Sunday, August 6, 2017

[Media Invite] Cha Thai @ 80 Telok Ayer Street

Exit from Telok Ayer MRT and the place is just across the station entrance. A quick run through of its menu revealed that Cha Thai offers popular Thai dishes. It prides itself in making everything from scratch, including the sauces. One could expect consistent quality at this place. Was also informed that chef uses western cooking techniques for its Thai-origined dishes.

Cha Thai shopfront
Beside its entrance, Cha Thai has a take-away counter where one could order up selected noodles/curry, appetisers, dessert and drinks to go. Dabao'ing boat noodles and milk tea? No problem!

take-away menu

On our day of visit, the place was fairly relaxed on a weekday night before 730pm. The people at this area seemed to like having their dinner slightly later?

Thai Milk Tea @$2.90

For the first visit to any Thai restaurants, my drink order would always end up being Thai Milk Tea. Liked that the version at Cha Thai was not too sweet. However, there was an interesting drink on the menu that caught our eyes. Ordered the Butterfly Blue Pea drink and it turned out to be good. Dining companion likened it to lemongrass drink with colour! It has a dark purplish hue when served. A very refreshing drink on a hot day.

Butterfly Blue Pea @$2.90
If you felt like eating noodles in a Thai restaurant, what would you be ordering? For most of us, that would be pad thai. At Cha Thai, the ubiquitous pad thai is presented with two large prawns. The prawns were firm to bite.

Pad Thai @$22
Or, if you prefer something soupy, the Boat Noodle was pretty satisfying too. Cha Thai's Boat Noodle is served in large bowl and the soup was so flavourful that you'll want to drink it all! The thick looking soup base was cooked with 14 different types of herbs.

Boat Noodle @$18

We were in a fairly large group consisting of 9 pax and thus, ordered up some appetisers and mains to share. Communal dining coming to the fore.

Crispy Prawn Cake @$15

The prawn cakes were really good. Four pieces of bouncy goodness packed with chopped prawns. It was served with plum sauce but most of us had it as it was. So good!

Creamy Crab Roll @$15
Fried crispy springroll sticks served with crab cream sauce. The sauce had a pale bright yellow colour, creamy and sweet. Strips of crab meat can be seen. Lovely but am liking the prawn cakes more.

If you don't fancy the deep fried stuffs, then how about a plate of appetising tangy lemongrass prawn salad? It has all the right flavours that awakened the tastebuds. Didn't get to try the prawns as they flew off the plate pretty fast!

Lemongrass Prawn Salad @$28

Let's have some curry, tom yum and meat for our main courses. For curries, the must-try here is the Prawn Panang Curry. A luscious bowl of thick red curry where one gets sweet, savoury and spicy all at once. The lychee was interesting. Loved this and best eaten with piping hot steam rice.

Signature Tiger Prawn Panang Curry @$28

The spice in Cha Thai's dishes were fragrant and pleasantly mild. Of course, we had to try the tomyum. As the curry and tomyum were served together, we had some trouble differentiating between the two! Have a look at the photos and you'd see what I meant.

Tom Yum Soup (thick) @$28
Of course, the tomyum soup was served with fishballs and the soup was not as thick as the curry. Just can't get enough of the combination of lemongrass, bird eye chilies, herbs, mussels and mushroonms. Similarly to the curry, one only needs a bowl of rice to go along with these goodness.

But we got to have some meat, so let there be some! To be precise, we had two pork dishes and one fish. The grilled pork was of firm texture. Nice and those cucumber slices and cherry tomatoes made this dish somewhat like a salad.

Saute Grilled Pork with Basil Leaves @$22
Mango Salad with Fried Fish @$19

My favourite was the Simmer Pork aka Braised Pork Knuckles (猪蹄). The version here is served with vegetables. But the skin, I could eat all of those soft collageny skin. Yummy!

Simmer Pork @$22

In general, I've enjoyed the taste of all the dishes tried at Cha Thai. Flavours were strong but not too overpowering. Price is more premium but one gets the desired quality.

The heavyweight of our main course would be the Baked Tiger Prawns Claypot Noodles, good for 4-pax. The baked crab version requires pre-order. Go straight for the glass noodles. All the umami'ness are in there.

Baked Tiger Prawns Claypot Noodles @$159

Ended the night with some sweet dessert. Hot or cold, it is your choice. The cold dessert of red ruby with its slightly muted colours were nice on a warm night. The rubies were crunchy with the waterchestnut in it. We were informed that the 'real' colour of the rubies for this dessert should be slightly pale and not those bright coloured ones that we often get.

Red Ruby (front) and Thai Bubur Cha Cha (back)
I was taken by the hot bubur cha cha. The yam was so good! Of course, it helps if its colour is that nice hue of purple. It sure suit my taste! The sweetness was right, the chewiness of the yam and the slightly harder azuki beans made up the components of this delicious treat.

i yam what i yam~
Or, if you are still feeling a tad hungry, how about having a light snack of Cha Thai's Toast? They have the charcoal and normal breads. For the dip, there were two; thai milk tea and pandan. Our camp were divided on this. Some preferred the milk tea, some the pandan. Was quite evenly distributed in fact. For the toast, there was no discernible difference in taste. But black toast coated with the dip made it quite instagrammable.

Cha Thai Toast @$8

Thank you to the good folks of HGW for the invite and Cha Thai for hosting the tasting, especially to Ms Leah Sirijindapan for your hospitality.

Check out Cha Thai's Hungrydeals here.


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