Thai mookata is best with loads of lard, cooked with charcoal and enjoyed with friends who love eating. Find out where to go for the best mookata in this list!
This article was originally published on burpple.com.
Photo by Yunli Teng
For Affordable Mookata
Happy Mookata is a great option for night owls since they're open till six in the morning. Located at Golden Mile Tower (not Complex), there are no Thai vibes here whatsoever. But it's probably one of, if not THE cheapest mookata buffet there is, so the lack of atmosphere and good ventilation can be brushed aside. For $23.90/pax, you can get your fill of standard items like chicken, pork, sausages, prawns and vegetables. They don't use charcoal here either, but that shouldn't be a problem if you're not fussy! Happy Mookata will probably be not be at the top of your list, but it surely won't let you down when that craving hits in the middle of the night.
Photo by Muriel A
For No-Frills Mookata
With a well-curated selection of the usual staples at $1.80 per item/plate (meats included!), and slightly pricier items such as scallops, oysters and smoked duck at $2.80 per item/plate, join the throng of voracious supper seekers feasting at Siam Kitchen. Big eaters can opt for the buffet option ($29 per person) instead and throw any notions of self-restraint out of the window. Even though it's located in a hawker centre, service is surprisingly forthcoming and efficient. They make their own chilli sauces but they don't use charcoal - a small compromise considering the price. Siam Square Mookata currently has seven outlets, a true testament to their popularity.
Photo by Charlene Camilia
For Classy Mookata
Moojaa at Keong Saik is one of the more comfy places to have mookata, perfect for an after-work meal with friends and colleagues or perhaps for a birthday celebration with loved ones. Instead of the usual charcoal, white charcoal is used to ensure even cooking and to prevent soot. The broth is brewed for five hours using chicken and pork bones while the well-loved sauces (spicy bbq and sweet and sour seafood) are made from scratch. While waiting for the food to cook, tame peckish pangs with the moreish fried fish skin and the indulgent cheese balls that ooze a molten cheese centre! You can find their other outlet at Thomson. Sets start at $45+ for two; the a la carte buffet costs $32+ per pax.
Photo by Denise Ong
For Super Authentic Mookata
Helmed by one of the bosses' Thai wife, the recipes for the sauces and meat marinades have been passed down from generation to generation, so expect the real deal at Huay Kwang Thai Kitchen. The service is prompt and efficient while the assortment here is decent; be sure to try the pig's liver and black pepper beef. The meats are fresh and very flavourful, especially after cooking them over charcoal. You can pick the buffet, sets, or order a la carte, depending on how hungry you are. They have two outlets: one at Jalan Besar that closes at 5.30am and the other at Thomson. Sets start at $39.90+, or you can eat all you want for $25.90+ (weekdays; $28.90, weekends and public holidays) in two hours.
Photo by Joyz X.
For Mookata and Thai Vibes
New Udon Thai Food is one of the eateries that is perpetually brimming with Thais and locals alike in Golden Mile Complex (yep, Thai feels). If that dinner crowd isn't convincing enough, the presence of mostly Thai servers warrants an authentic experience. Prices are on the steeper side here considering the setting and the fact that they use a gas stove instead of charcoal. For $45, you'll get a platter of marinated meats, crabstick, sausages, squid, prawns, fishballs and vegetables; perfect for two or three to share. The meats are well-seasoned and the potent chilli sauce complements the food very well.
Photo by Jacq Ong
For Hipster Mookata
Tom Yum Kungfu makes you feel like you're in Thailand with its interior decked out in retro furnishings, Thai pop music blasting through the speakers, and authentic food - quite hip and charming, really. The soup base is light yet uncompromising on flavour, even before all the juicy goodness from the meats gets into the soup. If you order the pricier sets, you get a pack of Mama instant noodles along with vegetables, mushrooms and fried beancurd skin! Besides mookata, they serve other dishes as well; try the deep fried kang kong to snack on. Sets start at $39.90 for two to three diners, with the option of add-ons like a platter of venison and pork belly.
Photo by Eleanor Tay
For Traditional Mookata
Although slightly out of the way, hunting this place down is well worth the effort. Similar to Mookata, this establishment uses charcoal to deliver its promise of a traditional mookata experience. The value-for-money $39 platter comprising prawns, squid, fishballs, meats, plus a bowl of vegetables, mushrooms, vermicelli and eggs is an absolute steal - it can easily feed two or even three modest eaters. They don't charge GST and service charge either, all the more reason to feast! Be sure to order their Thai Style Sliced Abalone doused in a sweet, savoury and tangy sauce as an appetiser or a side dish.
Photo by Julius Lim
For Premium Meats
Be prepared to queue with eastsiders before snagging a table at Mookata, especially for weekend dinners. In addition to their popular set meals and platters (from S$34.90 for two), there is also a premium selection to be had: think wagyu beef, kurobuta pork and black angus beef. Pork lovers will love the highly raved pork collar; the good dose of fats in the well-marbled slices results in a succulent and flavourful porcine delight. Opt for either the piquant tom yum soup base or the lighter pork broth and adjust the spiciness with chilli sauces available in three different levels of heat. There's a good exhaust system in place so no worries about smelling like a walking BBQ afterwards!