers as โ€œJaneโ€, now runs ๐—ก๐—ถ๐—บ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—ฆ๐—ผ๐—ถ ๐Ÿต, a smallish but very popular Thai food kiosk inside a food court at Tampines Round Market & Food Centre. Jane has been operating here since 20 July 2023, but she has been in the food business for more than 35 years now.

Khun Buachan, a Chiang Mai native, used to run the uber-popular ๐—๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฒ ๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ถ at the infamous Orchard Towers, Singaporeโ€™s ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ต๐˜ฐ red-light district. ๐—๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฒ ๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ถโ€™s target market then were the Thai โ€œladies of the nightโ€, ladyboys, masseuses and other miscellaneous sex workers. But Janeโ€™s reputation for serving authentic Thai food soon caught the attention of foodies, who flocked there for the food instead of the flesh trade.

I never did find out from Khun Buachan why she chose โ€œJaneโ€ as her business name there. But I did manage to ask her what her Thai nickname was, as all Thais have one. She said, โ€œPornโ€.
OK, so I guess registering โ€œJaneโ€ for her food business there made good sense.

Nowadays, Khun Buachan Pamakhamโ€™s new place is more accessible, as she plies her offerings to a more family-friendly general public at Tampinesโ€™ busy Round Market and Food Centre.

Our lunch spread here:

  1. Tod mun koong - Thai-style deep-fried prawn cakes, made on the spot upon order by Jane. Her prawn cakes are roughly-chopped prawns, mixed with fish-paste, squid-meat, egg, fresh coriander sprigs, Ros Dee seasoning mix, plus sugar/salt. She coat the donut-like cakes in panko crumbs before deep-frying.

Served fresh from the wok, Janeโ€™s tod mun koong were light, crisp, greaseless, and absolutely delicious.

  1. Pla sam rot - this was a whole seabass, crisp-fried on the outside, but still moist on the inside. Itโ€™s coated with a sweet-sour-spicy sauce. Janeโ€™s version had a light touch when it comes to the sauce, letting the freshness and natural flavors from the fish shine through.

  2. ๐˜”๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฌ๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ - stir-fried pork with golden-crisp garlic crumbs. This dish was a disappointment, as the pork strips didnโ€™t have the tender and moist texture we were looking for in this dish. Taste-wise, it was fine - garlicky and with a touch of light soy sauce.

  3. ๐˜ ๐˜ถ๐˜ฎ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ - glass noodles salad with minced pork, squid and prawns, in sour-spicy dressing. Very popular with my dining companions. I was looking for something more โ€œporkyโ€, i.e. use of more fatty minced pork, and perhaps the addition of toasted peanuts which was absent from Janeโ€™s rendition.

  1. ๐˜š๐˜ข๐˜ช ๐˜ถ๐˜ข - Northern Thai pork sausage. Its name in Thai comes from ๐™จ๐™–๐™ž (โ€œintestineโ€) and ๐™ช๐™– (โ€œto stuffโ€).
    Taste-wise, this was absolutely stupendous - donโ€™t miss ordering it.

  1. ๐˜—๐˜ข๐˜ฅ ๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ช - Thai-style fried noodles, flavoured with tamarind and palm sugar, and garnished with beansprouts, chives, shrimps, tofu and crushed peanuts. The version here was excellent - one of the best Iโ€™d had in Singapore.

Overall, one of the best casual Thai dining options in town at the moment. Itโ€™s really worth a trek to Tampines to have a taste of Janeโ€™s cooking.

Nimman Soi 9 Thai Food
Block 139 Tampines Street 11, #01-08, Singapore 521139
Tel: +65 8032 0887
Opening hours: 11am to 9.30pm daily


I wish I knew why she chose โ€œNimman Soi 9โ€ and where she worked in Chiang Mai before Singapore. Nimman Soi 9 is now a very trendy street in Chiang Mai. I lived on that street from 2007 to 2014 (2007 was pre-trendiness). Jane doesnโ€™t look familiar.

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Sheโ€™s been in Singapore for about 20 years now, so probably not so much in touch with Chiang Maiโ€™s food scene anymore.

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Wow. the Tod Mun, Sai Ua and Pad Thai look F&$@#_* amazing!

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