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Lanna Thai

The M Makan Kaki’s are not only a rebellious bunch, but extremely adventurous when it comes to food! We are die hard foodies. This time around, we whisked ourselves to savour the exotic taste of our friendly neighbour Thailand. What’s there to not love about Thai Food? The delicate balance of sweetness, spiciness and sourness all in one mouthful. Luckily Malaysians are accustomed to having chilli in our diet, but our neighbor takes it up a notch, which leaves us with a burning palate and loads of sniffles. So it’s off to Ipoh Soho for Lanna Thai, a restaurant that was previously located at Ipoh Garden East. For your information, this restaurant was founded by Ms Pim a native Thai who married a local, therefore you can taste the authenticity of the dishes served.

Lanna Thai Interior
Lanna Thai
Daboba

Some of our Kaki’s arrived ahead and took the liberty to order our food before the rest of us arrived, in order to save some time. Fortunately, the Boba addicts took this opportunity to try Daboba a newly opened outlet, since not only is Ipoh Soho known as ‘Bubble Tea Street’ as they convinced themselves that bubble tea is the perfect accompaniment with Thai Food. Ok, here is a short opinion on their signature drink – Milk Tea with honey; there was a strong Jasmin scent and the pearls were chewy. What an orgasm prior to our meal.

Ok, back to the food… Som Tam (Green Papaya Salad or Kerabu) was the first to arrive. Som Tam actually means, sour and the latter salad. Traditionally this dish uses green papaya, but green mango is a pretty popular choice here too. We opted for the papaya version.  Garlic and chilies are first crushed to release their flavors followed by long beans, crushed dried shrimp with toasted peanuts are added as it helps to add to the overall aroma of the dish. Lanna Thai’s version was not as flavorful as we expected it to be, in fact, it was quite a disappointment as many said it tasted bland. This was followed through with Pandan Chicken (Chicken Wrapped in Screwpine Leaf), a must order whenever in a Thai Restaurant. One bite and we could feel the juices ooze out – moist, tender, infused with the refreshing pandan aroma that encased the marinated chicken then deep-fried.  The smell itself permeates our nostrils…. amazing! This gives the ordinary chicken a distinct flavor and unique presentation. Flavour wise, is ideal for someone like me who wants to enjoy Thai food but can’t handle too much spiciness. It was voted the best dish in the meal that we all agreed on.

For all Thai food lovers, the holy grail will be Seafood Tom Yum or Tom Yum Kung. A Thai meal is never complete without this. Lanna Thai’s tom yum was rich with spicy and sour notes; at first sip, the overpowering yet intoxicating flavors of lemongrass, garlic, lime, coconut milk, and chili is like the perfect burst of flavours. The depth is further enhanced with chicken stock and seafood. Be warned! Slurp with caution as consuming Tom Yum too quickly will result with a stinging sensation in the nose. Believe it or not, there are health benefits of Tom Yum, it can clear your sinus and flu symptoms. Ok, here comes the pineapple fried rice…. we purposefully ordered a big portion to be shared. Surprise, surprise! It came in a claypot. Lanna Thai’s version is different as it cooked with fruits and curry powder.  The addition of raisin and cashew nuts differentiate this from your typical yang chow fried rice (in your face Papa!). I love the sweet and different textures of this dish. A refreshing type of fried rice!

Our family members insisted on ordering otak-otak Thai style. What is that you may ask? Otak otak in Malaysia comes in 2 versions; the steamed variety synonymous with Malaysian Peranakans and the grilled type. Both is made with various aromatic herbs, exotic spices, and infused with the sweet fragrance of rich coconut milk. Otak-otak actually means ‘brains’ in Malay, because of the springy, almost squishy texture of the cooked fish cake. Lanna Thai’s version is plated inside a coconut, winning in the appearance part. However, our family members were not a fan of this dish. They said you could not taste the delicate play of spices as there was one predominant taste … just too spicy till all other senses are dulled. Next, Steamed Barramundi with Lime Sauce, sitting in rich broth made with lots of fresh lime juice, garlic, and chilies. Sour, spicy, garlicky, and well balanced in taste, it’s a Thai dish that really portrays the contrast and excitement of flavors in Thai food. The sauce is similar to tom yam but lighter. Best paired with a bowl of rice to spike up your appetite. It’s actually interesting that they used Barramundi, a fish famous in Australia and quite expensive by Malaysian standards.

Pineapple Fried Rice
Otak Otak
Steam Fish with Lime Sauce

We definitely went on a feast this time round. Green Pork Curry and Stir Fried Kailan were the last dishes on our list. The Green curry is a dish combining green chilies, ginger, lemongrass, fish sauce, coconut milk and vegetables. At times you will have to option to add a meat of choice. The consistency of the sauce can be adjusted by the amount of coconut milk used (we see lots of similarities in most Thai dishes).This dish was nice… the meat was tender and the curry came with green beans and bell peppers – resulting in an aromatic dish. However, we found the dish on the average side. Simple and not too spicy. The coconut milk really balanced out the spiciness as well.

Lastly, we balanced out our heavy tasting meal with some Stir Fried Kailan. The Kailan was sautéed lightly with some chilies and garlic, giving it a crunchy yet refreshing taste. On this hot and humid day, we had some coconut water to quench our the thirst. One of our family  ordered Pandan water, cause it’s supposed to have a pleasant fragrance yet low in calories. I shall try it next time.  To wrap up our entire feast, we had 2 servings of their red ruby (Tab Thim Grob).  The red rubies are water chestnuts that have been coated with vibrant red tapioca flour, giving the crunchy texture a with a  chewy bite but it’s pretty bland on its own though (Bobba anyone?). That’s where the sweetened coconut milk comes in with jackfruits to impart its unique flavour. We wanted to order the mango sticky rice but it wasn’t available. Overall, the meal was very sinful to our weight but we enjoyed every moment of it. That’s the thing about Thai cuisine, it leaves you wanting more. Gulps and gulps of water after every taste doesn’t stop you from reaching out to eat. Lanna Thai did well on the dishes, maintaining it’s Thai essence. There were some hits and misses but overall a good Thai restaurant in Ipoh.

Red Ruby

Address

3000, Jalan Sultan Idris Shah, 30000 Ipoh, Negeri Perak

Phone No: : 0123330329

Opens daily from 12:00 PM -10.30 PM

NOTE : We do not eat for free, nor were we paid for this review. We ordered and paid for everything that we consume. This review is a general summary from feedback provided by all members of the M Boutique Family who partook in the Food Review