FIGURING out where to dine can be an ordeal with the treasure trove of food in the Malaysian dining scene.
However, Thai food is one particular cuisine that generally gets nods of approval, especially with bigger groups of diners.
For those who are used to the Malaysian version of Thai cooking, Tigerlily Thai Restaurant aims to provide Malaysians with the authentic version.
A pork-free restaurant, Tigerlily serves up some really affordable and family-friendly Thai fare. It currently has three eateries, in Damansara City Mall, Petaling Jaya; Melawati Mall, Kuala Lumpur; and Tamarind Square, Cyberjaya.
The menu has the standard dishes, including tom yam as well as green and red curries.
But where the restaurant excels, though, is in its offering of popular Thai street food, claypot dishes and desserts.
The appetiser selection has typical street food such as pandan-wrapped chicken and spring rolls and also more unusual ones like Kai Ping with Sticky Rice (RM7.50) and Lemongrass Chicken Satay (RM13.50).
Kai Ping comprises pieces of Thai-style marinated chicken grilled on skewers. The marinated chicken has slight sweetness which is offset by the sticky rice.
The Thai Fried Chicken (RM10.50) is one that will appeal to many, especially with its chilli sambal which is freshly made at the central kitchen.
For an all-round sampler of the bites, the Tiger Platter (RM28) is recommended as it comes with Thai Fish Cake, Crispy Wonton, Pandan Chicken and chicken satay.
For mains, single or smaller groups can opt for the daily plates, which come with their choice of protein, rice, salad and crackers, or a la carte dishes. From the a la carte dishes, the Basil Chicken (RM21.90) is a crowd favourite.
The chicken is cooked in dark aromatic sauce and plenty of fresh basil that gives a herbal punch to the dish.
Thai cooking’s essential flavours, combining sweet, sour, salty and spicy ingredients, come together in the Steamed Siakap with Lemongrass Sauce (RM55.90).
The fish is steamed whole with loads of bird’s eye chilli, kaffir lime leaves, lime and garnished with fresh coriander. It is spicy and sweet but the flavours are well balanced.
Other all-time favourites include Thai Cashew Nuts Chicken (RM16), Seafood Pad Thai (RM20.50), Tom Yam Chicken (RM19.50) and Papaya Salad (RM9.50).
There are also great options for dessert, including Banana Wrap with Wonton Skin (RM5.50) and tub tim krob (RM6) or more popularly known as red ruby.
Unlike other versions, the shaved ice in the red ruby is made from frozen coconut milk instead of water. This made the dish creamier and more flavourful while shredded jackfruit and “red” water chestnuts provided texture.
TIGERLILY THAI RESTAURANT, L3-25, Level 3, Melawati Mall, Jalan Bandar Melawati, Kuala Lumpur (Tel: 03-4161 4791). Business hours: 10am to 10pm, daily.
This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.