Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Kuay Tod Yod Heng (กล้วยทอดยอดเฮง​) - Fried Banana Shop

Crunchy coconut and sesame batter on the outside, sweet and soft semi-ripe banana on the inside. This oh-so-good snack is another typical street food in Thailand. It's not something I have everyday - deep fried banana fritters are not exactly great for the waistline (even if you're eating fruit!). Once you start, its quite hard to stop!

Kuay Tod Yod Heng (roughly translated as "Very lucky deep fried banana fritters" - I just love the way Thai people name their shops) was first discovered by my father. He was having lunch at his favourite beef noodle shop when he saw a big queue next door. Just like any good foodies, he decided to investigate, and voila, there was Kuay Tod Yod Heng.

From the menu board, it seems they also sell noodles (haven't tried it), but bananas are definitely their specialty. They do grilled bananas as well that also look pretty good (and healthy!). 

...But I was there for the Kuay Tod (fried bananas). Asking the lady owner for her "secret", she mentioned using cake flour. The Kuay Tods were definitely great, with the mild aroma of coconut and sesame in every crunchy bite. The bananas had a firm texture, but still soft and sweet, and not squishy (as you would get in very ripe bananas). She also gave us some deep fried sweet potatoes, but I like the bananas better; and also lots of bits of deep fried batter at the bottom of the bag (yum! - I think this might be the best bit! ). 20 baht/bag.

Definitely very good Kuay Tod, and I'm craving for some right now!

Kuay Tod Yod Heng
Chiang Mai-Doi Saket Road (118) between the Middle Ring and Outer Ring (121) Road, just before PTT Station.
For location on Google Maps, click on the "Location" link below.
Tel: 089 4334571, 081 724 3885

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Sunday, 8 July 2012

Kuay Tiew Pla Doctor ("Doctor" Fish Noodles)

Having been away in Sydney for a month, I came back to Chiang Mai craving something spicy and sour. Yen ta fo came to mind and off to Kuay Tiew Pla Doctor, a newish noodle restaurant around the corner from my office at Meechok Plaza.

When I arrived though, I promptly changed my mind (this happens quite often!) to another rather spicy and sour dish - Tom yum with crispy wonton skins (45 baht), and boy, was it "sap". "Sap" is the Thai word for dishes with intense spicy and sour flavour - just what I needed! This particular one was a "gow laow" - ie no noodles, but has heaps of bean sprouts, various types of fish balls, and of course the crispy wonton skins which were nice and crunchy, providing a nice contrast to the spicy soup. If you prefer something a little less intense, you can also order "Tom yum manao" - tom yum with lime juice. It's still pretty "sap", but is quite a bit gentler on the tongue.

OK. You might say, so it's a nice tom yum, which you can get pretty much all over Chiang Mai (or Thailand for that matter). What is different about Kuay Tiew Pla Doctor? The fishballs here, as claimed on their menu board, are free of fishy smell, MSG, borax, preservatives and mercury. Honestly, before coming here, I didn't even think about possible health hazards of eating fishballs before, but having "bad" chemical free versions is definitely not a bad thing, particularly if they taste great as well.

...And it's not just the "good" fishballs that set this eatery apart either. You may recall from my previous posts about Yen ta fo that the red / pink colour of the dish comes from fermented tofu. It's interesting to find  out that the red colour of yen ta fo here comes from making a sauce from rozelle water, tomato & red chillis - how ingenious! What about the taste? I would say that yen ta fo here is very nice (and very "sap" as well!) - comparable to the other good yen ta fos around.

Continuing on with the health theme, various refreshing herbal drinks are also served here, as well as Cha Yen (cold Thai tea),... and for dessert,  fried ice-cream! Yes,  I did have a fried ice-cream in honour of fond childhood memories of eating these in Chinese restaurants in Sydney when I was young. OK, it wasn't exactly the best ice cream in the world, but it was still fun especially since it's topped with chocolate sauce, sweet condensed milk, corn flakes, sprinkles... 39 baht.

The restaurant

The restaurant itself has quite a nice open air set up, surrounded by lovely shady trees. Very clean and pleasant place to sit around, have lunch, and chat.

The staff / service

Very friendly staff. The dishes don't really come as quickly as you would expect from the usual noodle shop though, so be prepared to wait a little.

Kuay Tiew Pla Doctor
Just past Meechok Plaza / Ruamchok Market on Mae Jo Road
GPS Coordinates: 18.830000° N 99.012167° E
Closed on Sundays
Tel: 081 6719155, 081 9603827

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