Kha @ 38 MartinSpecial thanks to SiHui for the invite!
Off the beaten track of Robertson Quay and Robertson Walk is 38 Martin. Housing Kha, Graze and Provisions, one can easily mistake this cluster as a warehouse...given the ongoing construction just near it.
Seats just outside..for waiting purposes?
Signages loud and clear - loving the black and white contrast!
Finally at the doorsteps of Kha.
We were brought on a tour around 38 Martin where the restaurants are all interconnected.
Provisions - At first impression I vaguely remembered reading somewhere it was a mini mart (like Provision shop?) but it's actually a takeaway concept like Da Paolo Gastronomia or Coffeebean for the people on the go to pick up coffee or a pastry. They do offer wine, beer and dried pasta options for those heading home for a lovely cookout as well. Adored the blue fridges!
Wall of takeaway temptations.
More under the glass jars.
Chess pieces that were uber cute!
Graze - No stranger to this hidden brunch place in Rochester, this is the second outlet with a
revamped menu though hot favourites are still retained.
Brunch? Lunch? Dinner?
Private dining is available...and I adore the chill room with preserved meats!
Reminiscent of P.S. Cafe at Harding Road eh?
A particular corner that I adore...the dining area with chairs as the main design. Arty farty...I love!
While both concepts were mainly open with large usage of glass panels, Kha is alot more discreet and cosy. Minimally lit, I reckon this is the most romantic of the three and perfect for a date or girls night out. They shifted over from the previous location at Hortpark.
Enter and be charmed by the plants every now and then...I spotted a chilli plant!
Interesting concept of placing ornaments in pigeon holes.
A resort-ish orchid pool.
The stamp painting was really interesting to look at.
Newspaper menus to complete the experience.
Little details like these - napkins tied with a string and cinnamon stick.
Service was warm and friendly from the start with a starter of rice crackers and seafood curry placed served. Crunchy rice crackers meet spicy curry, I say the marriage is a devilish one. Two finger licking thumbs up for this!
House speciality of Ruby Starlet ($12)
Signature Kha Mocktail with Pomegranate, Fresh Mint Leaves, Lychee Juice and Fresh Lime Juice
A first attempt at the pomegranate fruit, fresh pomegranate capsules were sprinkled in the drink...lovely visual treat in all its crimson redness. One yummy fruit mocktail I must add...a different drink amidst Shirley Temples and Pussyfoots.
Pomegranate is good to look at but acquired to taste..upon chewing the juices burst out of the sacs most readily yet unlike most fruits, the aftertaste is not sweet.
Crispy Whole Chili Filled with Pork and Herbs ($14)
Malibu Chili Soy, Tom Yum, Honey Mustard Dipping Sauces
I thought this had Mexican influences rather than being authentically Thai...liked the twist in this! Would have preferred if the chilli was spicy but it came across more like green pepper fritters.
The dipping sauce of Malibu Chilli Soy had liquor infused, brilliant! Both tom yum and honey mustard were mayo based and flavours were not too obvious.
Saur Rong Hai ($20)
Thai Beef Salad of Seared Strip Loin, Nam Jim, Herbs
It smelt and looked amazing when laid on the table.
Aroma of the herbs and seared beef was a distraction yet when tossed it looked much like a kimchi dish with the red sauce. The beef was tender though not melt worthy and salad was refreshing.
Yam Tang ($17)
Poached Chicken and Pomegranate Salad, Cucumber, Herbs, Green Leafs, Cashew
Actually preferred this over the beef salad. Pomegranate once again gave the salad a juicier bite. Loved the crunchy bits here..a nice variation from the usual papaya or mango salad I would order.
Tom Yum Goong ($18)
Hot and Sour King Prawn Broth, Lemongrass
Comes in three levels of spiciness - Medium, Spicy, Very Spicy. My tolerance for spice is quite high so the "very spicy" was not mighty enough to bring on a watery nose. Otherwise, it was still a shiok tomyum soup.Unlike the clear broth tomyum goong in thailand, this had more flavours infused into it which I attribute to the generous succulent king prawn and shrimps used.Thoughtful plates are laid out infront of you to collect the prawn shells.
Look at those beady eyes that peepeth above the spicy broth.
I'm hooked on those curly folds of flesh!
A large and two small...I say prawns over squid for my tom yum goong!
There is a choice of brown or white rice ($4), free flow! Relished the idea of them going around with a rattan basket dishing it out...just a novel experience that is befitting of communal dining.
Gaeng Sam Yang ($32)
3 Signature Kha Curries (Green Chicken, Penang Beef, Red Vegetarian)
Arriving in three little pots, this has to be a great way to please the fickle minded! Have your curries and taste them, literally.
Green Curry - Lemak and fragrant enough.
Penang Beef - While I do not see the Thai flavour in this, it was a less sinful version of the usual
Beef rendang with beef lemongrass skewers.
Red Vegetarian - A first vegetarian red curry for me but I was more intrigued by the fruits used in this than the taste of it. Imagine pineapple and grapes! The portion of crunchy young coconut was a welcomed addition.
Wok Fried Omelette Topped with Thai Herb Salad, Crab ($18)
Simply fried egg stuffed with crabmeat chunks.
Crispy Soft Shell Crab, Green Mango Salad, Chilli Lime Dressing
Quail's egg made this dish interesting judging from the name but it was just sliced boiled quail's egg as an accompaniment to the tangy flavoured soft shell crab.
Phad Thai ($16)
Stir Fried Rice Noodles with Grilled Prawn, Tofu, Banana Blossom Salad,Grilled Whole Pepper
The noodles were a tad too moist but still a delish one.
Papa Adun’s Phad Tow Hu ($14)
Papa Adun’s Famous Wok Fried Crispy Tofu, Crispy Basil, Three Flavour Sauce
The same seasoning used for this and the soft shell crab, the batter was alot more lighter here. The wok fried tofu squares still retained a lovely crunch towards the end.
Cake Khao Neaw Dam ($14)
Black Sticky Rice and Date Pudding, Mango Ice Cream, Tamarind Caramel Sauce
It was both "sticky rice" and "date" pudding that tickled the palatte. While I thought the mango icecream was pretty awesome with the fruit cleverly churned into the icecream, the pudding's mildly bitter aftertaste was acquired. Credit has to be given to the kitchen for a lovely pudding texture though and had it not been for the bitterness it would have been quite a spectacular sticky rice and date pudding! Top marks for creative usage of sticky rice and tamarind here...loved the asian hints.
Caramel Ma Muang Suk ($12)
Grilled Mango Cheeks and Lime,Lychee Fruit Sorbet, Mango Sauce
And now, I am educated where are the mango cheeks. The two juicy cuts after the seed are mango cheeks! Grilled to a delicious brown, the sweet mango and zesty lychee sorbet provided a lovely contrast.
Sang Kha Ya Fug Thong ($13)
Baked Pumpkin Custard, Shredded, Fruits, Coconut Ice Cream, Fresh Mango Puree
Lauded as a signature, I was most looking forward to it. Visually pleasing with much effort put into baking the custard in the pumpkin. The pumpkin custard had a curd texture and pumpkin was soft.
Khao Neaw Ma Muang ($14)
Mango and Sticky Rice Drizzled with Coconut Pandan Sauce
Coconut pandan sauce stole the limelight here! Loved the pariing of ingredients for the sauce. The grilled mango cheeks were sweeter than these and it would not hurt if the sticky rice was slightly sweetened.
Thap Thim Krwap ($13)
Red Rubies, Coconut Jasmine Syrup, Shaved Ice
A classic Thai dessert, it had Bandung moments tasted in this dessert beverage. The sprinkling of flowers made this uber girlie!
The lemongrass fragrance was incredibly strong. I was expecting an iced version but the hot one was a nice beverage to calm the tum after a fiery meal.
From the kitchen of Provisions, this was a lethal brew - Rich, indulgent and so very comforting.
Taking the cue from chinese sit down dinners, the servers go round diligently to proportion your dishes for you.Service is prompt throughout the night despite the restaurant being packed with expats. The distance could be a stumbling block for some but it is a breath of fresh air amongst the usual European eats along Robertson Quay and Riverside.
The winelist is extensive..in fact the number of pages matches that of the food section! I reckon Kha could be a chill out place more so than dining. Appetizers served up prove to be great grub for the drinks.
Kha offers fine Thai dining with contemporary touches in its dishes. No doubt it is positioned as a fine dining Thai place but it actually shines in its non-thai dishes.
38 Martin Road