Thai A-Loi

Thai A-Loi (泰好吃) is a Thai restaurant at Bayan Baru. The business is located at the back of a residential house, which oddly faces the main road. There are parking spaces for only 2-3 cars; road-side parking is illegal.
Although Thai A-Loi is more like a shack, the fixtures in the dining area are not too shabby at all. The dining tables, chairs and partition panels are nicely crafted with wood. Who says simplicity cannot be elegant?
The store appearance looks nice, but what about the food? "A-Loi" (อร่อย) means "delicious" in Thai. We dropped by for lunch today to see whether Thai A-Loi lives up to its name.

We decided to give the Otak-Otak (鲤鱼包, RM2.80) a try. Wrapped in banana leaf, the spiced fish paste is cooked in a steamer until it is soft. Absorbing fresh scent from the banana leaf, the Otak-Otak is quite tasty and certainly serves as a good appetizer.
As the restaurant proprietor recommended, we ordered the signature dish: Thai Lemak Laksa (暹罗叻沙, RM4.80). Unlike local laksa, the Thai version is very rich in coconut milk. With the addition of fish, the gravy has a rich, savory flavor. Be warned that this dish is very spicy, but I find the intense heat is highly delectable.
The Thai Sauce Fried Chicken Rice (泰式炸鸡饭, RM5.80) is also a reasonably good dish. This meal consists of a piece of fried chicken, a piece of bean curd, a fried egg, rice and a bowl of soup. The fried chicken is served with sweet chili sauce and Thai chili (cili padi). We feel that the quantity of Thai chili makes it too overpowering. A smaller amount allows us to enjoy the chicken even better.
For desserts, we ordered a serving of Somtam (ส้มตำ, 木瓜拌凉丝, RM5.00) or green papaya salad. The main ingredient of this salad dish is unripe papaya strips. The unripe papaya has a mild tangy flavor, while the texture is crunchy and juicy. Other ingredients in the salad mix are tomatoes, long beans and peanuts. This Somtam serving is very spicy due to several douses of Thai chili sauce. It would be good if the server prompts us whether we want the dish to be less spicy.
The Rojak (啰也, RM4.00) is another salad dessert closer to home. Chopped jicama (sengkuang), mango and pineapple cubes are tossed in thick belacan (shrimp paste) to give a sweet yet mildly spicy taste.
As for "drinks", we are glad that we picked the Sour Plum Ice Kacang (酸梅红豆冰, RM3.00). Sprinkled with sour plum syrup, the shaved ice has a refreshing and delightful flavor. How's this for the perfect dessert?
Similarly, the Coconut Sugar Ice Kacang (椰糖红豆冰, RM3.00) uses coconut sugar to flavor the shaved ice. The overall taste is good too, though we prefer the sour plum version.
A blemish to the so-far commendable food lies with the Cendol (煎蕊, RM2.80). The coconut milk appears corrugated when served. The restaurant proprietor assured us that this is due to chilling and is completely normal. Although the Cendol tastes fine, we decided not to consume the entire bowl as we are doubtful about the freshness of coconut milk.
Since it is a hot day, the dining section feels warm and uncomfortable. The restaurant proprietor mentioned that he is planning to install some roof sprinklers to mitigate the situation.

Thai A-Loi also offers steamboat meals at night. Considering the mostly positive experience today, it will not be long before we return to Thai A-Loi to try the steamboat dishes.

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