Just an update - Thai Shop, which had moved to Hutton Lane in late-2018, is currently temporarily closed as its owners are still stranded in Korat, Thailand. The closure of the borders between Malaysia and Thailand since March 2020 has made it impossible for them to return to Penang at the moment - the husband-and-wife team that owns Thai Shop are Penangite, Mervyn, and his Thai wife, Nueng. Their all-Thai kitchen crew are all current back in Thailand.
Some photos taken during our dinner at their new Hutton Lane location pre-COVID lockdown. The little alleyway that led from Hutton Lane into their backyard was like a portal from George Town straight into Thailand.
Grilling moo ping - pork skewers and pork sates. The ones here were greasy, smokey and sinfully delicious.
Grilled sai oua sausages. These fat, juicy minced pork sausages were highly-spiced, with strong lemongrass, kaffir limes leaf, galangal and red curry accents.
Preparing the spicy som tam (green papaya salad). The version here is 100% authentic, although I did tell the chef to hold back in the tongue-searing chiles a bit. They sure got the crunchy textures and the sweet-sour-spicy balance of flavours just right here. I still needed at least two tall glasses of Thai iced-tea to douse the chile heat!
One of my fave dishes here: khao ka moo - stewed pork-leg, served with hard-boiled eggs. In Bangkok, my fave district to go for this dish is Saint-Louis off Sathorn Road, where a phalanx of good khai ka moo eateries can be found. But, with the current restrictions on international travel, Bangkok is so near yet so far from Penang.
The unmissable tom yum soup. I liked that the chef puts a squirt of evaporated milk into the soup, giving it a slightly rich flavour that undercuts the spiciness to a certain degree. We ordered the “tom yum talay” (seafood) version as I preferred fish slices in there than the just-shrimp “tom yum koong”.
Tum tim krob dessert - the shaved iced dessert which used diced waterchestnut covered with pink-tinged tapioca starch to emulate the appearance of pomegranate seeds. Slices of sweet jackfruit were added, and sweetened fresh coconut milk. It was perfect.
For the moment, the best place for Thai street food in George Town remains closed.
The Thai Shop
102B, Jalan Hutton (Hutton Lane)
10050 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Tel: +6012-741 1868
Operating hours: 12-3pm, 6-9pm, Tue to Sun (CURRENTLY CLOSED TEMPORARILY)