Sunday, July 12, 2009

Ooh Cha @ Jalan Yap Ah Shak. In search of Thai Food.

Thai Food. Whenever my friends talk to me about Thai Food, the only response from them is that it is sour and hot. But that's just skimming the surface. Just consider the ubiquitous Tom Yam, for instance. The ingredients includes galagal, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, onions, (shallots and garlic and tamarind in the Nam Prik Pao that gives it the red colour), lime juice and chinese corriander and some chefs add a dash of coconut milk to it too. Good Thai chefs are almost mini botanists, given the amount of herbs and spices required to make a dish.

The mixture of sweet, sour, salty, bitter and spiciness that gives me this affinity towards Thai cuisine, with it's distinctive Southern, Central, Nothern and North Eastern flavours. OK, enough about that before I appear to be a boorish, opinionated snob.

Stumbled upon Ooh Cha by chance on the way to Yut Kee, and decided to give it a go for dinner the same night. For those who hit the night scenes regularly, it is just opposite Maison and opens till 3am on Fridays and Saturdays.

Started off with their Miang Kum. It was already served with the condiments on the leaves. That saves you the trouble of picking up bits of grated toasted coconuts, lime, ginger, peanuts, lime, etc to put onto the leaves. The sauce was sweet, with the taste of shrimp paste.

The obligatory Seafood Tom Yum. Piquant but slightly too sour. One of the better Tom Yams I have tasted in KL, but not great.

Papaya Salad (Som Tam Malagor). Sour, did not have cherry tomatoes inside. Not enough dried shrimps and they did not use palm sugar. Give it a miss. So far, the only place that has preserved crabs and fermented fish in the Papaya salad is at Jalan Alor's Thai Somtam Seafood Restaurant.

Fried Prawns with Garlic. Nice and fragrant. The prawns were very fresh.

Probably the best dish of the night. Chicken with Basil. They used local "selasih" leaves which are different from Thai Basil, but it was still good.

Left out the bland Kangkung Belacan. Prices reasonable, 15 to 20s per dish. Service OK. Still have not found the "Thai Food" joint yet. A pilgrimage to BKK seems imminent.


CUMI & CIKI said...

5 posts! uv been busy.. :) go try the godfather la.. u might like the pizza..? we only had a few dishes so.. needs further investigation..

Sean said...

another place that's just a stone's throw from my office! i've been meaning to check it out for weeks, but haven't had the chance. the mieng kam looks like a good choice for a lazy eater like me. :D would probably like to try one of their curries too.

Sean said...

gaaah, i keep getting error messages when i try to comment on this post, so forgive me if this comment keeps appearing in your notifications:
this place is just a stone's throw from my office! have been wanting to check it out for weeks, but haven't had the chance. the mieng kam looks like a good choice for a lazy eater like me. :D would probably wanna try a curry dish too though...

Paranoid Android said...

@C&C: He he... All places visited within one day. So quickie posts too. Will give Il Padrino a try too.

Paranoid Android said...

How lucky to be near so many food joints! I generally avoid Thai Curries in Malaysia because they do not use this ginger like plant called kra chai that imparts a very subtle herbal aroma to the curry.

I've seen it at Pudu Market, but can't taste it in Thai Curries here.

You can take a look at the root at the link below.

Let us know about your experience at Ooh Cha too!

Paranoid Android said...

@ Sean: Sorry, used the wrong HTML codes for that link. Try this!

Picture of Krachai Root

Chalawan said...

I see you've been a busy bee. Imparting your knowledge of Thai Cuisine to your Malaysian friends?

Paranoid Android said...

@Chalawan: Not really. My trips to the Market with your mum were most enlightening. She seems to know all the veges and herbs. Which is for flatulence, which one for heaty body, etc. Everything has a story.

Watching her cook was almost a mystical experience for me too.

Maleewan said...

Did not know you were a thai chef also na...

When are you coming to Krungthep?

Paranoid Android said...

Not Thai cook na... You know I cannot cook for peanuts. Trying to save up my off days for a really long trip to BKK. P' Croc's mum always brings me along to the market.

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