Adeena Thai Cafe, Taman Tun Dr Ismail

September 24, 2018

By Aiman Azri

Adeena Thai Cafe is all about authenticity and affordability, steered by a couple who take genuine pride in their work. The woman who leads the kitchen is Laotian-born Adeena, a meticulous chef who's passionate about her craft, going from studying culinary arts in Bangkok to spearheading her own restaurant in KL. Her Malaysian husband, Hafeez, ensures that every element that enters and emerges from their kitchen is irreproachable, with crucial ingredients procured fresh from the market each morning.

The result is food that stands out in terms of both taste and textures. Adeena and Hafeez first started out with a stall in TTDI, and they've kept some of their signature recipes for this cosy cafe - the standout is the Thai Beef Noodle Soup with Sliced Rib Eye. The broth takes two hours to prepare, relying on a medley of beef bones, herbs, onions, radish and carrots with no added oil, yielding a flavour that's sweet and pure. The substantial cuts of Australian beef are inserted rare into the hot broth, lightly and naturally cooked in it to maintain their tenderness; full-bodied beef balls and smooth noodles complete the hearty serving. A satisfyingly nourishing meal for RM16.90.

The Adeena team also takes pride in its Thai Style Porridge with Fish Fillet, not often seen in KL's Thai restaurants - its simple appearance belies its deliciousness and the labour behind making it; the rice for the porridge is boiled and stirred in a wholesome, house-made seafood stock for an hour, while the fish fillets are cooked separately to keep them firm. This is the one to order if you're seeking something soulful and spiritually nurturing (RM14.90).

Adeena also offers an evolving variety of set lunches. If you prefer your grains on a plate instead of a bowl, the Crab Meat Fried Rice is one possibility that might appear on the set lunch selection, layering fleshy crab meat over rice for simple, no-fuss nourishment (RM10.90). 

Other offerings for a quick meal on Adeena's regular menu include the Pad Thai with Prawns and Tom Yam Noodle Soup.

Cherished classics from the Thai repertoire are all accounted for, so there's certainly a favourite for everyone, from the can't-fail Green Curry Chicken to the vibrant Tom Yum Chicken to the creamy Tom Kha Gai - each proves rich and aromatic, doing justice to the Thai dining experience.

For fans of spicy seafood fare, it's worth sharing the Soft Shell Crab Salad for a crunchy starter, saturated in a terrific sauce that's tangy and nutty (RM24.90), before indulging in a main course of a whole sea bass in one of Adeena's variety of preparation styles - perhaps this one with shallots, lime, chillies and lemongrass; the fish is prepared perfectly, with crisp skin and moist, meaty flesh (market price; most recently about RM45 to RM48 per 550-gram fish).

As a cafe, Adeena also pours effort into its beverages, displaying a distinctive diversity. The familiar Thai Milk Tea proves icily refreshing and well-balanced in its nuances (RM7.90),  while the Thai Milk Green Tea Smoothie is a thicker delight that veers toward milkshake territory (RM11.90). 

If you like diving for pearls in your drinks, the Yam Milk Tea is a true treasure, brimming with boba with a bit of bounce (RM7.90). The teas are prepared with leaves instead of powder, endowing them with endearingly fragrant subtleties.

Prefer coffee? Be adventurous like Adeena and sip on the Egg Coffee, more Vietnamese than Thai, but still a worthy addition to the menu (RM7.90).

All in all, Adeena Thai Cafe is a spot to bookmark for Thai cuisine enthusiasts, serving well-executed temptations in a casual, comfortable space. Many thanks to the cafe for having us here.

Adeena Thai Cafe
52, Jalan Datuk Sulaiman, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur.
Open Monday to Friday, 12pm - 4pm, 6pm-10pm; Saturday to Sunday, 12pm-10pm. Tel: 03-7733-3052

This feature first appeared on eatdrinkkl.com

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