Started out as a small restaurant in Kovan, Charcoal Thai has expanded aggressively over the past months with outlets in Vivocity, Clementi, and Nex. I first tried Charcoal Thai Mookata 2 years back in Kovan and frankly speaking, the food does not leave much an impression on me.
Mookata is a special cooking utensil that combines both bbq and hotpot at the same time. At Charcoal Thai, we offer you a choice of (1) Mookata Buffet, (1) Mookata Alacarte
Charcoal Thai started their menu with Thai ala-carte dishes but now you can see a shift of focus into Mookata. Well, I think that is mainly due to the growing popularity of Thai Mookata in Singapore. As the saying goes – don’t go against the trend.
After wandering in Nex for some time, we decided to give Charcoal Thai (Nex) a try. Charcoal Thai is located at basement 1. Amazingly, the restaurant is quite spacious. Ambience, however, is not that ideal with strong grilling smell overwhelming the whole place. There goes our clothing being stunk with the smoky grilling stench. I think they could have done so much better with the ventilation in the restaurant.
After being “upsell” by the staff to try out their Mookata Ala-carte all you can eat buffet, we decided to go with it so we can review it. Their buffet comprises of basic mookata items (premium items not included) and a selection of ala-carte cooked dish.
As usual, we ordered Thai Milk Tea / Thai Ice Tea to go along with the mookata. I enjoyed the Thai Milk Tea, the taste is pretty rich, but it will be better if they can crush the ice into smaller pieces more.
Okay, the serving speed is quite commendable. Our mookata grill was set up quite fast after we made our order. Charcoal Thai has three different types chilli sauce for you to dip your food in. I prefer the clear chilli sauce (first one on the left in the photo below)
Unlike other Mookata restaurant like Tomyum Kungfu which uses charcoal, Charcoal Thai uses an electric gas cooker now. I think previously they used real charcoal. It could be due to the difficulty in maintenance as well restrictions from the mall.
Here are some of the items that come with all you can eat buffet. As expected, the items are quite average and most of it like luncheon meat, fish balls are packaged food you can buy from NTUC.
Maggi Noodles, Quail Eggs, Tofu
The prawn doesn’t taste that fresh.
Potato Slices, Seaweed strips
Marinated Chicken Meat
Below are some of the ala-carte cooked food we ordered. We didn’t manage to try all the dishes as we are quite stuffed.
Nuggets and Chicken Mid Wings
At a price tag of around $70 plus for 2 people, I feel Charcoal Thai All You Can Eat buffet is not that value for money and worth it. Food quality wise, their buffet spread mostly comprises of basic selection items like quail egg, luncheon meat, chicken meat that you can easily find in NTUC supermarkets. I think it is better if we order their 2-pax Mookata set and then order some ala-carte premium selection dishes.
Customer service is quite okay, serving speed is fast and attentive as well.
For me, I probably will only patron Charcoal Thai (Nex) again if they have some group buying deals available next time.