Boat noodles are traditional and unique Thai "street food" when canals were the main streets around old Bangkok. The noodles are served in tiny two mouthful bowls as the
Jason, a Johorean and his wife Patty from Amphawa Thailand started Amphawa Boat Noodles with the help of his mother-in-law. Amphawa is famous for it's floating market.
Jason's mother-in-law runs a restaurant in Amphawa now and was once a boat hawker. (Most Thai boat hawkers eventually move on to restaurants on land.)
Amphawa Boat Noodle restaurant is located at the popular F and B area outside Sutera Mall. Jason has cleverly recreated the Thai village ambiance with simple furnishings, wood panels and paint.
Needless to say, we started our lunch with Amphawa's boat noodles.
The noodles are served in small bowls (RM1.90+ each) with a little broth and meat. They can be eaten in two mouthfuls or less. Back in Amphawa, Thailand, boat noodles are served in small bowls because there are no tables and chairs - you basically slurp up the noodles standing, hand back the empty bowl and go on your way :-D
There are basically 3 types of meat - beef, chicken and shrimp. Amphawa Boat Noodle restaurant is pork free (unlike in Thailand).
There are 3 types of broth - original (Amphawa) which is sourish spicy, herbal (Rangsit) and tom yam. All the broths are flavoursome but quite gentle (for my taste buds).
There are 2 types of noodles - thick bee hoon (rice vermicelli) and Thai glass noodles (mung bean noodles).
The sourish spicy Amphawa and herbal flavours are new to me. I like the familiar tom yam flavour the most, at the moment :-D
After the boat noodles, we tried the Tom Yam Gung Lobster Noodle, another of the restaurant's signature dishes.
Seasonally priced, the price of this dish depends on the market price of it's star ingredient, the spiny lobster. This serving enough for 2-3 people costs RM98+. Though not a live lobster, the meaty 200-300 gram lobster had good spring to the bite and a slight natural sweetness.
I love squids, especially when I can taste their natural flavour, and when the flesh bounce to the bite and are full of roe.
The mussels and house made chicken patty were also delicious.
We like the tom yam gung. It's a blend of sour, savoury, sweet and spicy with the heat coming at the end and lingers for a few moments in the mouth. The front part of the taste reminds me of mee siam kuah (broth) but with heavier body as the tom yam gung was thickened with coconut milk.
The bee hoon at the bottom of the large bowl soaked up the tom yam gung well.
Overall, we like Amphawa's Tom Yam Gung Lobster Noodle.
Thai Crispy Chicken Salad. Interesting salad made with slivers of chicken deep fried to a crisp. Tastes like fried anchovies.
Amphawa Boat Noodle does a good rendition of the iconic Pandan Leaf Chicken (RM11.90). The chicken was well marinated, tender and juicy sweet. The slight char on the outside gave the chicken a bit of smokey crisp and the pandan leaf imparted some of it's fragrance to the chicken.
For desserts, we had the iconic Thai Red Rubies and Mango Sticky Rice.
The chunks of crunchy water chestnuts wrapped in a gummy coat of red coloured tapioca flour sit in salted coconut milk and ice. I like the red rubies but the coconut milk was a little too salty for my taste buds. I also prefer crushed ice to ice cubes.
We love this very sweet honey mango from Thailand. The sweetened glutinous rice was delicious and the dried yellow bean topping added crunch to the dessert.
->> A good place in JB to try out a traditional Thai custom prepared by Thais. Amphawa is boat noodles and more, and their Tom Yam Gung Lobster Noodles is worth checking out.
Disclosure: This is an invited tasting.
Restaurant name: Amphawa Boat Noodle
Address: 69, Jalan Sutera Tanjung 8/2, Taman Sutera Utama, 81300 Skudai, Johor, Malaysia
Hours: 11:30am to 10:30pm daily
No pork, no lard, no Halal cert
Date visited: 9 Mar 2016
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