I asked local celebrity food blogger, ieat out for lunch. He suggested a Thai eatery called Yellow Light in Katong. I have seen several Thai eateries along the stretch but I couldn't associate this simple shop front to a Thai restaurant. It looks more like a cafe.
I was introduced to Shih Erh, the daughter of the original restaurant owner and chef'. Shih Erh's mother is a Thai, who learnt her popular dishes from her aunt who used to work at the Royal Thai kitchen.
Yellow Light Thai Restaurant started from a humble house in Penang in 1982. It didn't have a signboard, diners identified it by a large, round yellow light in front of it. It didn't have a licence to operate but diners didn't care, they were attracted to its fine, authentic Thai fare.
Shih Erh learnt to cook the dishes from her mother. We were served several new dishes that aren't available at regular Thai restaurants.
Miang Khum, is a typical Thai dish. Having tried betel leaves in Taipei, I was hesitant when this dish was brought out. Bits of peanuts, dried shrimp (hae bee), grated and roasted coconut, bird's eye chilli, lime cubes, shallots are wrapped in a fresh betel leaf and drizzled with a dark and sticky-sweet sauce. You popped the whole thing into your mouth. There was an amazing burst of flavours when you chew it. Very special dish - must try.
Peek Gai Yat Sai (stuffed chicken wings), has a curry flavoured centre, like the curry puff filling.
Their yummy Poo Ja (stuffed crab meat and minced pork in a crab shell) has bits of water chestnuts in it.
The deep-fried meat balls with salted egg yolk centres (Khai Khen Sing Kherng) - came wrapped in crispy noodle strips. Kids would love this.
When the fried rice with shrimp paste was mentioned, I wasn't interested. Shih Erh persuaded us to try it. It is served with a variety of condiments, omelette strips, seasoned pork, mango strips, prawns and dried shrimps. You mixed them up and viola! It is a refreshing dish. A little sweet but I like it.
Shi Erh kindly brought out a special dish (her private collection, hehe...) which is commonly eaten by Nonyas in Penang. It's fermented fish belly with different leaves of herbs. How does it taste? Look at ieat's facial expression. hahaha.....
I have tried a 10th-grade smelly tofu, so this foul-tasting dish was not a problem. It goes well with plain rice. It used to be a poor man's dish, now it is a rare dish.
We had a bowl of Thap Thim Krawp (red rubies) each for dessert. It's water chestnut and jackfruit in iced coconut syrup. Sweet and the coconut syrup is thick.
It was a lovely long lunch, due to the torrential rain outside. By the time I leave the eatery, it was time to head home to prepare dinner. :)
Yellow Light Thai Food
95 East Coast Road (opposite Katong Village and Katong Mall)
Closed on Mondays