Thai Express

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Thai Express
Industry Restaurants
Founded 2002 (2002) in Holland Village in Singapore
Founder Grace Goh-Lee and Ivan Lee
Number of locations
69 restaurants (2011)[1]
Key people
Ivan Lee (CEO)
Products Food service
Parent Minor International

Thai Express is a chain of restaurants serving Thai cuisine. The first restaurant was opened in Holland Village in Singapore in May 2002.[2] Since then, there have been other outlets in Malaysia, China and Vietnam. [3] (Hyderabad).

The Singapore-based chain has no affiliation with the Thaï Express chain operating in Canada owned by MTY Group.

In May 2008 the company was sold to Minor International.[4]

Early history[edit]

  • ThaiExpress is owned by Minor International (MINT) from Thailand since May 2008[5]
  • The idea of a restaurant was conceived in 2000 by two classmates at the National University of Singapore, Grace Goh-Lee and Ivan Lee, who are now married to each other.[2]
  • The first Thai Express restaurant opened in Holland Village. Ivan Lee is the company's CEO. Grace Goh-Lee later return to school to study law. They decided to serve Thai food due to its popularity in Singapore.[2]
  • The founder and CEO, Ivan Lee, has addressed the Singapore Management University Lee Kong Chian School of Business as part of its lunchtime talks series.[6]
  • Ivan Lee and the founding of Thai Express has been featured in a television documentary on Channel NewsAsia in 2006.

Type of Restaurant[edit]

A restaurant review characterise Thai Express as breaking "away from the traditional Thai style of communal dining by serving items in individual portions for those who may want to dine alone." "In place of fine dining, which may be intimidating to some, Thai Express is all about being fresh, contemporary and fuss-free." [7] The typical casual and modern decor of the restaurant is glass partitions with wooden chairs of Scandinavian style design.


95% of dishes are cooked to order.[8]

Many of the dishes on the menu, some of which have won awards, have been created by native Thai Chef Suwakhon Wangsai, who has 25 years of international cooking experience.[8]

Some of the dishes are reported to be unique including the Japanese-inspired Popiah Wrap, the Tofu-Mushroom Salad and Tofu Squares.[7][8] Thai fried squid, Thai Mee Sua (Thai Longevity Noodle), Curried Soft Shell Crab are also dishes that, while the restaurant attributes as unique, may be more accurately characterised as unique in the way that they are prepared.[8] Thai Express is one of the few Thai restaurants in Singapore to serve Thai laksa,[9] of which they serve eight varieties.


The original location is in Holland Village, Singapore. There are many other locations in Singapore including, but not limited to, a restaurant in The Esplanade - Theatres on the Bay, where there is some view of the outdoor performance area and within walking distance to the Merlion, The Paragon Shopping Centre and Plaza Singapura, both located in Orchard Road. There are several restaurants in Indonesia, Vietnam as well as a few in Malaysia, Australia and Thailand.[10] There is consideration to expanding into the Middle East.[11] Thai Express has now entered India with an outlet in Hyderabad.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Minor International (21 February 2012). Management Discussion and Analysis 2011 (PDF). Retrieved 22 February 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c "The Way to Business Success". National University of Singapore. July 2004. Retrieved 2007-11-27. 
  3. ^ "Restaurant Locator". ThaiExpress. Retrieved 2007-11-27. 
  4. ^ "MINT to acquire a 70% stake in Thai Express" (PDF). Retrieved 12 August 2015. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ 9 January 2006 address entitled "Succeed from Failure"
  7. ^ a b ~Colours by the Bay, Singapore~
  8. ^ a b c d
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Satish Cheney (30 March 2007). "Competition gives business students hands-on experience with SMEs". Channel NewsAsia. 

External links[edit]