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Tag / mom

Over the CNY break and in conjunction to having my whole family staying over, we decided to bring mom to Khunthai for dinner, since Thai food is one of mom’s favorite cuisines aside from traditional Chinese fair. It turned out to be a pretty good decision.

Khunthai at Klang
Khunthai at Klang with my family

Khunthai is located at a rather remote area in Klang via KESAS highway, but fortunately it is rather simple to navigate to since it is just one straight long ghetto farming road to the rather lavishly built restaurant in the middle of nowhere. Forget about going there if a low-riding sports car is your only mode of transportation, but otherwise you’ll get there just fine after cursing at how bumpy the road is for about 5 minutes.

This seems to be the theme with Thai restaurants, Mae Salong in Sungai Petani, and De Cheingmai at Sungai Buloh are both located at pretty obscure locations.

miang kham, seafood tomyam, chicken feet salad
miang kham, seafood tomyam, chicken feet salad

The menu is pretty extensive and covers all bases when it comes to Southern style Thai food. The restaurant is also pork free.

For the 5 of us, we ordered miang kham, chicken feet salad, and raw prawn salad to open up our appetite.

For those who’re not familiar, miang kham is a type of traditional Thai appetizer where you wrap a bunch of ingredients such as crushed peanut, shallot, ginger, lime, and so on with a Piper sarmentosum leaf. If you haven’t had this before, it is definitely something to try.

Raw prawn salad and chicken feet salad were both pretty spot on as well.

raw prawn salad, lala, kangkung belacan
raw prawn salad, lala, kangkung belacan

To go with rice, we also had Thai style lala, kang kung belacan, and seafood tomyam. While the kangkung belacan was perhaps a little too oily for my liking, lala & tomyam did not disappoint. One thing to note though – have your lips prepared for how hot the food can get.

safe to say we enjoyed ourself really well at Khunthai
safe to say we enjoyed ourself really well at Khunthai

To be fair, there are other comparable Thai restaurants in the city with better access and similar pricing, but there’s always a bit of fun to travel to a god forsaken place from time to time for a dining experience that is just slightly different from the ordinary.

map to Khunthai Klang

Address:
Khun Thai
6, Jalan Kg Air Hitam,
Taman Pendamar Indah 1,
42500 Klang, Selangor
GPS2.960457, 101.439903
Tel: 03-3081 3308

While many Penang hawker dishes such as char kuih teow, hokkien mee, and laksa are famous all over Malaysia, wantan mee is always a bit of an odd ball. Being a traditional Cantonese dish in a predominately Hokkien area, wantan mee was sort of adopted by the islanders.

the wantan mee stall at kedai kopi seng thor
the wantan mee stall at kedai kopi seng thor

Like languages and culture, food that is separated geographically from its place of origin usually evolve and adapt to the local taste. This is evident in the case of wantan mee in Penang as well.

sambal goes very well with wantan mee
sambal goes very well with wantan mee

A prime example is the wantan mee at Seng Thor kopitiam at Carnarvon street. The dry version comes with both deep fried and boiled wantan, vegetable, charsiu (bbq pork), and the all important Penang style sambal belacan.

While the chasiu isn’t nearly as good as those you usually find in Klang Valley (for some reasons charsiu in Penang is usually dyed and not nearly as flavorful), I like the extra dimensions offered by deep fried wantan, and of course, the sambal belacan makes a huge difference, pretty much transformed the entire dish like how chili pan mee is different from normal pan mee.

If you love sambal and food in general, you should try wantan mee here (and many other stalls in Penang).

of course, you shouldn't miss the best ochien in town
of course, you shouldn’t miss the best ochien in town

Of course, if you are already in this kopitiam, don’t forget to order the fried oyster omelet here. One of the bests ever.

map to the best fried oyster in Penang

Address:
Kedai Kopi Seng Thor
160, Lebuh Carnarvon,
10100 Georgetown, Penang
GPS5.415495, 100.33468

Wan Than Mee at Kedai Kopi Seng Thor

My siblings are all like me when it comes to food, super adventurous, and always looking out for new and delicious food to try. Last weekends when I went back to Penang for “cheng beng” (tomb sweeping day), my brother brought me and mom to East Coast BBQ at Sungai Pinang food court for some awesome BBQ seafood.

East Coast BBQ at Jalan Pinang food court, Penang
East Coast BBQ at Jalan Pinang food court, Penang

The difference between East Coast BBQ and the other 10,000 other Chinese ikan bakar places is the sheer variety of seafood they offer. Instead of just the usual stingray, lala, and a few different fish species, they have at least a dozen different types of fish, 4-5 different shellfish, prawns, cuttle fish, corn, long beans, brinjal, and even Shishamo (Japanese “pregnant” fish)

BBQ scallops, egg plant, and long beans
BBQ scallops, egg plant, and long beans

What we really came here for though, is their scallops. For the three of us we picked half a dozen pretty big size scallops (RM 6 each) to be freshly BBQ’ed.  Topped with plenty of garlic and other granish and perfectly grilled, they were fantastic! Anyone who loves scallops will definitely not be disappointed.

BBQ Brinjal (RM 8.50) is another one of their speciality. The eggplant is split into half and topped with finely chopped garlic and garnish not unlike the one used on the scallop and then grilled till soft. While the “toppings” are the same, the flavor comes out completely different and proved to be another winning dish. I love it.

BBQ long beans (RM 6 each) was a little simpler and seemed to have only curry powder/paprika on them. Very mildly spicy, but otherwise not entirely too interesting.

fried lala, sotong bakar (bbq cuttle fish)
fried lala, sotong bakar (bbq cuttle fish)

We also ordered a big portion of fried lala (RM 36), but it turned out to be a disappointment. My favorite lala of all time is probably the one at Alisan at PJ SS4, and while the seafood here is fresh and juicy, the sauce of the lala was one dimensional (in this case, powderish feeling curry) and we ended up not finishing this dish.

Grilled cuttle fish (RM 19, by weight) did turn out to be another well executed dish. The cuttle fish was crispy on the outside and juicy within, mom loves it and so did we. The accompanying sauce perfected the dish.

Mom, KY, and younger brother Win Sern
Mom, KY, and younger brother Win Sern

If you’re looking for some reasonably priced grilled seafood in Penang, this is definitely one of the places to check out. My brother said that from what he heard, their grilled fish isn’t particularly special, so if grilled fish is what you really look for, I’d suggest going to Song River at Gurney Drive instead.

map to Sungai Pinang food court

Address:
East Coast BBQ
Sungai Pinang Food Court
Jalan Sungai Pinang
Georgetown 11500 Penang
GPS: 5.400029, 100.325711
Tel04-281 0943
Hours: dinner and supper

One of my favorite comfort hawker dishes in Penang is the kuih teow th’ng, or kuih teow soup. This simple dish is prevalent on the island, but isn’t exactly popular at all in Klang Valley, most likely due to its similarity with pork noodle and fish ball/ fish meat noodle places.

So whenever I’m back in Penang, I usually try to sneak in a couple bowls of yummy kuih teow soup.

the kuih teow soup that used to be at Pitt Street, now at Lebuh Carnarvon
the kuih teow soup that used to be at Pitt Street, now at Lebuh Carnarvon

One of my favorite places that offers a good bowl of kuih teow soup was the stall at by Armenian and Pitt Street, and in fact I’ve written about the place more than 6 years ago in this entry, which is due for an update anyway.

The same stall has since moved to Lebuh Carnarvon, a stone’s throw away in the opposite direction of the famous (and probably the best) fried oyster omelete at Seng Thor kopitiam on the same road.

simple, light, and delicious kuih teow soup
simple, light, and delicious kuih teow soup

Over the Chinese New Year break, we stopped by there for a light lunch. For the four of us, we ordered kuih teow soup with extra “meat sheet” for everyone, and an extra bowl of fish ball soup to share. I’d have added intestines and other innards but unfortunately they’d ran out of those goodies by the time we were there.

The fish ball here is home made with eel (鳗鱼) as the major ingredient, which results in a unique softer texture and exquisite taste that is quite different from your run off the mill smooth wolf herring fish ball (西刀鱼)

we ordered extra fish balls and absolutely finished everything
we ordered extra fish balls and absolutely finished everything

We really enjoyed the extra “meat sheet” as well. It’s made of pork and carries a slightly salty but savory taste to it, a bit like a flattened smooth meat ball for the lack of a better description. The kuih teow soup also comes with fried garlic oil, lard, and duck meat. For only a few ringgit per pax including drinks, we were well satisfied with lunch.

Parking can be a bit of a hassle when you dine here, but nothing a bit of patience won’t resolve.

map to Pitt Street kuih teow th'ng at Lebuh Carnavon

Address:
Pitt Street Kuih Teow Soup
183, Carnarvon Street,
10100 Penang
GPS5.414863, 100.334439
Tel: 017-479 3208

Pitt Street Kuih Teow Soup

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