The gastronomic challenge from da Queen of 2min instant noodles. Does the above really capture the fire and spice of authentic Thai Tom Yam ? Ok let de test begin.....
Amazing Thailand, the South East Asian tropical and sub-temperate exotic land of true smiles. Malaysia's immediate Northern neighbour. Distinctively oriental, intriguing and a fun place beyond compare.
An unabashed Men's Paradise, with hordes of semi-wild Amex GI's ( from Tour of Duty in Vietnam, those days), camera trotting & whisky swinging Japs & tricky Taiwanese, drunken Germans & British Hooligans, pretty but arrogant Hollywood and Bollywood big shots, holier than thou kiasu Singaporeans and their almighty dollars......
............... also not forgetting many amorous holymen from Kelantan and Bukit Kayu Hitam .... descending on this international R&R of the quickie kind throughout the year.
.....they are all there, for 3 or 4 things........fun, fun, fun.... .....girls......girls...........shopping...... and culture ( so they say...) , and YES more and more FOOD. Its true ! Thai cuisine is bright,hot, spicy, no holds barred, of international standard, and is as diverse as they come.
In Malaysia classy( & Xpensive) Thai restarants are mainly found in the bigger towns , and usually claim to have Thai cooks and helpers, which in itself is a scintillating draw what with the renown Thai hospitality & uncanny penchant 4 tantalising & multisenses Xtra services....
De rigeur of Thai cuisine is of course the amazing Tomyam soup, an Xtra sensory superhot & sour orange concoction of lemon grass (serai), tamarind (assam jawa) and red eye chilli (chilli padi) gastronomic wonder reminiscent of Penang Assam Laksa in both looks and tastes ( but not quite). In bigger restaurants Tomyam is never standalone but usually ordered as an accompanying standard soup to the other dishes.
It is not easy to generalise about Tomyam as they are as unpredictable and as different as each Thai lady. Even in Thailand the various districts have different versions and colours and all claim to be da best.
In Malaysia Tomyam , apart from a must order item in all Thai restaurants is also extremely popular as a soup base in steamboat meals and as a noodle dish.
Different versions are available and here is a snapshot of some
Thai Tomyam 'kung' (prawns) noodles
This impressive ( yes?) mocked up DIY showpiece was dressed by BSG's kitchen from Yeo Hiap Seng's Cintan instant tomyam noodle @50cts/pkt( 80g).
Tastes acceptable, at an all-in est cost of under RM2.
From Top Taste, a cute little Penang inspired cafe in Sunway Mentari, PJ behind the Project petrol station. Dry form @RM5.
Heavy assamy taste and on the salty side.
This one is a killer, all @RM17 inclusice ++ from successful Malaysian multi franchise cafe Secret Recipe USJ Summit. A visual disappointment but tastes delicious.
Almost( but not quite) like flavour in Hadyai (Southern Thailand) !
Popular Chinaman set up in a shoplot,Yu Ai in Lorong Segambut Utara,Segambut (one of the busy industrial zones of Kuala Lumpur). Tastes really assamy (paste) strong.
For @RM9 a bowl it is really unChinaman, by golly !
@RM3.50 for a standard bowl. So no complaints ok .
So, whats da VERDICT ?
...V R sorry your Majesty...the answer is N O ! ...& still N O !!
authentic T h a i l a n d ......here we come .......!!