Best Thai Dishes in Malaysia

 

Fresh, bold, and aromatic, the Thais know how to leave an impression when it comes to cuisine. Their unique style of cooking — heavy on the use of spices and herbs, not unlike our own local cooking– gives their food character, and the sense of familiarity might explain why we can’t get enough of it.

With so many outlets dedicated to Thai fare, it’s no wonder that you may be spoilt for choice, so here are some of our top picks to satisfy your Thai cravings!

 

1. Tom Yum

 

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No Thai meal would be complete without this classic offering; a ubiquitous feature on the menu of any Thai restaurant, it’s tough to single out one Tom with-the-most Yum. However, for those who get a kick of out fire racing down their throats, the Super Spicy Tom Yum from myELEPHANT definitely gets the job done.

Available with beef or seafood (we personally recommend seafood on account of generous rations and freshness), this crowd favourite boasts the signature sweet and sour flavours that the Thai are famous for, but make no mistake, the star of this dish is the heat. If you would rather not have your tongue burned or spend the rest of your meal chugging cold water, they also offer a milder version that tastes just as good.

Find it at: myELEPHANT

 

  • Block C-G4, Happy Mansion, Jalan 17/13, Section 17, 46400 Petaling Jaya
  • No. 22, Jalan PJU 1/43, Aman Suria Damansara, 47301 Petaling Jaya
  • No. 20-G1, Jalan Sri Hartamas 8, Taman Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur

 

 

2. Mieng Kham

 

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Khuntai’s take on this dish doesn’t stray from the traditional Thai snack comprising toasted peanuts, dried shrimp, and coconut flakes; lime cubes, ginger cubes, shallots, and chilli padi, sweet sauce and daun kadok (betel leaves) to wrap them in.

There really isn’t much to Mieng Kam, but what makes or breaks it is the sweet sauce — the unifying agent that ties the different condiments together. In this case, Khuntai’s sauce is spot-on, delivering a host of flavours that are sure to stoke your taste buds: sweet, salty, sour, spicy, and a slight bitter tinge from the lime skins.

Apart from the obvious benefit of assembling your own mouthful, something about this dish — perhaps the simplicity and freshness of the ingredients — exudes a homeliness that many patrons appreciate. 

Find it at: Khuntai Restaurant

No 6, Jalan 5/44, Petaling Garden, Off Jalan Gasing, Petaling Jaya

 

3. Som Tum Mamuang (Green Mango Salad)

 

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When a dish is meant to be sour it can be hard not to go overboard, but Thai Thai finds just the right balance in their green mango salad.

Recreating the sweet, sour, and spicy hints that are true to Thai cuisine, this dish takes things to the next level with the addition of deep-fried catfish, infusing an already flavourful salad with a much-appreciated saltiness. This dish has elements with different levels of crunch, from the mango to the peanuts, making for a very addictive plateful.

Trust us, it’ll be gone before you know it!

Find it at: Thai Thai

Lot OB-1D, Oasis Boulevard, Sunway Pyramid

 

4. Chilli, Lime and Garlic Steamed Fish

 

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One Thai dish that’s close to our hearts is steamed fish. Many prefer their fish deep fried, but we differ, simply because the use of lime, garlic, fish sauce, and chili padi brings bursts of flavour to the table (literally) and makes the sweet, soft flesh shine, a quality that we feel is somewhat diminished in the former.

One place that serves a well-executed chilli lime steamed fish is Absolute Thai; tangy, sweet, and spicy, with a strong umami-flavoured broth that we can’t get enough of, and perfectly cooked Siakap (Barramundi), this dish can hardly be faulted.

Find it at: Absolute Thai

  • Block D, G.08 & G.09, Sunway Giza, NO 2, Jalan PJU5/14, Kota Damansara, 47810, Petaling Jaya
  • G20 (Ground Floor), IPC Shopping Centre
  • LG351, Lower Ground Floor, 1 Utama Shopping Centre
  • G22, Ground Floor, Bangsar Village 1
  • LG 72, Lower Ground Berjaya Times Square
  • Lot T219, 3rd Floor, The Gardens Mall
  • G-03A, Ground Floor, Wangsa Walk Mall
 

5. Pucuk Paku (Jungle Fern)

 

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It’s hard to go wrong with stir-fried anything, more so when prepared with aromatic Thai spices and chillies, but the crunchiness of jungle fern seems to set it apart from other stir-fried greens. myELEPHANT executes this dish with aplomb, bringing you the perfect complement to your meal.

The hints of salty, sweet, spicy and sour are well-balanced, compounded with that satisfying crunch, resulting in a plate of vegetables that manages to hold its own in the midst of other bold-flavoured dishes.

Find it at: myELEPHANT

  • Block C-G4, Happy Mansion, Jalan 17/13, Section 17, 46400 Petaling Jaya
  • No. 22, Jalan PJU 1/43, Aman Suria Damansara, 47301 Petaling Jaya
  • No. 20-G1, Jalan Sri Hartamas 8, Taman Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur
 

6. Green Curry

 

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A quintessential Thai dish, green curry needs no introduction. Renowned for its creamy, aromatic taste, this coconut milk-based curry is perfectly executed by I’m Spicy. Contrary to the name of the restaurant, the green curry isn’t spicy; but its robust flavours, including fragrant hints of basil, generous use of herbs and spices, tender chunks of chicken (a pork alternative is available), and just the right consistency (not too thick nor too runny) make this dish the ultimate companion to a big bowl of rice and a clear favourite in our books.

Find it at: I’m Spicy

1, Jalan 17/45, 46400 Petaling Jaya

 

7. Pad Thai

 

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Thailand’s version of our cherished Char Kuey Teow, this stir-fried rice noodle dish is an explosion of flavours in your mouth, sweet, sour, spicy, and umami, all at once, not to mention soft, slick noodles that go so well with crunchy bean sprouts.

Thai Thai serves their Pad Thai with a large fried egg and chopped peanuts. What really cinched this one home was the intensity of the flavours and freshness of the ingredients, which made for one very satisfying dish. 

Find it at: Thai Thai

Lot OB-1D, Oasis Boulevard, Sunway Pyramid

 

8. Pineapple Fried Rice

 

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A dish that’s hard not to love, pineapple fried rice is a staple on any Thai menu; one variation that stands head and shoulders above the average is Frame Thai’s version. Run by and often frequented by Thai nationals in the area, this is the place to come for authentic Thai fare, and popular opinion concurs, judging by the constant crowds of patrons.

Their perfectly moist brown rice is impeccably seasoned — giving it much stronger flavours than most of its counterparts –, and goes hand-in-hand with the sweet and savoury sausages, while the floss lends this dish a good crunch. With such a satisfying play of flavours and textures, this is undoubtedly comfort food at its best.

Find it at: Kedai Makanan Frame Thai (formerly known as Lai Thai Market)

A G-3, Block A, Happy Mansion, Jalan 17/13, Section 17, 46400 Petaling Jaya

 

9. Taco (Corn Pudding with Coconut Topping)

 

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An inexplicably underrated Thai dessert, it’s a shame that you won’t find this in every Thai eatery you step into. Essentially bite-sized pudding with a coconut milk topping wrapped in pandan leaves, this dessert is sweet and creamy, the bits of corn in the pudding providing an unexpected crunch and an extra layer to its flavour profile.

Sold in packs of six at Frame Thai Restaurant and Market, their tako is a decadent ending to a meal; what’s more, it’s perfect for sharing, although you might not feel inclined to after your first bite.

Find it at: Kedai Makanan Frame Thai (formerly known as Lai Thai Market)

A G-3, Block A, Happy Mansion, Jalan 17/13, Section 17, 46400 Petaling Jaya

 

10. Khao Niaow Ma Muang (Mango Sago and Sticky Rice)

 

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A rather filling dessert, you may have to save some room for this one, although we assure you it’ll be worth it. Sweet sticky rice served with fresh mangoes and coconut milk sauce, this scrumptious treat is perfect for those treat-yo-self occasions.

Absolute Thai’s take on it retains all the classic elements, while cleverly layering the different kinds of sweetness so that it isn’t overpowering, instead giving you a dessert that is well-nuanced with the creaminess of coconut milk and freshness of mango.

Find it at: Absolute Thai

  • Block D, G.08 & G.09, Sunway Giza, NO 2, Jalan PJU5/14, Kota Damansara, 47810, Petaling Jaya
  • G20 (Ground Floor), IPC Shopping Centre
  • LG351, Lower Ground Floor, 1 Utama Shopping Centre
  • G22, Ground Floor, Bangsar Village 1
  • LG 72, Lower Ground Berjaya Times Square
  • Lot T219, 3rd Floor, The Gardens Mall
  • G-03A, Ground Floor, Wangsa Walk Mall
 

11. Tub Tim Krob (Red Ruby)

 

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A famous Thai dessert, this one can be sourced from any self-respecting Thai eatery. Made from water chestnuts, sago, coconut milk, tapioca flour, and jackfruit, each spoonful of this aesthetically-pleasing dish is sweet, cool and refreshing, with a mix of chewy and crunchy.

At Old Siam Kopitiam, your red ruby treat comes with a generous portion of fresh jackfruit slices and pretty-in-pink water chestnut cubes. Its just-right level of sweetness and a good blend of fruity and creamy notes is what earned this one our approval and recommendation.

Find it at: Old Siam Kopitiam

Lot LG 325, Lower Ground Floor, New Wing, 1 Utama Shopping Centre 

 

12. Coconut Ice-Cream

 

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Hardly anyone who travels to Bangkok these days returns without spewing praises for the coconut ice cream from the famous Chatuchak market stall, along with an Instagram-esque snap to prove it. For those of you who are homebound and experiencing symptoms of envy and FOMO (fear of missing out), you’ll be glad to know that coconut ice cream has made its way to our shores!

In both KL and PJ, Sangkaya brings you this fragrant coconut milk-based ice cream, along with a selection of toppings including roasted peanuts, coconut flakes, sweet corn, and corn flakes, served in a an emptied coconut husk (doesn’t get any cuter than that, folks). Somewhere between gelato and sorbet on the richness spectrum, this dessert is 100% coconutty goodness, and the endless possible combinations of toppings will have you planning your next trip even before you leave!

Find it at: Sangkaya

  • No. 80, Ground Floor, (Jalan SS21/39, Damansara Utama), 47400 Petaling Jaya
  • Jalan Alor (opposite Restoran Beh Brothers), Kuala Lumpur
 

Get your Thai food fix now at these 12 eateries

 

So there you have it, a little bit of Thailand, right here. Did we miss any of your favourite Thai eats? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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