Friday, May 20, 2011

Thai Pork Noodles & Som Dtam @ Lai Thai Market, Section 17, Petaling Jaya




bird eye chillies




I'm always a big believer of sniffing out good food with some help of those who know best. Hence, when Chef Korn from my favourite Thai restaurant, Erawan (we just did a revisit for the umpteenth time and discovered more yummy dishes!) mentioned this place I knew I had to give it a try. I was told that there's links between this Section 17 place with the other Thai products market in Pandan Indah.
      This tiny space is primarily a store with goods laid out haphazardly but on the side they also serve up simple Thai fare like pork noodles (RM5) and a Northern Thai specialty, Som Dtam (RM5). Expect no frills, limited table space mingling with Thai voices gaily enjoying their country's specialties when they drop by to pick up supplies. There's a communal feel to the place especially when it gets crowded with a group of Thai women who seem to know each other.
       The pork noodles is quite similar to the Chinese version except the broth has a cleaner taste. You add the Thai flavours by helping yourself to the condiments on the table like a dash of chilli flakes, a sprinkle of sugar and a shake of the fish sauce bottle. I slurp down my bowl happily since it includes my favourite silky smooth kuey teow noodles. Since I didn't speak Thai and the owners weren't too fluent in English, I was a little lost on what else was on offer until I saw the ladies ordering Som Dtam or green papaya salad.
         Thud, thud...went the long wooden pestle in the clay pot as the lady prepped the salad. Everything is done once an order is made hence the salad was very fresh. She'll add a dash of lime juice, chuck in the lime halves to pound it further to let the aromatic oils to mingle with the shredded papaya. Chillies are added to your liking and you can even taste the seasoning halfway through the making of the salad to make sure it was to your palate. A dash of fish sauce, long beans, tomatoes, peanuts, a sprinkle of dried prawns and the salad is ready. The whole pounding exercise helps the papaya soften and absorb the dressing. The Thai trinity of sweet-sour-spicy flavours are all in this salad, making you crave for a little more of the crunchy shreds.
          Aside from the salad and the noodles, you can also pick up these parcels wrapped in banana leaves that contain a banana stuffed glutinous rice dumplings. I admit I felt it was quite bland even though the rice was a nice soft texture. I reckon I'll stick to my noodles and the Som Dtam for my return visit.
         The place works on an interesting schedule, as they're only open for Thursday to Sunday, from 10am to 5pm. The rest of the time, the owners travel back to Thailand to source for their fresh supplies. Usually their regulars know the schedule well and patronise them on Thursday to get the freshest vegetables.

Lai Thai Market
AG-3, Block A
Happy Mansion
Jalan 17/13
Section 17
Petaling Jaya

Tel: 03-7954 4688

(Non Halal. Same row as MM Cafe. More pictures in 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.


Michelle Chin said...

This looks really lovely!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

i b happy if i can sniff out a brisbane's equivalent!

Kenny Mah said...

Your shot of the Som Dtam just made my day. Gorgeous riot of colours. Brightens my morning it does.

I've been looking forward to trying out more Thai and Vietnamese foods of late, for more delicate yet still spicy flavours. Of late, I've been finding my fave Malay/Chinese/Indian delicacies a tad strong with their chilies, oils and spices. While Japanese cuisine doesn't have the Southeast-Asian kick I've been accustomed to.

So who knows? Thai/Vietnamese food may be my new Food of the Year! :D

hApPy HaPpY said...

I love son dtam, we call pop pop.Thanks & have a good day.

pang said...

Som tam makes me salivate...yummm...

Baby Sumo said...

I really like the look of the som dtam. I think my mum would love it since it is very appetizing!

eatlah said...

Nice! Didn't know about it even though I live in Sec17! Gonna raid this place soon ;)

Ciki said...

me and Cumi thought this place had closed down coz it's not always open.. guess not;)

boo_licious said...

michelle - made to order hence it's darn good.

Joe - am sure there's one lurking in Brisbane. Somehow I think u'll strike better with Vietnamese pho though.

Life for Beginners - if u're looking for great Thai, do visit Erawan. The food there is exquisite with balanced flavours.

happy happy - what a cool name, pop pop. Hope u enjoy this version.

pang - oops!

baby sumo - hope u manage to get here. Completely no frills ok?

eatlah - cool stuff to be so near this place. Can also buy ingredients when you want to make Thai curry too.

Cumi & Ciki - ahhh, must be one of their off days when you went there. People I think gravitate here on Thursday since that is when the vegetables is the freshest.

Anonymous said...

come la try our signature favorite
char koay teow penang (malay style), sure sedap one!!!

rocky corner, section 7, shah alam
just behind unisel n next to khulafah restaurant

Simon Seow said...

Good. Thursday I don't have to work. Time for some Thai pork goodness.

KY said...

great find! will visit for sure :D


UnkaLeong said...

*scribbles on notepad*

Thursdays through Sundays. LOL!

You can find authentic Thai food by Wat Chetawan on Sundays as well.

boo_licious said...

Thxs Annonymous for the tip.

Simon Seow - hope you like it.

Kyspeaks - good to stock up ingredients for Thai curries too.

Unkaleong - hee hee, I also do Wat Chetawan on Sundays for my pork satays but lately MBPJ giving hell to the hawkers though. Sigh.

Ciki said...

OK must try thurdays then;) we drove by Wed, was close again! sigh..

boo_licious said...

C&C - I must have been lucky that day! First time trying it out.

kltah said...

This place is diarrhea central. You have been warned!!

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