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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / melisa

My siblings and me share the same passion when it comes to food – we want to eat everything and anything that is delicious, and usually would travel to illogical distances just for this purpose.

Over the last CNY holidays, we paid a visit to my younger brother who works at Sungai Petani as a houseman and he brought us to this little hidden gem that is Mae Salong Thai Restaurant for dinner. Most of us are tomyam fanatics, so the destination suits us very well.

Mae Salong at Sungai Petani
Mae Salong at Sungai Petani, crazy decoration

Mae Salong resides in an unimpressive part of Sungai Petani, which is a pretty unimpressive town in a state that isn’t known to be impressive. The restaurant however, is anything but.

Nestle in the kampung is a structure that could easily confuse diners as a set for fantasy movie. There’s hanging bridge, a huge koi pond with a two level dining area that is half submerged, and even a massive water wheel and fountain and the center. Oh, it is also some sort of a mini zoo as well.

All these fancy decoration proved to be useful when we had to kill time waiting for table on the Saturday evening when we were there. (booking highly advisable)

the drinks come in a big bottle, red ruby's nice!
the drinks come in a big bottle, red ruby’s nice!

After securing a seat, we were given some Thai tidbits as some sort of appetizer, and they come in the form of dried anchovies with curry leaves, peanuts, and dried chili padi. That thing was quite awesome, and you could actually buy them at Thailand in packets, beats potato chips anytime. 😀

We made our orders with the friendly Thai lady, and asked for desserts to be served first since we knew it was gonna take a while before food is ready. The red ruby (RM 2.50) was delicious, with the right amount of santan, fresh nangka, and that chestnut in tapioca.  Yummy.

We ordered  honey dates with sugar cane drinks (RM 12 for all) to quench our thirst, and was happy that they come in big bottles instead of individual cups.

thai style lala, mantis prawn, otak otak
thai style lala, mantis prawn, otak otak

Our first dish that came was the the Thai style lala (RM 15), though the shellfish wasn’t exactly big in size, the taste more than make up for it. There’s chili, green onion and garlic all mixed up with the lala soaked in spicy sourish broth that’s kept warm with a small fire under. The soup itself was very very delicious.

Mantis prawn (RM 15) is deep fried with salted egg yolk, another dish that never disappoint. Again you find chili padi in the mix, spicy, savory, with the hint of saltiness, love it.

Thai otak-otak (RM 15) was perhaps the only thing that was a bit disappointed. It was packed with seafood, but somehow the otak otak paste wasn’t exactly up to the level of standard I was expecting. Not a bad dish per se, but nothing special.

steamed siakap, omelete, and of course, tomyam
steamed siakap, omelete, and of course, tomyam

Of course, no Thai meal is complete without an order of tomyam (RM 20). The seafood tomyam is hot, flavoful, and absolutely packed with ingredients – prawns, fish, squid, and more lala in addition to tomato, chili, and other ingredients that make up a proper bowl of tomyam soup. We enjoyed this a lot.

We also had a fish to go with all the other seafood dishes, the steamed siakap (RM RM 27) was the most expensive dish we ordered. It was fresh and does taste very good, the soup made me suspect that it is a cross between the lala and tomyam, and hence didn’t make a very good combination to the other dishes we oredered. It was however, a quality dish nonetheless.

Last but not least, there’s omelete (RM 8) that again, has a hint of seafood in it – very tiny baby prawns, the same size that you find in cincalok. It brought back some childhood memories when we’d catch them in the sea, good times. The omelete was pretty decent as well.

mom, sister, brother, haze, niece - happies!
mom, sister, brother, haze, niece – happies!

By the time we are done and headed back to Penang, it was already some 11pm, but that was after a very good dinner that only cost less than RM 140 for the 6 of us. If you find yourself anywhere within 50 or even 100 km from Sungai Petani, give this place a try, but do call and book your table if it’s on weekends.

direction map to Mae Salong

Address:
Mae Salong Restaurant
199-E, Kampung Bakar Bata,
08000 Sungai Petani, Kedah
GPS: 5.62594863, 100.46545
Tel: 016-424 6842

If there’s a week that Thai food should be in focus, this week might as well be it. There is no particular reason for this, as there isn’t a good reason that it usually rains just when you get ready to leave work for home.

Anyway, we moved up to Penang, and check out this small little Thai restaurant called Ghee Seng that is situated at Weld Quay, a place I am very familiar with having spent big part of my life growing up at my late grandma’s place right here.

Ghee Seng Thai restaurant, a modest shop lot at Pangkalan Weld
Ghee Seng Thai restaurant, a modest shop lot at Pangkalan Weld

According to my sister, who also happens to be a lover of all things spicy and sour  (ie: at the cross hair of that is tomyam), Ghee Seng restaurant serves one of the best white tomyam there is this side of Penang island. So after a karaoke session (more about this later) with my sister, brother, and Haze, we made our way to this familiar old neighborhood for dinner.

Parking at the area can be a little bit tricky, but isn’t anything that a determined mind can’t solve. The restaurant is situated at the ground level of a residential high rise, and can be best described as “old school”. That being said, the place is relatively clean and comfortable.

clear soup tomyam, kung pao mantis prawn
clear soup tomyam, kung pao mantis prawn

For the four of us, we ordered four dishes to share.

First was a big bowl of clear soup seafood tomyam, and over here the tomyam is made with fresh ingredients you can actually see (and chew if you like). There’s ample amount of chili padi, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, garlic, galangal roots, diced garlic, and lime juice making up the soup. It was spicy, original, and because it is the clear soup type – a lot less oily.

We counted over half a dozen decent size prawns, squid, and chunks of fish meat making up the edible ingredients. It was really a very good bowl of tomyam.

The kungpao style mantis prawn was probably the most expensive dish of the night, but it was also positively delicious. This is one dish that needs to be consumed in a hurry. Leave it a little too long and you lose the crunchiness from the deep fried mantis prawns. The kungpao sauce is top notch.

kailan ikan masin, "siam bak" or Thai style pork belly
kailan ikan masin, “siam bak” or Thai pork belly, KY, Melisa, Win Sern, Haze

Another pretty rare dish here is what they called “Siam Bak“, literally Thai meat in Hokkien. It is actually deep fried sliced pork belly topped with chopped shallots, chili padi, and salad. This is a combination of flavor from pork belly, freshness of shallots, and the kick from chili padi. I like it.

Lastly, there’s the customary vegetable, and again we ordered kailan with ikan masin. It was a decent complimentary dish, nothing to shout about.

Other than being a commendable Thai restaurant, two other things stand out for me. Firstly, the first dish was served less than 5 minutes after we made our order, and within some 10 minutes, we have everything already. Lastly, the whole meal for four of us only came to be RM 60 even, and this includes a rather big bowl of tomyam seafood and a mantis prawn dish (known for being pricey). My sister mentioned that usual bill is about RM 30-50 for 4.

 

map to Ghee Seng Thai restaurant at Weld Quay, Penang

Address:
Ghee Seng Thai restaurant
BLK 123-G-06, Wisma KGN,
Jalan Pengkalan Weld (Weld Quay),
10300 Penang
GPS: 5.410566, 100.336284
Tel: 016-498 8325, 012-480 8266
Hours11 am – 3 pm, 6 pm – 1 am (Closed Wednesday)

Ghee Seng Tomyam Seafood

biggest karaoke room
this karaoke room is a bit massive for 4 person right?

As mentioned earlier, we went to karaoke at 1st Avenue’s Red Box prior to this dinner. Because we could only get 2 hours in the normal room, the front desk officer at Red Box asked if we would like to occupy the VIP room for additional RM 80 so that we could enjoy 4-5 hours of singing.

We agreed, and was shocked at the room given. It was literally big enough to play badminton in (if only the ceiling is tall enough). The screen is massive, and there’s even Wii and another LCD TV on the side for kids.

We had a blast trying our best to have a sore throat from 3 – 9 pm.