Saturday, April 5, 2008

Thoughts & Comments

!* Some of the dishes we ordered...*

The BIG eaters who enjoy restaurant hopping!

Ah, after church Hobbit and I visited Cili Padi Restaurant for the third time. CP is another M'sian restaurant we discovered here in Bangkok. It was on business for quite sometime already and hey, the food is more authentic compared to any M'sian restaurant here in Bangkok that we have been to. Of course the price ranged quite high compared to home but how else we can satisfy our cili padi tastebuds? I thought I was a little disappointed with my nasi lemak dish yesterday before knowing that most of the ingredients were out of stock. I felt some ingredients were the keropok ikan! By the way, the Malaysian owners get their supplies from Malaysia since you know how the curry powders, chillies, pastes and so on here would never give the same effect as to original stuff you get back home. They said Thai chillies are never meant for Malaysian dishes and likewise. Here...enjoy some pictures!

The Star's Malaysia columnist review

Saturday August 4, 2007

Cili Padi satisfies authentic craving

You can easily find halal food in Thailand but it becomes a problem if you want Malaysian-style halal food. To get over this Azizan Ibrahim opened his own restaurant in Bangkok.
WHAT would you do when you can’t find your favourite food in a city you visit frequently? If you were Azizan Ibrahim, a 48-year-old Malaysian, you would launch a Malay restaurant in Bangkok.
One difficulty Azizan faced when visiting his brother-in-law who works in the Thai capital was finding halal food to his liking. Yes, halal food can be found in the Lebanese, Egyptian and Indian restaurants in Bangkok’s famous Arab Street, which is around Soi Nana along Sukhumvit Road.
But Azizan’s taste buds are not used to non-Malaysian halal food. What he craves is typical Malay food – nasi lemak, roti canai and teh tarik.
I pointed out that nasi lemak, roti canai and teh tarik are available at a Malaysian/Thai restaurant called Kopitiam at Thonglor, which is a hip area in Bangkok. But Fahmi Sabri, Azizan’s 25-year-old nephew who lives in Bangkok, quickly remarked that the restaurant might not be 100% halal.
How about the restaurants owned by Thai Muslims? I asked.
I was curious as the hunt for halal food by my Malaysian/Muslim friends who are tourists in this city, where the most popular dishes are som tam (papaya salad) and moo yahng (grilled strip of pork), would usually end up in a fast food restaurant which provides food for thought as they question its “halal-ness”.
Azizan is not a fan of restaurants owned by Muslim Thais.
“Thai Muslim food is different from Malay food. It tastes like Thai food – sweet and spicy. The only similarity is it is halal,” he explains.
Last December, Azizan, Fahmi and their Malaysian and Thai partners decided to open a Malay restaurant. And three weeks ago, they launched Cili Padi – an authentic Malaysian restaurant serving affordable Malay dishes such as rendang daging (60 baht or RM6.90), kari ikan (50 baht or RM5.80) and sambal tumis udang (70 baht or RM8.10).
Cili Padi, which is the second restaurant in Bangkok serving Malaysian dishes, is tucked away on the ground floor of ITF Building, which is along the busy Silom-Narathiwas Road. The location was picked because of its proximity to two major roads – Sathorn, where several embassies including Malaysia’s are located, and Silom, where the world famous tourist destination Patpong is located.
One of the most important elements, according to Azizan, in operating an authentic Malaysian restaurant is the cook.
“We must have a Malaysian who can cook Malay food. If not it won’t be authentic,” he insists. And the cook, Noriza Mohd Tahir, who used to operate a cafe in Shah Alam, Selangor, is Azizan’s wife and Fahmi’s aunt.
“How do you make your food taste like the one back home?” I asked while scooping the nasi lemak (50 baht or RM5.80) that tasted like the one I usually buy on Sunday morning in USJ, Subang Jaya.
It was a valid question as Havinder Kaur – a Malaysian who owns Mrs Balbir, a popular north Indian restaurant in Bangkok’s Sukhumvit Soi 11 – had told me that in Thailand she could not cook nasi lemak as tastily as when she prepared it in Malaysia.
“The ikan bilis and cili padi sold in Bangkok taste different from those in Kuala Lumpur,” reasoned the 51-year-old television presenter who is a well-known personality in Bangkok, adding, “it has something to do with Mother Nature.”
Azizan agrees, saying “somehow Malaysian-made curry and Thai-made curry taste different.”
So what he does is board a train from Alor Star to travel for 20 hours to Bangkok to transport ingredients such as belacan (shrimp paste), asam jawa (tamarind) and curry powder.
Authentic or not, Fahmi acknowledges that Malay food is not popular with Thais.
“They find our food too spicy and tasteless,” he says. “For example, my wife who is a Thai hardly eats Malay food as she is used to food that is sweet.”
Cili Padi does not expect walk-in customers who are Thais. The bulk of its clientele will be Malaysians living in Bangkok and also busloads of Malaysian tourists brought in by in-bound tour operators.
So far the restaurant’s loyal customers include personnel from the Malaysian Embassy including the ambassador and a man called Peter, a 70-year-old Malaysian who lives in Bangkok with his Thai wife.
Since finding the restaurant, Peter, who claimed he has not eaten Malaysian food for 20 years, has patronised Cili Padi for breakfast, lunch and dinner in a single day.

original article taken from :

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Monday, October 8, 2007

Malaysia's Cili Padi Restaurant Opens in Bangkok

Yahoo! Asia News Search Yahoo! News

Monday July 9, 10:19 AM

BANGKOK, July 9 Asia Pulse - Over one million Malaysians visit Thailand annually, yet there is not even one restaurant that can be considered serving truly Malaysian food, especially in capital Bangkok.
With such a big and promising market, several Malaysians have joined hands to open the "Cili Padi" restaurant here to cater for fellow Malaysians visiting Thailand or working in the capital and for expatriates from Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei.

Restaurant owner, Noriza Mohd Tahir, said she conceived the idea to open the restaurant from her many trips to Thailand to visit her brother who is working here.

"Every time we meet fellow Malaysians, they will be asking where they can get some home dishes after eating Thai food for several days. Normally, they will go to Nana Street where there are few Arab restaurants or to Phayathai for southern Thai dishes," she said.

After several months of planning, she will have a soft opening Monday for the restaurant, a joint venture with her nephew, Mohd Fahmi Sabri, and two Thai partners.

Noriza, who worked as a cook at a restaurant in Shah Alam, said she took up the challenge to venture into food business in Thailand as her two grown up children would be pursuing their studies.

"After much thought and blessing from my husband, who is working in a bank, I decided to come here. We are going to prepare most of the popular Malay dishes, as well as other food like roti canai and teh tarik," she said.

Her restaurant is conveniently located at Soi One, Narathiwat Road, near the business district of Silom and Sathorn, not far from the Chong Nongsi light rail transit station.

Mohd Fahmi said the reasonably-priced dishes include nasi lemak, laksa, rendang, satay, roti canai, sambal tumis, asam pedas, meehon goreng, bubur kacang and pulut hitam.

The audio engineering graduate said they are also planning for catering services and home and hotel deliveries, as well as special items like briyani rice on certain days.


original article taken from: