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Tag / steamed-fish

Several weeks ago I was invited to sample one of the latest non-halal authentic food joints in PJ at Thai Camp.

I, for one, am happy to see this emerging trend of Thai restaurants that offers pork dishes. Currently, within 15 minutes drive in PJ, we have My Elephant at Seksyen 17, Surisit Thai kopitiam at TTDI, and I’m Spicy at Seksyen 17, adding Thai Camp into the mix is certainly a good news.

Thai Camp is situated next to restaurant Mei Yun, Taman Paramount
Thai Camp is situated next to restaurant Mei Yun, Taman Paramount

Thai Camp occupies just half a shop lot along Jalan 21/1 at Taman Paramount, directly next door to Mei Yun kopitiam that is famouse for it’s lala dishes and Hokkien mee at night (though we found better versions these days at Alisan’s mamak row at PJ SS4).

There are only some 10 tables in the air conditioned restaurant. Interior decoration is simple but offers a conducive dining environment.

Even though the restaurant is fairly small, kitchen is manned by owner’s Thai wife and mother in law who insist on preparing food in traditional way, hence efficiency is something that they are still overcoming. Be prepared to wait for a bit before food is served. Do call in to book and perhaps speak to the owner to avoid disappointment in wait time.

Pla Neung Ma Naw, Thai steamed fish
Pla Neung Ma Naw, Thai steamed fish

We started off with Pla Neung Ma Naw (Thai steamed fish, RM35), steamed tilapia on a bed of Chinese cabbage and soaked in gravy with generous amount of lime, garlic, chili padi, and more. The somewhat light tasting fish combines well with the intense gravy, goes very well with steamed rice.

I can only imagine that this dish would be even better if we have Barramundi instead (though it’ll certainly be more pricey)

Tom Ka Kai (coconut milk tomyam chicken), Moo Ma Naw (spicy pork salad)
Tom Ka Kai (coconut milk Thai chicken soup), Moo Ma Naw (spicy pork salad)

Next up was Tom Ka Kai (Thai soup with coconut milk, RM 18), a departure from the usual tomyam soup that is served at basically every Thai restaurant. The soup has a strong santan flavor and isn’t nearly as spicy as most tomyam dishes. Those who love coconut milk will enjoy this.

Moo Ma Naw (spicy pork salad, RM15) consists of sliced pork with cabbage, fish sauce, lime, garlic, chili padi, and other ingredients, a good substitute for Thai mango salad, both are sourish but this packs a bit more punch in spiciness and porky sweetness.

Phad Phak Ruam (stir fry assorted vege), Phad Kra Pao (roast pork with holy basil & long bean)
Phad Phak Ruam (stir fry assorted vege), Phad Kra Pao (roast pork with basil)

Phad Phak Ruam (stir fry assorted vegetable, RM 15) comes with cauliflower, carrot, broccoli, and some small shrimps for sweetness. The sauce tastes of a mixture of Thai concoction that includes fish sauce. I really liked it, but at the same time also find that the side of shredded raw cabbage on the side (comes with every dish) is a bit unnecessary.

Phad Kra Pao (roast pork with basil, RM 18) turned out to be one of my favorite dishes here. Chopped long bean, chili padi, and roast pork can’t really go wrong.

Kai Yeaw Ma Khra Prao Grob (fried century egg)
Kai Yeaw Ma Khra Prao Grob (fried century egg)

The last dish we tried was Kai Yeaw Ma Khra Prao Grob (fried century egg, RM 18). It was really something that I haven’t tasted before. I’ve had century egg as is, or steamed, but never fried. The treatment gave it a slightly crispy exterior that I thought was pretty interesting, and the deep fried kailan accompanying the dish proved to be a worthy side.

map to Thai Camp, Taman Paramount

We had a rather good dinner at Thai Camp, and I actually went there again a week or so later. This is definitely a more than decent Thai restaurant to visit, but until they improve kitchen efficiency, don’t head there when you’re already very hungry.

At the time of review, Thai Camp hasn’t yet started to serve desserts, but it is something that will come in the future.

Address:
Thai Camp
37 Jalan 20/7
Taman Paramount
Petaling Jaya,
46300 Selangor

GPS: 3.109748, 101.626287
Tel: 012-345 1768
Hours: 11:00 am – 3:00 pm, 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm

I’ve always complained to Yuki that we hardly ever try new places for Sunday brunch, the usual suspects are always Jin Xuan dimsum, Nang Feng bak kut teh, Peng Heong paikuat rice, various ramen places, and a few selected kopitiam.

To shut me up, she brought us to Restoran Kari Kepala Ikan Tiga at Puchong the other day, as first recommended by her boss (who is an avid gastronomic adventurer)

Restoran Kari Kepala Ikan Tiga at Puchong (3rd branch)
Restoran Kari Kepala Ikan Tiga at Puchong (3rd branch)

While the name might suggest that this place serves fish head curry (which it does), the speciality dish here is actually the steamed fish with superior soup and a variety of accompanying seafood.

While not exactly a high end restaurant with cute interior design, Restoran Kari Kepala Ikan Tiga does offer air conditioned dining area with pretty decent hygiene and responsive staffs.

the epic steamed tilapia, emperor vege, muay choi pork
the epic steamed tilapia, emperor vege, muay choi pork

Our main dish was a rather huge steamed tilapia fish with superior soup (RM 72), accompanied by quite a lot of prawns, squid, and lala. The seafood is garnished by generous amount of finely chopped garlic and spring onion as well.

As a result of all those seafood, the rather concentrated superior soup tasted fantastic, it was super sweet and absolutely savoury. The fish tasted good, and the squid super fresh as well. By the way, you can also top up the soup ala bak kut teh style, but we felt that the first serving tasted better than the top-ups.

free jelly dessert at the end too, Kerol approves
free jelly dessert at the end too, Kerol approves

Other than the main dish, we also ordered a Vitamin C quota fulfiller dish that is the Emperor vegetable (RM 12), and a non-seafood dish in Mui Choy pork (RM 16). The vegetable was lovely, and the pork held its own as well.

With drinks and rice, the five of us spent RM 19 per person for this meal. Not the cheapest lunch options for sure, but one that I think offered decent value for what you get. I would have no problem to revisit.

map to restaurant kari kepala ikan, Puchong

Address:
Restoran Kari Kepala Ikan Tiga
No 19, Jalan BPU 2,
Bandar Puchong Utama,
47100 Puchong, Selangor
GPS2.993324, 101.620637
Tel: 016-288 2829 / 019–647 7941

Back in Penang where I grew up as a kid, my family was pretty fond of fish heads. Our ingredient of choice is almost always a big garoupa head, and mom always prepare it with Nyonya style curry. This was actually the only way I knew how to enjoy fish head, that is until I came to KL and heard about steamed fish head.

Mun Kee Steamed Fish at Happy Garden
Mun Kee Steamed Fish at Happy Garden

After trying the pretty awesome version at Chong Yen steamed fish head at Chan Sow Lin, we’re going to take a look at Mun Kee Steamed Fish Head at Happy Garden.

According to Kerol, this is one of her aunt’s favorite place for dinner. There’s something like one in three chance that they dine at this place whenever she pays the family a visit.

these are the dishes we ordered for the five of us
these are the dishes we ordered for the five of us

Mun Kee is located at the appropriately named Jalan Lazat 1 (that’ll be Tasty Street 1 in English). The shop is sort of a food court set up with high roof but no walls, you’re sheltered from the elements somewhat, but there isn’t air conditioning any decoration to speak off. People are here strictly to eat.

The eatery gets pretty busy on weekends, so expect to wait a bit for an empty table. However, food doesn’t take overly long to get ready, so overall wait time is pretty bearable.

steamed fish head in two different styles
steamed fish head in two different styles

As with most steamed fish head in KL, the main ingredient is Soong fish, or Asian Carp. Calling it fish head is a bit of a lie, cos you do get almost half front portion of the fish instead of just the fish head as the Penangites do with our fish head curry.

At Mun Kee, there are 5 different preparation methods - Nyonya Steam, Assam Steam, Minced Ginger Steam, Black Bean Steam and Original Steam.

We’ve heard good things about the Nyonya steam but unfortunately they ran out of that when we were there, so we chose minced ginger steam and original steam for this session (RM 26 per dish).

The fish head were delightful, never over cooked and there wasn’t any trace of those pesky slight muddy taste that river fish tends to carry. The original steam is great for those who likes it a bit spicy with plenty of chili padi sprinkled on top, while the minced ginger steam provides the warmth from ginger that I find myself enjoy as well.

tofu is quite awesome, emporer vegetable, salted egg chicken
tofu is quite awesome, ‘green dragon’ vegetable, salted egg chicken

At Mun Kee, they aren’t only good with steamed fish.

Salted egg chicken (RM 24) is one of the must-order items. Imagine salted egg squid (like the one at Sing Kee Sungai Way) and KFC rolled into one. It’s a combination that works surprisingly well and we really liked it.

Home made tofu (RM 12) that we ordered came with crab meat and egg based broth that made excellent comfort food, and the green dragon vegetable (RM 12) dish provided good source of vitamin C and fiber just in case your mom asked. All in all a great combination of dishes for dinner.

Kerol, Huey Fang, Johnny, Haze, and KY
Kerol, Huey Fang, Johnny, Haze, and KY

With drinks, we spent about RM 23-24 per person for this wonderful, well-balanced dinner. Head over to Happy Garden to check Mun Kee out.

map to Mun Kee steamed fish head at Happy Garden

Address:
Mun Kee Steam Fish Head
New Happy Garden Food Court
43-A Gerai. Jalan Lazat 1
Taman Gembira
58200 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.077106, 101.680289
Tel: 016-491 2632
Operation Hours: 11am – 3pm, 5pm – 10pm

Several weeks ago I managed to convince the girls to try a new place, and we ventured out to the land of gangsters that is Kepong. We past by the glamorous Desa Park City and turned into the older part of Kepong where steamboat restaurants are aplenty and finally arrived at where we were going to have dinner – Jan Jan Thai Restaurant.

Jan Jan Thai restaurant at Kepong
Jan Jan Thai restaurant at Kepong

There are in fact, two Thai restaurants within 50 yards from each other here. Directly opposite Jan Jan is the older and almost equally as busy Thai restaurant by the name Janwa. According to the locals, the head chef from Janwa left to open Jan Jan as a competitor (similar to Rakuzen and Jyu Raku at Subang Jaya)

There’s an on-going healthy debate as to if Jan Jan or Janwa offers better Thai dishes, but for the purpose of this trip we’re not going to worry too much about that.

excellent tomyam and steamed barramundi
excellent tomyam and steamed barramundi

Once we found an empty table and made our order, which took a while on a weekend, food did not take very long to be served.

Seafood tomyam soup (RM 16-29) comes in either clear or red, and we opted for the latter, more chili laden variety. It was hot, spicy, and filled prawns, squid, fish, tomato, and more. Perfect dish for us since it was raining so heavily.

The Thai style steamed barramundi (market price) turned out to be pretty good dish too. The fish was fresh and the soup positively sour and flavorful. This dish is not quite De Chiengmai‘s standard, but it holds its own.

the lala was great, green curry not so much. Yuki, Haze, KY, Kerol
the lala was great, green curry not so much. Yuki, Haze, KY, Kerol

Thai golden lala (RM 17) was my favorite dish of the night. The shellfish were big and juicy, and I particularly love the unique Thai style sauce that the dish came with. It was a combination of sweet, spicy, with a hint of sourness. Very different any Chinese or Malay style preparation.

The disappointing dish turned out to be the Thai green curry (RM 12). I love my green curry thick and flavorful, but this one was just watery and very sweet. We took a few spoonful but otherwise left the dish almost untouched.

There are definitely more dishes at Jan Jan Thai that I want to try on other visits – petai prawns, deep fried brinjal, paku with belacan, mango chicken, bbq crab and Thai curry crab all sounds very enticing. I’ll just have to remember not to order their green curry again.

map to Jan Jan Thai restaurant, Kepong

Address:
Jan Jan Thai Restaurant
No.33, Jalan 5/62A,
Bandar Menajalra, 52000
Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.193859, 101.631517
Tel: 03-6277 7598

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. :D

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

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