Tuk Tuk Cha, the Thai Milk Tea, Coffee and Golden Toast Specialist

Tuk Tuk Cha, the Thai Milk Tea, Coffee and Golden Toast Specialist

Address: 3 Temasek Boulevard #02-605A Suntec City Tower 3

Opening hours: 10.00 am to 9.00 pm daily

Introduction

Tuk Tuk Cha, a sister F&B business of Thai Boat Noodle at Bedok Point, specialises in Thai milk tea and toasts and they officially opened their door for business on 4 July 2015.

Tuk Tuk Cha is not exactly a sit-down cafe but more of a snack bar situated at Suntec City. Tuk Tuk Cha mainly offers Thai-style beverages like Thai Milk Tea, Thai Coffee and also Thai Green Milk Tea. They also offer savoury and sweet toast, together with Mango Sticky Rice, Papaya Salad. The Tuk Tuk converted dining table is their trademark that can not be missed.

Tuk Tuk Cha’ s Menu – click to enlarge

Golden Toast (Pandan Kaya Dip and Custard and Taro Kaya)

Their Pandan Kaya Golden Toast is definitely my favourite. The butter infused bread cube is quite remarkable, with the edges toasted to crisp while retaining a soft spongy center. Among the two flavours, i very much prefer the home-made pandan kaya over the Yam.

Unlike the pandan kaya, I felt that the Yam flavour is too mild and at first bite, it’s overpowered by the buttery bread. It’s quite a different story for the pandan.

Their pandan kaya is something different from our usual Kaya. It’s more creamy and has a very strong pandan flavour. This dip is not overly sweet and goes very well with the toasted bread cube. This dip is wiped completely clean by the time I finished the toast.

Sticky Rice Mango

At $6.00, it comes with a very reasonable serving of Mango. I have no complain for the Mango – thickly cut, juicy and sweet. I also like the pandan fragrance and a little savoury flavour from the glutinous rice. There’s quite some standard for such a food stand and the only complain is, the rice falls apart a little too easily.

Tom Yum Toast – Chicken Floss $2.50

This tom yum toast taste much better than it looks. It’s abit lacking in term of presentation but definitely not in taste. The sweet chicken floss is infused with a drench of spicy Tom Yum sauce, giving the toast of a mix of sour, spicy and sweet flavours. Note that the spicy level is higher than average, and that is what made it enjoyable.

Ice Thai Milk Coffee / Tea ($3.20 for a large size)

I prefer their Ice Coffee more than their tea. I like to highlight that like a true blue Thai Milk Tea / Coffee, Tuk Tuk Cha’s version is much sweeter than our Singapore version . I ordered a less sweet version during my subsequent visit.

I really like the strong coffee fragrance and the sugar level made this an instant energy booster. As for the tea, i feel it’s a little lacking in term of the richness in the milk taste.

Conclusion

I find that their concept is quite good, instead of doing as cafe style, they do in like a Ya Kun style and enables them to keep the price low. Among all, I like their golden toast the best. In Singapore, many similar bread toast is either too crispy or not cripsy enough but Tuk Tuk Cha’s is just to my liking.

Price wise, it’s very reasonable. $3.20 for a large ice milk coffee and $3.80 for their butter toast and despite the low price, the quality isn’t lacking either. This new addition in the mall gives me one more reason to be excited with the newly renovated Suntec City.

Haha Thai @ Ngee Ann City

Haha Thai @ Ngee Ann City

Haha Thai was previously Hahaha Thai Seafood that was situated at Foch Road. They had rebranded themselves and moved to Ngee Ann City with a soft opening on 1 April 2015. Thank you Serena and Terence from Haha Thai for hosting us.

Unlike most Thai restaurants that go for a traditional Thai style design, Haha Thai went for a very modern cafe look, probably to attract the younger crowd. The price of their food ranges from $4.80 to $49.80. A plate of Pad Thai and bowl of Tom Yum soup cost $10.80 and $9.80 respectively while the pork knuckle and salt baked sea bass cost $38.80 and $49.80. The total cost of the bill can varies quite a lot, depending on what you order.

Haha Thai Menu: Click to enlarge

Thai Sashimi Oyster ($2.80++)

These so-call Thai Oysters are actually air-flown from Japan and to eat it the Thai way, remember to eat it with their Thai style chilli. Their oysters are very fresh, thick and fat and juicy. The chunky texture of the Oyster is the best part of it.

As for the chilli, i thought their chef is quite something to come out with a blend that goes so well with the Oyster. It’s like a 60% sour, 30% spicy and 10% sweet and exceptionally tangy should be the best way to describe the chilli.

Buttercorn Tiger Prawn ($18.80++)

Instead of normal size prawn, Haha Thai uses big tiger prawn. These prawns are lightly fried, such that the shell gives off a delightful flavour,  and are stir fried in a thick and creamy butter sauce.

It’s almost similar to a salted egg prawn sauce but not as salty and with added sweet corn. The texture of the prawn is bouncy and the meat is very sweet. The only complain is instead of three, four prawn should make it easier to share. It also adds up to $6.27++ per prawn.

Tom Yum Talay ($9.80++)

Haha Thai’s Tom Yum soup did very well in the sour aspect and lacks a little on the spicy aspect but i still find the soup enjoyable. This soup has all the sweetness from the seafood and manage to eliminate the unpleasent odour associated with it. It probably has something to do with the freshness of the ingredient.  The soup packs a punch, with just the right balance of lemon grass flavour and sweetness. For a spicy food lover like me, an even spicier version would be great and will increase the “shiok” factor.

Thai-ramisu ($9.80++)

This dessert is Haha Thai’s proud creation, whereby the espresso is replaced by Haha Thai’s signature Thai milk tea. This dessert is layered with a blend of cream and mascarpone cheese and biscuit soaked in sweetened Thai Milk Tea. Comparing to a traditional Tiramisu, this version is expectedly sweeter but the tea fragrance is not lacking comparing to the espresso version. At $9.80++, i consider the portion is a little small.

Mango Sticky Rice ($11.80++)

The ice cream and the Mango is good and I like the way it’s skillfully presented. Instead of savoury, the sticky rice is actually sweetened, which i don’t really favour since the ice cream and Mango already took care of the sweet portion.

Otah ($8.80++)

The Otah is actually very good, with chunky bits of fish mix in a spice-infused mackerel paste. If not for the price,  it would had been in my favorite list. For the price of  $8.80++, people may expect the portion to be a little bigger.

Himalaya Snow Baked Sea Bass ($49.80++)

At $49.80, this dish is the most expensive item on Haha Thai’s menu. I was actually expecting a lot from this dish however I thought the dish is only okay. i thought it lacks the expected fragrance from baking. As for the fish meat, it’s done properly and well cooked, but it didn’t give people enough reasons to fork out $58.00 for this fish.

Pak Mee ($10.80)

I can’t seem to find information about this Thai Bak Mee from online but apparently this is like a special creation by the chef.  The fragrance is something like our Singapore version of Char Kway Teow, just that it’s not as sweet and a bit more salty. There is a unique fragrance coming from the noodle but i can’t really tell what was it. The chef actually kept the content of the sauce as secret and is only willing to disclose one ingredient, which is tumeric. It’s a pretty interesting option to try instead of the usual Pad Thai.

Conclusion

The general impression of a restaurant situated at high floor at Ngee Ann City must be expensive and taste so-so. Apparently Haha Thai is serving some good dishes like the Oysters, Tom Yum Soup, Bak Mee and Buttercorn Prawn and for most dishes, the price appears to be reasonable. However, there is a catch to it as I noticed that the portion of the food is generally smaller. Probably this is their formula to keep their price reasonable.

If i’m crazily hungry, likely Haha Thai will not be my first choice for a meal. But if i’m still a little full and i dont feel like squeezing with the crowd and also want a decent meal, Haha Thai may be an option at Ngee Ann City.

Best Bangkok Mango Sticky Rice @ Sukhumvit Soi 38 (And Wanton Noodle)

Sukhumvit Night Food Street (Sticky Rice and Wanton Noodle)

Address: Thong Lor Station Exit 4, Sukhumvit Soi 38

Opening hours: Some stalls open at 6.00pm, and some at 8.00pm till late

Introduction

Sukhumvit Soi 38 is an ordinary road by day and transformed into a food street by night. There are about twenty stalls here that offers quite a variety of Bangkok street food here like Papaya Salad, Skewered BBQ Meat, Duck Noodle, Fresh Fruit Smoothies, Pad Thai, the famous Mango Sticky Rice and Thai-style Wanton Noodle.

Sukhumvit Soi 38 is directly across Thong Lor BTS station Exit 4. Apparently the Pad Thai there has quite some reputation but we did not have the stomach after having the famous “Best Bangkok Mango Sticky Rice” and the Thai-style Wanton Noodle. I always wanted to do a comparison between the SabX2 Wanton Noodle and something else so this is the one.

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Bangkok Best Mango Sticky Rice (Khao Neeo Mamuang)

Everyone surely will have a mango sticky rice or two in Bangkok, but what about the “Best Mango Sticky Rice”? Apparently, the one with such reputation is not from a restaurant, not from an eatery and definitely not from a cafe but this road side stall at Sukhumvit Soi 38. Turn right at the blue and white umbrella at the foreground as shown in the above pic to locate this stall. Remember it’s something something something 38. LOL. Any helpful soul to translate?

I was pretty curious what actually contributed to this roadside stall for their “Best Bangkok Mango Sticky Rice” reputation. I can’t be sure is this the Best Mango Sticky Rice, but this is one of the best i had so far. I had reviewed Mango Tango previously and talked about how fresh and sweet their mangoes are, surprisingly, this street food stall’s are as good, if not slightly better.

But i have to emphasis that it’s still a personal preference for individual’s criteria for a “good mango sticky rice”.  Some mango sticky rice’s are good for their coconut sauce while the glutinous rice don’t add much flavor to the overall taste except for it’s texture. This glutinous rice is flavorful, with sweet blend of slightly salty and sweet taste and the aromatic coconut sauce completes the whole package. Good mango, good coconut sauce, good rice and a bonus – good price.

Crab Meat Wanton Noodle

Apparently the wanton noodle is one of the popular stalls which has quite some good reputation online. The unique thing for this  Thai-style wanton noodle is they added fresh crab meat as the ingredient. I can’t remember the exact price but i remember it is not expensive at all. There is a good local crowd queuing at this stall when i visited.

The noodle dry is springy and the texture is quite delightful. There is a tinge of shallot and pork lard fragrance upon having my first bite. The fresh crab meat don’t exactly affects the taste much but is a nice addition to the ingredient. Unlike the Sabx2 Wanton Noodle ,this noodle is less flavorful and i can taste the sweetness of the noodle. I would like this version if i am looking for something lighter, but I thought that the SabX2 Wanton Noodle fairs better than this in term of the overall taste.

The soup is also lightly flavored by the Chye Poh (preserved radish) and the soup is pretty good and i actually prefers the soup version to the dry. I normally prefers a dry noodle over a soup noodle anytime but not this one.

Conclusion

This is my first visit to Sukhumvit Soi 38 but definitely will not be my last. I thought it is an awesome place to indulge in Bangkok’s Street Food Culture to try out the wide variety of street food here.

I would love to try out the Pad Thai and it’s a pity i didn’t have it for my last visit. If you are visiting here, don’t be like me, for visiting this place with an almost-full stomach.

Mango Tango @ Siam Square Soi 5 – Bangkok

Mango Tango

Address: Siam Square Soi 5.

Opening hours: 11:30 am to 10:00 pm

Introduction

Simply go to Google Map and enter “Mango Tango Bangkok” and you will get the actual location. It is only a couple of minutes walk from Siam Station.

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=Mango+Tango+Bangkok&hl=en&ll=13.745242,100.534623&spn=0.012277,0.009913&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=40.86791,40.605469&t=m&z=16&iwloc=A

This place was recommended by my friend who happened to wander into this dessert place in Bangkok. Mango Tango, as the name suggest, they specialize in mango dessert. I visited their branch at Siam Square Soi 5 for the second time as I was bringing another friend to try, and it’s already queuing before the shop opens at 11.30am.

There is this stall just beside Mango Tango that sells quite decent Thai Pandan pastries. I will mention more on this stall after the Conclusion section of Mango Tango.

The one thing that I don’t like about this place is they have a rule of each person must order an individual dessert before you are allow a seat. This branch can only house only about twenty diners at a time.

They do have branch at other places. Visit their official website for more information.

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Click to see enlarged menu

Signature Mango Tango with Sticky Rice  – 145 baht

This platter is like the McDonald’s big breakfast of Tango Mango where you get to sample everything – fresh mango, mango ice cream, mango pudding and their sticky rice. For both times, the mangoes are really fresh and sweet. Oh by the way, the mango sticky rice is very so-so. Do consider if you want to order it. I ordered cus I thought it will make the photo looks more complete and nicer. LOL.

Mango Salsa – 85 baht

Mango Salsa is actually Mango pudding in fresh mango juice. The mango and pudding taste exactly like the Mango Tango with Sticky Rice dish. The main difference is the generous smooth fresh mango juice topped over the pudding less the ice-cream.

Mango Aloha – 65 baht

This is a cheaper version that only cost less than S$3.00. It’s diced Mango in Milk Sago with less-generous portion of fresh Mango Juice.

Conclusion

I think the selling point of Mango Tango is the eatery is really clean, and apart from their fresh juicy mango, the variety of mango desserts may also be the reason for the good crowd. I thought their food is actually rather well done although part of the reason for the long queue might be due to the small seating capacity in the restaurant. Their pricing is also very decent for their quality mango.

In my opinion, Mango Tango dishes lack a wow factor. I am only saying this because i am comparing this with a Hong Kong Dessert Xu Liu Shan (许留山). Not sure if you had heard about it but Xu Liu Shan sells dessert that is very very similar to Mango Tango, but at a slightly higher price, but there is almost no queue in Hong Kong.

As such, queuing for this at Mango Tango makes me feel like it’s not super worth it. But of course i am not at Hong Kong, so Mango Tango is good by itself in Bangkok.

Apart from the waiting time, i’m actually OK to pop by in the future. But if the queue is really long, then i probably get  myself something else, like Afteryou Dessert at Siam Paragon or Mont Nom Sod at MBK.

Kanom Krok Bai Toey (Pandan Kueh) beside Mango Tango

Opening hour: 10:00 am to 8:00 pm

While i was waiting in the queue at Mango Tango, i was attracted by this simple-looking stall that is selling something like Pandan Pancake in flower shape.

All cakes are freshly made on the spot and the piping hot pastry gives off a very aromatic Pandan taste. I remember it’s about 30 baht for a box of eight. Mixture of different flavors is possible. Cheap and good!

Nakhon Kitchen

Nakhon Kitchen

Address:  Hougang Street 21 #01-341 S530212

Operating Hours: Daily: 12:00 – 15:00, 17:30 – 22:00

Introdution

I won’t term Nakhon Kitchen as a restaurant but more of a neighborhood eatery situated in the heartland of Kovan. This place serves considerably good Thai food at an economy price. Each dishes range from $5.00 to $8.00. Some say the food is great, but some said it’s overrated so i gonna it out myself! I visited this place twice, once on 8 August ’13 during the afternoon and a second time on 9 August ’13 during the evening. Both times, Nakhon Thai is crowded and there’s always a queue forming outside the place.

Pandan Chicken

Apparently the best seller at Nakhon Kitchen is the Pandan Chicken, with every table ordering at least one portion. It was sold out during lunch! We only manage to have a taste of this dish on the next day when we came back during the evening. I can already smell the fragrance of spices-infused chicken while unwrapping the pandan leave. Although it’s deep fried, but it’s not dry at all, and in fact it’s really tender. i can see why some customers ordered a second or even a third portion and why it’s sold out.

Pad Thai

Like how my friend will normally judge a good dim sum by it’s Har Gow and Siew Mai, i would judge a Thai food place by it’s Tom Yum Soup and Pad Thai, then i realize that there are exceptions. The Pad Thai of Nakhon Kitchen is OK. Not bad, not spectacular, but OK. There’s a lack of the typical fragrance or the “kick” that a Pad Thai has when you munch on them. I thought this is something that i can skip and save my calorie for some other more awesome stuff offered on their menu.

Clear Tom Yum Soup with Prawn

I would really like to mention this Tom Yum Soup. This really really suit my taste as i love my Tom Yum soul to be sour, and it must be spicy, and Nakhon Kitchen’s version got it all. I was not exactly ready for this soup when i took my first mouth and i almost got choked by it’s spiciness. In my opinion, this Tom Yum Soup is gotta be in my top 3 favorite Tom Yum Soup.

Stir-fry Minced Pork in Basil

The stir fry pork is decent, taste like a typical Thai restaurant dish. I actually particularly like the long beans which adds an overall crunchy texture to the dish.  Too bad this is not one of the outstanding dishes of Nakhon Kitchen so if i have to choose, i would choose to order other dishes. Don’t get me wrong, it’s just that other dishes are better and i only have limited stomach capacity, and money.

Cashew Chicken

Oh… I like this.  Cashew Chicken. This is a very crispy version with a thin layer of sweet and sour sauce coated over the chicken. Some restaurants offer another version that is actually wetter with loads of cashew nuts but i like this version better.  One of my favorites that comes after the Tom Yum Soup and Pandan Chicken.

Deep fried pork

I mistook this for the cashew chicken that was served to another table but who don’t like deep fried crispy pork strips? Actually to be frank, this pork strip is a little bit tough on the teeth, but is really crispy. You can literally hear the crunching sound in your ears when you sink your teeth into one of these. Those who  like garlic will favor this dish because it is so full of it.

Kangkong Belacan

This Kangkong surprises me a little. Chilli is not too overpowering with it’s generous portion of dried prawn and garlic. I particularly like the way the veggies are cooked till it’s really soft, unlike some Kangkong when I had a hard time munching and chewing on them.

Thai Tapioca with Sugar Syrup and Coconut

Love this dish cus most importantly, it’s not too sweet, and i love the taste of smooth coconut milk and soft Tapioca, and it’s only S$3.00. The only down side is – this dish is really sinful and fattening!

Mango Glutinous Rice

The glutinous rice is actually tasty by itself even without the coconut sauce. Too bad the price is a little expensive (S$5.00) for it’s portion. Can’t get enough for sharing 1 portion.

Conclusion

Apparently i have no problem with Nakhon Thai Kovan branch. I heard from my friend that they served cold dish at the Bedok branch, taste is only so-so, overrated etc. But i am rather satisfied with the overall experience. Despite waiting in the queue, you can place your order first so that your dishes can be served to you soon after you get yourself a seat. Those who live nearby queue up at the take-away queue to save yourself from waiting in the long queue. Initially, I was a little surprise to see their staff allocating only two people to a four pax table. They could have earned more if another couple can share this table. But i think they do have a certain service standard to maintain like how a restaurant will never ask a couple to share a table with another couple. Their service is considerably fast for it’s crowd and price is very reasonable for it’s quality. I can see myself going back to this place soon.