August 25, 2011

Authentic Thai Food...oomph!

We had walked passed this Thai eatery on numerous occasions.  Somehow, we did not bother to cast another glance.  This time I took a look and convinced the other two that we would have Thai food for dinner.  We were actually heading for the hawker stalls in front of the Pulau Tikus market.
The place we walked into was Annathai-Kitchen.  A restaurant with simple interior decorations.  A family owned eatery/restaurant where mother is the Chef.  Jacky who is the son of the Chef greeted us.  Hubby told Jacky that we have been to quite a number of Thai restaurants.  Was there anything Annathai serves that is different?  That was the question posed to Jacky.  The answer was yes. This place served Northeastern Thai dishes.  We ordered the following dishes on Jacky's recommendations.
Instead of the usual popular appetiser Miang Kum, Jacky served us the Yan Ta Kai.  An appetiser commonly eaten in the Nakhon region of Thailand (Northeast).  The plate of Yan Ta Kai came with leaves of daun kadok (betel leaf), serai (lemon grass), dried prawns and desiccated coconut fried with chilli.  It was a different kind of appetiser and something new. (We ate the following dishes with rice.) 
The above is omelette fried with some greens.  I have eaten this omelette before but have never found out what was inside. Jacky was kind enough to show me the 'vegetable' when I enquired about it. The Thai name is Cha-Om. A search on the web told me this...[In Burma, Laos and Thailand, the feathery shoots of Acacia pennata (common name cha-om, ชะอม and su pout ywet in Burmese) are used in soups, curries, ... read more on Wikipedia]. If you have not tried this, it would not be a bad idea to do so.  It is an omelette with a very delightful taste.
A plate of Cha-Om courtesy of Jacky.  The Cha-Om can be eaten raw and according to Jacky, it has cleansing values and is kind to the kidneys.  I took a few sprigs of them and put them into my mouth.  The taste reminded me of something....petai!  It actually tasted good. Jacky explained that only the young shoots of the plant are used.
The plate of  Phak Boong Fi Daeng was nothing to shout.  It was a simple dish of Kang Kong (water convolvulus) fried with tau cheong (fermented beans) and chilli.  Somehow, it tasted Thai even though it was fried somewhat similar to the Chinese.  Maybe it was because we were in a Thai restaurant. 
Green curries are so yesterday was my comment. The Gaeng Som Pla Tord was Jacky's recommendation.  A spoonful of the gravy put into my mouth had my taste buds exploded.  The curry had Oomph! This is so awesome, I exclaimed.  This is a fresh taste.  The taste of the curry was like our local laksa.  Even hubby agreed that it was an interesting curry.  If you looked closely, fish flakes could be seen on top of the fish.  It was laksa without the 'heh koh' (prawn paste) but with  more kunyit (tumeric) added.  That is the reason it looked yellowish instead of light brown.  It was a love-hate dish where BB was concerned.  He loved the new taste of the fish curry but hated the 'hotness' (spicy) of the chillies.  Both of us gave the thumbs up where the flavours were concerned.  Sweet, sour (tamarind sourness), spicy (different kinds of spices) and hot (with the chillies).  We had a new kind of curry experience!  Jacky's suggestion that we have the fish fried was a good one.  The fried fish in the curry made it even tastier. 
The Karmo Tord was also on our order.  It was a plate of deep fried pig's trotter.  The deep fried pieces tasted ordinary without the dip.  I changed my conception when I had apiece dipped into the sauce served with them. It was good taste. I know there was some vinegar, chilli sauce and sesame seeds.  I am unable to say anymore maybe you go and try it out. LOL..
I always have the Thai dessert before leaving.  We had the Tub Thim Krob and Bo Bo Cha Cha. I called it the 'adulterated' version of Tub Thim Krob.  Green strands of cendol were added (normally not added.)  It was not bad as there was a new kind of taste.  A new kind of Tub Thim Krob.  The santan (coconut milk) was fresh and that was the most important.
However, the Bo Bo Cha Cha disappointed me.  The taste of the dessert was delectable and with just right sweetness.  It was the portion served.  It was only slightly more than half-filled.  In addition, the sweet potato yam and other stuff were too little.  They were swimming in the santan.
Jacky recommended the above drink to counter the chilli hotness of the curry.  It was biji selasih (basil seeds) in syrup.  You can choose between green and red coloured syrup with the little frog's eggs (selasih lah) floating inside.  Both colours did not help much where BB was concerned. 
Overall, we had a great, satisfying dinner. The prices here, they are reasonable. If you love Thai food, you will love Annathai-Kitchen.  Location: 26 Jalan Moulmein, Pulau Tikus, Penang. (It is near the open air car park near the market.) Open from 10am-2:30pm. 5:30pm-9:30pm.  Closed on Monday. Telephone: 04-2277599. :o)


Nava.K said...

Thai food and me cannot be separated, surely looks tempting. I can't remember going to Pulau Tikus but will try if get a chance to do that. said...

Thai food lover! This place serves northeastern Thai food. Something different and I think you won't be disappointed. Happy eating.:o)