Chow Down In Milwaukee

Restaurant Reviews

A Taste Of The East, Found In The West

This evening began with a plan to try a new restaurant that we had just heard opened in West Allis where I live. These plans were rendered null and void upon our discovery that the restaurant was a take-out and delivery only. Standing outside in the cold, my love Margie and I had to make a quick decision. We were only blocks from one of our favorite Thai dinning locations. After Margie brought this to my attention, it was clear where our night on the town would take us to.

Singha Thai restaurant is located at 2237 s 108th street in West Allis. For those of you who do not want to drive down the street looking at numbers, that is just a little north of the intersection of Highway 100 and Lincoln Ave. It is in a strip mall of sorts on the west side of Highway 100. I mention this because unless you are looking for it, you might not notice it among the countless of other businesses at the same location. It appears small from the outside but looks can be deceiving.

When you enter Singha Thai the first reaction is usually something along the lines of, “This is a lot bigger than I thought.” There are plenty of tables with one usually available. This may change after the publication of this review. The decorations on the walls of this place are plenty. There are several small statues that run the length of the archway separating the two dinning areas. There are even more on the walls in the back room. There are also murals throughout the wall that represent different aspects of Thai art. Toward the front windows there are plenty of plants that are a welcome sight any time of the year. The layout is spacious. There is enough distance between tables to not only allow the wait staff to get through easily, but to afford a bit of privacy when it comes to sharing conversation. It is the perfect layout for an open restaurant.

If this is your first visit to Singha Thai be ready for a few adjustments. We were quickly seated at a table with woven placemats. We did not have to wait for our server Pam. She was there quickly to take our drink order. She spoke quietly and with a slight accent so there was some effort required. This did carry through the meal but was nothing that impacted our experience there. I ordered the hot tea. It is an oolong tea that is mild and a perfect beverage to accompany a meal with a lot of flavor. Margie ordered a Thai Iced Tea. This is a drink made from Ceylon tea. It is sweetened with sugar or condensed milk. To this mixture other ingredients are often added such as orange blossom water, star anise or other such spices. It is served chilled and right before serving coconut milk is poured over the top. These are $5 each, but in my and Margie’s opinion well worth the price. 

Next was the menu. This may be another shocking thing your first visit. Not only is the menu quite extensive. (Thai Iced tea is the 196th item on the menu) but the names of the dishes can lead to some confusion on pronunciation. If you are like the love of my life, they can also cause outbursts of laughter and a mild hysteria. If you are afraid of feeling overwhelmed or laughing so hard you are unable to order and must tell others, “You order first.” (This happened with Margie her first time here, before she just yelled out her order between fits of laughter) I suggest you visit their website before your arrival. If you have time and do not mind looking over the menu, this is not really a concern. The great thing about the menu at Singha Thai is that each dish is followed by a list of ingredients. They are also listed by number so there is no need to worry about pronunciation.

We started with an appetizer of Egg Roll Thai. This comes with 2 eggs rolls. They are short and thick verses the usual long and thin. Sadly, this also fits closer to my description, but I digress. These egg rolls include a mix of ground pork, carrot and clear noodles. One is plenty for each person at the table.

I suggest asking for the tray of sauces. These accoutrements include chili paste, chili powder, jalapenos, and ground peanuts. They allow for many different options and flavors when it comes to all your dishes. Even if you do not use them, it is fun to have them as an option. The egg rolls are hardy and filling, if not a little bit greasy. The clear noodles look a little odd at first but sure do taste good. I certainly would recommend giving this appetizer a try.

Next, we had to choose our main dishes. This is always a bit of a struggle even for those of us who have been here before. The struggle is due simply to the plethora of options afforded to you by the menu at Singha Thai. Most dishes include a choice of meat and several vegetables. Again, this can all be found in the description. If you have any additional questions or wish to make adjustments this can be done through talking to the staff.

Normally, I order one of the many curry dishes they have to offer. These can be found from numbers 103 to 106 on the menu. This night I decided to try something different. I ordered Pud Garpow. This is number 84 on the menu. It is a combination of stir-fried meat, I chose chicken, sautéed with basil leaves, hot pepper, garlic and mushrooms. This combination is served on top of rice. The chicken is tender and the hot pepper, which is jalapeño, is served fresh and sliced on top of the dish. It has been my experience that while going down ok, one must consider the ramifications that could result several hours later. The basil develops what I can only describe as a mild anise flavor when cooked. This may sound odd, but I found it strangely agreeable. I would recommend this dish to anyone. There is a small amount of spice to it but if you avoid the peppers it is not too much at all.

Margie ordered Pud Siew. You can find this as number 69 on the menu. Again, the base is your choice of chicken, pork or beef. The meat is stir-fried with big rice noodles with broccoli in thick sweet soy sauce. Margie chose to add baby corn with this dish as well. After what turned out to be a slightly terse conversation between her and our server Pam, it was discovered that would be a $3 upcharge. This seemed like a bit much but certainly added quite a bit to the dish. Let me take a moment here to discuss the big rice noodles. This is the main reason Margie orders this dish. Their consistency, although fun, might not be right for everyone. They are thick, slightly gelatinous due to the sauce and to me resemble the skin you may take off chicken. As gross as this may sound, they are delicious and can be the adult version of playing with your food. The beef Margie chose as her meat was tender as well. The sauce had a little spice that once again added a great flavor but was not too much for most people to handle. Margie noted for her the broccoli was a bit crunchy and that is why she chose to add the baby corn. If you like soy sauce and having fun with big unique noodles, this is a dish for you.

There are a few choices for dessert that can be found from numbers 184 to 187 on the menu. These all sound delicious including Thai Custard and several desserts featuring coconut. Although in all my trips to this fabulous place I have never left enough room to try any of these, I might have to change that on my next visit.

One more note about Singha Thai I feel that I should share with you. The restrooms. If you have a need to use such facilities, which many cups of water and delicious tea could result in, they are in the back of the restaurant. As decorated and spaciously cozy (this is a term I just coined) as Singha Thai is, going to the restroom can be an entirely different experience. You pass the afore mentioned wall lined with small statues in traditional Thai clothing to enter a stark and austere yellow hallway. After a few twists and turns you make it to the back of the restaurant. If you look back, you can end up feeling like an unfortunate extra in a Stanley Kubrick film. The restrooms are clean but can elegantly be described as extremely rustic.

As a whole, Singha Thai is an exceptional place to experience a great deal of tasty and amazing Thai cuisine. They are open Monday – Thursday from 11 am to 9 pm. Friday and Saturday they are open from 11 am to 10 pm. Sundays are noon to 9pm. They feature a lunch buffet weekdays from 11am to 2pm. This would be the perfect opportunity for the novice to experience most of the delightful dishes served at Singha Thai. I trust once you come, you will want to return again and again.

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