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Khuntai Restaurant @ Butterworth, Penang – Thai Food, No Frills

Posted By J2Kfm On July 29, 2009 @ 7:00 pm In Penang Food | 33 Comments

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A short break from the Bangkok posts, here’s something closely related, yet hundreds of miles away from Thailand. Khuntai Restaurant is indeed closer to home; A heaven for those craving for a lip-smackingly sumptuous Thai meal, with emphasis on grilled/BBQ meats and seafood, and dining al fresco style, in Butterworth, Penang.
[2] With ample seats, whether one chooses to be seated ‘indoors’ or ‘outdoors’ (under those bamboo + straw huts), dining here can be either fun and cooling, OR darn hot and infested with mosquitoes!

A little long overdue, this post was supposed to see the light of day sometime ago, right after the Penang’s exodus [3]. But somehow got suffocated in my own work, and Whoosh!!!! The month of June has come and gone in a flash.
And even July is miraculously slipping under my nose. Geez ….. Time DOES fly when one’s having fun eh? ;)

[4]

The ambience is no doubt, one of the pulling factor @ Khuntai

Thanks to tintin (yeah, farny name I know), a resident on mainland of Penang, we were brought to Khuntai Restaurant in Raja Uda, Butterworth, Penang. A spacious restaurant, with its own parking lot by the side (but you can actually park haphazardly anywhere at all, given the rather obscure location), this al fresco style restaurant purpotedly serves delicious yet authentic Thai food, at a fraction of the prices in higher end restaurants.

[5] Mieng Kam, a famous appetizer - Wrap em up and pop the whole thing into your mouth!
Started off withe Mieng Kam, one of my most preferred Thai appetizer, aside from the tangy mango/papaya salad. Betel leaves wrapping peanuts, dried shrimps, ginger, dried coconut flesh, bird’s eye chillies and onion. Then add a dollop of the sweetish chilli sauce, and voila! A mixture of spicy, sour, and sweet flavours bursting in one’s mouth. Unless of course, you’re not fond of the green and raw, ulam-like taste.
[6] It’s hot, It’s red. But it ain’t that spicy …. Tom Yum with Seafood
The Tom Yum was barely torching our tongues, with heavier hints of fresh tomatoes and a generally thicker, wholesome taste with a nice touch of herbs. As far as Tom Yum goes in my book, this one passed the test of the palate, but without flying colours. Or probably we were expecting a lot more than this.
[7] BBQ Squids
Bouncy texture of squids, barbecued to perfection, served with two dipping sauces. One being the familiar Thai chilli sauce with crushed peanuts, and another with a distinct fiery and sour kick. Not bad, but the portion was slightly on the smaller end of the scale.

[8]

Thai-style Steamed Fish

Geez, my memory failed me yet again. Price-wise, and species-wise. But this should be a siakap, steamed with the signature spicy and tangy sauce, and served over the fire. Firm and tender flesh, the fish was thankfully fresh and devoid of unpleasant fishy/muddy taste.

[9] Pandan Chicken, Batter-fried Kangkung, Pineapple Fried Rice, and Ambra Juice (or was it Sugar Cane?)
Negligible items include the fried rice with pineapples and cashew nuts, and the pandan chicken. The deep-fried kangkung (water convolvulus or morning glory) was okay, paired with sweet Thai chilli sauce, but turned soggy soon after.
[10] Steamed Large Mantis Prawns (RM7.50 each) and La-la Clams
But the highlight of our Thai experience were the steamed mantis prawns, and steamed lala clams. Lightly steamed with slices of garlic, and some chopped cili padi, the fresh and succulent mantis prawns were devoured in record time, almost shells and all! OK, maybe not. But the crustacean was really fresh, firm and springy, and needed no condiments to enhance the already sweet flavour of the flesh. The same goes for the clams, which was equally fresh and sweet. (And pleasantly clean – No gritty bits of sands, or dirt)
[11] It is VERY dark on the outside at night, hence take note of where the other cars are heading to, and the signboard.
The meal came to about RM150 for the 5 of us, including white rice, and drinks. Rather reasonable, given the amount of food ordered. The menu covers a whole range of Thai delights, but we left the ordering to the ‘local’ instead. :)
Location : Khuntai Restaurant @ 104, Permatang Tengah, 13000 Butterworth, Penang. Opens from 11 am until 12 midnight. Tel No : +604-3327523.
Here’s a Google MAP [12] I managed to get from the internet. Sorry I can’t verify the exact location, as I am not familiar with roads in Butterworth.
[13] B-Suite (www [14]) @ Bayan Lepas, Penang. Where I spent my nights …..
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[3] Penang’s exodus: http://j2kfm.blogspot.com/2009/06/meet-floggers-of-all-things-indian-in.html

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[12] Google MAP: http://maps.google.com.my/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=khuntai+raja+uda+butterworth+penang&sll=5.434492,100.385926&sspn=0.010125,0.019248&ie=UTF8&ll=5.444825,100.390449&spn=0.019182,0.038495&z=15

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