Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / som tam

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

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

Located at Kelana Sentral service apartment just opposite of New Yew Sang restaurant sits a pretty new Thai restaurant by the name of Baan Ruen Thai. Other than a pretty fancy “stall” with Thai influence, the shop is pretty clean and bare, suggesting that interior decoration isn’t on the top of the operator’s priority list.

Update 11/6/2014: This place has since closed

Baan Ruen Thai, no fuss cheap Thai food
Baan Ruen Thai, no fuss cheap Thai food

I first read about this place on ciki’s blog, and have since been there on a few occasions for dinner. The menu isn’t big, but covers the essential Thai dishes that you’ll often find offered by the road side if you travel to our neighboring land up North.

The biggest difference that sets this place apart from most other Thai establishment? Price.

Most dishes are priced at RM 6, price range that rivals some of the cheaper food courts at Klang Valley. The shop operated by Thai and we’ve spotted quite a few Thai workers (mostly laborers) dining there.

long bean with seafood, tomyam soup, pad see yew, pineapple fried rice, green curry
long bean with seafood, tomyam soup, pad see yew, pineapple fried rice, green curry

At this price range, we didn’t expect fancy ingredients or huge portions. Fried basil leaves with seafood with rice could use a bit more seafood, but if you have a bowl of tomyam soup to share as well then it’ll be more than sufficient.

Pad see yew and pineapple fried rice were quite delicious with some of those Thai chili added in, while the green curry is a lighter version that tasted quite different from what we’re used to, but not in a bad way in my opinion.

Yep, all these dishes are priced at RM 6, so are Thai fried rice, belacan fried rice, long bean with chicken/seafood, and garlic chicken and kailan that we haven’t tried yet.

The tastes aren’t super top notch, but they are authentic and offer great value while still pretty good on the tongue.

som tam (green papaya salad), and tub tim krob (red ruby dessert)
som tam (green papaya salad), tub tim krob (red ruby dessert), and mango with sticky rice

My favorite from this place though, is their tub tim krob, or red ruby dessert. At RM 3 per bowl it was sweet, crunchy, fresh, and absolutely delicious. Mango with sticky rice proved to be quite awesome as well but would be something that is best shared (portion is quite big).

So if you’re up for some Thai food that’s easy on the wallet, this would be a place to check out.

map to Kelana Sentral service apartment

Baan Ruen Thai
Kelana Sentral Service Apartment (opposite New Yew Sang)
Jalan SS 6/8
Kelana Jaya, PJ Selangor
GPS: 3.106513, 101.598445
Hours: 9 am to 9 pm daily 

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 Lak is 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
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
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
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
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 was not bad, but the fried oyster was a disappointment
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. 😀