I have always been a fan of Thai food and since a flight to BKK is so affordable, just thinking about the shopping and cheap street food makes me happy. And the last thing you’ll think to yourself is that the Pad Thai we order from a street vendor isn’t the authentic Thai food taste. So what’s the traditional taste that we should be trying?
Cha Thai located at Telok Ayer is just the place to go for true Thai food. Chef Owner, Leah, a Thailand chef told us: “For the last 3 years I was in Singapore, and I was craving for good Thai food, but so far I don’t find any place that have a good taste or it can be called Thai food at all. So I decided to start up my own, doing a better tasting food for people.”. Using Western techniques, like sous vide, Leah brings authentic Thai food to the next level. Our concept of Thai food has always been street food, but Leah told us that real Thai food in Thailand isn’t all that affordable even for someone with an average income. These food are served in the palace. She couldn’t possibly bring the whole traditional concept to Singapore as the intricate details in each dish is time and man-power consuming. This is why Leah uses her own recipes.
So what’s so different about their Pad Thai? According to Leah, the Pad Thai from Cha Thai is a must try. This is because original Pad Thai must contain the strong fragrance and flavour from prawns. However, the Pad Thai you get from many street stalls in Thailand now just taste like “Char Kway Teow” instead. Leah doesn’t change the recipe to suit Singaporean taste. It’s so authentic that you can’t even find a comparable stall in Thailand unless you got to a ‘atas’ restaurant.
“We serve you the same as what I eat, the food taste is really the real Thai taste.”
They choose to use the best and freshest ingredients but charge it at an affordable price. For example, the king prawns they use are far cheaper than those sold in Japanese restaurants. They pride themselves in serving customers food with standards, food cooked by a real Thai chef. You are technically eating the skills of the chef. To make sure the standard is consistent, Leah is the one that invents all the recipes, she’s the one controlling the taste and she’s also the one that conducts her chef. Both Leah and her chef came with culinary backgrounds and they cook with passion, experience and hardwork.
“I started cooking when I was 4 years old. My mum told me, since young I’ve been going to the kitchen and cook my own food by myself. Everywhere on my body has marks from the oil.” Leah shared with us. I wonder what I was doing at the age of 4. Hmm… The kitchen staff are all from Thailand as well as Leah didn’t want other influencers to steer the authenticity of her food.
“No one can understand Thai food like Thai people.”
Using her own recipe, Leah was able to create the blackest charcoal toast I’ve ever seen. Cha Thai even makes the sauce from scratch. Thailand sauce are generally sweeter and not as smooth. “There is no Umami taste” said Leah. Cha Thai added the taste of Umami and when you eat it, you’ll feel that it’s easier to swallow. Both the Pandan and Thai Milk Tea sauce are quite common in Thailand. But Cha Thai also produce seasonal sauces for its toast. They told us that they are looking to come up with a Thai Coffee sauce next, followed by Taro flavoured sauce next. Shh… Don’t tell anyone, it’s not out yet. But they update their Facebook page about their promotions so check it out to know what’s new!
Another interesting facts about Cha Thai is that they provide special dishes, not on the menu, complimentary to their customers. However, this happens only at random. You don’t know when and what dish it will be. Leah treats her customers with this surprise once in a while just because she wants to cook for you. This complimentary dish could either be a dessert or even a main, you’ll never know. How exciting?!
The store is spacious and modern which can accommodate quite a lot of customers at once. At every Thai restaurant I go, I must try their Thai Milk Tea. Cha Thai’s milk tea was fragrant. The proportion of milk and tea was also just nice.
We also had to try their Pad Thai. The presentation of the dish was super elegant and pretty. The two king prawns were huge, juicy, firm and most importantly, FRESH! The beancurd in the Pad Thai were juicy and the beansprouts were crisp and refreshing. The flavour was definitely different from the usual Pad Thai we have outside. After the first bite, you’ll think to yourself: “So this is what Pad Thai is suppose to taste like? What have I been eating so far?”. It was just purely delicious.
For the toast, you can choose between Thai Milk Tea sauce or Pandan sauce, so we had to try both. The toast was buttery, super crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The sauces were both sweet (but not too sweet) and flavourful. People usually order white toast with Pandan sauce and black toast with Thai Milk Tea sauce. Both the bread and sauces are made fresh daily. No wonder even Thai people visit Cha Thai!
So be sure to check out Cha Thai for authentic Thai food with high quality!
Where: 80 Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 048466 (Far East Square)
Operating Hours: Monday to Saturday – 11am to 10pm. Closed on Sundays.
Contact Information: 6636 3696