Friday, April 23, 2021

THAI-RIFIC MEAT & SEA TEMPTATIONS


Homestyle Thai cooking by Kanchanaburi-born chef Chutikan Parnphan or fondly known as Amy rules the roost at Meat & Sea KL – a Thai restaurant which opened last month in Desa Sri Hartamas.

Besides the chef’s signature specials, the menu highlights some Isan (Thailand’s northeastern province) culinary gems such as Moo Ping (RM18) and Kor Moo Yang (RM18). In Thai, ‘moo’ means pork and ‘ping’ means barbecue. 

Suffice to say, the Barbecued Pork on Sticks Skewers are showstoppers in their own right: tender and juicy to the bite, the meat delectably slicked with a sumptuously sweet-savoury-garlicky marinade. Yums!
Ditto for the Grilled Pork Neck. Brimming with enticing charred smokiness and the on-point fat-lean ratio turned us into proverbial greedy pigs. The accompanying house dip is great for dialling up the heat- and flavour-o-meter.

Working with her own supplier to source for the necessary ingredients gives Chef Amy the freedom to serve seasonal and off-menu items. For example, although Som Tum Mamuang or Mango Salad isn’t on the restaurant menu, patrons can request for it in advance.  According to Meat & Sea KL, they will strive to fulfill customers’ requests for off-menu dishes provided the required ingredients are available.


A flavour bomb of a salad, the Som Tum Mamuang comprises crunchy slivers of green mango tossed with chopped bird’s eye chili, peanuts, dried shrimps, dried chilli flakes, lime juice, and fish sauce. Be forewarned this is a tear and sweat-inducing offering but in a palatably pleasing way.

No Thai meal is complete with the ubiquitous tom yum soup. Chef Amy’s Tom Yum Talay (RM27 – medium, RM38 – large) is chockful of prawns, squid and mussels as well as cubes of eringi mushroom for extra textural interest.

The soup’s piquant hotness boasted a nice creamy finish, underscored by the distinct grassy-citrusy accents of sawtooth herb (Eryngium foetidum) and lemongrass. Few Thai eateries in Klang Valley include the aforementioned herb in tom yum but it’s such an essential component in its preparation so we give thumbs up to the chef for being such a stickler to details.

Prepared with equal aplomb, the Khao Ka Moo [RM35 – medium, RM60 – large, RM110 – whole leg (pre-order)] is a comforting dish of braised sliced pork leg with salted vegetable, hardboiled eggs and Chinese broccoli. Best eaten with plain rice, we bet this homespun porcine classic would pass even the most finicky matriarch’s taste test.

Meat & Sea KL is also one of the rare Thai restaurants to serve Khai Jiao Cha-Om (RM12), a fluffly omelette laden with Senegalia pennata shoots. Rich in vitamins A, B and C as well as calcium and iron, this Thai herb is a good source of fiber and phosphorus. According to research, cha-om also helps to lower cholesterol, has anti-microbial and anti-oxidant properties. It tastes similar to petai (stink beans) but subtler.

The chef’s inimitable touches come to the fore in Pla Kaphng Nung Manaw, Steamed Seabass with Lime and Chilli (RM45 – medium, RM60 – large) and Pad Pak Boong (RM16), Stir-fried Morning Glory with Chilli, Black Bean Paste and Garlic to differentiate them from the usual Thai versions.


Having plump slices of shiitake mushroom scattered amidst the steamed seabass, to soak up the flavourful fish jus was a masterstroke. Another simple yet ingenious trick was using black bean paste to stir-fry the greens for more rounded and controlled umami profile in place of shrimp paste (belacan).


Her delicate handiwork appeared in our Dessert of the Day known as Bua Loy (RM8). Shaped like dainty pearls in pretty pastel hues, the Glutinous Rice Balls in Coconut Milk also included pieces of young coconut flesh.  Do check with the restaurant team on what’s the dessert du jour as it changes frequently.


Some of the house specials such as Tom Yum Talay and Khao Ka Moo are available as part of the resto’s lunch sets (RM19 each). A wallet-friendly deal since some of the meal options includes rice or mee suah, and a glass of ice lemon tea.


For reservations and more information, please call Meat & Sea KL, tel: +6 012 800 4833 from 11am to 6pm Tues to Sat.  Address: 1 Plaza Prismaville, Jalan 19/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur.

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