Cha Thai Tasting Session

August 07, 2017 Ivan Teh - RunningMan 0 Comments

Cha Thai Tasting Session - Closed
80 Telok Ayer Street
#01-01 Far East Square


Opening Hours:
Mon - Sat: 11:30am - 3pm (Lunch), 5:30pm - 10pm (Dinner),
Closed Sun



http://www.chathaisg.com/


This was an invited media review. I did not pay for the meal during the free hosted tasting session.
Attended with representatives from HungryGoWhere, Chubby Botak Koala, Epicurious Caniggia, and Purple Taste.



Signature Cha Thai Toast
Signature Cha Thai Toast (SGD $8)



Excellent Thai Dishes Made From Scratch

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 8
Ambience & Setting: 8
Food & Beverage: 9
Service: 8
Value for Money: 7
Budget about SGD $40 per person.


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Founded in July 2015, Cha Thai has gained acclaim for their delicious, authentic Thai food, hand made from scratch using good quality Thai ingredients. Chef Leah Sirijindapan makes all the sauces and curry bases without any pre-mixes, and sources fresh ingredients from farms daily. All this effort means that prices at Cha Thai are higher than elsewhere, however, you get generous portioned dishes that are bold in flavour and so tasty.

Cha Thai Signage
Cha Thai Signage



Ambience at Cha Thai is casual, spacious, and comfortable. Occupying the floor space of 2 shophouses, the brightly lit place has ample seating, with wide, comfortable wooden benches and black metal chairs. Tables are large and spacious, and the walkways are wide. Colours of white, green, and wood abound, while decorative lighting draws the eye. Well suited even for large groups.

Cha Thai Exterior
Cha Thai Exterior


Cha Thai Interior
Cha Thai Interior


Cha Thai Takeaway Kiosk
Cha Thai Takeaway Kiosk



Service at Cha Thai is amazing. During our visit, there was only 1 staff on duty, yet she's like a superwoman, offering attentive service to all diners, even when the place was full during peak periods. From taking and serving orders, seating guests, cashiering and clearing... Real Thai hospitality here. They display good product knowledge, and can advise on the menu, which is quite extensive as is. The main drawback is that 1 staff can't keep up with clearing away empty / dirty tables when diners leave.

Decorative Light Bulb


Seating


Seating



Food at Cha Thai is all about authentic Thai cuisine, made using good quality ingredients, sourced fresh daily. Chef Leah Sirijindapan says everything is hand made from scratch, using recipes passed down through her family. It helps that her family used to cook for Thai royalty, her dishes are bold and robust, strong in flavour yet well-balanced in taste. Portions are designed for communal group dining, at least 2 - 3 people or more is recommended. Such high quality comes at a price; budget about SGD $40 per person for a meal here.

Condiments


Us



With the Iced Thai Milk Tea (SGD $2.90), the taste of the earthy tea is front and center, with the smooth milk flavour playing in the background. Personally, I like it this way, plus, it has a balanced sweetness to it.

Iced Thai Milk Tea
Iced Thai Milk Tea (SGD $2.90)



The Iced Lemongrass Tea (SGD $2.90) is refreshing and bright, with a zesty herbal touch. Great thirst quencher on a warm day.

Iced Lemongrass Tea
Iced Lemongrass Tea (SGD $2.90)



The Iced Butterfly Pea Tea (SGD $2.90) is a pretty blue purple colour, and tastes rather akin to lemon tea mixed with blueberries. Flavour profile is sweet and fruity.

Iced Butterfly Pea Tea
Iced Butterfly Pea Tea (SGD $2.90)



The Crispy Prawn Cake (SGD $15) is decent enough. Large, meaty fresh prawns / shrimp hand made into a cake, with a light, crisp, non-greasy crumb batter. Slight crunch on first bite, then you get the tender, juicy texture of the prawn cake, with its lovely sweet savoury flavours. Served with a sweet plum dipping sauce on the side.

Crispy Prawn Cake
Crispy Prawn Cake (SGD $15)


Crispy Prawn Cake



The Creamy Crab Roll (SGD $15) makes a great snack. The deep-fried spring roll sticks are super crispy, shattering with a loud crunch when bit. But the star is the homemade crab cream gravy, rich and thick, sweet savoury with a mild touch of spice, with a garnish of fresh deshelled crab meat. Totally enjoyed dipping the crispy spring roll sticks into the luscious crab gravy.

Creamy Crab Roll
Creamy Crab Roll (SGD $15)


Creamy Crab Roll



The weakest dish we had was the Pork Toasty (SGD $12). The bread was unusually hard, requiring quite a bit of effort to cut, and the texture was dry. The minced pork and herb mix on top is rather bland, though this was alleviated by the juicy sweet ajard dipping sauce (a mix of cucumber, salt, sugar, white vinegar, and fish sauce) on the side.

Pork Toasty
Pork Toasty (SGD $12)


Pork Toasty



The Mango Salad With Fried Fish (SGD $19) is an innovative combination of flavours. The green mango salad has bright, zesty sour sweet spicy bursts of flavour, with a satisfiying crunchy texture. Combined with the tender, flaky, moist fried fish, which has a lovely savoury flavour, it works so well. I feel that each component is actually good enough to be eaten on its own, but the dish works better when eaten in harmony.

Mango Salad With Fried Fish
Mango Salad With Fried Fish (SGD $19)


Mango Salad With Fried Fish


Mango Salad With Fried Fish



Loved the Pomelo Salad (SGD $16), with its unique combination of ingredients. The fresh juicy pomelo lends zesty sour sweet flavours, while the meaty deshelled prawns / shrimp and minced pork lend sweet savoury flavours. A bright zesty sour spicy sauce, infused with roasted coconut, crispy fried shallots, and a robust house roasted chili paste, complete this tasty dish.

Pomelo Salad
Pomelo Salad (SGD $16)


Pomelo Salad



The Grilled Pork Salad (SGD $22) comes highly recommended. A medium grilled slab of pork jowl, incredibly tender and moist in texture with bold savoury salty flavour, is marinated with 3 different dressings, and plated over a medley of fresh, crunchy vegetables, including cucumber, cherry tomatoes, white onions, leeks, and chili. Smoky and refreshing notes, so tasty. Highly recommended!

Grilled Pork Salad
Grilled Pork Salad (SGD $22)


Grilled Pork Salad



The Signature Tiger Prawn Panang Curry (SGD $28) features fresh whole tiger prawns, in a rich, luscious curry gravy infused with curry leaves, coconut cream, lychee, and saffron. Silky and creamy in texture, with mildly strong spicy savoury sweet sour flavours, the curry is well balanced and delicious. The prawns are so fresh, juicy and meaty, coming easily and cleanly out from the shells, and you can still taste the natural sweetness of the prawn / shrimp beneath the curry. Previously heard negative feedback on this particular dish, as their family recipe calls for half cooked prawns, however, Chef has since adapted to suit customers, and now fully cooks the prawns.

Signature Tiger Prawn Panang Curry
Signature Tiger Prawn Panang Curry (SGD $28)


Signature Tiger Prawn Panang Curry



The Simmer Pork (SGD $22) has slow braised pork belly, rich in salty savoury flavour, moist and oh so tender, nearly falling apart when poked. Served with either fresh sauteed kai-lan / Chinese kale / Chinese broccoli or crunchy lettuce, along with a spicy chili dipping sauce on the side. Best paired with white rice.

Simmer Pork
Simmer Pork (SGD $22)


Simmer Pork



Rare to see this dish in Singapore, even more rare when it's done well. The Tom Kha Chicken (SGD $18) has a creamy, milky broth of lemongrass, coconut milk, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, and cabbage. Garnished with straw mushrooms and tender chunks of chicken, it's very satisfiying with sweet savoury milky flavours.

Tom Kha Chicken
Tom Kha Chicken (SGD $18)


Tom Kha Chicken



The Tom Yum Soup (Thick Spice Base) (SGD $28) here is better than most versions elsewhere, because the herb and spice base is thick and rich, with full flavour. The soup / broth is strongly sour savoury spicy, flavoured with lemongrass and basil leaves, very addictive. Garnished with bouncy fish balls, straw mushrooms, fresh plump mussels, and large meaty tiger prawns. Great for sharing.

Tom Yum Soup (Thick Spice Base)
Tom Yum Soup (Thick Spice Base) (SGD $28)


Tom Yum Soup (Thick Spice Base)



The Pad Thai (SGD $22) here is done in traditional Thai style, but presented in a modern fashion. Smoky stir-fried rice noodles, with green mango and fresh bean sprouts on the side, garnished with spring onions, crushed peanuts, onions, tofu beancurd cubes, pork loin, egg, and fresh whole tiger prawns, like those versions found in Thailand. Great balance of flavours, so good.

Pad Thai
Pad Thai (SGD $22)


Pad Thai



This is the most intense Boat Noodles (SGD $18) I've ever eaten, done royal style, with a robust soup / broth that contains over 15 different herbs! The result; a deeply flavourful dish, where every mouthful makes you long for more. Yes, the garnish of rice noodles, pork loin, bean sprouts, choy sum / Chinese flowering cabbage, and coriander are all of good quality, but the star here is the tasty soup / broth. On the flip side, eating this generous portion can be too heavy for an individual, it's best shared.

Boat Noodles
Boat Noodles (SGD $18)


Boat Noodles



Calling the Tiger Prawns Glass Noodles Claypot (SGD $55) a signature dish, when so many dishes here are incredibly delicious, is sort of a misnomer. What makes this dish special is not just the fresh, whole tiger prawns and their meaty sweet flavour. The real highlight is the glass vermicelli noodles, which have absorbed all the goodness of the herbs, spices, prawn and pork stock, resulting in an incredibly robust taste. Actually quite addictive. Also, rather expensive.

Tiger Prawns Glass Noodles Claypot
Tiger Prawns Glass Noodles Claypot (SGD $55)


Tiger Prawns Glass Noodles Claypot



Served warm, the Yam Taro Coconut Sago (SGD $6.90) is akin to a Bubur Cha Cha dessert. A rich, milky base of coconut milk and coconut cream, filled with earthy adzuki beans, tender young coconut flesh, chewy yam taro glutinous balls, and playful tapioca sago balls. Really loved this comforting dessert.

Yam Taro Coconut Sago
Yam Taro Coconut Sago (SGD $6.90)


Yam Taro Coconut Sago



The Red Ruby Coconut Granita (SGD $6.90) is special, because the red rubies within are handmade, and formed in a variety of colours. Chef told us that factory made red rubies are usually more intense in colour, because of the food colouring used. Here, these chewy globes are served with tender young coconut flesh, in a chilled, milky broth of coconut milk and coconut cream, completed with shaved ice. Nice.

Red Ruby Coconut Granita
Red Ruby Coconut Granita (SGD $6.90)


Red Ruby Coconut Granita



The Signature Cha Thai Toast (SGD $8) features a platter of golden brown toast and charcoal toast, alongside a Thai milk tea dip and a pandan dip. The toast is lovely and crisp, though I don't detect much difference between the regular version and the charcoal version. But the luscious, creamy dipping sauces are delicious; the pandan / screwpine leaf dip is floral earthy sweet, while the Thai milk tea is nicely balanced, just like their beverage. Highly recommended!

Signature Cha Thai Toast (SGD $8)


Signature Cha Thai Toast



Was very pleased with our dining experience at Cha Thai, nearly every dish I had met my expectations of what Thai food should look and taste like. The casual, comfortable ambience, fantastic service, and delicious authentic Thai food, albeit at a higher than usual price, still makes Cha Thai worth visiting. I'm planning to return!


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