Lanna Thai here we come! The M Makan Kaki’s is a rebellious bunch, and extremely adventurous when it comes to food. Foodies are we! This time around, we decided to savour the exotic taste of our friendly neighbour Thailand. What’s there not to love about Thai Food? Imagine the delicate balance of sweetness, spiciness and sourness in one mouthful – pure bliss.
Though Malaysians eats lots of chilli in our diet, our neighbor, Thailand, takes it up a notch …. leaving one with a burning palate and loads of sniffles. So it’s off to Ipoh Soho for Lanna Thai, previously located at Ipoh Garden East. Ms. Pim, the owner, is a native Thai who married a local, hence you can taste the ‘Sawaadeekap’ authenticity in the dishes served.
Some of our Kaki’s took the liberty to order our food before the rest arrived, in order to save some time, smart thinking! Fortunately (or unfortunately) the Boba addicts took this opportunity to try Daboba a newly opened outlet, as Ipoh Soho is ‘Bubble Tea Street’ to us locals. the Boba addicts lay claim that bubble tea is the perfect accompaniment to Thai Food. Ok, here is a short opinion on their signature drink – Milk Tea with honey; there is a strong Jasmin scent and the pearls were chewy. What an orgasm prior to our meal.
Whetting our appetites….
Ok, back to the food… Som Tam (Green Papaya Salad or Kerabu) is 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 is first crushed to release their flavors followed by long beans, crushed dried shrimp with toasted peanuts. Add them up and it helps to add to the overall aroma of the dish. Unfortunately, it is not as flavorful as we thought, and quite a disappointment because it tastes bland… too bad, Lanna Thai.
Next! Pandan Chicken (Chicken Chunks wrapped in Screwpine Leaf), a must order whenever in a Thai Restaurant. One bite and we could feel the juices ooze out – moist and tender, with that infused pandan goodness. The smell itself permeates the nostrils…. amazing! This gives the ordinary chicken meat a distinct flavor and unique presentation. Flavour wise, it 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 and we all agreed.
For all Thai food lovers, the holy grail is Seafood Tom Yum or Tom Yum Kung – a Thai meal is never complete without this. Spicy and sour notes; at first sip, it is overpowering yet intoxicating. The flavors of lemongrass, garlic, lime, coconut milk, and chili bursts like fireworks in your mouth. Warning! Slurp with caution as consuming Tom Yum too quickly will result in a nostril stinging attack. Believe it or not, there are health benefits of Tom Yum, it can clear your sinus and flu.
Land of rice
On to the main highlights of our meal. Introducing…. pineapple fried rice! We ordered a big portion to share. Surprise, surprise! It came in a claypot and made with fruits and curry powder. Add a sprinkling of raisin and cashew nuts, and it differs from your typical yang chow fried rice (in your face Papa!). I love the sweetness and different textures of this dish. A refreshing version 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; steamed and the other grilled over hot charcoal. Made with various aromatic herbs, exotic spices and rich coconut milk for it’s distinctive fragrance. Otak-otak literally means ‘brains’ in Malay, because of the springy, almost squishy texture of the cooked fish cake. Lanna Thai decided to put it inside a coconut, winning in the appearance part. However, our Kaki’s is not a fan of this dish. They said you could not taste the delicate play of spices as there was only one predominant taste … much too spicy!
Fish from The Gulf of Thailand?
Next, Steamed Barramundi with Lime Sauce, soaking 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 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 the usage of Barramundi, a fish famous in Australia and pretty expensive by Malaysian standards.
We are enjoying our feast! The last two dishes are about to arrive …. Green Pork Curry is a dish combining green chilies, ginger, lemongrass, fish sauce, coconut milk and vegetables. Some restaurants may offer a different choice of meat. The sauce’s consistency is 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 another aromatic dish. However, we found the dish on the average side. Simple and not too spicy. The coconut milk really balanced the spiciness as well.
Children! Eat your vegetables! So we’ll end this review with some Stir Fried Kailan. Sautéed lightly with some chilies and garlic, it has a crunchy yet refreshing taste. Yes, thats all I can say about it!
On this hot and humid day, we had some coconut water to quench our the thirst. One of our more adventurous Kaki’s 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 Red Ruby (Tab Thim Grob). What is this actually? Well, it’s water chestnuts coated in vibrant red coloured tapioca flour, that gives the chewy bite with a crunchy centre. However, it’s pretty bland on its own though (Bobba anyone?). This is 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. Boo Hoo…
Overall, the meal is 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 bite doesn’t stop you from reaching out for more. Lanna Thai did well on the dishes, maintaining it’s Thai essence. However, there were some hits and misses but overall a good Thai restaurant in Ipoh.
If you need to know more about them, don’t forget to pay a visit to their Facebook.
3000, Jalan Sultan Idris Shah, 30000 Ipoh, Negeri Perak
Phone No : +60123330329
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