HUE is a Thai fusion restaurant bar in Jalan Besar
When it comes to Thai cuisine in Singapore, one usually thinks of eats such as pad thai, tom yum, pork basil rice and more—dishes that could be labelled as “authentic Thai food”. Rarely do you find a place that approaches the cuisine quite like HUE does, with its modern flair and creative approach to classic dishes.
Recently, we were invited to try the fare and a few inventive cocktails at the Jalan Besar restaurant. This is what we thought of them.
Food at HUE
For our meal here, we had one main dish and a series of fascinating sides. We’ll start with the main dish, the Mama Mia ($22++), first.
If you’ve been to Bangkok, you may be familiar with Jeh O Chula, a restaurant there that’s famous for its tom yum instant noodles. Mama Mia is HUE’s take on those famed tom yum noodles, but it is far from a pale imitation—it worked superbly as its own unique dish.
Take the broth, for instance, which isn’t your usual tom yum soup. There wasn’t that intense tom yum spiciness that one might expect; instead, the soup had a milder, more nuanced flavour that was refreshing and appetising. Slurping on those springy MAMA noodles that have absorbed the goodness of the broth was a delight.
Interestingly, the soup arrived in a ceramic sake bottle, which we had to pour onto the noodles before eating. It doesn’t add much to the actual dish itself, but it nonetheless reflected HUE’s desire to do Thai food a little differently.
The dish also had house-made pork balls, eggs, and seafood such as prawns, mussels, and squid. The seafood in particular were fresh and plump, elevating this simple yet delicious noodle dish.
While I liked the prawns in Mama Mia, they weren’t nearly as impressive as those in Prawn Me Softly ($21++). Featuring three soft-shell prawns that were flavoured with Thai seasoning then deep-fried, this crispy and umami treat was made even better with the tartness of the lime aioli dotted on each prawn. And yes, you’re supposed to consume the prawn whole—head and all.
When it came to meat, HUE didn’t disappoint, either. Their Char Moo ($17++) is basically a superb rendition of the must-have Thai street food moo ping. Grilled to perfection over charcoal, each skewer was smoky, flavourful, and delightfully succulent. Dip it into the piquant house-made chilli sauce to add more tanginess to the mix.
Another tasty meat dish was the Chicken Nest ($20++), which featured chicken wings prepared in two different styles. Those deep-fried wings were perched on a nest of crunchy popiah skin—hence the name.
The first was seasoned with savoury Thai herbs then fried till crispy and juicy—put simply, they were just really solid chicken wings
The second was a little more distinctive. Coated in Thai chilli aioli, this thick glaze meant the wings lost their crispness pretty quickly, but thankfully, its wonderfully zesty flavour made up for it.
Finally, there was the Egg-e-egg-egg ($19++), a fusion creation influenced by Thai and Singaporean cuisine. This Scotch egg-inspired dish’s construction is fascinating: the outermost section is a kind of crispy breading that’s followed by a layer of minced pork collar with notes of laksa and Thai basil, and finally, we have the rich, creamy quail eggs. I don’t think this dish is as tasty as it is inventive, but you have to applaud HUE for the dish’s quirky construction and stylish presentation.
Moving on to drinks, we began with the IG-worthy Bubble Pop! ($18++). Its contents were interesting: strong Mount Gay spiced rum was infused with clarified pineapple, lime juice, and pandan cordial, and then crowned with a scented smoke bubble on top, which you can see in the picture above. This is for those who prefer their cocktails to have a more complex flavour profile.
And to cap things off, we tried the regal-sounding Kingdom of Ayutthaya ($20++), made with coriander-infused Botanist gin and sweetened with Cocchi Americano Bianco. Those who survived the coriander trend may wince at the idea of drinking this, but it was actually quite mild in the coriander department—only the scent of it lingered, and the flavour was predominantly the potent gin.
Ambience at HUE
HUE has a really sleek, modern design that looks part restaurant, part bar. It is atmospheric, but also comfortable enough to enjoy a meal without much distractions. In terms of location, it’s located along the stretch just outside Jalan Besar Stadium that’s bustling with other eateries and bars, so it’s never dull where HUE is at.
The restaurant is a seven-minute walk from Bendemeer MRT Station.
We were thoroughly impressed by what we got to try at HUE. The restaurant serves very good, albeit pricey, modern Thai food, and I encourage those who enjoy the cuisine to give it a shot.
Address: 123 Tyrwhitt Road, Singapore 207549
Opening hours: Mon-Wed 6pm to 10:30pm, Thurs 12pm to 3pm, 6pm to 10:30pm, Fri-Sat 12pm to 3pm, 6pm to 11:30pm, Sun 12pm to 3pm, 6pm to 10:30pm
Tel: 9018 0992
HUE is not a halal-certified eatery.
Photos taken by Melvin Mak and edited by John Lery Villanueva.
This was a media tasting at HUE.