Zi Char - The Coriander Cafe

Zi Char - The Coriander Cafe
301 Upper Thomson Road
#02-08 Thomson Plaza

Affordable & Tasty Zi Char For Those Nearby

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 7
Ambience & Setting: 5
Food & Beverage: 7
Service: 8
Value for Money: 8
Spent about SGD $13 per person.


The Coriander Cafe is a Chinese Zi Char cafe that has been operating in Thomson Plaza for many years now, quietly serving up affordable and tasty Chinese Zi Char dishes.

Being located in an old mall, The Coriander Cafe has barely functional ambience, with plastic chairs, cheap metallic tables, and bright flourescent lighting. Very similar to a coffee shop, and since the kitchen is so close to the cramped dining area, smell of food tends to waft out.

Service at The Coriander Cafe is fast... very fast. Orders are served within 5 - 8 minutes! Staff are brusque, with a home-style / coffeeshop type of service, functional and efficient, and don't expect any greetings or conversation.

The menu at The Coriander Cafe is somewhat limited, but they do classic Chinese dishes well. It's recommended to dine in groups, as many dishes are meant for sharing! Food is generally tasty, served simply in medium to big portions, and prices per dish cost below SGD $13 on average.


The bright, garish The Coriander Cafe Facade in neon green stands out against the drab beige / stone colours of the surroundings.

The Coriander Cafe Facade

The Garlic Cai Xin (SGD $7) is very fresh and well cooked, with a slight crunch without being limp.

Garlic Cai Xin

The Hot Plate Tofu (SGD $10) is just drowning in the savoury minced meat gravy, and the fluffy egg omelette at the bottom hold the dish together. The tofu is fresh and soft. Differs slightly from others I've tried, as there is a slight sweetness to the gravy.

Hot Plate Tofu

The Pork Rib King (SGD $12) is a house recipe, and as such, differs quite widely from others. The meat is well cooked and juicy, but the main difference is the sauce coating the meat, which is sweeter and less savoury, as well as having a slight tinge of sour tangy taste. Flavour is deep, and rich. Very close in taste to a sweet and sour pork dish, only more savoury.

Pork Rib King

The Curry Fish Head (SGD $22) is the signature dish here, and it is very good! The curry is fragrant and lemak with coconut milk, medium level of spicy heat from chili, with fresh orka / ladies fingers, eggplant / brinjal, and tomatoes. The portion of fish head is large, meaty and very fresh. The meat is succulent and comes off the bone clean. Excellent!

Curry Fish Head