Back in my hometown , for our Thai food fix, we would normally dine at the Thai eateries around Tumpat where we know of the quality of the food as well as we would expect the prices would be more reasonable being in a more kampong-ish area compared to restaurants around Kota Bharu. We were in KB that day and decide to try out Keng Som , which was recommended by some friends.
Well, we were so used to the Thai restaurant in Tumpat that we could probably order without batting an eyelid, but being in a new restaurant means that we have to read the menu from top to bottom and see what Keng Som has to offer.
The conversation went somewhat like this:
Us : what’s this ‘soup kering’ ( dry soup) dish harr ?
Waitress : this is our specialty, we cook the dish for several hours until it’s tender, this is very nice, my husband cook this
Us : so this is dry lah, no soup one hor ?
W : yes, dry.
Us : Ok, we try this lah
W : this one today don’t have , you would have to pre-order .
Us : mean cannot order ah ?
W : have to pre-order one
Us : what’s the specialty chicken dish here harrrr ?
W : we have Mongolia chicken, lemon chicken, Kung Pou chicken, green chicken curry. Pat Porn chicken etc etc
Us : * look around the table and ask –what type of chicken you all want ah ?
Those around the table replied : cincai lah, anything la..
Us : we don’t like chicken without bones , we would like chicken with bones, which ones are those ah ?
W : * pointed at a few chicken dishes on the menu *
Us : how do you cook Pat Porn Chicken ?
W : it’s xxxxxx , xxxxx
Us ; Got bones one ah ?
W : No
At this point, the waitress ( we guessed to be the owner) got a bit fed up of our questions and asked another waitress to take over.We weren’t trying to be difficult one lerr, we just need to know more about the menu maahhh…and we really don’t like chicken without bones one lorrrr
Mango salad – I find the mango shreds weren’t firm enough to give the texture, and maybe need a bit more of dried prawns and lime juice to give this dish the Ummpp..but still ok, not bad.
Keng Som fish- (asam pedas) –the soup was full of Ummppp..spicy, tangy and sourish. The fish was fresh and sweet. The coconut thingies ( I initially thought they were bamboo shoots) were cut into wedges – were rather nice, crunchy and seemed to have absorbed the flavour from the soup. Yumm..
Pat Porn chicken ( yes, the chicken pieces came with bones) was very tasty and rich, the chicken were coated in creamy, thick goeey gravy heavily flavoured with chilli powder, santan and don’t know what else. Plenty of cauliflower and carrots were served with this dish. But after a while the overly rich dish became a bit overbearing for the taste bud.
Bittergourd omelet – err..we had wanted to order bittergourd with egg rather than in an omelet but we must have confused the waitress with our order. The bittergourd were sliced very thinly, we didn’t detect any bitterness. This was not bad for an omelet dish.
Kangkong belacan – this dish was a bit more spicier than what we would have liked and was rather oily . The kangkong were tender though. This was average.
Overall – not bad .
Jalan Sultanah Zainab, locate Dynasty Inn Hotel, Keng Som is a few doors away – Look out for the sign board. Keng Som is now at Jalan Kebun Sultan.
Operating hours 6pm – 11pm.
Keng Som is a halal restaurant. Non air-conditioned