Thursday, March 5, 2015

Spicy Thai - Thai Cafe at 115 Aljunied Ave 2 #01-35 S(380115) - The Beginning & Founder Ron Poh

The Introduction  
Ron Poh, Founder of Spicy Thai - Thai Cafe at 115 Aljunied Ave 2, #01-35, together with his lovely Thai wife Phimporn Chankhiao, is passionate about bringing authentic Thai Cuisine from Isan, north eastern part of Thailand into the heartlands of Singapore.  The people of Isan relies on the produce from the land as well as the Mekong River to derive fresh ingredients for their cuisine.
The Beginning 
Spicy Thai -Thai Cafe started in January 2013 by Ron Poh. Ron Poh lamented that there are some restaurants in Singapore serving Thai Cuisine that do not necessarily serve authentic Thai Cuisine that the native Thai people partake but instead patrons are served a watered down version, commercially tweaked recipe to cater to the local palate. 
One thing to note though Founder Ron Poh married a Thai wife Phimporn Chankhiao, she is not the key reason why he started Spicy Thai - Thai Cafe as Ron Poh had already bore plans to open a Thai restaurant way before he met her.

Founder Ron Poh's Background 
Ron Poh, 50, hails from the Telecommunications 
& Information Communications industry having worked in the Telecommunications & Information Communications industry for 20 years as a Systems Integrator. 
Coming from the Telco industry with 20 years experience & having started Spicy Thai - Thai Restaurant back in 2008, Founder Ron Poh brings with him close to more than 7 years' experience in the F&B industry.
The History of Spicy Thai - Thai Cafe 
Ron Poh went into the F&B business since 2008. when he ran a Thai F&B Zhi Char Stall called Spicy Thai - Thai Restaurant  in a coffee-shop in Jalan Besar, located along Dickson Road, Singapore serving authentic Thai Cuisine. He decided to close the stall in June 2014 & moved to a much bigger premise at Blk 115, Aljunied Avenue 2, #01-35, S(380115). 
Spicy Thai - Thai Cafe is positioned as a casual mid range restaurant that serves authentic Thai Cuisine on ala carte menu that includes Thai Mookata, Thai BBQ, Thai Seafood, Stir fry dishes, traditional Thai dishes from the Isan region. "Spicy Thai - Thai Cafe" is a brand that Founder Ron Poh created which to date he has not find time to trademark yet. 

Ron Poh's Success Secrets 
Ron Poh is not a Chef by training, yet he hires native Thai Chefs to helm the kitchen at Spicy Thai - Thai Cafe and these generally come from the North East Thailand - Isan region. 

Unique Isan Cuisine 
The unique part about cuisine from the North East Thailand - Isan region is the abundant use of spices in the cooking. 
The flavors from Isan are stronger compared to the cuisine from the city areas like Bangkok where it is milder in flavor & less spicy & more commercialized tweaked to suit the tourist palate. Core spices used daily in the Isan cuisine include: galangal, coriander, basil, chili, Thai basil, herb, spices, mint. 

The Ownership 
Currently Spicy Thai - Thai Cafe is under the management of Ron Poh's holding company "Advanced Combination Pte Ltd" where Ron Poh is the sole owner. Even though Ron Poh's parents do not come from the F&B industry, Ron Poh is eager to inspire & groom his children to join him in the F&B business.

Expansion Plans
Ron Poh is keen to grow his Spicy Thai - Thai Cafe brand through opening of other bistro outlets in heartland areas where rentals are more attractive. He is planning for a second outlet to be opened in the northern heartland of Singapore within the year. Ron Poh has plans to grow the brand into Indonesia, Vietnam, Australia within next 5 years. 

Menu Planning 
Menu planning done by Ron Poh & Manager Ah Chun who is Singaporean. The menu changes quarterly or half yearly depending on availablilty of ingredients. To date the Ala Carte menu boasts of more than 70 items. Ron Poh hires 4 Chefs mostly from Isan & Malaysia where the Executive Chef Boonpeng Meedee heads the team. The restaurant does not have a Central kitchen, most of the food preparation are done at the kitchen here at Aljunied Avenue 2. The restaurant uses 100% locally sourced ingredients that are of Thai origin, such as their sauces, spices & condiments. The meats, seafood are from local suppliers who are based in Jurong Port, Singapore. Restaurant uses frozen chicken, frozen pork, fresh fish, fresh live crab, fresh but not live prawns, fresh squid. In most of the cooking process here, there is no marination needed. Foods here are prepared ala minute. 

Slogan & Mission Statement 
Slogan :"Where Taste-buds Sing"
Mission Statement : "At Spicy Thai - Thai Cafe we serve authentic delicious home-styled Thai Cuisine using traditional Thai recipes that the native Thai people partake in their family gathering."

How does it differ from other restaurants  
Spicy Thai -Thai Cafe aims to serve Thai cuisines that are commonly served at every native Thai family home using authentic traditional Thai recipes. 

A lot of the dishes such as Thai Pineapple rice featured in a lot of restaurants serving Thai Cuisine here in Singapore are actually not traditionally partake by the native Thai people, and are never on the menu consumed at Thai homes. In actual fact the Pineapple rice came about as a dish to satisfy the palates of expatriates & foreigners who love to add pineapple to the rice they eat. 

The same thing applies to the Thai Olive Fried Rice which is a commonly found dish on the menu of a lot of Singapore restaurants serving Thai Cuisine & yet this very dish is never a staple of the native Thai People but is an invention to cater to the palates of expatriates & foreigners & the tourist crowd. 

A third dish commonly found at Thai restaurants here in Singapore is the Thai Stuffed chicken wings which is again never on the staple menu of ordinary native Thai folks back home in Thailand, but was created to tantalise the inquisitive tastebuds of tourists.

Now let me introduce the really authentic Thai food that native Thai ordinary folks consume back home - the fermented fish Pla ra (freshwater pond fish) used as a typical ingredient in their mango or papaya salad that is an acquired taste just like durian or wasabi or sashimi, either you love it or you hate it. I will elaborate in a later post on this dish, so watch out for it.  {{*Source Wikipedia - Pla ra (Thai: ปลาร้า  [plaː ráː], Lao: ປາແດກ) is fermented fish sauce, popular in Northeastern Thai cuisine.  It is made by pickling several varieties of fish, mainly Snakehead Murrel (Channa striata). The fish is cleaned and cut into pieces, after which it is mixed with salt and rice bran. The whole is then left in a big jar covered with a wooden lid, to ferment for three months to a year. Pla ra sauce is commonly added to a number of preparations of Isan, Northeastern Thai, cuisine, such as som tam and certain types of nam phrik, as well as to some other dishes, all of them originally from the Isan region of Thailand.}}

Founder Ron Poh shared that for the native Thai who live far from the coastal sea, the freshwater seafood they use in their diet are generally pretty bland, as such they rely on using a lot of spices & herbs to lend a stronger taste to the otherwise bland seafood. 
Majority of the Thai natives are farmers & are poor & cannot afford to eat meat & expensive food, so they usually add salty flavor to their food to boost their appetite.

done by iPad & Samsung Smartphone to order

Payment is made possible using VISA, MasterCard, NETS, Cash. 

Catering Service 
Not available at the moment.

Restaurant allows for takeaway orders for self collect with no minimum order restriction. 

Booking of Venue for Special events 
Restaurant allow for pre-booking for special events , celebrations, anniversary. 

Loyalty Programs 
The restaurant is working out the mechanics for a Loyalty Program which will be launched later.

Target Market 
Restaurant sees mainly 80% local customers, with expats comprising 20%, with a good mix of PMEBs & families.

Seating Capacity 
Indoor at 80 pax, Outdoor at 150 pax.

Isan is the northeastern region of Thailand. Isaan is Thailand's largest region, located on the Khorat Plateau, bordered by the Mekong River to the north and east, by Cambodia to the southeast and the Prachinburi mountains south of Nakhon Ratchasima. 

The Menu 
Here at Spicy Thai - Thai Cafe, the menu ranges from :

  • BBQ dishes with charcoal, 
  • Mookata (with charcoal), 
  • Stir fry dishes, 
  • Traditional Isaan dishes to 
  • Fusion dishes. 

You can savour what the Isaan people eat as part of their daily meals.
For Full menu simply goto the link below:

The Signatures
The Signatures at Spicy Thai - Thai Cafe include: 

  • Mango Salad Isaan style with fermented fish & crab,
  • Hommok ( Thai style Otak), 
  • Lala Bee Hoon, 
  • BBQ Pork Neck,
  • Basil Black Pepper Crab,  
  • Walking Catfish with Spicy Lemon Soup

Spicy Thai - Thai Cafe is located at :
115 Aljunied Ave 2 #01-35, 
Singapore 380115
Tel : 67478558
Opening Hours - 11am to 12am

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