Cempakaria – Thai Muslim

It was cold and rainy yesterday night and I had a sudden cravings for som tam, which is green papaya salad, Thai style. After pestering the hubby, we set out to test a tomyam shop which we had been eyeing for sometime.

When we reached there at 7.30 pm, the place was deserted except for one young guy. Usually, the shop is packed to the brim. I was beginning to worry if we had made the right choice. After all, it is not easy to cart an umbrella and a toddler through the rain.

We were told that the cooks have all gone for their prayers. Few minutes later, all of them appear. They look Thai Malay Muslims. And as soon as they appear, crowds also start pouring in, a testament that it must be a great place to eat.

Over here in Penang, if an eating place is crowded you are assured that they serve yummy food.

I had the most delicious green mango som tam to eat to my heart’s desire:
RM5 – som tam is made from shredded green papaya or mango. If you have a chance, try catching a Thai lady making it, especially on the beaches of Phuket or Koh Samui in Thailand. They will use bird’s eye chillies, some groundnuts, lots of calamansi juices, dried prawns, fish sauce and pound them in those wooden mortars.

We also ordered tomyam santan with beef. This is the first time I have seen a white tomyam.
It has all the ingredients for tomyam like lengkuas, kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, chillies but minus the redness of grounded chillies or the sourish taste of lime juices. The soup is thick, rich coconut milk.

They have some unique taste dishes like prawns in young coconuts. Unfortunately, the chief cook wasn’t around to prepare it. Other dishes we tried is squid in kreung-kang sauce. Rather nice and special.

I will definitely return for more meals there. I like Malay stalls not only for the food but the idea of them cooking in small portions. One can order several dishes due to the small quantities.

Our bill came up to only RM30 which consist of 4 dishes, 1 fried rice and two drinks.

Location : The road off Penang road where Kayu is. Across Lim Dispensary. I think the road is Jalan Datok Koyah. (will check later)

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