[编辑 Editor 吕大人 英译 Translator 刘大人 摄影 Photographer 黄大人]
Last week, the first-ever MICHELIN Guide Bangkok launched at the Siam Kempinski Hotel, making Thailand the second country in Southeast Asia (after Singapore), and the sixth country in Asia (after Japan, China, Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong), to have its own MICHELIN Guide. Long been referred to as one of the significant dining capitals in Asia, Bangkok hardly disappoints with their vast array of delicious offerings that run the gamut from casual street food to fine dining creations. Being the closest neighbour to Malaysia, Thai culinary fanfare is no stranger to our local food scene and seeing as to how popular Bangkok is a weekend travel destination for most locals, we are pretty sure that there is sufficient demand for excellent Thai food to sustain the ever-growing number of Thai restaurants in Johor Bahru.
在此扎根了数十年，作为每日的必经之路，大人对这前身为幼儿园的单层角头洋房印象颇深，装修期间尚以为乃新晋咖啡厅入驻，密探前去品尝后回报，「原来是正宗泰国餐厅呢！」大门口一颗红心♥️ 让人过目不忘，孜孜不倦的大人今日边吃边学，那刻在红心上的新词汇，与一般泰国餐厅以料理或味道为招牌名称有异，Phom Ruk Khun (泰语中的“我爱你”) 不仅是餐厅名称，更是来自普吉岛帅气主人家 Nest 给予未婚妻 Fenn 的浪漫承诺呢！「泰浪漫了👫 ！」嘿嘿，下回若想藉美食告白，何不在此定情？对他／她说一句 Phom Ruk Khun 💓 吧！
And now, here’s another piece of great and timely news. Old timers and regular foodies to Taman Sentosa will be glad to know that a familiar bungalow lot along Jalan Sutera has undergone a major makeover to serve Phuket-inspired Thai cuisine in a cosy family house setting. It was love at first sight when a young visiting Thai fell in love with Fenn, a local singer while chilling with his friends in a local cafe, and Preecha Phanlawan or fondly known as Nest subsequently moved to JB to be closer to his sweetheart. It was at one of those dinners and gatherings that one of their friends commented that they should open up a restaurant. The thought brought a warm smile to his face and Nest wasted no time in taking up culinary lessons back home before leaving Thailand to start a new life here.
It’s not often a business story starts with a love story, but this one does, and they are channelling it into what ends up on our dinner plate.
2017年9月21日启业的 Phom Ruk Khun，全室以木质家饰与铁质餐椅形塑整体风格，在暖光与悦耳的泰国音乐加持下既温馨又显微酷。以面积宽敞的独立式洋房改造而成的餐厅 (尚备有3间各可容8人的贵宾厢房)，室内外空间格局甚大，待餐时或饱食后还可在户外绿意盎然的花园步道静赏散步。
Phom Ruk Khun finally opened its doors on 21 September 2017 without much fanfare, and the moment we step into the diner, we couldn’t help but notice that everything is well-organised and clutter-free, with tables spaced out evenly and every nook and cranny is minimally but tastefully decorated. Perfect for a casual get together or a business lunch with its warm atmosphere, inviting and laid back, we won’t ever feel pressured into being all sophisticated. Sittings indoor allow us to enjoy the outdoor greenery or intimacy from any of the three private dining rooms which can comfortably accommodate up to 8 pax. If the outdoors is more your scene, the al fresco area has a calm and relaxed ambience.
North East Flavour | 正宗青木瓜沙律加咸蛋
Papaya Salad with Salted Egg
Phom Ruk Khun 的料理皆附三等辣度，重度嗜辣的看官们不妨挑战他们家以🌶️🌶️🌶️为极辣符号的佳肴哦！开胃菜当然就别让肠胃受惊了，先来道微酸辣的正宗青木瓜沙律加咸蛋 (Papaya Salad with Salted Egg, RM14.90) 吧！咸蛋向来是白粥的最佳搭档，想不到竟能与青木瓜沙律匹配，「丝毫不突兀啊！咸蛋这回很称职地扮演了调解青木瓜沙律的酸辣攻势！👍 」
When in Rome, do as the Romans do, right? When in a Thai restaurant, we have just got to order their Thai salad. Doused in Thai chillies, fresh papaya and a delectable fish sauce, albeit with a savoury twist the Papaya Salad with Salted Egg is a great appetiser to tuck into. The green papayas used were of just the right sweetness and made for a refreshing start to our meal.
PS: We are also glad to know that most of the items are toned down in terms of spiciness to appeal to the general public so that lightweight spicy diners can feast without a worry.
除了以泰式茶叶与炼奶所泡制的当家饮料 – 泰式奶茶 (Milk Tea, RM6.90) 外，「在浪漫的餐厅点杯浪漫的冷饮吧！」这杯 💗 饮料实为泰式粉红奶茶 (Iced Pink Milk, RM6.90) 不仅外形与本地的 Syrup Bandung 无异，滋味也有三分相似呢！抗辣怎可含糊？心细如尘的大人还另点了在地人最爱的红毛榴莲果汁 (Soursop Juice, RM8.90) 与酸柑酸梅汁 (Sour Plum Juice, RM8.90) 防身！「尽管放辣过来吧！」
If you are still In need of a refreshing accompaniment to the impending spicy food, you can always cool down with a drink selection that includes chilled Thai Milk Tea, Iced Pink Milk, a creamy beverage similar to our local bandung syrup, Soursop Juice or Sour Plum Juice.
Tom Yung Kung
后劲极强的🌶️🌶️中辣版冬炎汤 (Tom Yung Kung, 2-3人份为RM29.90；4-8人份为RM39.90) 之所以浓香味美，定是里头那多不胜数的海鲜所发挥的无穷功力啊！「每一勺满满海鲜绝不落空哦！」新鲜的海鲜根本无需装嫩啊！大人一时好奇向主人家询及为何不以传统小火炉保温，原来此举将会影响汤内奶汁变质，「这中辣版大人完全招架得住！再来一碗！」
Be warned: If you are currently on a no-carbs diet, good luck with your pot of this soupy goodness as the restaurant is generous with its portion of this Thai’s classic. A creamy rendition with satisfying umami and seafood sweetness, our Tom Yung Kung serves 2-3 pax but feel free to upsize for just RM10 more if you have a party of 4-8 pax. Made creamy and flavourful by adding canned evaporated milk, our broth was served without a flame to ensure it doesn’t get… “evaporated” LOL. The seafood was particularly fresh and soaked in all the flavours from the tangy broth. Even with the medium level of spiciness (which we can still tahan), we have no qualms about going for extra servings!
Curry with Seafood serve in Coconut
据悉在泰国，这一道椰盅海鲜咖喱 (Curry with Seafood serve in Coconut, RM28.90) 乃以较大颗的椰子现身，Phom Ruk Khun 的主厨们为使佳肴风味更佳，改以香椰肉一并入菜 (可别以为份量变小哦，香椰可盛入的份量其实比大椰子更多)，大人真是爱极了这滋味！「除了有鲜虾外，这一道🌶️微辣版干浓咖喱香椰盅里藏满了鸡蛋丝、椰肉、香茅等，送入口后椰香环绕久久不散！相较起泰国本土的无椰肉版，有过之无不及！😋 」
In Thailand, coconuts are sometimes used as a means of serving a curry on a special occasion, and we could be forgiven for thinking this Curry with Seafood serve in Coconut is just a fancy way of serving a curry, but actually, there is far more to it than that. At Phom Ruk Khun, Chef Nest insisted on using only the small coconuts, with the flesh inside that combines wonderfully with Thai curries to create a really special dish. Packed with a refreshing flavour of spices, egg drop lemongrass and coconut flesh, of course, the tiny “bowl” of seafood curry will leave a blazing trail on our palate. So, even if a little effort is required to obtain young coconuts, we are sure you won’t be disappointed with the end result.
Glass Noodle baked with Prawn
极其入味的泰式焗冬粉 (虾) (Glass Noodle baked with Prawn, RM19.90) 同样深得大人欢心！对于香茅与香料滋味有着无比眷恋的看官们，这道🌶️微辣版冬粉可说是吸收了众家精华，「点选后绝不后悔的料理 👍 ！而且除了鲜虾，爽弹的冬粉亦可搭配蟹肉哦！ 」
Choose from either prawn or crab options, the Pad Thai (or in this case, Glass Noodle baked with Prawn) is another dish that we would go for when in Thailand. Again, with such generous helpings of seafood, Chef Nest really know how to entice. The vermicelli was chewy and flavourful. while the prawns were sweet on its own. This would be a good dish to cleanse our palate in between other heartier dishes that are extremely rich in flavours.
Deep Fried Fish with Curry Sauce
让大人一秒开胃的🌶️微辣版泰式香酥咖喱红鱼 (Deep Fried Fish with Curry Sauce, RM49.90) 真的需要呼叫白饭来作陪了！主人家贴心将咖喱酱汁与鱼片分开摆放，既保酥脆又能自行斟酌辣度，两全其美。「这咖喱酱香浓得让大人忍不住又拿了一小勺浇淋白饭上😋 。」故事的结局当然是… 鱼骨架孑然一身在盘中，酱汁与鱼片在腹中。
Whoever thought to deep fry fish as a snack, while offering separate dipping sauce on the side deserved a pat on the back, as the Deep Fried Fish with Curry Sauce has become one of their signature dishes that are now popular even with kids. Boneless and crunchy with every bite, The fish was rather tasty and seemed to be fried without much grease, and yet, each fillet still glistened with a crisp golden brown skin. It was strangely addictive when paired with the rice, as many of us had not noticed that we were cleaning our plates of rice away until we reached the very last grains of rice. Needless to say, we polished the entire dish within seconds, leaving behind only the skeletal!
烤鸡 Grilled Chicken
「微焦滑嫩多汁集一身！」主厨们特调的酸辣酱简直是完食加速器，这道很有份量的 Phom Ruk Khun 独家料理 – 烤鸡 (Grilled Chicken, RM20.90)，上桌前原来已以泰式香料腌制了4小时，「难怪如此入味 😋 ！」
Cooked on a charcoal grill, the Grilled Chicken is another special house delicacy we just couldn’t pass up on. With its subtle smoky aroma with an additional taste that is supposedly part of a secret recipe, we were glad we didn’t because as simple as this dish may be, it was so satisfying that we couldn’t just stop at one mouthful. The chicken was well-marinated in special herbs for four hours, but we wished the meat was juicier. Still hit the spot though, we recommend having it together with the unique dipping sauce to add a spicy kick to the dish.
Deep Fried Ice-Cream with Mango Topping
饭后甜点时间！这回不点芒果糯米，来道芒果香酥炸雪糕 (Deep Fried Ice-Cream with Mango Topping, RM18.90) 吧！「与本地常见的炸雪糕最大的分别即是皮衣如面包糠般薄脆！」 (这可是一上桌就得立马尝鲜才有的效果哦 😆 )
By this point, all of us were stuffed to the point where we dreaded having to put another morsel of food into our mouths, but everyone has a second stomach for dessert, and we were no exception so we couldn’t resist having this Deep Fried Ice-Cream with Mango Topping. A great alternative from the usual Mango Sticky Rice, we started by having the mango chunks first, before tucking into the surprise centre! Hidden within was a roll of deep fried ice-cream covered with a sweet layer of cream which is soft and warm on the outside but yummy and icy on the inside. Ice cream lovers should definitely give this a go.
原来大人刚刚所尝的美味皆来自从普吉岛远道而来的 Ron (左)、Nest (中) 与来自清莱的 Tor (右) 之手！曾在曼谷与普及岛知名酒店任职多年的主厨们总会为佳肴妆点巧思，并不拘泥於传统泰式料理的做法，「一切的调味酱料我们仍然坚持从泰国进口以维持原始风味。」当然，主人家 Nest 的幸福故事也值得记上一功，让身为饕客的咱们总能鲜尝充满爱的滋味哦！
We can’t decide what’s our favourite aspect of Phom Ruk Khun‘s: the charming host, the beautiful home or the creative cooking that feels like a genuine labour of love.
Nevertheless, with Chef Nest at the helm, supported by his sifu Ron and sidekick Tor, we enjoyed the food as well the serenity Phom Ruk Khun has to offer, as well as the beautiful love story between Chef Nest and Fenn that will resonate in the hearts (and tummies) of many! By now, we are sure you would have remembered that this bungalow-turned-restaurant with a big red heart ♥️ means “I Love You“!
Phom Ruk Khun Thai Restaurant
(I Love You Thai Restaurant 我爱你泰国餐厅)
Address: 5 Jalan Songkit 12 ,Taman Sentosa ,80150 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia.
Contact: +607 – 331 1003
Business Hour: 12pm – 3pm; 6pm-11pm Daily (Check their FB page for updates)
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