Thai? Not quite

Grey­hound Cafe, a Thai fran­chise, of­fers an in­ter­est­ing take on both Asian and Western dishes, writes Tan Bee Hong

New Straits Times - - Flair - Phoenixbee@gmail.com

IThe lus­ciously stun­ning fresh co­conut crepe cake. T started as a fash­ion re­tail out­let but Bangkok’s Grey­hound Cafe soon opened a cafe to cater to its trendy clien­tele. Like its cloth­ing and Bangkok, it of­fers a menu of mix-and-match rather than tra­di­tional Thai cui­sine.

In Kuala Lumpur, the out­let oc­cu­pies a cor­ner of the Ansa ho­tel in fash­ion­able Jalan Bukit Bin­tang and what im­me­di­ately draws the eye is the mu­ral of a waiter painted on grey walls. And in carpark-chal­lenged Bukit Bin­tang, the prom­ise of valet ser­vice (RM15) can be ir­re­sistible.

OOH, APPETISING

The first thing we spot is Sal­mon Sashimi in Spicy Hot Sauces (RM26). That’s to­tally not Thai, right?

No, but the chef has given the slices of raw sal­mon the Grey­hound twist with gen­er­ous lash­ings of a cit­rusy dress­ing made with crushed co­rian­der, lime juice, palm sugar and sliced gar­lic. Delectable and de­li­cious.

Grey­hound Fa­mous Fried Chicken Wings (RM18) are crispy and juicy, with the full flavour of fish sauce. The mid-joint wings are sliced length­wise to sep­a­rate the two long bones for easy eat­ing. Un­for­tu­nately, the chef is a bit heavy handed with the mari­nade and the wings are too salty for my taste.

We pick a dish from the noo­dles sec­tion. Com­pli­cated Noo­dle (RM26) is more a dish for shar­ing than a main course. Fun too. Served on a wooden board are square slices of rice noo­dles, let­tuce, cilantro, minced chicken and a co­rian­der-lime-chilli sauce. Din­ers place a sheet of noo­dle on the let­tuce and top it off with the other in­gre­di­ents. Then roll it up and eat.

A word of warn­ing: This is not a dish to or­der if you’re with some­one you want to im­press. It can get pretty messy though in a yummy, fin­ger-lick­ing way.

NOO­DLES AND RICE

At Grey­hound, Asian and Western dishes are listed side by side. Like pasta, bi­hun and rice. For some­thing truly Thai, there’s Phad Thai With Fresh Shrimps (RM26). Stir­fried with eggs, tofu and chives, the rice noo­dles come with beansprout, crushed peanut and chilli flakes. A side tray has bot­tles of these condi­ments, in­clud­ing fish sauce and sugar, if you pre­fer more.

If it’s com­fort food you need, go for Noo­dle With Thai Duck Stew (RM31). In­spired by a Thai street food item, this has ver­mi­celli in a flavour­some soup scented with fish sauce, goji berries, cin­na­mon and cloves. The leg of duck is deep­fried and stewed in stock to make it ten­der.

Of the many pasta dishes, Spaghetti With Thai An­chovy (RM26) catches my eye.

Ground Level, Ansa Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Bukit Bin­tang, Kuala Lumpur.

03-2148 1188

www.grey­hound­cafe. com.my

8am to 11pm (Sun­day to Thurs­day). 8am to mid­night (Fri­day, Satur­day and pub­lic hol­i­days)

Thai with a twist Com­pli­cated Noo­dles and Fresh Co­conut Crepe Cake

About RM50 per per­son. All prices ++

Trendy chic

At­ten­tive

Go­givei­ta­try

The pasta is stir­fried with a Thai tomato-an­chovy paste, chilli oil, whole dried chilli and stalks of fresh green pep­per­corn. Pluck these off the stalk and eat with the pasta for that ex­plo­sive burst of pep­pery flavour.

Rice, nat­u­rally, is a high­light at Grey­hound. Apart from steamed rice with curry, there is a va­ri­ety of fried rice. The name, Fried Tons Of Crab Meat With Rice (RM55), sounds weird till you see the dish.

There is not a grain of rice in sight. You’d have to dig un­der a thick blan­ket of fried crab meat to get to the rice fried with egg. This comes with cu­cum­ber sticks and a bowl of clear ham choy (salted mus­tard) soup. It’s a lazy way to eat crab, with­out the fid­dly shells.

DESSERT

Sticky Rice & Mango (RM18) comes in a glass with a base of gluti­nous rice steamed with co­conut milk, topped with fresh cubes of mango and co­conut sher­bet with mint leaf. Re­fresh­ing.

But what I am re­ally in love with is the Fresh Co­conut Crepe Cake (RM22). Imag­ine this: Thin crepes lay­ered with fresh cream and strips of ten­der, young co­conut flesh to give it a nat­u­ral taste. A moist, stun­ning work of art. Deep-fried mar­i­nated mini chicken wings in fish sauce.

Phad Thai with fresh shrimps. Sal­mon sashimi in spicy hot sauce with sliced gar­lic.

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