Thai food is versatile, a myriad of flavours, and generally a whole lot of fun for chefs. And Rochor Thai’s Chef Owner Joel Ong—who lived a year in Thailand to learn about the Central Thai cuisine—was determined to bring the best of Thai dishes to Singapore.
While most Thai eateries and restaurants in Singapore serve more North-Eastern Thai fare, Rochor Thai specialises in Central Thai Cuisine—which is a lot more balanced, less salty and no less delicious—and it does not use any MSG at all.
Rochor Thai prides itself in its meticulous preparation and the use of fresh ingredients to ensure the authenticity of its food, with flavours found nowhere else in Singapore.
Making his mark in 2012 at Rochor Centre, Rochor Thai’s inception saw overwhelming success and has brought them to where they are today. Today, they are located at Novena Regency, with a more modern and swanky look. They have rocketed to the top of our list and is now among our favourite Thai restaurants.
From now until 15 March 2017, simply quote ‘ladyironchef’ to enjoy 30% off your bill—valid from 6pm to 10pm on Mondays to Thursdays, except PHs.
THE BEST VARIETY OF AUTHENTIC TOM YUM SOUPS
Depending on your preference, Rochor Thai has a decent variety of tom yum soups for you to choose from. What we like about Rochor Thai is that they choose the best meats or seafood to go with each type of soup base. Some Thai restaurants confuse you with too many options, but Rochor Thai picks out the best combinations for you.
We had a taste of two different types of tom yum soups, Red Tom Yum Prawns (Tom Yum Goong, S$15) and Clear Tom Yum Super (S$15).
Some people prefer a milkier consistency, hence the former is an excellent choice, the soup is packed with generous amounts of fresh prawns and we really loved the spicy red soup base—just the right balance of sour and spicy, without burning our throats.
However, the Clear Tom Yum Super is actually their speciality and it comes with chicken wings and feet inside. But you have been warned—this soup is extremely spicy. Not for the faint-hearted!
REFRESHING SOM TUM KAI KEM – THAI PAPAYA SALAD
In every Thai restaurant, you need a good Som Tum or Papaya Salad. This Som Tum Kai Kem (S$12) hit all the right spots for us.
It was crunchy, refreshing and more importantly, the tamarind sauce really wowed us. It comes with salted egg, carrots, long beans, garlic, chillies, dried shrimp and peanuts.
BEAUTIFUL PAD THAI WITH SUCCULENT PRAWNS
Another classic Thai dish is the Pad Thai. The Pad Thai Rochor Thai (Pad Thai Song Krung, S$14) was impressive, to say the least. We liked that the noodles were not overly cooked; they were a little al dente, and the plate of noodles was sweet, flavourful and bursting with wok hei flavour on the whole. One of the best
CLASSIC VERMICELLI WITH BAKED PRAWNS
The Baked Prawns in Claypot (Goong Ob Woon Sen, S$19) is something you really have to try! Clear glass noodles are tossed in peppercorns, garlic and coriander; the dish exuded a distinct aroma.
THE BEST STIR-FRIED CABBAGE EVER
This is the most unassuming dish on the menu and before you skip it, you have to know that this is THE BEST STIR-FRIED CABBAGE EVER. So much so that we would eat an entire serving on its own with a bowl of steamed rice and we are satisfied.
The Cabbage with Fish Sauce (Kalum Pad Nampla, S$12) is a unique dish and it took Chef Joel 3 months to perfect it.
Sure, you might be skeptical, because it is ‘just veggies’. But it is almost unexplainable; the umami flavours become stronger with every bite. There is something about the combination of garlic and fish sauce tossed with crunchy and fresh cabbage.
TENDER, MELT-IN-YOUR-MOUTH GRILLED PORK
The Grilled Pork Collar (Kor Moo Yang, S$19)—Rochor Thai’s best-selling and signature dish—lived up to all the hype.
Marinated perfectly, the tender pork is grilled to a beautiful tenderness. When served, the pork collar slices are so almost melt-in-your-mouth. Eat them with a homemade Issan-style sauce.
Thai-style grilled pork has got to be one of our favourite ways of eating pork.
VALUE-FOR-MONEY WHOLE SEA BASS
If you are coming in a group of 3 or more, then you should really order the sea bass. We fell head over heels in love with the Orange Curry Fish Broth (Thai Assam, Gaeng Som Pla, S$32 Whole Fish 800 – 900g).
The fish is deep-fried whole, then orange curry broth is drizzled all over. The broth is spicy with a hint of sourness, but it paired up well with the crispy fish. The fish stayed nice and crispy even after awhile and for S$32, it is a steal!
FLAVOURFUL DRUNKARD’S PRAWNS
These prawns are aptly named Drunkard’s Prawns (Pad Kee Mao Goong, S$19).
According to Chef Owner Joel, they adapted an old Thai recipe based on a true incident. It was a rainy night when a drunk man was walking home after a night of drinking, and he stopped by a small street food stall for some supper. The dish was so spicy and flavourful that it jolted him up, hence the name.
POPULAR THAI SWEET TREAT – MANGO STICKY RICE
Lastly, we ended our amazing Thai meal with the best way we know how to—with Thai Mango Sticky Rice (Khao Niew Ma Muang, S$8).
The sticky rice was served to us warm and the rice was chewy with a nice al dente bite to it.
Apart from the typical Thai dishes such as Green Curry Chicken, Pad Thai, and Thai Basil Stir-fried Pork, Rochor Thai serves authentic Thai dishes that are strong-flavoured yet well-balanced. It is a lot more dimensional than the spicy and sour Thai food that most of us are familiar with.
Chef Owner Joel hopes that diners get to experience a true taste of Thailand—for a lack of a better phrase. The prices might be slightly higher than the usual Thai restaurants in Singapore, but what you get is quality Thai food that will transport you to the Land of Smiles.
Don’t take our words for it, make a trip to Rochor Thai and find out for yourself. Remember to quote ‘ladyironchef’ to enjoy 30% off your bill—valid from 6pm to 10pm on Mondays to Thursdays, except PHs.
And the next time you are throwing a party for a special occasion, you will be keen to know that Rochor Thai also offers complimentary venue usage with a minimum spending on Food and Beverage, as well as catering for events. Their tea reception buffet starts from as low as S$9.80 per guest. You can see the buffet catering menus from Rochor Thai’s website.
275 Thomson Road
#01-03, Novena Regency
Tel: +65 8797 7080
Mon to Thu: 11.30am – 2.30pm, 6pm – 9.30pm
Fri to Sun: 12pm – 2.30pm, 6pm – 10pm
Nearest Station: Novena
This post is brought to you by Rochor Thai.