I vaguely remembered coming across 'Rochor Thai' on some food blogs before and thought of giving it a try since I happened to passed by Joo Chiat Road one Saturday evening. The folks were kind enough to serve us at 5.25pm even though they are only open at 5.45pm for dinner.
It wasn't when we sat down that I saw 3 lines of words plastered on the glass doors:
NO SERVICE CHARGE
"No MSG" struck me the most because I hate the thirsty feeling at the end of a MSG-laden meal and I must say that the taste of the food didn't disappoint!
I was quite impressed by the colour of the the cha yen (classic thai iced milk tea) turned out to be as authentic as the ones I get in Bangkok, just a tad more expensive at $3. It was not overly sweet but I really like the fragrance of the thai-style milk tea at Rochor Thai. It's a must order to go with all the Thai dishes!
The Pad Thai Talay (stir fried rice noodles with seafood) is by far one of the best I've had. At $7.80, the rice noodles were slightly chewy but there is a subtle wok hei smell, and I love the sweet and slightly salty combination of the seafood and the flavours in this dish. We couldn't stop eating this and it was the first time where I didn't even feel like adding the peanut bits nor the chili flakes so as not to spoil the original taste! Absolutely yummy and I think the portion is just right for 2 persons, but you can order the bigger plate at $14.80 if you are having a meal in a big group.
It's interesting that they have in-house promotion for canadian oysters as well, $2 per oyster and the waitress guaranteed that it's freshly flown in on the day itself. I can't say no to fresh oysters! However, I think there's still a slight fishy taste and unless you crave for oysters that day, I think you can pass on this at Rochor Thai.
How can we come to a Thai restaurant without ordering tom yum? Rochor Thai's rendition of Tom Yum Talay (hot and spicy seafood soup with thai herbs) was sour, sweet and super spicy! You don't feel it at first, but at the end of the meal, we were trying so hard not to gulp down our icy drinks, because you know what happens if you mix spicy and cold - you don't wanna go there. I felt that for $8.80, the portion of the seafood was quite miserable. Although the restaurant manager explained that it's for 1 person's portion only, I think they can do a lot better.
Another must-order is the Gai Haw Bai Toey (pandan chicken in sesame sweet soy sauce) priced at $7.80. I've not tried pandan chicken with a strong pandan fragrance in the chicken and the meat is very tender and juicy, perfect with jasmine rice. Don't forget to dip the chicken into the special sauce that accompanied the dish!
So is the "No MSG" claim legit? We say YES! There wasn't a desperate need to reach out for a glass of drink to satisfy our thirst and yet we could still get to have tasty Thai food that were both flavourful and satisfying.
We talked to the restaurant manager for a bit and got to know that Rochor Thai just recently opened for about 6 months and the chefs are from Pattaya in Thailand. This definitely explained the close resemblance in taste to the ones we had back in Thailand!
Overall, Rochor Thai is perfect for meals with families, friends where you get to enjoy authentic Thai food without breaking the bank. It's easy to locate as well and not far from 112 Katong shopping centre. Do check out this place if you reside in the east or just happen to stroll along Joo Chiat area one day!
340 Joo Chiat Road
Tel: 6440 3270
Tues - Sundays : 11.30am to 10.00pm
Rochor Thai's FB | Website
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