Bhai Jim Jum, AEON Taman Maluri

October 19, 2020

Bhai Jim Jum launched its second outpost in KL this month, branching out to Aeon Taman Maluri two years after first introducing its pork-free range of Thai street food in Pavilion. This homegrown Malaysian brand focuses on jim jum (Thailand's equivalent of hotpot) and 'kaikata' (its own take on barbecued meat and seafood) - if you're in the mood for a soulful, sultry meal, Bhai Jim Jum should bring back blissful memories of of steamy evenings in Bangkok.

With recipes conceived by a Thai chef, relying on ingredients for sauces and spices from Thailand, Bhai Jim Jum honours the hallmarks of authenticity.

The ideal introduction is the Jim Jum selection, with soup bases and pastes prepared from scratch in-house.

Choose from three refillable chicken-based soups, each perfectly portioned in single-person, claypot-style sets. 

The Red Tom Yam is the crowd favourite - this is tom yam at its most satisfying, beautifully balanced in the sweet, sour and spicy, with no one characteristic overwhelming the others.

The White Tom Ka offers a creamier, richer choice, courtesy of coconut milk, while the Clear Nam Sai is the foundation for all these nourishing broths, boiled for six hours with chicken meat and bones, onions and fresh herbs including kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, galangal and sweet basil.

Each Jim Jum set costs RM16.90, inclusive of the soup, vegetables, and rice or beehoon. Of course, you can add on as much meat and seafood as you want - a plate of chicken costs RM5.90, beef is RM7.90, and an assortment of seafood is RM15.90. Individual add-ons of prawns, squid, fish slices, jellyfish, fish balls, crab sticks, foo chuk and tau foo are also available.

It's easy, fast and fun to cook your own jim jum at your table, dipping and dropping your fresh, raw food into the boiling soup. The aromas are appetising, promising all the robust flavours and fragrances that we crave in Thai fare.

We're instant fans of the Red Tom Yam, which impeccably complemented our chosen mix of plump crustaceans, juicy chicken, crunchy leaves and much more - tasty to the final spoonful. Tip: Ask for some evaporated milk, which thickens the soup a bit further and helps to soothe its chilli-fuelled heat if needed.

The other cornerstone of Bhai Jim Jum's repertoire for DIY culinary pleasure is 'kaikata,' the pork-free version of mookata. These hearty BBQ sets are suitable for sharing among two to three persons; each set comes with various seafood, meat and vegetables for RM45.90. If you prefer purely chicken or beef sets, those are also available for the same price. As always, add-ons are possible too.

The kaikata is an odour-free cross between hotpots and barbecues. Red tom yam soup is poured all around the dome in the centre, which is greased with lemongrass oil before the protein is grilled on it. Beef is a terrific bet for this, yielding a smoky char to bolster the meat's savoury succulence.

Seafood also turns out sumptuous for this style, sizzling in the middle, surrounded by veggies and mushrooms for a fulfilling feast - bookmark this for your next rainy-day dinner or if you need some comforting sustenance after a long day at work.

If you prefer a completely fuss-free lunch or dinner, with the entire meal cooked in the kitchen and served ready to eat, Bhai Jim Jum also boasts many familiar street-food favourites.

The Pineapple Fried Rice (RM16.90) is a solid recommendation for grains, while the Pad Thai with Chicken Wings (RM22.90) should please noodle enthusiasts, each capably executed, generously laden with lip-smacking ingredients, packed with everything from the fruity and herbaceous to the earthy and nutty. Pair with a side of Crispy Fish Cakes (RM12), with the textured fish filling lusciously laced with morsels of long beans and fish sauce, crackly to the bite with a deep-fried coating of breadcrumbs and toasted peanuts. 

All in all, Bhai Jim Jum's entry into AEON Taman Maluri should be welcome news for fans of Thai fare around Cheras and Ampang, who won't have to travel to the city centre for their fix. Bhai Jim Jum is expected to expand to Putrajaya's IOI City Mall next, so that'll be another attraction for folks in Putrajaya and Sri Kembangan.

Many thanks to Bhai Jim Jum for having us here.

Bhai Jim Jum

S20, Level 2, Aeon Taman Maluri, Jalan Jejaka, Taman Maluri, Cheras, 55100 Kuala Lumpur. Daily, 11am-9pm. Tel: 012-231-0732