Tag / thai cuisine
The inner part of Ara Damansara away from the slightly more glamorous Oasis Square area used to be quite a bit of hidden area of PJ that’s not exactly a gem. There were a few less than interesting kopitiam, and an ill fated then-new commercial area by the name of New Ze Xui that eventually died a natural death. It was quite sad, and I know that full well as I used to stay at the nearby Crimson Apartment when I first moved to KL for work.
Well, that all matters little when the owner of Jatujak Bangkok Street Food decided to set up shop and provided a little spark to the area, I suppose you could call it a hidden gem.
Jatujak Bangkok Street Food at Ara Damansara
Being located at this part of PJ with little else going has its benefits, especially when it comes to parking. The shop itself too get to occupy quite a decent alfresco area since there isn’t any other competition nearby, which all translate to a good start to any dining experience.
Haze and I paid our first visit there a couple weeks ago when we met up with Lance for our first, and his second dinner in the same day at the same place. It’s always a good sign when someone is game to visit the same place more than once on the same week, much less the same day.
salt grilled tilapia, petai prawn, clear soup tomyam
The menu at Jatujak is quite extensive, they have a good selection of seafood, tomyam, otak otak, and other typical Thai “tai chao” style food, as well as grilled items, and even pork dishes.
For dinner, we ordered four dishes to go with rice, and a few desserts to boot. All our main dishes came within 5-10 minutes despite the crowd, something that few restaurants manage to deliver, I was very impressed to say the least.
The salt grilled tilapia (RM 39) was our main dish, the fish properly prepared just the way you’d find by the streets of Bangkok, and we didn’t need to wait for 20+ minutes like we did at Tigerlily, and I thought it was actually a more than decent dish.
grilled cockles, this was really awesome
Clear tomyam soup (RM 22) was proper hot and did not disappoint, while the petai prawn (RM 30) could perhaps use more petai than prawns, but my favorite dish turned out to be the grilled cockles (RM 10), which reminds me of the good times back in the days at Nong & Jimmy, the cockles would go really really well with a cold beer or three.
iced coconut original, with red ruby, and with mango
We completed our dinner with a dessert each – coconut shake with ice cream (RM 8), coconut ruby (RM 12), and ice coconut mango (RM 12). Each came in their proper coconut shell as container and were proper rich, sweet, and have their shaved iced so fine they were silky smooth.
I guess it’s no wonder this is one of Lance’s favorite place to dine, and I believe it is also a place I’d revisit pretty soon.
Jatujak @ Siam Bangkok Street Food
B-G-31 Blk B, Jalan PJU 1a/3j,
Taipan Damansara 1 Ara Damansara,
47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.119825, 101.590183
Tel: 03-7859 6359
When it comes to foriegn cuisine, it is safe to say that the most popular of all out of South East Asia is that of our Northern neighbor – Thai. You can find a good bowl of tomyam most anywhere in the world.
For us in Malaysia, we had the good fortune of being able to indulge in some of the most authentic dishes Thailand has to offer thanks to our proximity and our shared history across the border.
Update 2019: This place is permanently closed.
Tigerlily at DC Mall
This tradition continues at Tigerlily, one of the latest Thai restaurants located at DC Mall, the new spanking shopping complex located at Damansara Height, and we were lucky enough to get invited to sample some of their dishes.
To properly prep for the restaurant, the local chefs were sent to Thailand to sample and learn about the different dishes from its origin so they can be recreated at this outfit. Don’t let the interior decoration and plating style fools you, what you get here is not far from what you’ll find in some of the old school Thai restaurants.
3 layer coffee? Lemongrass? or classic Thai iced tea?
To start the night, we ordered their Thai iced tea & iced coffee with gula melaka (RM 6.90) which looked stunning, but for those who liked it old school, their traditional Thai iced tea (RM 4.60) would be the one to go for. For those who like it plain & soothing, perhaps a glass of lemongrass drink (RM 3.50) would do the trick.
fried calamari, lemongrass satey
There’s no alcohol served here (they’re in process of obtaining halal certification), but the fried calamari & lemongrass satey (RM 9.90 for 5) really begs for a cold one. We particularly like the zesty homemade sauce that is served together with the squid.
four angled beans, steamed otak otak
Another snack we ordered was the steamed otak-otak (RM 5.90), it came in an aluminium cup similar to those you’d find holding larmaikai, but instead of chicken you’d have seafood in classic Thai otak fillings. I thought it was decent, though if I have to choose between this and regular Penang style otak-otak, the latter would be my pick.
We then proceed to main dishes to go with rice and started out with the veges.
First was four angled beans with peanuts (RM 9.90), a juicy and crunchy affair that’s fitting to open up one’s appetite.
stir fry kailan, spicy eggplant with dry shrimp
The stir fry kailan (RM 12.90) here is a simple dish that’s not out of place from any ‘tai-chao’ restaurants around town. My favorite though, would be the spicy eggplant with dry shrimp (RM 14.90), really rich, savory, and comes with a kick, steamed rice is really compulsory with this.
tomyum kung, Thai red curry chicken, Thai green curry prawn
No Thai meal is complete without a good serving of tomyam, their tomyum kung (shrimp, RM 26.90) really packs a punch. You’d have to be a bit careful not to treat everything green here as scallions, for there are a lot of whole green chili padi in the mix, just the way a good bowl of tomyam should be.
The Thai red curry chicken (RM 15.90) is slightly less hardcore on the spicy scale, but it makes up for being creamy and flavorful. A decent interpretation of the dish in my opinion.
Then there’s the Thai green curry prawn (RM 26.90), served with generous amount of eggplant, this dish delivers a mix of seafood sweetness and the unique taste of green curry, I really enjoyed it (mostly cos eggplant is one of my favorite veges too.)
Thai grilled fish
The Thai grilled fish (RM 46.90) was our final main dish of the night, and would be for you anyone who orders it as Tigerlily makes this from scratch when you order and it takes the longest amount of time to prepare.
To be perfectly honest, I didn’t particularly find the dish impressive, and not to the fault of the chef or how they prepare this. Tilapia is quite a bland tasting fish and I find this classic Thai preparation method did not sufficiently add enough flavor to the fish. It was okay, if you love this street style fish, you’d like it here, otherwise I’d probably give it a miss. My favorite Thai fish dish is still the steamed siakap (which they also serve)
mango sticky rice, ice kacang, tub tim crob, cendol
Then of course, we proceed to desserts.
We sampled their mango sticky rice (RM 9.90), ice kacang (RM 11.90), tub tim crob (red ruby, RM 7.00), cendol (RM 4.90), and banana fritters with ice cream (RM 12.90).
With the exception of the banana fritters, every dessert looked like a piece of art, the presentation is really stunning! Thankfully, they do taste the part as well.
I like how the cendol, ABC, and red ruby all uses the really fine shaven ice (sort of like those Korean style desserts) which makes the sweetness melt in your mouth that much quicker. Careful not to get brain freeze though.
banana fritters & friends we were with at the session
If you haven’t find a reason to head to DC Mall, perhaps Tigerlily would be a good excuse.
Damansara City Mall,
Lot LG 18 Lower Ground,
6, Jalan Damanlela,
50490 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.146140, 101.661675
Tel: 03-2011 2912
One of the things I love about Bangkok, and Thailand in general, is definitely the street foods. Much like Penang, there are many food stalls offering a variety of different dishes at just about any street corners, and standard of those dishes are usually rather good.
Lai Thai Mini Market, Happy Mansion at Seksyen 17
Back in Malaysia, Thai food are usually found in restaurant settings. You get your tomyam, maybe pad thai, and many other dishes that goes well with rice, but there aren’t usually a good selection of individual dishes.
Good news is, there’s Lai Thai Mini Market at Seksyen 17 offering just that.
Thai pork leg rice, rice noodle in hot & sour soup
Lai Thai is actually a mini market that sells a selection of Thai grocery products, including snacks, condiments, sauces, and even some fresh produce. However, the front of the shop/restaurant also spot a well equipped stall that offers some 20 different dishes to be consumed on the spot of taken away.
The operators are Thai, and so are all the workers. Stepping into Lai Thai and you’ll touch your left pocket wondering if you’ve forgotten your passport. It’s marvellous.
som tam done right, and tomyam soup
The food here are prepared the traditional way with traditional ingredients, and it’s also the only place I’ve found serving pork leg rice!
So far I’ve tried the pork leg rice, tomyam, pork with rice noodle in hot and sour soup, red ruby (dessert), and their Thai ice tea. We weren’t disappointed at all.
Thai ice tea for drinks, red ruby for dessert
Other dishes to check out would be pad Thai, dry noodle, lime salad with pork, green curry, fried petai, fried rice, papaya salad, and more!
Lai Thai also offers a selection of desserts all packed up and ready to be brought home or consumed on the spot. My housemate loved the mango sticky rice and gave it a seal of approval.
KY & Haze at Lai Thai, we love it
If you’re hungry for some cheap, non-halal Thai street food, check this place out.
For other porky Thai eats, check out Thai Camp at Taman Paramount, Surisit Thai kopitiam at TTDI, I’m Spicy or My Elephant at PJ Seksyen 17.
Lai Thai Mini Market
AG-3, Block A,
Happy Mansion, Jalan 17/13,
Section 17, Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS: 3.124202, 101.634463
Hours: 10 am to 5 pm
Thai cuisine is one of the most well established foreign food in Malaysia, this is probably due to Thailand being a neighbour to Peninsular Malaysia and that King Rama V was really great at promoting his country’s cuisine to the world.
The Thai cuisine we have here in Malaysia is usually influenced from Southern Thailand, with places such as Phuket, Krabi, Surat Thani, and so forth has a sizable Muslim population, what we get here too is often the pork free version of Thai food.
Surisit Thai Kopitiam at TTDI
There is however, a current welcoming trend of some newer Thai restaurants that serve the whole range of traditional Thai cuisines, including some of the pork dishes that aren’t familiar in Chinese cuisine. Surisit Thai Kopitiam at TTDI is one of these places.
kailan ikan masin, various pork dishes, tomyam
Surisit Thai Kopitiam is located at TTDI’s Lorong Rahim Kajai 13, behind the row of shops that has a Maybank, Tom Dick and Harry’s/Hoofed, and Sid’s Pub.
While parking situation outside those pubs are often hard to come by, I’m happy it isn’t the case outside Surisit. We never had to park further than 20-30 meters away.
Decoration of the restaurant is basic, but they do have air conditioning for your comfort. Tables are covered in thick transparent plastic, with clean basic cutlery and some old school bowls/plates. It is pretty true to the “kopitiam” name.
Horng enjoying some fried fish cake, green curry (pork/chicken)
We’ve been to Surisit quite a few times for dinner. The only “problem” with this place is the lack of flexibility in their portion of food. There’s only one size for everything. Which basically means that for a group of 4-6 person this place is awesome, but going there as a couple might limit your choices of food somewhat.
The tomyam (RM 29.90) comes with either prawn, seafood or chicken and you get to pick between clear soup or the more familiar type with chili paste. Both are equally yummy and absolutely ass cracking spicy. Never miss the tomyam here.
you deserve desserts! tub tim krub (red ruby) and mango sticky rice
Deep fried chicken wings with lemongrass (RM 14.90) is a tasty Thai interpretation of the familiar fried chicken wing dish, familiar yet different. Green curry (RM 19.90) comes with your choice of pork/chicken/beef/prawns/duck and they cook it with chunks of melons as well as basil, green chili, and coconut milk. Thick and flavorful, we love it.
Crispy pork knuckle (RM 24.90), pork with shrimp paste (RM 16.90), minced pork with basil (RM 14.90) are among the few pork dishes I’ve tried, and so far they were spot on and did not disappoint. Other dishes in the rather extensive menu includes chicken, seafood, soup, and even vegetarian choices. There are also individual rice and noodle dishes as well.
Kerol, KY, Haze, Johnny, Yuki
Of course, every Thai meal should end with some sweet desserts. I almost always order the tap tim krub (red ruby, RM 6.90) here while Yuki can’t stop herself from getting the mango sticky rice (RM 9.90). Other dessert choices are honey sea coconut with palm fruit and caramelized tapioca with coconut milk (RM 6.90).
We usually end up spending around RM 30 per person, and while not exactly kopitiam prices, you do get quality tasty food here, which is why it is one of our favorite Thai restaurants right now.
Other Thai restaurants that serve pork includes New Yew Sang, I’m Spicy and My Elephant in PJ, and Ghee Seng Thai Food in Penang.
Surisit Thai Kopitiam
17 Lorong Rahim Kajai 13,
Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.15456, 101.62258
Tel: 03-7710 0173
Hours: 8 am to 10:30 pm daily
Chinese New Year is the time for family and friends to sit together for a good meal, and after so many traditional Chinese dishes, it’s good to take a break and get something that’s a little different. Which was why I was quite delighted to be invited to Kelantan Delights for a food tasting session about a week ago to sample some of what they have to offer, with a promise of a twist.
Kelantan Delights at Subang Jaya
Kelantan Delights is a classy restaurant that serves Kelantan and Southern Thai cuisines, for the past 10 years or so they called KLCC home, but have since moved to SS 16 Subang Jaya as well as a branch at Sooka Sentral. The restaurant was also judged as the best Halal Malay Restaurant 2005/06 by Halal Journal.
So we did expect some quality here.
tid bits to start, our menu of the night
While waiting for guests to arrive, we were served with some tid bits consisting keropok lekor, cucur udang, pohpiah goreng and so forth. They were presented like tapas, and we certainly welcomed them.
somtam yee sang, something different
A pretty long lion dance routine later, we gathered around and had a round of “lou sang” session that I’ve never experienced before – with somtam yee sang! It was refreshing and different, but to be honest, I did miss the raw fish a bit. I think having a few slices of raw salmon might make this even better. Fans of somtam would certainly love this.
pohpiah basah and coconut tomyam with prawn
Our first dish was pohpiah basah. Filled with sengkuang, vege, carrots and more. It tasted pretty good especially with the chili sauce and crushed peanuts provided. My only complain is that the skin was a tad too thick.
Next come Kelantan Delights’ specialty – coconut tomyam with prawn. It was one of the spiciest tomyam soup I’ve ever had, but I finished it all. The sweet coconut meat somehow worked wonderfully with the sourness and spiciness of tomyam, I wonder why it wasn’t served everywhere.
ayam masak merah, garupa with dried chili, butter prawn, sayur kolok
Ayam masak merah was properly cooked and flavored heavily but in a good way, best served with steamed rice. Garupa with dried chili was crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside, it was surprisingly easy to consume, no messy bones to deal with as the preparation method have dealt with that problem.
I thought the butter prawn was perhaps a bit too soft, but it was flavored “correctly”, and sayur kolok was a welcoming change in taste with the coconut milk based soup that mellows back our taste buds down a bit.
kailan ikan masin, kacang buncis goreng, kerabu ikan bilis
A trio of spicy vegetables followed. Kailan ikan masin, kacang buncis goreng, and kerabu ikan bilis. These dishes were good, and while slightly over powering eating them on their own, some steamed rice or fried rice would be wonderful to accompany them.
daging bakar, sambal udang petai, nasi goreng ikan masin
By this time, I was already pretty much over stuffed. So the daging bakar, while flavorful, was perhaps a bit filling for me. But as a petai fan, I really enjoyed the sambal udang petai dish (and again wished I had some steamed rice!)
By the time nasi goreng ikan masin was served, I was only able to sample a small spoonful. I liked it.
bubur pulut hitam, lompat tikam, Fresh, KY, Haze
Dessert came in the form of bubur pulut hitam (black glutinous rice) and lompat tikam (jump & stab, what a name!). I managed to sample a bit of these sweet dishes and my tastebuds were left wanting for more with my stomach begging me to stop.
If I were to come to Kelantan Delights myself, I’d probably limit my orders to 5-6 dishes for a group of 6, and have some steamed rice to go with some of the spicy dishes, and definitely the tomyam. As for somtam yee sang, well, you might want to try something at least once, right?
Ground Floor East Wing Wisma Consplant 1.
No 2 Jalan SS16/4 47500 Subang Jaya
GPS: 3.081102, 101.583806
Tel: 03-5611 7845