Rochor Thai at Joo Chiat Road (Melicacy readers enjoy free Thai Iced Tea!)

Rochor Thai is a humble and unpretentious bistro serving, as its name suggests, Thai cuisine. It was previously located at Rochor Centre building, hence its appellation. Rochor Thai is now satiating palates in the east, along the shophouses on Joo Chiat Road.

This gem prides itself for being the only Thai dining establishment in Singapore that strictly refrains from the use of MSG (monosodium glutamate). The generous use of herbs, spices and aromatics make up for the absence of MSG, which is commendable, how flavourful the dishes are rendered. Many restaurants take the easy way out and count on the liberal use of MSG for flavour enhancement.

Determined to do justice to the beauty of natural ingredients, pastes and sauces are made from scratch. The Tom Yum paste for instance, is painstakingly made up of a blend of ingredients such as fresh lemongrass and coriander amongst many others. It yields is an infinitely flavourful soup that is beyond compare. The tom yum paste is the gist of what makes good tom yum soup, but it doesn’t stop there. This bowl comprises a combination of prawn stock and chicken stock that have been brewed in-house for long periods to fully extract the goodness of the ingredients. This is one of the better tom yum soups out there, putting cooks who use MSG, who can’t produce anything close to this, to shame.

Tom Yum Talay – Red Tom Yum Seafood Soup ($8.80/$15.80)

Countless of times have I encountered overcooked or stale-tasting fish in tom yum soups across Singapore, and have given up hoping for palatable fish that needed merely seconds of blanching. This bowl of soup provides a glimpse of hope, and reassures with fresh, tender slices of fish that had me pinning for more. The juicy prawns and succulent squid rings were more than appeasing as well.

Pla Neung Ma Nao – Steamed Seabass in Spicy Chilli Lime Dressing ($24.80)

Those who can’t take the heat may want to opt for a non-spicy version, for this dish is swamped with chilli padi and its seeds (the most deadly part of chilli). Fortunately I have a moderate tolerance for spice (or so I thought) and could endure the fiery sensations. The fresh and rightfully cooked fish was just too irresistible, it almost seemed my tongue was temporarily immune to spice. I felt the heat only after all that was left on the plate were bones.

Hoay Pad Prik Pao – Clams flambé in Chef’s Stock and Thai Chilli Jam ($14.80/$22.80)

Rochor Thai is also bringing less common Thai dishes to our local scene, such as the Clams flambé in Chef’s Stock and Thai Chilli Jam. The richly flavoured sauce hits all the right notes. This is a must-try if you do take clams. I was never a fan of clams but I think this dish has gotten me hooked.

Pad Kee Mao Goong – Wok Fried Prawns in Thai “Drunken” Style Sauce ($16.80/$24.80)

The Wok Fried Prawns in Thai “Drunken” Style Sauce is a highlight. The flavour is intense. My dining partner who’s an ardent fan of prawn (and also particularly finicky as a result) was praising this dish to the sky. No alcohol is involved in the cooking process; the name of this dish was said to derive from a story of a hungry drunk man in Thailand. Ask the owner or chef at Rochor Thai about this story!

By the way, when you subscribe to their mailing list, you get a free serving of Thai Fish Cake ($7.80) or Thai Spring Roll ($6.80)! I would recommend the succulent and well-seasoned Thai Fish Cake.

Cha Yen – Thai Iced Tea ($3.50)

Sip on Thai Iced Tea for a complete Thai experience. I like how the tea is concentrated rather than diluted, with condensed milk adding just enough richness.

Young Coconut ($5.80)

Tab Tim Grob – Red Ruby ($4.80)

Tapioca flour-coated water chestnuts doused in coconut milk –an enjoyable dessert, except for the copious amount of ice cubes.

Khao Niew Ma Muang – Mango Sticky Rice ($8.80)

I love how sweet and juicy the mango was! And look how pretty the sticky rice has been shaped. The missing element here was the final drizzling of coconut milk. I felt the rice needed that extra boost of sweetness and richness, but the health conscious group will be glad they omitted the additional dose of calories. They could serve the coconut milk separately on the side to please both groups.

Mun Cheaum – Candied Tapioca $4.80

My dining partner and I both agreed that the Candied Tapioca dessert was the best out of the three we’ve tried. Served warm, the soft and dense tapioca pairs beautifully with the coconut cream.

*Quote Melicacy to enjoy a free glass of Thai Iced Tea.

Rochor Thai
340 Joo Chiat Road
Singapore 427592

Opening hours:
Mondays to Thursdays: 11.30am to 2.30pm, 5.45pm to 9.45pm
Fridays and Saturdays: 11.30am to 2.30pm, 5.30pm to 10.30pm
Sundays, PH eves and PHs: 11.30am to 9.45pm
Closed on every 2nd and 4th Monday of the month