Thursday, September 30, 2010
Thai Kopitiam @ Kuchai Entrepreneurs Park, Kuala Lumpur
Thai pandan kaya with toast
I've been on a mission...almost an impossible one but I'm happy to say I've reached a conclusion (and yes it's a happy ending even though it'll take a few more blog posts). It has been a subconcious effort on my part to look for good Thai food. While I knew where the Thais ate and shopped, I wanted to experience restaurant food that reminded me of the wondrous culinary creations from our neighbouring country.
seafood tom yum
Quite a few years back, we travelled all the way to Bangkok from Kuala Lumpur by road. It was time consuming but we all totally enjoyed the whole trip since it meant a lot of exploration. Starting from the border town of Sadao, we made our way to Haadyai, Chumpon, Hua Hin and finally Bangkok. Traversing through the southern part of the country made me realise that their curries bore a close resemblance to what we served on our Malaysian tables. Once you hit the central and northern regions, it was a different bowl of tom yum completely - more refined, less red and somewhat more fragrant. Ever since then, I've been searching around for those same flavours in my Thai meals. Strangely enough, the closest I ever got to that long tasted food memory was in Singapore when I dined at a restaurant serving Royal Thai cuisine.
Yellow curry fried seafood, pad thai and omelette
In the pursuit of that Thai food mirage, I ended up at this small kopitiam recommended by Time Out KL. It seemed a little weird to discover a Thai eatery here amid the sea of Chinese eateries. The small place is run by a mother-and-daughter team from central Thai. From what I understand, their local partner recommended they open up here. What works for their advantage is they're next to the ever popular Jojo Little Kitchen.
red rubies dessert
If you're dining here for lunch, they do simple one plate meals such as pad thai or fried rice. Dinner features a more extensive menu of dishes you can order. Since it is a kopitiam, they also serve the Thai pandan kaya (RM2.90 with bread) - a watery pale green concoction dribbled with coconut milk. It's a little sweet and smooth but goes well with the toasted bread. For my lunch, I sample the pad thai (RM8.90), one of my favourite noodles. It wasn't the best ever I have tasted but it was a decent sized portion with fresh prawns that I enjoyed.
We returned back for dinner another night and discovered the tummy tickling seafood tom yum (RM9.90). It was fiery hot and perfect for a rainy night with just the right amount of tanginess from an abundance of kaffir lime leaves and lemongrass used. They were also pretty generous with the prawns for the soup. The choices on the dinner menu can be quite limited so don't expect the usual kerabus. We had the recommended seafood fried in a yellow curry and fluffy eggs (RM12.90). While it was mild and pleasant, I didn't really detect any wow factor here. Same for the omelette, another recommended dish. Luckily dessert of the ruby red waterchestnuts (Tub Tim Krob for RM4.50) saved the day. I loved the silvers of nangka that went so well with the refreshing coconut milk. They also serve mango glutinous rice and the sinful durian with glutinous rice, an item I have not eaten for some time since Hatyai Street Food closed down.
My conclusion at the end of the day was even though the food was reasonably priced but it wasn't what I was looking for. It's probably good for a quick meal should you be around the area and their Thai pandan kaya with toast, if you're a big fan of it.
28GF Jalan Kuchai Maju 9
Kuchai Entrepreneurs Park
Off Jalan Kuchai Lama
Tel: 03-7982 4643
(Pork Free. Open from 11am to 11pm daily. Place is right across from Jojo Little Kitchen in Kuchai. For more pictures, see my Flickr set.)
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here is entirely based on my personal tastebuds and may vary for others. This review is time sensitive; changes may occur to the place later on that can affect this opinion. The reviewer also declares that she has not received any monetary or non-monetary compensation from this place for writing the review.