Friday, June 10, 2011
Surisit Thai Kopitiam @ Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur
Nowadays, the pig seems to have found a new home in Taman Tun Dr Ismail...in the numerous pubs sprouting around the Lorong Rahim Kajai area and now, the latest is this no-frills Thai kopitiam.
In Thai cuisine, pork is often used in many dishes. As most of the Thai places opening up in Malaysia are mindful of the religion restrictions, they tend to omit the porcine element. Moreover most of the Thais come from the Southern region that is still very much influenced by our Northern states.
Opened about two weeks ago, this kopitiam is run by Sita, one of the founders of Bangsar's Montien and her two nephews. The name Surisit is an amalgamation of their names. It does service the whole day hence you get breakfast, lunch and dinner with different menus. Breakfast is pork noodles, porridge while there are different lunch and dinner menus. As they are still very new, the menu is still going through changes as the owners are still experimenting with what dishes appeal to the diners.
We sampled the dinner menu and of course, it was zoom into the pork dishes since these are so rare. There were three choices of tom yam soups (seafood, chicken and pork), of course we chose the Tom Yam Ka Moo (clear tom yam soup with braised pork hocks, RM25.90) - light, well balanced with the salty, sweet and sour taste, and of course the fork tender pork.
The big winner of our meal was the Mun Thod Gapi (crispy fried pork with shrimp paste with deep fried lime leaves and chilli sauce, RM16.90 for small and RM24.90 for large). At first we joked that we're eating Hakka char yoke but a taste of it revealed its differences - the subtle taste of shrimp paste, its crusty top and of course the burst of flavour from the deep fried kaffir lime leaves and the chilli sauce. Incredibly addictive that we even ordered a second dish. Instead, the classic Phat Krapao Moo Sap (mince pork with Thai basil, RM12.90 for small, RM17.90 for large) seemed bland and uninteresting. Somehow the aromatic Thai basil leaves just didn't manage to carry the flavours through.
While we would have loved to gone completely pork crazy, we did also balance out the meal with the Pla Thod Nam Pla (Crispy Thai Style Garlic Fried Fish, RM32.90). Essentially this was deep-fried siakap fish served with a sauce on the side. The sauce was a bit of a let-down. A little too watery and we detected soybean paste within, spring onions and etc that reminded us a little of a similar Chinese dish. Instead we went for their amazing chilli sauce - it looks fiery but it was sweetish and addictive. That sauce when paired with the fish, saved that dish. Also on the table was the Khai Luk Koei (Son in law eggs, RM9.90). These hard boiled eggs are deep-fried, doused in a thickish slightly sweet sauce and garnished with lots of shallot crisps - a combination that worked well but wasn't very exciting to the palate. One must not forget the greens that came in the form of Pucuk Paku Yam Pla (kerabu pucuk paku RM12.90 for small, RM16.90 for large). A friend had earlier eaten here and raved about this dish but this time round, it wasn't so good she admitted. The elements of the ferntops, prawns and coconut milk - seemed to lack that sourish tangy taste needed to balance it.
No desserts for us as they ran out but we did end it with some fresh mango. Usually they do serve Thab Tim Krob and mango glutinous rice. It's still very much early days for the kopitiam but I reckon they're going to be a big winner once all the wheels are greased properly. Am curious to return for breakfast as I heard the pork noodles are wonderful. I would love to compare that to the Section 17 market's version. For me, I reckon they have me literally hooked on that crispy pork dish. Just give me a bowl of plain rice and I'll be a happy camper with that meal.
Surisit Thai Kopitiam
No. 17, Grd Floor
Lorong Rahim Kajai 13
Taman Tun Dr Ismail
Tel: 03-7710 0173
(Non Halal. Place is further down from Penang Village. Open from 8am-10.30pm daily. More pictures in the 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.