A chance encounter with a tomyum eatery on a rainy night in Manjalara yielded a reward of heart-warming soup. Sometimes getting a little lost can make you find something delicious as Edwan discovers...
As chickeny as chicken chunks can get
Jalan 1/62A (in front of Silverspoon Trattoria)
52200, Kuala Lumpur
Beside a large storm drain
"Sup ayam satu, nasi putih," I ordered soaked from running from my car. I wanted something that would warm me all the way to the bones. A short while later, a plate of white rice and a stainless-steel bowl, steaming with the hot liquid inside came, and I prepared to tuck into my meal. Aaaaah, was my first thought as I sipped the broth. It was delicious; I used to read how Americans always say a bowl of chicken noodle soup is just the thing for when it’s cold and rainy and you’re feeling a bit miserable. I know now that can hold true. After one spoon, I couldn’t stop sipping more! The soup made that lost turn somewhere I made worth it, and it was a perfect meal for that rainy night.
Little surprise then, that I made several more visits to Kasmie Tomyam just to have the soup. And they get it right all the time.
Encik Kasmie himself runs the kitchen, although he wouldn’t divulge his sup ayam recipe. Now sup ayam is pretty basic as far as soup dishes go, but not everyone can make it a memorable dish. I suspect he uses a bunjut (spice sachet) as a base, but adds his own ratio of spices and seasonings that makes it unique.
The soup comes steaming hot, and I loved how it was served in a stainless steel bowl. Inside the soup were generous chunks of chicken; each chunk tender and moist, not at all dried out as if the meat was boiled to death. It was as chickeny as chicken chunks can get. Slivers of onion added a subtle sweetness, while smashed cili padi provided a fantastic ‘kick’, that was, thankfully, not overpowering.
These flavours were complemented by the instantly recognizable mineral saltiness of nam pla, a touch of acid from lime, and as a textural contrast, a sprinkling of spring onion. As with most good dishes, it was the balance that made it an outstanding example of a sup ayam. In particular, it was that touch of sourness that made it so irresistible.
White rice was a perfect blank canvas for the textures and flavors of the soup to shine forth.
The stall itself is your typical run of the mill kedai tomyam shop, with maybe 10-12 tables. It’s been around for, “Dah lama, bertahun-tahun dah,” said Encik Kasmie. Aside from soup, they have the standard kedai tomyam menu of goreng-goreng stuff (rice, noodles) and lauks (tomyam, naturally, and a other typical Malay-Thai dishes). It’s not the most glamorous of places, and sometimes the big drain its located next to can bring up some, uhm, unpleasant smells.
But trust me, the Sup Ayam is going to be worth it.
Especially when you got lost on a cold, rainy night.