If you have a penchant for Thai food, Alor Star is actually quite a good place to get rather authentic Thai food. After all, the Thai border is less than an hour from here. And historically, the Thai influence has always been present here for a long time. Plus the fact that Kedah once belonged to the Kingdom of Siam. We brought Ling, Siah, Dan and Lil Rainbow for dinner the night before they left. TH was sick...so he stayed home!
Anyway, enter a Thai restaurant and usually before you order they will serve you with this 'ulam' (salad) to be dipped into this super, spicy chilly concoction! You coat your greens too much with it and your tongue will burn! Can you guess what these are used for? We went to this makan place and each of us was given one. We asked the girls to guess but they couldn't get it right! 8)Rice is served in these cute earthen pots. Actually they are steamed in them. Ain't this a quaint way of cooking rice? So, that is why you need those little cute wooden ladles to scoop them out! Each of of us was given 2 hot pots of rice. The waiter kept reminding us to use the tissue paper to hold them, less we get burnt! But actually they weren't that hot.There is nothing like vegetables fried with 'kiam hu' or salted fish. It's good enough just to eat with rice. And when they come out so green, it's even more appetizing.... 8)This one is a house specialty. The fish is cut into bite sized pieces and deep fried together with what's left of the fish. Then they stir fried the fish pieces with mango, onions, peanuts, chillies, their special sauces and you have a really nice fish dish. You can actually eat the bones too cos they are so deliciously crunchy. The best part about this dish is it's easy to eat. Everything boleh makan but you do have to watch out for the small chillies. They can bring the smoke out of you if you take too many of them!This is a mix of kem som and tom yam. It's seafood. Only one word to describe....hot!This one is the 'otak-otak' steamed in a coconut. If you do a direct translation into English...it's brain-brain. LOL! No, it's not brains we are eating. It's called that cos it's all squishy like the brain. It's actually a mix of fish, sometimes squids, ginger, garlic, shallots and coconut milk. It's actually considered a nyonya kuih but it's been modified by every community here. So, in Malaysia everyone has their own version of otak-otak. This one is actually quite nice if you are hungry. But because we over ordered, we had difficulty finishing it cos it's kinda rich.This is the mango chicken. Actually it's chicken with some mango sauce. But it's quite nice. There is this tinge of mango sweetness as well as the slight sour taste. That is the Thai signature taste...sweet and sour. Chicken was tender enough.And they have this cute toothpick dispenser. Press on the cute little chimney and a toothpick will come out. Guess who was going around offering everyone a toothpick? Yup! Little Rainbow! She was fascinated by the chimney! The things that make little girls happy. Wish they can stay that way for a long, long time!
Finally, where did we have all these good food? Well, there's this little place along Jalan Putra, near the shop that sells the 'siow pau' and that new place selling all the handphones (forgot the name). It's called Restoran Thai Red Village.
Update (July, 2009): This restaurant has moved to another premise along Jalan Stadium, somewhere nearer to the Bulatan Teluk Wanjah. Went there a couple of times since they shifted. Food still taste the same. 8)