Em Teerak Thai-Vietnamese Restaurant
[Non-halal] Em Teerak in Kota Damansara offers unique Thai and Vietnamese dishes not commonly found in KL.
Em Teerak is “My Little Darling” translated into English. This is an apt name for the Thai-Vietnamese restaurant, started by co-founders Max and Kenny, who curated each dish as a love letter to the Indochina region where both have familial ties.
Em Teerak in Kota Damansara
Em Teerak offers interesting dishes from the region such as Kai Loong Kuey ไข่ลูกเขย (aka son-in-law eggs – poached eggs fried in high heat) and Pad Kra Pao Moo (stir-fry minced pork with holy and Thai basil rice).
Those who’ve been to Chiang Mai would be pleased to find authentic Sai Ua ไส้อั่ว sausages here – with its meat richly marinated in turmeric and Thai spices.
Vietnamese dishes such as Hu Tieu Nam Vang (Vietnamese kuay teow soup) and Goi Cuon (Vietnamese spring roll) are two of many representations of the country here.
Em Teerak offers Thai and Vietnamese cuisine
We visited Em Teerak twice within a month, and here’s our order of preference.
Surely, Moo Ping (RM13 for three sticks) is a common dish found at some Thai restaurants – but the ones here stand above the rest.
Marinated with a touch of Manuka honey, the grilled pork shoulders were incredibly tender, juicy, and flavourful. We liked that the cut was not overly fatty, with just the right amount of fat to flavour the meat. The sweetness from the Manuka was a touch of finesse.
Our Moo Ping on both days was stellar!
Fried Manicai with Egg is good
The Stir-Fry Manicai with Egg (RM20) here is another favourite – sweet leaves infused with so much wok hei, and wonderfully flavoured by pork lard, fish sauce and Kampung egg strands for a truly hearty dish.
If you only have one room for a vegetable dish – we highly recommend this over the Stir-Fry Water Spinach (RM15), which was pretty ordinary.
The Rough Sea & The Butcher
Em Teerak’s play with cuisines is also exemplified by its play of words.
The Rough Sea & The Butcher (RM45) is a fusion dish that combines a 6-hour pork belly topped with peanuts to the Thai element, and deep-fried barramundi topped with Vietnamese Fresh Salad.
We Malaysian-Chinese love our pork – but the Thai have certainly mastered the technique of cooking and braising the pork down to melt-in-the-mouth tenderness (cue memories of the best kao kha moo in Chiang Mai). The pork is superbly tender, a lil’ bit nutty with a hint of spiciness to leave the tastebuds wanting for more.
The fish is cooked to perfection too – sweet and beautifully fried for a bit of crackle, and garnished with mint leaves, julienned apple, and turmeric leaves for some tang and sweetness.
Northern Thai sausage
Those who have travelled to Chiang Mai will be happy to see the ubiquitous Sai Ua ไส้อั่ว sausage (RM9) represented here.
This sausage is authentically spicy and rich with Thai spices (there’s lemongrass, turmeric and other Northern Thai concoctions in the meat). Ming found it a bit spicy, but Max enjoyed it a lot.
Clear Tom Yam Seafood Soup
The Clear Tom Yam Seafood Soup (RM20 for small) was quite stimulating and mildly spicy, and we liked the abundance of oyster mushrooms. However, one of the two prawns we received was a bit mushy, which marred our experience.
Vietnamese Stuffed Chicken Wings
Another signature dish on the menu, the Vietnamese Stuffed Chicken Wings (RM28) was a bit underwhelming for us.
But that’s because the flavours reminded us of a local Chinese dish with its use of ear fungus and carrots stuffed with drumstick meat in chicken wings.
If you’re looking for good Thai-Vietnamese dishes, Em Teerak is definitely worth dropping by.
We recommend the Moo Ping, Stir-Fry Manicai, and The Rough Sea and The Butcher.
Address: 38, Jalan PJU 5/20D, Kota Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Hours: 12pm-3pm, 5pm-10pm (Closed on Tuesday)
Phone: 011-1181 1383
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