Homestyle Isaan food at E San Thai Kitchen
Was hankering for Thai food and came across this small neighbourhood resto, featuring home-cooked style E san Thai food. Run by a modest couple; nothing fancy about this understated place, choosing to let the Southern Thai cooking speak for itself.
We had simple, deceivingly ordinary dishes but the vibrant taste notes and layers of flavours were convincing enough for me to know that I had come to the right place.
The Brinjal had a familiar and comforting taste, different from the usual presentation in most resto. Cooked with egg, savoury with a slightest touch of sweet, we enjoyed this immensely. The Tamarind Chicken reminded me of Nyonya Tamarind prawns, sweet, sour yet hearty flavour notes. I liked this but I hear the Tamarind fish is even better as the tamarind goes well with the sweet flesh of the Siakap. Will order this next round.
Tom yum was one of the better ones I’ve had in a while, plenty of seafood, and enough oomph to give that kick you seek in this sour spicy soup. Both clear and red versions are available, and the spice level can be dialled up further upon request. Otak-otak – a mixed chilli paste cooked with coconut milk, with a myriad of seafood within the coconut itself – was rich, concentrated and a delight. They weren’t stingy with the seafood – there was always something more each time we scooped.
Only the piquant som tum was not that exciting, not that it wasn’t good but coz I’ve had others which packed more of a punch. We also had an omelette dish, similar to Chinese Fuyong egg, but with crispier edges – quite tasty as well. We ordered the steamed pumpkin dessert, a nice change from boring red rubies (which they also had). Even for someone like me who doesn’t like pumpkin, I found this quite appealing. I liked how the earthy sweetness and natural ‘nuttiness’ of the vegetable (?) envelops the palate rather than some created ‘innovative’ artificial taste.
Reviews for this place have been mixed, some loving it while others thought it was nondescript and nothing special. Prices were reasonable (less than RM200 for 5, including drinks and dessert) – I’ve had Esan food in Thailand and I loved the unpretentious homestyle food here. So yeah, it doesn’t have impressive fanfare cuisine, but if you want a cozy place for a family dinner, this fits the bill.
Add: G-G-5, Block G, Jalan PJU 1a/3, Ara Damansara, Petaling Jaya