Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Surisit: The Thai Kopitiam @ Taman Tun Dr. Ismail

Sitting hidden in a corner of Taman Tun is Surisit, a place that at first glance looks like some wannabe kopitiam restaurant, until you find out it's Thai. Been here in the morning, and it doesn't look like they have anything out of the ordinary(roti bakar, eggs and the like). So I think dinner is the time when this place really picks up the crowds.

Cuisine: Thai/Kopitiam in the morning

Part 1: The Lowdown
Very kopitiam-like. Simple and cosy  (forgive the bad lighting).
A glimpse of what this restaurant used to be in the past.

Their menu has a variety of lots of Thai dishes, some of them classic and some that I rarely see. To start things off we ordered Paneang Kai, which was chicken cooked in Thai spices.
The look of it it great. The colour. The chunks of meat and the spices around it. Taste wise, it's good. Wasn't that great due to the fact that it turned cold really quickly after it came, so we were reduced to eating cold chicken by the time we finished the plate. Nevertheless, the spices are a perfect blend of sweet and spicy. Very flavorful.
Next up is something more for the kiddies. Thai Omelette.
Not really sure why anyone without a super-sensitive tongue would want to order this, since we could easily whip up an omelette like this at home without paying a restaurant to do it for us. But we did order it, and eggs taste like eggs. It's good though, and one thing worthy of mention is the sauce that comes with it. Again, the spices go really well with the eggs, and gives it at least a little extra worth.
Now comes the classic litmus test for Thai restaurants: Tom Yam
Available here with a few different meats to choose from (we chose seafood), the Tom Yam is as good as expected. tongue-numbing, explosion-in-mouth-causing clear soup was one of the harder dishes to take down the throat for me, which just shows how good it is. It actually got to a point where I started taking the cold, spicy sauce from the chicken before just to cool my mouth down! Recommended.

The next dish to follow the Tom Yam ready for this? Poo Nim Thod Katiam!
 Picture's a bit rubbish, but that actually translates in Thai to deep fried soft shell crab. Another dish that is pretty hard to mess up, considering it tastes good almost everywhere you can find it. Crispy, soft and meaty, which, coupled with the sesame tamarind sauce served with it, is pretty damn awesome.

The last main dish we ordered (and probably one of the best) was their Pandan Chicken.
Tender chunks of chicken wrapped in pandan leaves and cooked til they're dark brown. Really, really, really good. The chicken is so tender and aromatic after seeping in all the flavor from the leaves. A solid recommendation for me.

You don't find many Thai restaurants that do desserts well. So we decided to try three of Surisit's Thai desserts to finish our meal. First up was their Torb Tim Krob.
A bit like the Malaysian ABC, except it's made of ice, jackfruits and waterchestnut, fusing together to make an icy, extremely sweet dessert. Not bad at all, though I would have liked to see a lot more creativity in it.
 The second dessert to arrive was the Mango Pulut.
Basically mango slices mixed with sweet, glutinous sticky rice and coated with milky coconut sauce. Very popular and common dessert associated with Thai cuisine. The mango is a bit on the hard side, but the sweet goodness of the rice makes up for most of it. Recommended.
The last dessert arrives not long after. And it's a serving of Man Chiam.
The same coconut sauce again, only this time covering sweet yams instead. We had to send it back to the kitchen once because it was definitely a bit on the hard side. But after that it was much better. A very satisfying desert as the yam is thick, sweet and starchy, mixing really nicely with the coconut as well.
There was still time for a small treat. Authentic Thai Tamarind Juice, imported straight from Thailand.

 A very sweet drink that probably drowns out all the sweetness of the last three desserts. Rather smooth and a nice finish to the meal. Try it if you're looking for something new, but be expected to pay the price of a few cups of coffee combined for it.
Part 2: The Damage Sheet
Item                                                                       Price (in ringgit)
Pandan chicken                                                            15.90
Poo Nim Thod Katiam (soft shell crab)                         18.90
Tom Yam                                                                     29.90
Paneang Kai (chicken)                                                  19.90
Plain Thai Omelette                                                         4.90
Torb Tim Krob                                                               6.90
Man Chiam                                                                     6.90
Mango pulut                                                                    9.90
Tamarind Juice                                                                7.90
Water                                                              1.00 per glass and refill
Rice                                                                               2.00
                               *fed 4 people, if you can believe it

Part 3: The Verdict
Category                        Score (out of 5)
Hygiene                            3: average
Service                            2: a bit slow (physically and psychologically according to other customers)
Pricing                             2: just wanted to highlight that the water is RM 1 PER REFILL
Ambiance                        3: average, comfortable
Food Presentation           3: average
Food Quality                   3: It’s very good but there are a few drawbacks

Part 4: Is it Worth Going to?
Yes: Despite the dismal ratings, they do actually have good food here. Personally I might come back and order some other dishes to try. We definitely caught them on an off-day.
No: If you can't look past the bad pricings, then give this a pass.

Part 5: Info
Address: No.17 Grd Floor, Lorong Rahim Kajai 13
              Taman Tun Dr Ismail
              60000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel. Number: +603 7710 0173
Business Hours: 11 a.m. to 10.30 p.m.
GPS Coordinates: 3.1543738    101.6224094
                             (N03° 9.2624', E101° 37.3446')

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