by Shazwan Zulkiffli
Everyone knows Boat Noodle – that shop with the longest queue in any mall you go to. Famous for serving noodles in small bowls, Boat Noodle has a legitimate street cred when it comes to keeping Malaysian tummies happy.
You may have tried their noodles, Kra Pow Chicken Rice and Green Curry, but the establishment has unleashed a couple of new items that caught our attention. Thus, a trip down to Boat Noodle was made to try out the new stuff at 10am in the morning before the place gets crowded.
Fried Som Tam and Regular Som Tam
This one was the elephant in the room – or on the table I’d say. When it arrived, it looked as if the light from the sky wanted us to try this first (in reality, it’s just Boat Noodle’s ceiling light-lah). Who would’ve thought one can deep fry Som Tam and turn it to a dish best served during minum petang? Boat Noodle did, and the golden fritters tasted as good as it looks.
The fritters were obviously crispy, and continues to be until the third or so bite. The sweet and sour Som Tam taste was still apparent, but it’s saltier than the regular Som Tam we all know. But the takeway was the dipping sauce – though we are still not sure what it is or what’s it made of. The sauce is zesty and not too hot, so it doesn’t overshadow the flavor of the Som Tam or overcomplicate your tastebuds. To pair something deep fried and sambal-like isn’t new, but Boat Noodle’s take in it is brilliant.
The regular Som Tam on the other hand, is truly the authentic kickass Som Tam that any Som Tam lover would want on a cold Wednesday afternoon. The sweet and sour taste is well-balanced and the spiciness level is off the charts. If it didn’t order all the other new items, I’d have ordered a plate of rice to eat this with. The authenticity of this Som Tam takes me back to the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, and makes me want to get a cheap flight ticket to relive the holidays again.
Thai Fried Chicken
This is Boat Noodle’s latest item to date, and frankly, I didn’t know what to expect from it at first. As simple as fried chicken sounds, it’s never easy to serve a plate of perfect pieces of fried goodness. Thai Fried Chicken was the second to arrive, and instead of your regular ayam goreng makan with nasi or fries/mashed potato, this serving looks more like a sharing meal to enjoy in between noodle bowls.
Surprisingly, the fried chicken had a nutty twist in it with a soft hint of pandan. The boneless delicacy pulled the rug under our expectations because we genuinely expected it to be a normal plate of crispy fried chicken, but boy we were wrong. I may not be a psychic, but I can already see how this dish is going to be a cult classic among the regulars due to how simple, yet can still amaze you and make you wonder: what in the world did they cook this with?
As a fan of the Pad Kra Pow, I can sense that the Kraken Kari is going to hit home run as well. The Kraken Kari was served with white rice, and what’s interesting about that is the fact that Boat Noodle’s rice isn’t your normal nasi campur standard rice where it’s hard and don’t go too well with gravy. From the taste of it, Boat Noodle might’ve used Thai rice, that’s known for it’s fragrance and softness (I know this because my mother uses it too, and it tasted just like the one at home).
The Kraken Kari tasted a lot like rendang but with the wonders of the sea. My plate of Kraken Kari had a couple of pieces of squid and shrimp that went well with the milky taste of the curry. This is definitely new for Malaysians since most of us enjoy rendang with chicken, beef or mutton but it’s something worth trying out.
Satisfied with all the food, I cleaned my palate with what else: Sangkayaa, paired with Chill Chill’s kaw Terer Taro drink. Funny thing about it is that, every other table were enjoying one as well – and it tasted as good as the first time, every time.