Phad Thai Restaurant @ Taipan USJ – “Almost” Authentically ThaiSeptember 23, 2011 | 25,948 views
Pineapple Fried Rice (RM9.90/USD3.30) – An aesthetically-captivating presentation in a hollowed half of a pineapple. Fluffy grains with a distinctive fragrance, fried with cubed fresh pineapple, chopped long beans, raisins and roasted cashew nuts.
And I proclaim this my current favourite haunt for no-frills, affordable Thai fares in KL/PJ. Not until after the third visit though. Second one did not count since this reckless soul forgot to take note of Phad Thai Restaurant‘s off-day and went home sorely disappointed on a Monday evening.
Actually no, we went off to Daorae which is about 100 metres away, but you get my drift. The sheer lacking in enthusiasm after preparing this glutton of a bowel to a mind-numbing, fiery Thai fest. Only to experience a gastronomic experience on a whole different spectrum; grilled meats over charcoal, kimchi, bulgogi and all.
That being said, this adamant little brat was not about to give up. Still fresh from the first eye-opening experience of a dinner consisting of a reasonably-good rendition of “Pad Thai” (Thai fried rice noodles with shrimp, egg and bean sprouts), and you know it’s fairly impossible to find one that’s just as good as Bangkok’s, we went again.
Read on for the full insight, and delicious shots you’d be forgiven for licking the screen ….
Pad Thai has always been mistakenly claimed as the national Thai dish. Or at least, the official noodle dish of the country. In fact, this fried rice noodles dish (almost like a Thai version of Chinese Char Kuey Teow) may seem to be omnipresent when you’re roaming the streets of Bangkok, but there are so many more like this Kuaytiaw Sukhothai dish, and remember this Khanom Jeen from Krabi?
The first visit was during Ramadan; the holy month when Muslims fast for a good portion of the day. And we went at the wrong time; when the time was nigh for breaking fast. The place was packed, yet we managed to scout our way into the midst of the rows of rustic wooden tables and stools arranged in an orderly manner. This restaurant reminded me of the conventional Thai style eateries (kopitiams, if you will) in Bangkok, albeit with air-conditioning.
Belacan Fried Rice (about RM7.90/USD2.60) – Usually consisting of sweet pork (cubed pork stir-fried with palm sugar and flavoured with fish sauce), the version here at Phad Thai is a pork-free version. Chicken was used instead as substitute, with the usual julienned young mangoes, omelette strips, raw onions, and half a wedge of calamansi for a punchy zest.
Still, service was reasonably sped up, with more than half a dozen staff on the floor and a good portion of them being Muslims, or high chances of them being Thai-Muslims even. The menu came in a bound, laminated compilation listing quite an impressive array of Thai dishes. From perennial favourites like Pandan chicken, Thai fish cakes, Thai salads, Tom Yum Gung, Thai-style steamed fish, Stir-fried chicken with basil and various Thai fried rice, to a few authentic Thai-inspired creations.
House Special Papaya Salad (RM9.90/USD3.30) – Young papaya julienned and tossed in a briny/tangy dressing of fish sauce and a squeeze of lime, generously studded with dried shrimps and crunchy roasted peanuts for that extra dimension to the overall texture. The difference between this and the conventional Som Tum is the addition of boiled salted egg.
There were paper cuttings on the walls; an article by Sam Cheong of The Star fame dated November 2009. So, this place must have been in existence for a good two years now. The proprietors choose to retain the authenticity of their cooking by travelling all the way up north to retrieve produce and condiments from Thailand; on a reasonably frequent basis. Twice a month, I believe.
Thai Fish Cakes (RM9.90 for a small portion) – Though slightly pricey at about RM2 per piece, the toothsome bites of pure filleted fish shaped into a croquette-like shape, intermittent with bites of finely-chopped long beans, coriander and kaffir lime leaves were delightful. The dip was of a simple Thai chili sauce (not the local interpretation, mind you) with cucumber cubes.
Tom Yum Seafood (RM12.90/USD4) – A murky, almost creamy broth infused with the right balance of spices. Sip on the soup slowly, else the pungency might get to you. Not devilishly-spicy, but not for the faint-hearted either.
Safe to say, bring a battalion with you. So that you can order more dishes and sample a myriad of contrasting yet complementing Thai flavours; robust, spicy, tangy and sweet.
They offer just as many individual meals in case you’re dining alone, or in two’s, or plain don’t feel like stuffing yourself silly. Close to 20 types of rice and noodle dishes, though I’d be more than happy if they bring a little Northern Thai inspirations to the table.
Thab Thim Krob (RM3.90/USD1.30) is one of the most recognizable Thai desserts; shaved ice in a coconut milk broth with strips of jackfruit and red rubies conjured from water chestnut. This was one of the better ones; hands down wiping the floor with the generic ones in shopping malls.
Thai Glutinous rice in a creamy coconut milk-based broth with fresh durian flesh – This was simply heavenly. But remember to SHARE. Not possible to finish this on your own after a heavy meal.
Do NOT give their desserts a miss. I have yet to try the Mango Glutinous Rice (and I definitely will in the next visit), but the ‘pulut durian’ (glutinous rice cooked to a soft texture, soaked in a creamy, decadent coconut milk-based broth and with added durian flesh!) here is almost to die for. Even if you do not like durian, the fantastic Thai glutinous rice is definitely worth the calories.
Thai Iced Coffee (or Thai Iced Tea as alternative) for a refreshing finish. About RM2.50 per serving.
I would not have believed that in the midst of all the commercialized, over-hyped eateries in this possibly the most congested business areas in the Klang Valley; houses a gem of an authentic Thai restaurant. Almost authentic, as in the title of this post suggested, because there’s no PORK in their cooking.
But that’s a minor flaw I can do away with.
Especially when the hits made up for the slight misses. I did not enjoy the papaya salad in particular, probably because the salted eggs lent a strangely salty tinge to the otherwise sweet and sour salad. The Pad Thai was not of magnificent quality, yet comparing this to the many others I have tried in Malaysia, this has to be somewhere up the upper ranks. Not to mention the condiments you get; sugar, crushed peanuts, pickled chillies and dried chili flakes! Just like how we had it on the streets of Bangkok!
Times Are Changing. This can be a place where people of all races can dine together, seated at almost elbow’s length and sweating profusely in tandem from the heat factor.
Looks gaudy from the exterior? Thought so too. Had it not been the crowd, we would not have ventured into the shop too. And of course, that newspaper cutting helped in a reassuring way, somewhat.
And yeah …. mostly positive comments. Maybe I have been craving for one good Thai meal for way too long. Haven’t visited Surisit Thai Kopitiam at TTDI yet, and that’s also of a similar concept and gained quite an amount of raves from the blogs. Chow Yang has one Seeri Authentic Thai Restaurant too, and that will probably be in my list of to-eat in the near future.
PHAD THAI RESTAURANT (HALAL)
21, Jalan USJ 10/1C,
47620 Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.
Tel No : +016-239 2072, +019-477 9545
Business hours : Tues-Sun from 10am – 10pm.
Closed on Mondays.
GPS Coordinates : 3.048661,101.584566
Google Map to Phad Thai Restaurant