I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love a good dose of Thai food every now and then.
Thailand has long been known for creating some of the world’s most delectable and intriguing cuisines. When it comes to flavour characteristics, Thai food is as unique and distinctive as they come: it has a perfect balance of spicy, sour, sweet, and savoury. What’s not to love about it, right! Thai cuisine has been a favourite among Malaysians for generations, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to change!
Recently, I’d been craving Thai food – even during work days. Of course, I can’t travel far just for a hot bowl of spicy Tom Yum, so what are my alternatives? It happens that I work right next to a mall and checking their directory, I noticed that there are, after all, Thai restaurants. That was great news for me. Hence, for lunch recently, I headed to Thai Hou Sek and I’m gonna tell you all about this amazing place.
Before the food, you’ll need to understand its name (quite cheeky!) This isn’t just a regular Thai restaurant but it’s more of a fusion, with a pinch of Chinese to it. Hou sek is a homonym for ‘very/too much,’ and tai is a homonym for ‘very/too much.’ As a result, it might be interpreted as “too tasty” or “Thai food is delicious.”
Thai Hou Sek is known for its Chinese-inspired Thai cuisine, which is served in a unique environment reminiscent of Bangkok’s vibrant Yaowarat Road. The entire space is alive with speakeasy vibes, accented by warm lighting, a neon-lit elephant, and a wall papered with newspaper clippings and antique posters of Thai advertisements.
You can find a shaded mural of King Bhumibol Adjulyadej on one wall. It’s a fantastic picture of Thailand, which is modernising while maintaining its roots and customs. Meanwhile, a back-of-the-house bar serves both non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages, such as Thai Hou Yum (jasmine tea, assamboi) and Sparkling Ribena Lychee, as well as cocktails like Lemongrass Mojito and Cucumber Sake Madness.
The menu has a lot to offer. If you’re dining with a group, choose from shared main courses or solo rice and noodle meals. To appeal to the daily business crowd, the restaurant also serves lunch sets.
While chicken and seafood are available, the pork served takes centre stage. When you order some of their hallmark dishes like Mango Salad, Nam Tok Siu Yuk, Seafood Pad Thai, Pad Kra Pao Rice, and, of course, their Seafood and Chicken Tom Yum, you can expect classic flavours with a modern twist.
So, its obvious I had to order the Tom Yum, but I tried two other dishes which are the Green Curry Chicken and Pad Kra Pao Eggplant. The tom yum was everything I expected it to be. There were so many flavours going on: spicy, sour, savoury and a hint of sweetness. The chicken was cooked well, and tender too. The portion was also reasonable, as it is suitable for 2 to 3 pax. Also, I absolutely loved the presentation. On a wooden tray, the soup was placed on a mini stove with fire, served along side crackers and a bowl of rice. It was so good, I couldn’t stop eating.
Next up was the Green Curry Chicken. I remembered when I was in Phuket, I tried this particular dish. It was creamy, savoury and super rich. At first I thought it wasn’t gonna be nice cause you know, it’s green, but after the first time trying it, I loved it. And apparently, at Thai Hou Sek, you can get the same flavour – but I felt that here, the dish was even richer.
If you love veggies or are on a diet, then your should try the Pad Kra Pao Eggplant. This dish looks simple but it tastes amazing. This dish consists of eggplant stir fried with minced pork and spicy basil sauce. You could eat it as it is, or pair it with a bowl of rice.
As for desserts, don’t miss out on their signature Thai Hou Sweet Platter that serves sweet pumpkin with rich custard, coconut ice cream and sweet tapioca topped with dried coconut and coconut milk. If you prefer a fruity kinda dessert, of course, there’s Mango Sticky Rice. This steamed sticky rice served with coconut milk and slices of mangoes is a famous dessert in Thailand, and you can find it at almost any Thai restaurant.
Actually, for weeks, I’d been planning to dine there, but it was always packed with people during lunch hours. It could only mean two things if you find crowded restaurants: the price is cheap or the food is good. In this case, I think the food is good with a reasonable pricing. Despite the full house, the service was quite okay. You just have to be patient for a little bit.
I adored the vibe, the interior design, the food…. definitely going back for more Thai food next time!
Thai Hou Sek’s outlets:
Thai Hou Sek Mid Valley
Thai Hou Sek 1 Utama
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