Eat Drink KL: Sood Yod Thai: A Chiang Mai chef's northern Thai classics come to Petaling Jaya

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Sood Yod Thai: A Chiang Mai chef's northern Thai classics come to Petaling Jaya

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Four kinds of khanom jeen, prepared with everything from XL-sized flower crab to chicken feet and red cotton tree flowers. Another five styles of khao soi. Plus khao yam jin gai, sai ua, pu ong and numerous other delights that define northern Thai deliciousness.

Sood Yod Thai is one of Petaling Jaya's most tempting Thai restaurants, founded by a Malaysian and his Chiang Mai-born wife, who helms the kitchen and harnesses the beloved recipes of her hometown of Hang Dong.

Here, diners can discover many dishes seldom seen in the Klang Valley, such as sticky rice with seasoned paddy crab fat grilled in its shell. You can also savour comforting classics such as a soup of spicy-sour pork ribs with smoked dried fish and herbs. 

The Sood Yod experience is meant to evoke a culinary trip to northern Thailand, including walls lined with posters and playfully painted murals of Chiang Mai's tourist scenes, under umbrellas and lanterns hanging from the ceiling that represent the Thai flag's colours.

It's no surprise that Sood Yod has surged in popularity so soon after opening in October 2023. This is one of our favourite Thai meals of this year, with robust, rustic flavours that represent Chiang Mai with pride, power and passion.

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Start with Khanom Jeen, the equivalent of Thai laksa, one of Sood Yod's most spectacular specialities. Most Thai eateries in Malaysia feature these fermented thin rice noodles with conventional green curry, but Sood Yod offers four varieties of khanom jeen, not only with green curry chicken.

The Khanom Jeen Nam Ya Pu (RM29) is a best-seller, crowned with half an XL-sized, juicy-fleshed flower crab, completely coated with boneless sea bass meat in rich, creamy curry, showered with extra crab meat for a memorable indulgence. If you love fresh crustacean tastes and textures, this is a must-try.

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For fans of punchy, tangy flavours, have the Khanom Jeen Nam Ngiao (RM20) - this is a real rarity, a traditional Lanna treat that balances fragrance and funkiness in a fun, fantastic bowl. 

The soup is strained with the dried flowers of the red cotton tree, blending into its crimson colour, with a sharpness that's sweetened with cherry tomatoes, potent with pork ribs, meaty with minced pork, gelatinous with chicken feet, plus optional pork blood cubes. It's complex and captivating - each sip of the soup is a mouthwatering medley of marvellousness!

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The Khao Soi Kai (RM16) embodies the culinary soul of Chiang Mai - the essential egg noodles, submerged in a subtly spicy coconut curry broth, complete with a succulent chicken drumstick and crispy egg noodles. It's the ideal dinner to soothe the spirit after a difficult day.

Sood Yod also serves Khao Soi with other proteins, such as prawns, pork ribs, fried fish fillet or crispy chicken fillet.

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The Khao Yam Jin Gai (RM20) is another satisfying smash hit, deeply aromatic with sultry heat, fired up with full-bodied chillies, loaded lusciously with chicken, served with steamed rice and fried egg for a complete meal. For fans of tom yum, this is a tasty northern Thai alternative, created with a kitchen-crafted chicken stock that's slow-simmered and seasoned with shrimp paste, seeds and spices.

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Thailand's most tantalising flavours come together in the Tom Klong Kradook Moo (RM35) - chunky pork ribs in a spicy-sour tamarind soup that's smoky with dried fish, dried chillies and a diversity of herbs, resulting in a hearty one-pot wonder. Superb for sharing.

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Also ideal for two or three persons, the Chiang Mai Platter (RM35) is a pleasurable platter, combining the cherished snacks of northern Thailand, savoury with scrumptious pork sausages like Sai Ua and Moo Yor, moreish with crackly pork rinds, irresistible with dips of Nam Phrik Noom (green chillies) and Nam Phrik Ong (minced pork, tomatoes and chillies), rounded out with a balanced helping of boiled eggs and vegetables. A vibrantly colourful crowd-pleaser.

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If you're craving a uniquely distinctive crab dish, bookmark the Pu Ong (RM30) - shells stuffed with an umami-loaded, luxurious paste of grilled paddy crab fat, decadent in texture with an exquisitely eggy reduction. Scoop out of the shell and savour with sticky rice!

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Also addictive for crab lovers, the Hoi Jor comprises nuggets of crab meat and pork wrapped in tofu skin, gorgeous with a genuinely generous filling of flaky crab, available in regular or jumbo rolls (just RM15 for two pieces).

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For dessert and drinks, beat the heat with cool concoctions like Grass Jelly, silky-smooth with milk and caramel (RM7), Fresh Thai Orange Juice (RM8) and very pretty Pink Milk (RM7)!

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Sood Yod Thai
71, Jalan SS 25/2, Taman Bukit Emas, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Open Tuesday-Sunday, 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10:30pm. Tel: 017-395-5069