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Motormouth From Ipoh

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Khuntai Restaurant @ Butterworth, Penang - Thai Food, No Frills

A short break from the Bangkok posts, here's something closely related, yet hundreds of miles away from Thailand. Khuntai Restaurant is indeed closer to home; A heaven for those craving for a lip-smackingly sumptuous Thai meal, with emphasis on grilled/BBQ meats and seafood, and dining al fresco style, in Butterworth, Penang.

With ample seats, whether one chooses to be seated 'indoors' or 'outdoors' (under those bamboo + straw huts), dining here can be either fun and cooling, OR darn hot and infested with mosquitoes!

A little long overdue, this post was supposed to see the light of day sometime ago, right after the Penang's exodus. But somehow got suffocated in my own work, and Whoosh!!!! The month of June has come and gone in a flash.

And even July is miraculously slipping under my nose. Geez ..... Time DOES fly when one's having fun eh? ;)


The ambience is no doubt, one of the pulling factor @ Khuntai

Thanks to tintin (yeah, farny name I know), a resident on mainland of Penang, we were brought to Khuntai Restaurant in Raja Uda, Butterworth, Penang. A spacious restaurant, with its own parking lot by the side (but you can actually park haphazardly anywhere at all, given the rather obscure location), this al fresco style restaurant purpotedly serves delicious yet authentic Thai food, at a fraction of the prices in higher end restaurants.

Mieng Kam, a famous appetizer - Wrap em up and pop the whole thing into your mouth!

Started off withe Mieng Kam, one of my most preferred Thai appetizer, aside from the tangy mango/papaya salad. Betel leaves wrapping peanuts, dried shrimps, ginger, dried coconut flesh, bird's eye chillies and onion. Then add a dollop of the sweetish chilli sauce, and voila! A mixture of spicy, sour, and sweet flavours bursting in one's mouth. Unless of course, you're not fond of the green and raw, ulam-like taste.

It's hot, It's red. But it ain't that spicy .... Tom Yum with Seafood

The Tom Yum was barely torching our tongues, with heavier hints of fresh tomatoes and a generally thicker, wholesome taste with a nice touch of herbs. As far as Tom Yum goes in my book, this one passed the test of the palate, but without flying colours. Or probably we were expecting a lot more than this.

BBQ Squids

Bouncy texture of squids, barbecued to perfection, served with two dipping sauces. One being the familiar Thai chilli sauce with crushed peanuts, and another with a distinct fiery and sour kick. Not bad, but the portion was slightly on the smaller end of the scale.

Thai-style Steamed Fish

Geez, my memory failed me yet again. Price-wise, and species-wise. But this should be a siakap, steamed with the signature spicy and tangy sauce, and served over the fire. Firm and tender flesh, the fish was thankfully fresh and devoid of unpleasant fishy/muddy taste.

Pandan Chicken, Batter-fried Kangkung, Pineapple Fried Rice, and Ambra Juice (or was it Sugar Cane?)

Negligible items include the fried rice with pineapples and cashew nuts, and the pandan chicken. The deep-fried kangkung (water convolvulus or morning glory) was okay, paired with sweet Thai chilli sauce, but turned soggy soon after.

Steamed Large Mantis Prawns (RM7.50 each) and La-la Clams

But the highlight of our Thai experience were the steamed mantis prawns, and steamed lala clams. Lightly steamed with slices of garlic, and some chopped cili padi, the fresh and succulent mantis prawns were devoured in record time, almost shells and all! OK, maybe not. But the crustacean was really fresh, firm and springy, and needed no condiments to enhance the already sweet flavour of the flesh. The same goes for the clams, which was equally fresh and sweet. (And pleasantly clean - No gritty bits of sands, or dirt)

It is VERY dark on the outside at night, hence take note of where the other cars are heading to, and the signboard.

The meal came to about RM150 for the 5 of us, including white rice, and drinks. Rather reasonable, given the amount of food ordered. The menu covers a whole range of Thai delights, but we left the ordering to the 'local' instead. :)

Location : Khuntai Restaurant @ 104, Permatang Tengah, 13000 Butterworth, Penang. Opens from 11 am until 12 midnight. Tel No : +604-3327523.

Here's a Google MAP I managed to get from the internet. Sorry I can't verify the exact location, as I am not familiar with roads in Butterworth.

B-Suite (www) @ Bayan Lepas, Penang. Where I spent my nights .....

27 comments:

SimpleGirl said...

thai styled steamed fish is my fav....and the steamed mantis prawns and clams really mouth watering!!!

fcoe said...

my goodness...i'm hungry!
the food really looks good la!

ck lam said...

Heard so much of this place but have yet to visit.
The appetizer wrap looks good...get to choose and put in more of the ingredients that we like to eat.

Selba said...

You really make me drooling!

Mieng kam? Not familiar with it... hmmm... I guess I still need to learn more about Thai food :P

550ml jar of faith said...

No frills??? Hello, there's nothing no-frills about this meal! Mantis prawns are FRILLS all they way!!

reanaclaire said...

I have been to one Thai restaurant, also like attap type of restaurant with fans blowing above.. in alor raja in Butterworth.. i wonder it is around the same area as this one or not.. haha.. i got to confirm the name again with my penang fren again.. :) anyway, the food there was quite nice too.. steamed fish and tom yam...
This B-suite is very nice..big too.. i stayed there twice already...with free wifi and big bathroom...

J2Kfm said...

Simple Girl : yup, the Thais steam their seafood rather well.

fcoe : wanna go not? YOUR penang woh ... hehe, but I also dunno the way back there lah. ask tintin.

ck lam : i'm sure some Thai restaurants on the island offer them?

Selba : it's a rather famous appetizer. wrap them in your leaf.

550ml : really? hahaha ... frills as in air-conditioned, perfect service, table manners and all ...

reana : it's raja Uda this place. dunno same ornot. but rather crowded this place.

FoOd PaRaDiSe said...

Saw many reviews of this place and also words of mouth but have not visited yet. Foods look great. ^-^

New Kid on the Blog said...

hahahah... I dont even know there's a place like that in Butterworth. :)

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

khuntai somehow sounds very familiar..i think theres another thai restaurant by that kinda name in kl..or pj..or maybe my brain is just acting up..

soo sean said...

Good ar? This place u also know. Haha. Try their kem som fish next time. It's good.

Jason said...

Hey Joe, you're right, I think WMW blogged about Khuntai in PJ before.

KCA said...

wei.. miss the mantis prawns la... soooo BIG + FRESH~~
yeah.. thx for tintin's recommendation.. =)

GeOk kEE好きな♡ うち said...

I like the spicy tomyam & BBQ squids, look so delicious!

Nic (KHKL) said...

RM30 per pax is good la, for that amount of seafood. and like u said, fresh summore!

but dontcha think the benches are sorta off? imagine if the person sitting in the middle wanna go pee..hehehe..

Elin said...

this is saliva-inducing! I love seafood but have to keep watch on those cholesterol factors haha...for me that is :p

CUMI & CIKI said...

the b suite looks huge la - dont u get freaked out staying there all by urself?! :P
simple, authentic thai food is the best! the mantis prawns looks amazing:)

Big Boys Oven said...

wow! this is a place I would like to be on my next trip to Penang! Just damn good! Exciting!

worldwindows said...

Butterworth, big and spacious sometimes look down on by the islanders. I like the seafood.

J2Kfm said...

Food Paradise : Yeah, the ambience also ok. i never heard of this place, til my friend from penang brought us there.

NKOTB : neither did I. hahaha ...

Joe : well, guess Jason cleared that up for ya! no idea if they're related or not though.

soo sean : kem som fish is what?

jason : thanks for the explanation. maybe the name just sticks to one's mind.

KCA : yeah loh. next time we eat only prawns lah. easier...hehe... messy and yummy.

Geok kee : indeed. welcome, btw.

Nic : hahahaa, aiya, in the middle of the meal no pee-pee business one lah !

Elin : for us as well, that's why we seldom indulge. Haha ... as if.

CUmi & Ciki : it's cheap! hence we took one to a room. only RM125 per room per night. nothing spooky lah ...

BBO : excited now, arent we?

worldwindows : if only I know my way around Butterworth/Seberang Jaya and BM. then can skip the island. but wait.. the island itself also a LOT of eateries lah!

ling239 said...

oh... too bad the tom yam is not spicy, but is it sour enuff ?

iamthewitch said...

Oh I've heard so much about this place too, deemed as the best Thai restaurant in Butterworth from my friends. Have yet to try though. But I like Tom Yam with stronger tomato taste than spicy. :P

Little Inbox said...

One of my colleague recommended this place to me since long a ago, but yet to go, not too sure about the direction.

J2Kfm said...

ling239 : it's sour enough, tasty lah ...not that bad.

witchy : oh it's supposed to be the BEST eh? no wonder so crowded. actually i like my tom yum not fiery also, but a bit of spiciness is better than none.

little inbox : i also not sure bout the directions. can refer to the google map attached, but cant verify, sorry.

cariso said...

I've heard so much about this place but yet to go! Grrrr....

soo sean said...

Kem Som fish is not a type of fish called Kem Som. ;)
You could have Kem Som fish, Kem Som prawn, Kem Som La La...
A sour and spicy soup, but not tom yam.

lilopoh said...

is there halal restoran