By CK Lam
Khunthai Authentic Thai Restaurant is a place in Penang that locals and foreigners alike flock to for tasty Thai cuisine. Having made a name for itself in Raja Uda Butterworth, it recently opened another outlet at Teluk Kumbar on Penang Island.
This restaurant offers Thai delicacies specialising on seafood dishes. We started with the kerabu mango, which has plenty of vegetables, mango strips, cashew nuts and anchovies. The sour, spicy and sweet dish is a great starter as it whetted everyone’s appetite.
‘Kerabu’ mango RM9
Another snack to savour before the main meal is the deep-fried tofu served with a sweet and spicy sauce full of peanuts and cucumbers.
Deep-fried tofu Thai style RM5
Khunthai offers a wide variety of seafood. One outstanding dish is the gaeang som deep-fried fish served with long beans, cabbage and carrots in tangy soup that is cooked over a charcoal fire. The soup packs a punch and is not overly spicy. The chef prepares the fish just right without overcooking it, leaving it simply delightful to eat.
Gaeang Som deep-fried fish – ikan Jenaha RM56
It is always good to try the house speciality, seafood combo steamed in lemon juice. This seafood offering is popularly known as Khunthai Superstar.
We chose to have the combo of lala and sotong, steamed with chopped cili padi, garlic and lemon juice. The chef balances the sweet and the sour with the spicy, giving the dish an irresistible, appetising flavour. Additional seafood can also be ordered for this dish, such as mantis prawns, scallops and lobsters.
Seafood combo with ‘lala’ and squid steamed in lemon juice RM25
Besides abundant seafood, poultry dishes are also served. The pandan chicken is another crowd favourite at Khunthai. It is essentially chicken pieces marinated and wrapped in pandan leaves, and then deep-fried. The chicken is best eaten immediately when served.
Pandan Chicken RM10 (small)
The meal is accompanied by plenty of belacan fried rice, which is prepared with fresh cucumber, raw mango, fried egg and lots of cili padi and black sauce.
Other dishes that we ordered include the chap oong omelet and the simple vegetable dish of stir-fried kai lan with garlic.
Chap Oong ommelet RM9
Kailan with garlic RM8, add RM1 for salted fish
There is ample seating, with indoor tables or outdoor ones under shades with ideal views of the sea. The restaurant is usually packed, whether on weekday nights or on weekends. Nevertheless, its service is not compromised and remains efficient, despite the large crowds. Click here for the Map Location.
Khunthai’s new outlet at Teluk Kumbar, Penang
1052, Mukim 9
Tel: 04 6251155
Business hours are from 11am until midnight
* This is a reproduction of my article published in New Straits Times