The Folks Collective: Classic Thai in a vintage setting

Finding reasonably priced, delicious Thai food in a comfortable and chic setting seems to be a somewhat elusive experience in Singapore. While there are plenty of hawkers, and of course Orchard Towers and Golden Mile, when it comes to a nice dining experience, there really isn’t that much on offer in our fair city.

One recently opened venue, however, ticks all of those boxes – and it’s in the joyously convenient location of Far East Square in the CBD! Yes, it must be the Folks Collective.

The Folks Collective has a great vibe in itself, with early 1900s Shanghai and Thai furniture giving it an effortlessly vintage feel. There’s a long bar at the entrance for the drinkers, but more importantly a huge dining area inside.

On their second day of opening I hopped down to check it out, and perusing the menu I couldn’t believe how reasonably priced the food was. For the design, ambience and location, it just didn’t make sense… But we’re not complaining! There’s enough pricey joints in the CBD so it was refreshing to come to a place that breaks the mould. Since then, I have been back a couple of times and it’s been good to see them settle in, generate a regular lunch and evening crowd, and keep the service to a respectable standard.

But let’s face it, the food is what we care about – and the Folks Collective really delivers. Personal favourites of mine like the Laab Gai (minced chicken salad, $7.90) came out in a sizeable portion and was spot on to how I remember my food adventures in Isaan (though mercifully not as spicy!). Juicy chicken with chili, onion and garlic adding a nice kick.

Another staple I consider a test for any Thai restaurant is Kaeng Keow Wan Gai (green curry with chicken, $8.90), which, while lacking the rich, green colour that I’ve come to expect, still proved to be flavourful and drinkable like a soup.

In an effort to try and add some ‘healthy’ dishes, I ordered the Yum Mamuang (mango salad – $6.90). Again, a good portion, fresh sliced young mango and a good dressing. And of course no Thai meal would be complete without a good old Pad Thai Goong ($8.90) – very tasty, and although not a huge portion, it had a great balance of flavours, with the traditonal side of ground peanut, lime and chili flakes for your palate. Right on.

As for the drinks: again, so very very reasonable! Beers here are under $10 a pour, and the wine list has most of its bottles on offer at around $40-60. I’ll definitely be going back very soon, and this time with a big group ready to take on the entire menu. Mwahahahaha.

Written by The City Nomad

Founder & Director

Alex is our Chief Nomad and City Nomads founder. When not rambling his way around Singapore on discovery-mode, he likes to hang out with friends, cook, make experimental cocktails and attempt handstands during yoga.

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