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Review for Folks Collective

3.4

Eatability rating

25 reviews

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AsianThai
Address: #01-25, China Square Central, 20 Cross Street, 048422
14 Jul 2014
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chic Thai dining

Folks Collective is a Thai run hipster hangout at China Square that offers Thai cuisine but with more of a set-up like a drinking hole.

One can enjoy spicy tom yum seafood, sweet chili sauce chicken, dory fish,and kai lan with thier beer or wine. Food is spiced up to the level that it goes well with beer.

Expect family like service in this casual setting. Great for catching up with friends for that after work drinks.
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Roasted Duck & Lychee Red Curry!

My husband and I always crave for Thai food from time to time. We ventured into this place under the recommendation of my younger brother. We ordered based on the list of must-try food. We had Pad Thai Gong and Roasted Duck & Lychee Red Curry.
 
 My husband preferred the Pad Thai Gong. Although it was also good enough for me, I think it could be better with more "wokhei".
 
 But the Roasted Duck & Lychee Red Curry was another thing. It was creamy, sweet, tangy, salty, spicy all at the same time at the right amount. I absolutely love it. Inside you can find the chewy light-salty roasted duck meat (i love duck skin), cherry tomatoes, pineapple bits (i wish it could be chunk) and 3 big lychee. I also wish the dish could be bigger portion. It came in piping hot, but because it was wet, cold and air-conditioned, the dish turned cold too soon for me. By the way, my husband didn't like it. He thinks the duck taste funny and the coconut cream will do his cholesterol level in.
 
 We ended our evening with another recommended one - Ice Cream Kati to share. We both love this. In my opinion, this place is Thai food cater for Caucasians. Given the look of this restaurant and it's location, we had expected the food to be pricey and portion small. But, we weren't disappointed with the food quality. Great ambience, great food, and yes, horrible service....sadly.
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So So Food, Horrible Service

Food is average. Thai express is much better but a lot of people go there for the happy hour. Been there multiple times because my friends like the happy hour but no matter how many times I've been there, the service experience is terrible. 
Waitresses have a hard time with taking the orders sometimes and average wait for drinks is 20-30 mins, perhaps longer if they are crowded and 30-45mins for food, even sides. 
Waiteesses get snappy with you if you ask about your order more than 3 times. If they were more efficient
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Horrible salad experience

1. Firstly, 3 orders (pad thai, pad see eiw, chicken salad) were served really slowly. We had to remind them twice.
 2. My "chicken salad" has no vegetables. Oh yeah, if chili is a vegetable, but it's not a common salad ingredient is it? It was so spicy that even I, who can tolerate spicy Indian or Malay food, cannot take it.
 3. The only good thing is we got our water really fast. Yeah, because I needed it to soothe my throat.
 Overall, please don't order their salad! Everything else tastes nice, especially the chicken drumsticks.
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Best Boutique Thai Food & Value

Nestled amidst the financial capitals around Market Street, I misjudged this place to be yet another posh-ly decorated overpriced and reheated food serving establishment. Just opposite the pricey Platypus Lobster shack, Folks Collective is the most memorable Thai restaurant I've been to so far that serves good comforting food, even drinks and had an ambience like no other at a very very reasonable price.

The best part entering the restaurant was seeing so many actual Thai people welcoming you. It didn't employ locals or other foreigners faking a "Sawadeekap" like how Thai Express does. The entire place carried this old-worldy charm and tables seemed neat and despite its small size, was very cosy. Design-wise, it was great - although it didn't feel like stepping into Thailand as much as stepping into Beer Thai did. Nevertheless, the kind and courteous waitresses and the Thai accent kicked me deep into Thailand more than i could have wished for.

Food quality is argueable. If you would compare some of the best Thai places in Singapore versus this - there is some room for improvement. However, that boils down to the level of not being authentic Thai enough like how a Filipino would compare the original taste of a Jollibee burger in Philippines to the one here. It's noticeable, but not as lacking as Thai Express or Bali Thai. With these waitresses, you can feel that love and that homely feel that compliments the taste in the food.

Stuff that you couldn't find anywhere else were definitely some of the wins here. Fried chicken skin - a must have for starters. The Tom Yum Clear Seafood Soup is also enriched with sufficient prawns and oyster mushrooms and more importantly balances suicide spice of the original Thai soup to a healthy working level.

I didn't' go for a complete Thai dinner everytime i stepped in. To me, a basil chicken rice with egg is my ratatouille. Simple yet so decadently pleasing. I was amazed by the portion offered in that. There is enough chicken for 2 if you decide to order more stuff to share. The Pad Thai is also well balanced. No pretentious lack of oil, it stays true to the real stuff.

Drinks include the Lemongrass with honey, especially useful for days when I'm feeling under the weather. Iced Milk Tea is another favourite. Both are not rendered in sugar like the other franchise Thai outlets. Just lovely.


Perhaps the best part of this place is receiving the bill. Most post-work dinners always cost me quite a bit with me and my partner. Here however, after a really good dinner, we are always surprised by how low it costs. The location where its at doesn't make sense either.

Really a gem of a place, under-reviewed and under-visited. I do like it that way. It has become my favourite weekly post-work haunt. Great to wind down and be well taken care of. 
 



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Food That brings tears to your eyes

For the full review with photos, please visit me at http://fundamentally-flawed.blogspot.sg/2014/12/folks-collective-china-square-central.html

Tears welled up in my eyes as I tucked into the food. Yes, so admittedly,  the food was good, but it was even spicier. 

Having quite a reputation as a drinking spot of sorts, we put the food at Folks Collective to the taste test.

The Grilled Pork Neck Salad ($10.90) packs quite a mean punch and had us gathering our skirts up in buckets of sweat and dirty whistling in between gulps of ice cold water. Sips on our house wines that came surprisingly cheap due to the festive promotions ($5.50 for a glass of NY Merlot/NY Sauvignon) did aid in putting out the fire. Putting its fury aside, the dish was nothing short of excellent, tender pork neck with a slight smoky tang, well balanced with a good splash of lime, crushed nuts and cool herbs. Heat seekers wouldn't want to miss out on this one.

One bite into the Signature FOLKS Wings ($6.90) revealed that bar snacks is Folk's Collective forte. The spicy notes again, part of an outrageously clever plan to up sell plenty more pints of ice cold draft beer. The wings were juicy, finger licking good with crisp heads of fried skin that shatters in the mouth. Shards of crispy fried garlic creates a separate party in the mouth.

For something a little more substantial, indulge in the Chicken Pad See-Eww ($8.90). Successfully sweet, wok-hei kissed bowl of noodles tantalises ones taste buds. A simple yet satisfying choice should you be thinking of just choosing a single dish to partake in.

A wonderful addition to the table is the Prawn Omelette ($10.90), So it may appear a bit underwhelming as the prawns are chopped to tiny pieces and then scattered midst the fluffy golden crackling of fried egg, but there are apparently advantages to this method as the distribution of prawns is more even and there was zero risk of overcooked prawns. 

Offering affordable cuisine with the combination of a chill out environment, Folks Collective has got all the right qualities to draw in the crowds and I'm sure I'll be back to sample more dishes in the near future.