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

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Restoran Sri Nirwana Maju @ Bangsar Baru

18 07 2010

Mention banana leaf rice in Bangsar and most people would agree that Sri Nirwana Maju serves one of the best banana leaf rice around town. This barebone restaurant is a far cry from the rows of more up-class dining outlets at Jalan Telawi 3. There are no down-lights nor fancy decorations to be found here. Instead, what you get is a good serving of banana leaf rice.

Despite the hoards of customers at this restaurant, service was exceptionally fast. Within minutes, the banana leaf was laid on the table with white rice place on top of the leaf. Then came the deep fried bitter gourd and sliced long beans generously poured beside the rice.

One thing good about banana leaf rice is the unlimited serving of vegetables.

And to compliment the meal, a few crunchy crackers or papadum provides a good appetizer.

We ordered the fried sotong which was nicely marinated and deep fried.  Don’t forget to squeeze the lime for the tinge of sour taste.

The fried chicken was equally good as well. Although it was a bit cold, I could still taste the richness of the various spices that were used to fried with it.

When it comes to Indian cuisine, I like my dish to be flooded with curry. The combination of main and side dishes mixed together made the meal really delicious. The meal costs RM 28.10 for two people with drinks.

If you want to drop by there for lunch or dinner, be prepared to wait for a table. The restaurant is packed with people almost everyday. Still, what’s a fair bit of waiting time compared to the great meal to be had?

Sri Nirwana Maju
43, Jalan Telawi 3
59100 Bangsar Baru
Kuala Lumpur

Tel: 2287 8445

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