Last Updated: September 30, 2016
Charcoal Thai has been in the Kovan neighborhood for quite some time, and has gained their fair share of loyal customers. With Thai Pop and occasional Korean Pop music blasting in the background, the restaurant sets an upbeat atmosphere for their diners to have a hearty meal. The interior is modern with sleek wooden fixtures, and installed individual ventilation systems on each table.
Papaya salad, Som Tom ($7.90). An all time favorite appetizer, raw papaya and various thin vegetable slices provided a citrusy and tangy kick, with peanuts for the extra crunch and flavor.
Special Thai Prawn Cake served with Tasty Thai Sweet Sauce ($9.90). Really delicious when it is served piping hot, freshly deep fried with flavorful prawn paste filling.
Massaman Tender Chicken Curry ($10.90). Combination with Thai herbs and spices, blended with a lingering tang of spiciness and sweetness. The curry was on the sweeter side, the chicken was tender but the potatoes were slightly undercooked.
Tom Yum Fried Rice with Fresh Prawns ($10.90). A generous amount of prawns and squid for a rice dish. Probably because of the tom yum paste, the rice however was a little too mushy for my liking.
Stir-fried Prawn with Salted Egg ($12.90). The salted egg batter wasn’t fantastic, lacking in the key ingredient golden salted egg.
Whole Fresh Seabass Steamed with Chilli, Garlic and Lemon ($25.90). The tangy soup base did not overpower the freshness of the fish meat. Could easily pair this dish with a bowl full of rice, definitely worth the price. My only issue was the kitchen should be more thorough in cleaning the fish scales.
Finally the highlight, Charcoal Thai BBQ and Steamboat ($39.90 per set, recommended for 2 pax). With the choice of vegetable broth or tom yum soup base. We went for the tom yum soup base which is engineered to be a lighter soup suitable for a Mookata steamboat. Authentic Mookatas in Thailand tend to just use plain water, so this is a slightly special soup base.
The meat platter contains marinated pork and chicken slices. Shelled prawns, luncheon meat, sausages, crab meat and meat balls. The meat was well marinated, and tasted juicy and tender when grilled. The portion is quite generous I must say.
Raw egg is also provided to dip the meat in before grilling it, but be careful not to leave it for too long for the egg will char the meat easily. Other than the large quantities of meat, I find the variety and rest of the ingredients a little lacking – luncheon meat, sausages and crab meat did nothing to wow me.
Vegetable platter with standard set of vermicelli, cabbage and enoki mushrooms. Do add it into the steamboat for that additional vegetable sweetness in your soup.
Like a few other Mookata restaurants, Charcoal Thai provides Mama Tom Yum instant noodles for a greater Thai experience. Although the tom yum soup base would’ve been rich enough without the seasoning sachets.
Thai Lemongrass Tea ($3.90). A meal wouldn’t be complete without a homemade lemongrass or milk tea drink.
Thai Milk Tea ($3.90). Pretty average Thai ice milk tea.
Sweet Glutinous Rice with Fresh Mango and Coconut ($5.90). Surprisingly good, for I was still being able to finish the glutinous rice even after the heavy meal. Not as great as authentic mango sticky rice in Thailand but no doubt, the better ones I’ve had in Singapore.
Charcoal Thai restaurant is a popular place for the younger crowd because of the great location. Meats are quite generous and will definitely be filling, although the selection of high quality meats isn’t as much for their Mookata. You can add on with their wide selection of Thai dishes too though.
The restaurant is enclosed with air conditioned so it might get a little stuffy during peak hours, although air vents are installed for each table to suck up the smoke from the mookata grill. Also , the restaurant is pretty small so do make a reservation if you are planning to make a trip down for some Thai or Mookata action.
Expected Damage: $30-40 per pax