Neon Khumthong Garden @ Hatyai

29 08 2011

“Sawasdee ka!” A week ago, I made a trip up north to Hatyai to attend a wedding dinner with my in-laws. Since we stayed there for a couple of days, I managed to try out some of their local food. One of the most notable restaurant which I personally recommend is called Neon Khumthong Garden.

Unlike the overpriced restaurants at the city centre, Neon Khumthong Garden offers a good variety of Thai food at decent prices. No wonder the restaurant is well-known among the locals. Their ‘laksa noodle’ is a must try dish. Served with raw vegetables such as beansprouts, long beans and etc., it reminded me of ‘Ulam’ which is the Malay version of salad consisting of vegetables that are usually eaten raw or boiled for a very short period.

The noodle is made from rice flour and it is fatter than our version of Mee Hoon.

The raw vegetables were fresh and crunchy.

But what made dish truly special were the gravy. While I have no idea on what these gravies were made from, they were thick and spicy in a very nice way. The taste just hit the right note with a rich aromatic coconut milk and condiments used.

I was told that the most popular gravy is the yellow one which has cubes of coagulated chicken’s blood in it (front bowl in the picture above) but I didn’t have the guts to try it.

Nevertheless, I was perfectly contended with the other gravies and literally poured generous quantities all over the soft springy noodle. This is my favourite gravy.

The reddish gravy was also equally good.

To tell the truth, gluttony got the better me and I finished three servings of this delicious dish that day!

Beside the laksa, their Kerabu was also worth trying. It has a slight tinge of sourish taste mix with prawns and squid. This is a good appetizer.

Their fried chicken can easily put KFC to shame. It was crispy on the outside as the chicken is coated with a layer of flour.

The flour is thin enough that you will feel that you are biting onto the real chicken texture which is tender.

And finally the lunch was ended with a fantastic dessert called The Red Rubies or locally known as Tub Tim Grob. The red rubies are actually water chestnut dipped with red colouring. Once you have tried Neon Garden Khumthong’s version of Tub Tim Grob, you wouldn’t ever want to have this dessert in any Thai restaurant in Malaysia. The chestnuts were so fresh and so was the coconut milk. Coupled with a few slices of jackfruit, this is truly the best dessert ever.

If you ever go to Hatyai, make Neon Garden Khumthong your first choice for food. It is easy to recommend this place after eating at several other restaurants which doesn’t even come close to their quality of food offered here.

Neon Khumthong Garden
518/17 Sanambin-Hatyai Road
Moo 3 Kuanlung
Hatyai
90110 Songkhla
Thailand

Tel: 074-251143, 474587





Delicious Nyonya @ Tropicana City Mall

16 11 2009

There was a new restaurant recently opened at Tropicana City Mall called Delicious Nyonya. It is apparently owned by the Tai Thong Group which has a whole range of other F&B outlets such as San Francisco Steakhouse, Royal Thai, Room Eighteen, Bad Ass Coffee and etc.

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Nyonya cuisine is synonymous to delicious food since its history traces back to the days where early Chinese settlement from China weds local Malay folks. As a result, the first generation of mixed Chinese-Malays were known as Peranakan (male being known as Baba while female as Nyonya). Consequently, nyonya food is a fusion of the Malay and Chinese style cooking style.

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I had high hopes when I walked into Delicious Nyonya that day for lunch with my colleagues. The restaurant is spacious and bright while the furnishing is reminicient of the Baba Nyonya style restaurant.

Food however was a mixed bag. I ordered the nasi lemak which was recommended by the waiter.

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It was ok as far as the taste is concern. As usual, the dish came with some Acar and ikan bilis.

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Oh apart from ala carte meals, they also sell Nyonya Kuih. Kuih Seri Muka is commonly seen everywhere.

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This is called Kuih Ketayap which has coconut fillings wrapped with green pancake skin.

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Pulut panggang is another crowd favourite.

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The Asam Fish was a disappointment. My colleague told me that it tasted raw or uncooked. When we raised this up with the waiter, we were told that the fish that they used (ikan Tenggiri) has that natural smell / taste in them.

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However, we didn’t buy the story and they promptly swapped it with Nyonya Curry Chicken. This one actually fared better and I like it although my colleague said that the ‘santan’ (coconut milk) taste was very heavy.

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Similarly, the Nyonya Laksa shared the same comment.

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Some of the food came with side dishes such as this small bowl of Acar and mixed vegetables.

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As for dessert, they threw in a bowl of green bean dessert soup. I find it too sweet for my taste.

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Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this place as I have tasted much better Peranakan food elsewhere. Perhaps, we were there on the wrong day when the food somehow weren’t that great.

Delicious Nyonya
Lot G-33A, Ground Floor, Tropicana City Mall,
No. 3, Jalan Ss20/27
47400 Petaling Jaya
Tel: +603-77222524








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