BY CK Lam
Annathai-Kitchen, tucked away in bustling Pulau Tikus Market, has started drawing in the crowd with its economy rice (mixed rice) or ‘chap fun’ the Cantonese calls it. It offers an array of affordable tasty Thai dishes, that is unlike any other in George Town.
The simple eatery is run by Jacky Choong and its kitchen is helmed by his mother, Anna. It is open for breakfast and lunch. Customers are spoiled for choices of dishes displayed in the economy rice stall with its selection of chicken, fish, sauteed vegetables, noodles and dessert.
Khai-Kra-Ta ไข่กระทะ – Thai Pan Breakfast
The service is fast. Just top up your plate of rice with the dishes of your choice. My friends and I indulged in a blend of spicy, sweet and sour tasting dishes. We choose the attractive Hor-Mok ห่อหมก – Steamed Fish with Curry Paste known locally as otak-otak. The fish with curry paste is steamed in individual metal bowls topped with thick coconut milk, chili pieces and aromatic kaffir lime leaves. With soft custard texture, Hor-Mok is delightful with rice.
The Khua-Kling คั่วกลิ้ง – Roasted Minced Pork with Thai Chili looked simple but it tantalized our taste buds! With its chili, this spicy meat dish packed a punch.
There are several curries and soy sauce dishes which included the Moo-Pa-Loh หมูพะโล้ – Stewed Pork with Bittern Gravy and Phat-Phet-Moo ผัดเผ็ดไก่ – Spicy Curry Pork with Long Bean.
The following Phat-Man-Farang ผัดมันฝรั่ง – Fry Potato with Pork and the Kaeng-Gai-NoMai แกงไก่หน่อไม้ – Chicken Curry with Bamboo Shoots was great with rice too.
Phat-Man-Farang ผัดมันฝรั่ง – Fry Potato with Pork
Kaeng-Gai-NoMai แกงไก่หน่อไม้ – Chicken Curry with Bamboo Shoots
Diners can also opt for Gaeng-Pa-Naeng แกงพะแนง – Red curry with Pork, Kaeng-Tai-Pla แกงไตปลาปักใต้ – Southern Thai Curry with Fish and Phat-Wun-Sen ผัดวุ้นเส้น – Fry Vermicelli with Vegetables.
Lunch is available throughout the afternoon as sold off dishes are cooked again and replenished depending on the crowd.
Another selection was crispy deep fried Pla-Thot-Khamin ปลาทอดขมิ้น – Fish Fried with Turmeric. It was a great nibble but do look out for the bones. For children, it is advisable to opt for the fish fillet instead.
The fragrant Kha-Nom-Chin, Nam-Yaa ขนมจีนน้ำยา – Thai Rice Noodle with Fish Curry Paste at RM3 per bowl is worth a try. The noodles was served cold with creamy, mild curry gravy cooked with many herbs and fresh coconut milk. Simple refreshing raw diced long beans and cucumber added crunch to the dish which was garnished with mint leaves and half a lime.
Kha-Nom-Chin, Nam-Yaa ขนมจีนน้ำยา – Thai Rice Noodle with Fish Curry Paste
Equally tasty were the Thai sweets. Anna whips up a mean and delicious Khao-Tom-Mart ข้าวต้มมัด – Glutinous Rice with Banana. I love this banana dessert made with quality imported Thai glutinous rice, fragrant pisang Raja and fresh coconut milk. Anna makes a large batch of this dessert daily and supplies them to many food outlets and kuih stalls in Penang.
Glutinous Rice with Banana, also known as golden pillow @ RM1 per piece
The Cendol was served with light coconut milk. Indeed great desserts topped off the meal.
Anna cooks decent breakfast dishes as well! The kitchen added the tasty dish of Khai-Kra-Ta ไข่กระทะ – Thai Pan Breakfast to its menu recently. This breakfast special is incredibly flavorful with Thai sausages, meat, two eggs, minced pork and stir-fried potatoes and comes with a bun.
Khai-Kra-Ta ไข่กระทะ – Thai Pan Breakfast @ RM5.90
The food at Annathai-Kitchen was satisfying and is one of the cheapest options for Thai food. It has a great location across the entrance to a huge open car park near the market. Click here for the Map Location.
The rice stall right in front of the shop
26 Jalan Moulmein
Tel : 2277599
Business Hour : 7am till 3pm
Closed on Monday
* This is a reproduction of my article published in the New Straits Times