Khunthai, Penang

I reckon I go through an Asian food phase every now and then, with Thai topping the list. Good thing there are plenty of decent and affordably priced Thai food in Malaysia, else I’d go broke paying for premium Thai cuisine!

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Red, fiery broth

In Penang last month, I tried the original outlet of the famous Khuntai with a group of friends. Like Chinese food, Thai food is best enjoyed with more people. The restaurant fills up fast so try and get there before 7pm, or risk waiting for a table to be vacant.

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Hut-style dining

We managed to dine at one of the little huts by the side of the restaurant — fits about 5 to 6 pax. Things are systematic here; ordering was quick and the food arrived just as quickly. In 10 minutes, we were tucking into a piping hot dinner of seafood tomyam, steamed fish with lime broth, otak otak, mango salad and batter fried kangkung.

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Otak Otak

While the food wasn’t fantastic, they were fairly decent and the seaside ambiance added points to our dining experience. I liked the otak otak, a creamy yet spicy dish of assorted seafood, steamed with chilli, spices and coconut milk.

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Batter fried kangkung

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Seafood tomyam

The kangkung was very moreish, and tastier than the Khuntai in PJ — I prefer the batter in Penang. Seafood tomyam came laden with prawns, squid and fish slices. Not bad but nothing spectacular. This could have been tangier and I would have preferred the broth to be lighter.

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Thai mango salad

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Green curry chicken

Mango salad packed a punch from the tiny bits of chilli padi and dressing. Very refreshing after all the fried kangkung and rich otak otak. A note though — they were quite stingy with the mango slivers. The green curry chicken was relatively mild and sweet from the coconut milk. I like it spicier and thicker, but most places don’t do such a thick and spicy version.

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Thai steamed fish in lime sauce

The steamed fish was a simple dish that packed a wallop of flavour. The broth was light with spicy, savoury and tangy undertones. I didn’t care much for the fish, but lapped up the broth thoughout dinner.

I’m not sure how much the total bill was, but we paid about RM25 per person. Not too bad for the amount we ordered.

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Ambiance: 6/10
Price: 6.5/10
Food: 6.5/10 (pork free)
Verdict: Decent Thai food and affordable pricing. Try the otak otak.

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Khunthai in Penang

Khunthai, Penang
Off Jalan Raja Uda,
13000 Butterworth,
Penang, Malaysia
Tel: 04-332 7523
Business hours: 11am to midnight
Website

Bisque Cakes

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It’s always a good time for cake!

I’ve always been a stickler for good cake – ones that are dense yet refined, rich yet not overly sweet and with toppings I can actually eat. And no, fondants aren’t one of them. When Bisque approached me to check out their range of cakes, the first thing I noticed was how pretty they were.

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Not one, but TWO cakes!

This online, made-to-order cake business is founded by Juliana Omar, who was inspired by her mother and subsequently experimented with different flavours before rolling out these gourmet treats. There is plenty of emphasis on quality ingredients, evident in their range of cake toppings. Like the Valrhona chocolate brownies, which came with the Crusted Caramel – a Bisque Classic.

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Crusted Caramel with chocolate brownie

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Love their attention to detail!

Bisque runs under the 3Cs; Classic. Chic. Customisable. So you can create your special cake with the range of toppings available. Mine was beautifully made, to a point I couldn’t bear to cut into it. The Crusted Caramel (RM128) came topped with a pyramid of brownies (additional charges apply), with a Bisque icon at the peak. This cake was fairly solid and remained moist, even after 3 days.

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An English classic

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Sponge cake with cream and strawberries

Vintage Victoria (RM108) caught my fancy because it reminded me of the sponge cake I used to enjoy during my time in UK. This is a simple berry preserves, cream and sponge creation that goes well with tea. Of course, the folks at Bisque added the magic touch of sugardust and strawberries on top. I thought the sponge cake could be finer in texture, for a more delicate bite. Just my preference.

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l-r: Vintage Victoria & Crusted Caramel

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Bisque Classic: Crusted Caramel with Valrhona Chocolate Brownies

Ordering is simple. Log on to www.bisque.com.my to choose your cake and add-ons (and other customisations) to build that dream cake of yours. To find out more, read the FAQ. Best part is, no one will judge you for going over the top. Because at Bisque, creativity is gold. ;)

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Bisque
LG 08, Emerald Plaza North,
Jalan PJU 8/3A,
Damansara Perdana,
Petaling Jaya,
47820 Selangor
Tel:03-7496 5608
Facebook Page

Daro Crispy Chicken, Bangsar

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All things chicken

Fried chicken is one of my diet nemeses – I find it difficult to resist the lure of crispy skin and piping hot meat, seasoned with special spices. Buttermilk fried chicken is currently at the top of my list and this is especially delicious served with poached eggs, brunch style.

Daro Crispy Chicken is a new player in town, a fast food franchise from Canada that occupies a corner lot in Bangsar Baru. The boneless chicken chop (RM10.60) comprised crispy boneless chicken leg with a side of coleslaw, fries and drink.

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Crispy chicken chop with peanut butter sauce

You get a choice of honey lemon, BBQ or peanut butter sauce for your chicken – I opted for the peanut butter. Weird combination, but the sweet and nutty nature of the peanut butter worked with the chicken. If you’re not as adventurous, stick to the honey lemon or BBQ sauce.

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Daro chicken burger

I liked rif’s Chicken Burger (RM10.60), a generous portion of crispy chicken fillet in a bun with BBQ sauce and lettuce. Also available are chicken wings (RM7.80 for 6 pieces) – original or spicy – with a choice of peanut butter or honey lemon. You can dip the wings into the sauce or just have them as they are. I prefer them sans sauce.

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Chicken wings with honey lemon sauce

Service was quick and pleasant, and while I didn’t care much for the chicken chop or wings, the burger is worth going back for. :)

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Ambiance: 6/10
Price: 6/10
Food: 6/10 (halal)
Verdict: If you want to know how peanut butter with chicken would taste like, this is one place to start.

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Daro Crispy Chicken
38, Jalan Telawi,
59100 Bangsar Baru,
Kuala Lumpur.
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