Saturday, 23 November 2013

Thai Food in Johor at Soul Thai 泰美味美食餐厅

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Today, I was at Soul Thai restaurant at the invitation of Vincent, the Executive Director.

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At first look, Soul Thai's imposing façade would make any budget conscious person like me think twice before stepping into the restaurant. (Soul Thai is on the right of the picture.)

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Soul Thai is actually attached to it's sister company Soul Asia which provides traditional Thai massage services.

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Stepping inside Soul Thai, the very well appointed interior includes an exclusive private room which reinforces the impression that this restaurant is only for deep pockets.

So, I was pleasantly surprised at how family and price friendly the dishes at Soul Thai are. Vincent has Thai family members and sharing Thai food with Johoreans is one of the reasons for setting up Soul Thai.

The food at Soul Thai is prepared by Thai chefs led by Executive Chef Payup Suwong who is an award winning chef from Thailand. Chef Payup has tuned the tastes and flavours to suit local palates while honouring the essence of Thai cuisine.

Let's see what we ate :D

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Our lunch naturally started with a tom yam kung (RM17.90).

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The helpful staff helping us to ladle the steamy seafood tom yam.

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The fresh shrimps and squid in a moderately spicy murky broth with fragrant lemon grass and herbs. This tangy, sweet, savoury, and spicy tom yam is a great way to "open the appetite" as they say in Chinese.

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This Soul Thai signature fried fish is another favourite. Soul Thai uses live sea bass to make this fried fish covered by a grassy looking blanket of lemongrass, spring onions, cashews, peanuts, chili and other ingredients. The whole fish is doused with a savoury spicy house blended sauce. One of my favourites of the day.

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I love Soul Thai's Massaman curry chicken and potatoes (RM13.90). The curry is a interesting blend of sweet, savoury, mildly spicy and nutty. There are lots of roasted peanuts and cashews in the pot softened by cooking in curry - in a way, this Massaman curry reminds me of satay sauce but more drippy. The fresh chicken pieces were tender and sweet. I liked this Massaman curry so much that I ate and drank up two bowls. 

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Massaman curry originally from Southern Thailand was voted by CNN in 2011 as the World's Number 1 most delicious food. Personally, Soul Thai's rendition of this Malay-Thai fusion dish is a Must Try. (On a side note, tom yam kung is voted Number 8 and Penang asam laksa is Number 7.)

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The fried crab in Thai curry. The curry has a dense complex mix of savoury and spicy flavours though it is pretty toned down in spiciness. The gravy is a tad greasy in the Thai style. I like the refreshing sweet juicy crab meat which was mostly shielded from the curry by the shell.

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The pineapple rice was cooked with turmeric and topped with cashews, fried shallots, raisins, maize and peas. Being mildly flavoured, the pineapple rice complements the more robustly flavoured Thai dishes well.

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Vincent is quite proud of Soul Thai's signature Thai style battered fried kang kong (RM12.90). Nice, crispy batter wrapping crunchy green kang kong inside.

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The dip for the fried kang kang made with coconut milk spiced up with curry and sweetened with chicken meat.

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Thai style ABC (RM4.90) is different from the Malaysian variety. There's attap seeds, ruby chestnuts, pandan worms in a bowl of coconut milk with ice.

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My favourite rubies chestnut with coconut milk (RM4.90).

I am looking forward to come back to Soul Thai to try their green curry, crab cooked in tang hoon, steamed squid and, of course, Phad Thai! I love to try their Massaman curry beef too at my next visit too :D

Soul Thai is a good place for delicious Thai food in a nice environment at reasonable prices.

Restaurant name: Soul Thai Restaurant & Bistro 泰美味美食餐厅
Address: 3G, Jalan Bestari 3/5, Taman Nusa Bestari, Skudai
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/J8HgL
GPS: 1.492009,103.659587
Hours: 11:00am to 11:30pm
No pork, no lard,  no Halal cert

Date visited: 22 Nov 2013

20 comments:

  1. I'm in and out Malaysia and did not even noticed that I'm missing a whole lot until I read your post about Soul Thai. The prices are okay but being voted by CNN gave me the more reason to try it. Thanks for your very interesting post :-)

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    Replies
    1. You are welcome. I can't wait to go back to Soul Thai to try their Massaman beef which I missed at my last visit :D

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  2. I'd know where to go for thai food the next time i go JB.. that's if i go JB hahaha but i had the shittiest thai food last night at Yio Chu Kang, so your photos are making me salivate! My favourite dessert is also red ruby!! .... And Mango with rice XD

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    Replies
    1. hmm.. maybe we can get a few blogger friends and go over LOL

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  3. The fried crab in Thai curry looks super yummy! Have never tried Thai style type of crab before. Its so cool they have a sister company that does massage. So after people eat they can head right next door for a massage lol!

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    Replies
    1. I wanna try the massage one day :D but before makan, so that I can whip up extra appetite for the delicious food LOL

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  4. Hi Johor Kaki,

    Have always been reading your blog silently... Our family are venturing into JB with our friends next month and seeing your blog is so helpful! Hopefully can get some tips as we will be the "tour guide" this time!!!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Phoebe, glad you found JK helpful. Wish you a great trip and perhaps we can go JB makan together in the future LOL :D

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  5. I should always remind myself to visit your blog in the morning.
    Now I am craving for Thai Food !

    Hi Tony, I second Phoebe, because our two families are going to attack KSL together :)
    Thanks for all the wonderful writeups and sedup photos !

    Cheers, Andy
    (SengkangBabies)

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    Replies
    1. LOL swing by Soul Thai with Phoebe and family :D There are non spicy dishes which the children can enjoy too.

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  6. I really shouldn't have read this in the middle of the night. Very hungry now! Actually I've always wondered where to eat in JB so thanks for the recommendations. Will be bookmarking your site for future reference.

    Mummybean @ <a href="http://www.lifeisinthesmallthings.com>Life is in the Small Things</a>

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    Replies
    1. LOL hope you like the same things I like :D

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  7. Wah lau, I cannot read your posts in the middle of the night. Now so hungry, later sure dream about the crab in Thai curry. ARGH!

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  8. We love thai food but hardly drive into JB as we are unfamiliar with the territory. Can you share some driving tips for families like us who are considering driving up more often for good food?

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    Replies
    1. Best to plan your trip and study the attached Google Map before you leave for JB. And, use a GPS when you are on the road. The GPS co-ordinates for the restaurants are provided in the posts. Take care and drive careful.

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  9. The fried fish is already a good reason I am going to this Thai Restaurant when I go Johor. I don't find this dish in Singapore yet.

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  10. Wow wow, I miss my childhood days my favorite dessert Ruby Chestnuts With More Coconuts Milk,
    hmm yummy yummy and I also like to eat Durian Chendol with Pandan Worms, extra Durian, extra long Red Beans, extra Coconut Sugar and extra Coconut Milk, hmm that will be really delicious Ichiban yummy yummy .

    Hi ! Tony, is there any other famous Ruby Chestnuts and any famous Durian Chendol In Johor ?
    Thank you ", cheers !
    Kristine :)

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  11. Soul Thai has a branch at Bukit Indah. Unfortunately the dishes we ordered were less than satisfactory. The asparagus was thick, old and fibrous- not the thin slender pieces I associate with the thai variety. other dishes such as green curry chicken was watery.
    To make the experience a bad one, the staff was sullen and brought the dishes to the table as if they were doing us a favour. We were told that the last order was at 9.00pm. At 8.00 plus we noticed the staff looking at their watches in the presence of potential customers and without any welcome smile or words.
    Strange that when a brand becomes established that the food and quality become poor. Sad becoz after I read the glowing reviews, I made it a point to go for a meal at soul thai only to have an unpleasant experience.

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  12. Food quality and service really dropped. Last week i went to the bestari branch and had the curry beef pot. The beef is tough and impossible to chew. When commented the "friendly staff", she totally ignored the comment and gave me the "dun bother me cos i am having my menses" look.

    That will be my last time going to the outlet.

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I firmly believe that taste is subjective and so, warmly welcome differing viewpoints :-D But, I disapprove negative comments that are anonymous or hide behind fake identities. I feel that that is the same as speaking ill of others behind their backs. I look forward to all your comments :-D Thank you. (Date: 18 Dec 2015)

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