We’re definitely blessed with a great selection of street food in Malaysia, from your typical char kuih teow stalls to burger tepi jalan, to nasi lemak shacks.. but if you look harder, you can also find authentic street food originated from neighboring countries, case in point – Little Rara with its authentic Thai fare.
Little Rara Thai Noodle House, Kia Peng
The restaurant is located at the carpark next to Menara HLA by Jalan Kia Peng, a stone’s throw away from Pavilion KL. The set up is as “authentic” as they get, seemingly putting up together by someone who happened to have a set of table saw, hammer, and nails. There’s no such thing as air conditioning or tinted windows, but you are somewhat shielded from rain should it starts pouring.
The place starts operating by 5:30 pm and does work up a crowd pretty soon. While the set up is old school, they do have a proper digital queuing system, color me impressed.
tomyam talay meggi
Like most proper “street food” stalls, the kitchen is pretty much open. There’s a BBQ grill where they prepare beef/chicken/corn, a stall for noodle (wet & dry), plus a drinks’ kitchen.
We started out with their famous tomyam talay meggi (RM 19 for small), it was basically tomyam maggi on steroid. Packed with prawns, mussels, squid, egg, and ultra strong tomyam flavor. Love it.
bbq beef, pad thai
BBQ Beef (RM 13, Australian beef apparently) goes well with the accompanying sauce, and it wasn’t over cooked either. Portion though was a bit small I thought.
However, the must-order from the grill turns out to be their BBQ Corn (RM 7 for 2). They were ultra sweet and almost half caramelized, I need this for movie night!
mango sticky rice & the excellent bbq corn
We also had seafood pad thai (RM 12) which I thought was quite competent, and a dessert in mango sticky rice (RM 8) which turned out to be just average.
Over all thought I really liked the place and the intense flavor of their tomyam & those corns. Will definitely order those two again when I revisit, and perhaps try some of their other dishes.
Address: Little Rara Thai Noodle House Menara HLA, 3, Jalan Kia Peng, 50450 Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.151342, 101.713584 Tel: 012-372 2706 Hours: 5:30 pm to 12 am, Closed on Sunday
Ever since we moved to Shah Alam, Setia City Mall has became our go-to shopping mall for movies and access to certain brands that we like, since it is basically the closest decent shopping center to us.
Now Haze will complain that I am one of the most insufferable person when it comes to choosing for food in malls as I usually prefer old-school eateries, but for this place, we’ve found a perfect venue that satisfy both of us – at Mr. Tuk Tuk
Mr. Tuk Tuk, the place we dined most often at Setia City Mall
Located at the lower ground level, Mr. Tuk Tuk is a rather small fast serving restaurant that offers Thai food. At first glance, it doesn’t look particularly “authentic” or fancy, just another one of cookie cutter mid price range sort of eatery. But look closer, and you’ll notice that the workers are mostly Thai, and the place is almost always packed.
tuk tuk noodle, fried chicken wing, beef salad
Most dishes here are catered for individual consumption, with a few “center plate” style suitable for sharing. Most dishes hovers around RM 7.80 to RM 10.80, very reasonable in a shopping mall setting.
For noodle lovers, their pad thai (RM 7.80) is one of the best I’ve tried in Malaysia, packed a punch and beautifully presented too. They also offer glass noodle and “tuk tuk noodle” which is similar to boat noodle (but actually filling) at the same price.
set meal, pad thai, beef salad, tomyam
Tomyam fried rice (RM 7.80) and pineapple fried rice (RM 9.80) were very decent choices as well, both tasted strong and properly seasoned. Then there’s other classic Thai single-dishes like basil chicken and basil beef (RM 9.80 each) if you feel like having steamed rice.
We also always order something to share as well. Tomyam and tom kha (chicken RM 7.80 to seafood 10.80) will not disappoint any Thai food lover, but if you want something out of the ordinary, try their beef salad (RM 10.80), slices of very lightly cooked beef marinated in a sort of sourish seasoning that is also littered with plenty of chili padi. It is very strong, spicy, and absolutely delicious.
red ruby, steam sotong, tom kha, thai honey chicken
If you’re at Setia City Mall or anywhere near it, give this place a try. I hope they open up branches at other places as well. Good Thai food is always welcomed in my book!
Address: Mr Tuk Tuk LG-69, Setia City Mall, Persiaran Setia Dagang, Setia Alam, 40170 Shah Alam, Selangor GPS: 3.085229, 101.458629 Tel: 03-3362 5738 Hours: 10 am to 10 pm
It is always a mystery to me as to why there are so many people who insists on eating the things they are used to eating at home while traveling to another country. The phenomenon must be very prevalent, so much so that at most touristy places, there are more Western restaurants than there are local Thai places.
Khao Lakis more of the same, the small resort town (approximately 100 km north of Phuket) where we spent the day after liveaboard to Similan islands for degassing purposes. For us, that was of course a perfect opportunity to eat everything Thai.
Fire in the hole!
motorbike is the best way to get around
While Khao Lak is relatively small and there are cabs available pretty much everywhere, the best mode of transportation is a scooter. You probably don’t even need a license to rent one, but do make sure you know what you’re doing.
Our scooter cost 200 baht per day, and you can refuel from plenty of places by buying bottled gasoline for 40 baht per liter. If you value your life, ask for helmets, they provide them without extra charge.
som tam by the roadside, I had it last year too
If you love sour & spicy stuff, som tam is a must try. Made of unripe papaya or green mango, bean sprout, peanut, chili, dried shrimps and more. Comes with a kick, we paid 40 bath, would be cheaper if this stall wasn’t parked right outside hot tourist spots.
breakfast was this rice/noodle with extremely spicy broths
On the day of departure, we decided to forgo hotel breakfast and try something a Thai would have. After riding around a bit we arrived at this kopitiam with a couple Thai ladies operating a stall that offers rice or noodle with a selection of dishes with broth.
Thai: spicy haa!
Me: we kon Malay, spicy no problem!
I was mistaken. These shit was tasty, and really, really hot. Lucky for us there were fresh cucumbers & a variety of vegetables on the table to cool things down. It was a good meal, what do you call them anyway?
noodle soup is the yums, choices of beef, chicken, or pork
A day prior to departure, just before dinner, we stopped by one of the road side stalls right on the main street at Khao Lak for some “snacks” that turned out to be really delicious noodle soup.
Here you get to choose any combination of 3 ingredients: pork, chicken, and beef. I had mine with chicken & beef while Haze opted for pork and beef. This reminded me of Vietnamese pho, and had the same basil/bean sprout on the side too, but as with anything Thai, the flavors were stronger. Yums.
50 baht for each, water was free. 100 baht well spent.
pad thai wasn’t bad, the fried oyster tho, disappointing
Our last meal there was at this little restaurant a couple kilometers away from Khao Lak (scooter brings you places!). We had pad thai with prawns & squid, and another plate of fried oyster to share.
The pad thai was rather average, and the fried oyster.. well, after the experience at Penang’s version, this was a complete disappointment. Each plate was 50 baht, with 15 baht each for coca-cola t hat comes in those classic glass bottle.
Yes, my stomach is still recovering from all those chili overload, but of course it was worth it. 😀