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Tag / thai-food

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
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
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
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
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
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.

direction to Lai Thai at Happy Mansion, Seksyen 17

Address:
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

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

A good restaurant to a resort is like a good sound system to a cinema. While not always the centrepiece of the overall experience, good in-house restaurants often enhance the overall experience during a stay.

For The Datai Langkawi, there are four different on-location restaurants within the confine of the luxury five class establishment – The Beach Club, Gulai House, The Dining Room, and The Thai Pavilion.

All four restaurants offer quality food, making travelling out of the resort for food unnecessary. This is especially important for The Datai since the location of the resort is quite far away from Kuah, Langkawi’s main town.

The Beach Club, by the second pool
The Beach Club, by the second pool and beach

Our first meal at The Datai was at The Beach Club, appropriately located by the beach and the second swimming pool. On foot it’s about a 10-15 minutes’ scenic walk from the main entrance of the hotel, free buggy service’s available as well.

The Beach Club is a strictly open air restaurant, with most tables and comfortable huge chairs under the roof, with some outside if you prefer a little bit of sun.

pizza, surf & turf, bruschetta with mozzarella, wat tan hor, ice cream
pizza, surf & turf, bruschetta with mozzarella, wat tan hor, ice cream

The menu comprises the best from East and West. The four of us shared the following dishes:

  • bruschetta topped with buffalo mozzarella, tomato and olives. 46
  • langkawi prawn, lemongrass, mushroom, corinader, chili, lime pizza. 65
  • surf & turf, black angus strip loin with tiger prawn, vegetable medley, barbeque sauce. 87
  • wat tan hor with king prawns and seafood (chef’s special)
  • stir fry chicken with thai basil. 56
  • home made ice cream. 14

The western affairs were well executed, with the thin crust pizza particularly delicious. Wat tan hor too were surprisingly tasty, benefiting from the fresh seafood in the list of ingredients.

The Dining Room serves lunch and dinner.

The Gulai House, premier restaurant of The Datai Langkawi
The Gulai House, premier restaurant of The Datai Langkawi

The premier restaurant at The Datai Langkawi is Gulai House.

Many luxury five star resorts in Malaysia have premier restaurants serving foreign cuisines such as French, Japanese, Cantonese, Italian, and so forth. So I was more than happy to see that Datai took the initiative to make Malaysia proud by serving something closer to home. A great way to introduce our local cuisine to many visitors from all around the world.

mango salad, sup ayam, soft shell crab, aloo gobi, grilled cuttle fish
mango salad, sup ayam, soft shell crab, aloo gobi, grilled cuttle fish

The Gulai House is located not far from the Beach Club and best accessed via a buggy. The restaurant has both indoor as well as alfresco dining area, the latter provides great ambiance only unless it’s rainy heavily or if it’s a particularly hot night. Gulai House is only open for dinner.

Our dinner was determined by the chef, a degustation affair if you like. Our menu was written on a piece of huge dried leaf picked from the forest, a unique approach to personalization and one that is tastefully done.

tiger prawns, grilled garupa, lobster, skewered boneless chicken, prata, kuih
tiger prawns, grilled garupa, lobster, skewered boneless chicken, prata, kuih

We had mango salad, sup ayam (chicken soup), deep fried soft shell crab, aloo gobi (cauliflower & potato with spices), grilled cuttle fish, grilled tiger prawns, grilled fish, skewered boneless chicken, prata bread, nasi briyani (rice), and even lobster that’s prepared with both grilling and frying techniques.

It was an absolute feast and we stuffed ourselves silly. Food was authentic with ingredients of quality, very hard to find any fault.

Prices is seasonal and depends on weight of ingredients. As with every facet of Datai, it is with a bit of a premium, but you do get what you pay for, including excellent service.

champagne breakfast at The Dining Room
champagne breakfast at The Dining Room

Breakfast is usually served at The Dining Room, located by the main swimming pool, just below the resort reception.

Much like most international breakfasts, the menu changes a little bit everyday, but with the core items such as juices, the egg station, fruit & salad bar and such always presence.

I enjoyed the cold cuts, smoked salmon, and noodle soup. Of course, there’s also the free flowing champagne to jump start your day, everyday! The dining room also serves lunch and dinner.

classic Thai cuisine at The Thai Pavilion
classic Thai cuisine at The Pavilion

During our second and final night at The Datai, we had dinner at The Pavilion, which was also the location where we learned to cook tomyam and drunken prawn dishes.

For dinner, we had crispy soft shell crab with Thai chili oil, green curry chicken, seasonal vegetable with oyster sauce, deep fried snapper with chili and soya sauce, and of course, tomyam prawns. It was a spicy, strong tasting, and very satisfying, like a good Thai dinner is supposed to be.

We also concluded the meal with mango on sticky rice.

The Pavilion is open for dinner only.

I miss this resort already, when we can return?

Address:
The Datai Langkawi
Jalan Datai, Teluk Datai, 
07000 Langkawi, Kedah, Malaysia
Tel:+60 4-959 2500
Webwww.dataihotels.com
FBThe Datai Langkawi
Reservationreservationsdatailangkawi@dataihotels.com

One of the activities we participated in while at The Datai Langkawi (see blog post) was a fun session on cooking conducted by the two chefs who are specialized in Thai cuisine at the beautiful hotel.

The session took place at the Thai Pavilion, a semi-open air restaurant that’s built on stilts and situated by the main swimming pool.

learning some tricks from the chef
learning some tricks from the chef

Here are the two recipes you might fine useful to add to your cooking repertoire.

Our first dish was goong phad keemao, or fried drunken prawn. While the name might suggest that this dish involves alcohol, it actually wasn’t the case. Here goes:

Ingredients:

  • prawn (250 gram)
  • fresh cili padi (8 gram)
  • onion (20 gram)
  • tomatoes (20 gram)
  • galangal (20 gram)
  • lemongrass (10 gram)
  • cooking oil (30 ml)
  • garlic (10 gram)
  • kaffir lime leaf (2 gram)
  • thai basil leaf (5 gram)
  • oyster sauce (30ml)
  • fish sauce (15ml)
  • pepper powder to taste

the drunken prawn doesn't use any alcohol, halal version
the drunken prawn doesn’t use any alcohol, halal version

Cooking instructions:

  • heat oil in wok, then add garlic, chili, onion, and stir together
  • add prawn, galangal, lemongrass, pepper, stir till prawn is half cooked
  • add oyster sauce, kaffir lime leaf
  • add chicken stock (or plain water if you don’t have chicken stock) and Thai sweet basil
  • adjust saltiness with fish sauce
  • serve while hot

you can cook the tomyam in either clear or "red" version
you can cook the tomyam in either clear or “red” version

Next is arguably the most famous Thai dish of all time – tomyam gai. We made the chicken version here, but you can substitute with prawn, squid, or other seafood as well.

Ingredients:

  • chicken breast sliced (60 gram)
  • galangal (10 gram)
  • lemongrass (10 gram)
  • kafir lime leaf (5 gram)
  • abalone mushroom (20 gram)
  • tomyam paste (10 gram)
  • fish sauce (10 ml)
  • lime juice (10 ml)
  • chicken stock (150 gram)
  • coriander leaf (5 gram)

Haze, KY, and WeiZhi showcasing our dishes
Haze, KY, and WeiZhi showcasing our dishes at The Datai Langkawi

Cooking Instruction:

  • boil chicken stock with galangal, lemongrass and tomyam paste in small pot (leave out tomyam paste if you want clear version)
  • let the ingredients reduce a little, then add chicken, abalone mushroom, and kaffir lime leaf
  • let cook for another 3-4 minutes
  • season with fish sauce and lime juice
  • add coriander leaf before serving

After the cooking session, we sat down and had our dishes with some steamed rice. There was also some Thai dessert and white wine to complete the course. It was pretty fun and now I do think I should slot in cooking classes whenever I travel to other places. These recipes are pretty easy to follow, I’m pretty sure I’ll make them at home.

Datai was such an awesome experience, I miss it already.

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