It’s currently Day 43 of the COVID 3.0 Lockdown in Malaysia at the moment, where restaurants/cafes are still not allowed to have dining-in customers. So, most have turned to offering take-outs in order to sustain their businesses.
Following on the rather well-thought-out Sri Lankan lunch takeout we ordered from Muntri Mews a fortnight ago, we decided to try out their Thai lunch set this time.
Muntri Mews does not have Thai-trained chefs, but we suspect that Chef Zachary Choong from its sister-hotel, Seven Terraces, a few hundred meters down the street must have lent his expertise here.
Chef Choong trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Bangkok, and is pretty passionate about Thai cooking. He had a pretty successful Thai food promotion back in April at Seven Terraces - at the time, local restaurants could still offer indoor dining.
Anyhow, the current Thai lunch set for two persons, priced at just MYR60 (US$14.40 /£10.40) was a real bargain, by Penang standards.
It was delivered by Muntri Mews’ own staff, and consisted of:
- Tod Mun Pla (Thai: ทอดมันปลา) - Fish cakes with cucumber-and-peanut-chili dipping sauce. I loved the fishcakes here - they didn’t have that “bouncy”, spongey texture of typical Thai fish-cakes (which I don’t like), but straddled somewhere between the Western version (with its moist, flaked fish texture, which I much prefer) and the authentic Thai one. They were pretty well-spiced, and was perfect for me.
The cucumber-crushed peanuts in sweet Thai chili sauce dip was also quite mild, not too chili-spicy as we oft encountered in Thailand, and suited me just fine.
- Kaeng Phed Ped Yang (Thai: แกงเผ็ดเป็ดย่าง) - Roast duck and pineapple red curry. This was absolutely delicious and had all the requisite flavors, plus the sweetness from the pineapple, and the savory-deliciousness from the duck breast-meat.
Again, strangely, the spice level had also been dialed down quite drastically. I’m surmising that it’s to cater to the customers who ordered their take-outs here - 80% are Western expats who make up most of Muntri Mews’ regular clientele.
Thai-level chili spicing would’ve been too much for them, and this suits me fine, too, as I have an aversion towards having chili in my food.
Yum Woon Sen (Thai: ยำวุ้นเส้น) - Glass noodle salad with prawns and fresh herbs. This dish was okay - the dressed glass noodles were softer than I’d have liked, and did not have minced pork tossed into the salad. The flavors were also milder than what I’m used to, as chilis and fish sauce (nam pla) were omitted, or perhaps used in small quantities as to render them indiscernible.
Pad Pak Ruammit (Thai: ผัดผักรวม) - Stir-fried mixed vegetables: pretty standard stir-fry of French beans, carrots, tomatoes, baby corn and enoki mushrooms.
Must admit we enjoyed the meal vastly, though dining at home meant that we had to do all the washing and cleaning up ourselves afterwards. Am keeping our fingers crossed that we can start dining out again after this lockdown period ends on 28 June, although we’re not holding our breaths.
Muntri Mews Cafe
77, Muntri Street, 10200 George Town, Penang
Tel: +04-263 6125
Opening hours: 8am to 11pm daily