Small Thai Café with Big & Bold Flavours!
Talk about Thai food and I am literally always drooling at the thoughts of flavours of savory, sweet, spicy and sour bursting in my mouth! Now I have always enjoyed Thai food, especially Thai restaurants that serves up bodacious flavours of Thai cuisine. If I didn’t feel any sensations of sweat or kick, it’s not my kind of Thai food!
This post is way overdue since I had it in December last year. Still, it is a drool-worthy post that deserves the attention of all Thai fans like me. Thai Camp is a small Thai café run by husband and wife team. Nic runs the front of the house while his Thai wife runs the kitchen. The dynamic duo is very humble and friendly when I met them that evening. Everything dish is prepared and cooked by his wife together with some family help. This is already a plus point as diners are assured of authentic and home cook dishes when dining at Thai Camp.
Thai Camp is pretty small. It occupies a small shoplot in Taman Paramount and only has few tables so go early or call for reservations if you have a big group. The café is nicely bright and with minimal décor but there are really nice 3D art murals painted all over the walls by Nic’s friend. Don’t be fool by this small café as the Thai dishes serve here are genuinely authentic, rustic and bold in flavours.
The menu features a long list of Thai dishes as well as a good list of beverages. Thai Camp serves a lunch menu and a dinner menu together with a light supper menu. The menu is also devoted to happy porky fans like me with many Thai dishes showing of the hog. We went wild with our meal that night, tucking into hearty and rustic dishes of beckons for steamed rice.
While waiting for our dishes to arrive, we sip on Thai Iced Tea (RM4.90), Iced Green Milk Tea (RM4.90), Iced Lemongrass (RM2.50) and Iced Pandan (RM2.50). I am such a fan of Thai Iced Tea and the version here is creamy, sweet and milky.
We simply loved the Moo Sam Chan Yang (RM22) or Grilled Pork Belly so much, I believed we had a reorder of this dish. Look at its glorious char and caramelized edges on the pork belly! It’s succulent and flavourful on its own but dipped it into that lethal looking chili sauce and you get even more punchy and spicy flavours. Must- order…
Phad Kra Pao with Roasted Pork (RM20) is pretty sinful. Though it’s oily, the dish still tasted moreish and tasty. Laced in a dark soy sauce with chilies and aromatics, the roasted pork and long beans goes so well with rice.
Thai Camp’s menu showcase quite a list of fish dishes and we had three from the list. The first one is the classic Pla Neung Ma Naw (RM35) which is Steamed Fish with Chilies and Lime. Whole tilapia is covered in loads of minced garlic and chili, steamed with napa cabbage in lime stock. It looks innocently pale but once you tasted that stock, you’ll be hit with strong notes of savory, sweet, sour and spicy. The load of minced garlic made the dish spicier and garlicky so one gets some extra kick of shiok-ness.
If you are one to enjoy fried fish, then you may want to try Thai Camp’s own creation of Pla Sa Mhun Prai (RM35) or Thai Camp Fish. Whole tilapia fried till crispy and topped with a mount of peanuts, fried shallots, onions, mango and a savory fish sauce dressing. I enjoyed the various textures in this dish and thought it was a creative touch to the salad inspired dish. There is lots of aromatics in the dish, giving it a complex textural edge.
Pla Tod Yum Ma Muang (RM35) or Deep Fried Fish with Mango Salad is another good choice as this one is crowned with Thai mango salad. This dish has vibrant flavours with good hit of citrusy notes with the mango. There is also lots of peanuts and coriander in the salad which is what I love in Thai salads.
We obviously cannot dine Thai without the essential Tom Yum Ta Lae (RM25) which is Seafood Tom Yum. Thai Camp’s Tom Yum passed with flying colors. Served piping hot, the Tom Yum has lots of fresh prawns, squid and fish swimming in a creamy and spicy Tom Yum broth. It is super sourish with light creaminess and redolent of chili heat that will make you sweat with every sip. It’s my kind of Tom Yum! Damn shiok….
Though it’s not as popular as its famous sibling of Tom Yum, I am a big fan of Tom Ka kai (RM22) or White Tom Yum Chicken. This one is actually a coconut and galangal soup. It is very creamy and spiced up with galangal, lemongrass and other aromatics. The soup is also sourish from the addition of lime juice and is usually served with light heat from cut fresh chilies. I loved mine spicy and so I often add Thai chili flakes to kick it up another notch. Thai Camp’s version is beautiful in every spoonful. It is rich, creamy and well scented with galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and dried chilies. There are lots of tender chicken pieces with oyster mushrooms in the soup too.
Thais do make one of the best omelette around. I have yet to find out their secret but I have dine at many Thai places and their omelettes are usually golden with crispy edges and fluffy eggy insides. Kai Jeaw (RM10) which is Omelette with Minced Pork is a winner with everyone. Its pretty much basic omelette with minced pork but it sure tasted yummy.
Kai Yeaw Ma Kra Prao Grob (RM20) or Crispy Preserved Egg with Phad Kra Pao is a pretty unique dish of lightly battered fried century egg wedges stir fried in the classic Thai basil sauce. There are minced pork, long beans, chilies and lots of crispy fried Thai basil as well. The unique wobbly texture and flavour of the century eggs is something you’ll either enjoy or don’t. I like the century eggs in this dish as it gave the dish an unusual texture and taste to the dish and it seemed to match well with the distinctive Thai basil aroma and taste too.
Yum Kai Dow (RM18) or Fried Egg Salad with Seafood is another salad with an eggy twist. It’s basically a seafood salad with fried eggs in it. The salad as prawns, squid, minced pork and fried egg pieces dressed in the usual spicy sour Thai dressing and aromatized with onions and coriander. I actually like the egg pieces a lot in the salad and found myself picking for the eggs especially.
The only dish I was a bit weary off was the Nham Moo Yang (RM16) or Grilled Pork Sausage. I usually love sausages but this one had a really pungent garlicky and sweetish note that didn’t work for me. It is also served with extra raw garlic and chili. Others seemed to like it so I guess its just a matter of taste preference for this dish.
If I have to rave about one dish that I would return to Thai Camp for, it would be Kaeng Hung Le (RM22) which is Northern Thai Curry. It’s my first time tasting this and gosh it is so delicious! Pork belly cubes are simmered in a Thai Northern style curry till it melts-in-the-mouth. The curry is not like our usual heavy creamy based one but rather a lighter version of non-creamy based curry broth. I enjoyed the flavours of the vinegary curry broth which has a good balance of savory and spicy with sourish notes. As it is sourish, it actually cuts the richness and balance the fatty pork belly really well. I can taste ginger in the dish too. There is something really unique about the dish and I had fallen deeply in love with the taste and not to mention the soft pork belly. Definitely a must-order at Thai Camp!
We were told that Thai Camp has a light supper menu which they serve to those who wishes to enjoy something in between meals. We tried their Toast with Tom Yum Mix Chicken Floss (RM2.90) and Toast with Butter Milk (RM2.90). The first toast was pretty interesting in flavours of spicy and savory while the second was sweet and dessert-like. Both are different as one is savory and one is sweet. It might be worth a try if you are feeling puckish for some snacks.
Since my first visit, I have also taken my whole family back there for a big feast. My other visit was just as good as my initial. The only thing was that my second visit didn’t have my favorite Northern Thai Curry, which reminds me now that it’s time to go back for my craving of Thai Camp’s big and bold flavours!
37, Jalan 20/7,
46300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor D.E.
Tel: +6012-345 1768
Wed to Fri 12.00pm – 3.00pm, 6.00pm – 10.00pm
Sat & Sun 6.00pm – 10.00pm