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YELLOW LIGHT RESTAURANT

Posted by Criz Lai On January - 16 - 2009|

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Most Penangites would have known about this Thai Restaurant with no signboard except for a yellow round light along Jalan Fettes since 1982. Yellow Light (Thai Food) Restaurant was one of the finest Thai cuisine restaurants ever existed in Penang, managed by the then founder, Madam Yoke Payong. Subsequently her daughter, Chef Loh took over the business and continued to serve great Thai cuisines to patrons from all over the world. The business eventually moved to 8 Row along Jalan Krian off Jalan Macalister. Somehow, I guessed another golden opportunity knocked at the right time and she’s right now with her new restaurant along East Coast Road, Singapore.

The continuity of the current restaurant, under the same name, is under a different management now. Will the food be as good as before ever since Chef Loh had moved to Singapore since January? Let’s look at some of the dishes I had ordered here compared to the one I had tasted by Madam Yoke as well as her daughter, Ms Loh.

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The first dish that was served was just another simple dish in any household, Phad Phak Ruam (Stir Fry Mixed Vegetables – RM9). Except for some Chinese cabbage, carrot, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus and wood ear fungus, there was not a piece of meat or prawn in it. The taste was just normal without any Nam Pla (fish sauce) to bring out the best in the dish.

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Next was Yam Woonsen (Glass Noodles Salad – RM12). The dish has cooked glass noodles, prawns, dried shrimps, chicken dices, onions and chili paddy mixed all together with some sauces and garnished with some coriander. The dish was a bit too sour and the glass noodles were so soggy that all were lumped up. We had to request for a pair of scissors to cut them up.

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Thailand is famous for some of their seafood dishes. We tried out the Poo Cha (Deep Fried Stuffed Crab – RM6/pc) and Poo Neung (Steamed Stuffed Crab – RM6/pc). Both had the same ingredients such as minced meat, prawns, crab meat, water chestnut, Chinese celery, chopped chillies and topped with some salted egg yolk. The fried one came with some breadcrumbs. As for the taste, I find the stuffing rather soft to my liking. I guessed the cook might have put too much of corn starch into the mixture, thus making the stuffing too sticky and slimy.

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One of my most ordered dishes in Thailand other than Tom Yam Gung would be the Thod Nam Pla (Deep Fried Fish Cake –RM2.50/pc). The ones served here was not as spicy and thick as those I had taken before. I find the whole fish cake rather bland to my liking. Moreover, the amount of vinegar in the chili sauce provided was too strong.

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A Thai meal would not be complete if you do not try out the Gai Bai Toei (Fried Pandan aka Screwpine Chicken – RM2.50/pc). This was another let down as I could not really bite out the toughness of the chicken pieces. There were just too much of spices in each wrapping than the actual meat. Moreover, the meat was over marinated until they became over soft like minced meat.

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As for dessert, I ordered the Tub Tim Krob (diced water chestnut in colored starch and jackfruit strips served with thick coconut milk –RM2.50). The dessert was rich with coconut milk but was too sweet to my liking.

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Maybe I could have ordered the wrong dishes from the drastically reduced food list compared to the previous ones I had at the original house but if the basic dishes from a Thai cuisine had failed my taste bud, it would mean that the rest would not be as interesting anymore. The damages were RM55.35 for all the food ordered with drinks, optional wet towels and 5% service tax. I hope that the new management would try to improve further with the food quality. I also hope that I don’t get to see the good image and reputation of the former heavenly Yellow Light tarnished and vanished from the face of Penang.

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If you are driving down from Komtar into Jalan Macalister, you will see a petrol kiosk on your left and then Grand Paradise Hotel. Immediately after the hotel and before the traffic light, there is a left turning, Jalan Krian (Krian Road), where the 8 Row heritage restaurants are situated. The restaurant is occupying the first two shop houses.

YELLOWLIGHTMAP

Name: YELLOW LIGHT RESTAURANT
Address: 2-4, Jalan Krian, 10400 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 604-227 6072 (Mr. Ooi/Ms. Wong)
Opening Hours:
Restaurant: 11.00am-11.00pm
Bistro & Karaoke (upstairs): 9.30pm-2.00am (min 3 tables)
GPS: 5.416714, 100.322076

RATING:
Ambience: 7/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 7/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 5/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 8/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 7.5/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)

9 Responses to “YELLOW LIGHT RESTAURANT”

  1. this is new to me… you mean they have moved out from tanjong bungah??? or completely total change as in management even the one in tanjong bungah??

    They have shifted out of the Tanjung Bungah house since last year and relocated to the rather quiet 8-Row area until the recent change of management.

  2. allie says:

    Yellow Light moved already?
    Too bad that they are not able to maintain the food quality. I used to like their belacan fried rice. :)

    Yea.. the old place used to be my favorite gathering place. The new one somehow lost its beauty and ambience. Worst still, the original owner & daughter had relocated to Singapore now. The food would surely be different with a new chef, although I did hear that he was a Thai.

  3. That is really sad to hear! I just thought about Yellow Light the other night, remembering it as THE place to go to for Thai years ago. I heard about their move to Singapore, but didn’t think they would abandon the original operations here!

    Wow! You news was real fast. Haha. I really missed the authentic taste of their Thai food and also the memories of my many gatherings at the old place.

  4. Duckie says:

    didn’t know they moved. i quite like it but the quality deteriorated quite a bit already.

    They have closed down the old place since last year. Maybe, it’s due to being hidden at a corner of the island that hardly many would pass by to notice. As for quality, different people have different taste bud. But with my spicy tongue, the new place still did not impressed me at all. Somehow, the spices and herbs for Thai cuisine were not strongly present.

  5. ck lam says:

    Have only been to their previous location twice…and did not know that they have shifted here.

    As I was telling Jane, the old place was quite hidden. Since it out of my regular route up that area, it even took me some time to locate them again after months of finding the old place closed for business.

  6. cariso says:

    From what I heard, the food quality is no longer the same. *shrugged*

    What a waste too when I’m yearning for more Thai food now. :P

  7. ahKOK says:

    crab crab…i like to eat but can’t eat….until few years later shit! can eat some nia haha

    Hey Kok! Where have you been? MIA again? :P

  8. pixen says:

    The last time I went there was about 9 years ago… The first thing, I noticed was the taste of the Mieng Kam especially the sauce and the lesser ingredients. Tom yam soup was sweeter than the usual. Could be they cutting down the costs but the price? I think it’s a bit pricy at that time for the quality they served. Even the Pineapple fried rice is not used to be. It used to be my favourite place for my family and friends to dine. It could be my taste that I travelled to Thailand often that made me prejudice against Yellow Light… :-P

    So far, the Pineapple Rice I preferred is the one served at Lao Sher Tea House at Burma Road. It may not served inside carved out Pineapple but it’s really what Thai Pineapple Rice should be.

    I would agree with you on the drop in food quality and portion served. Firstly, it may be due to the change of chef as the lady boss would be too old to handle the business. Secondly, when there’s a change of handover to her daughter, the recreation of the food list would also change. Portion may be smaller but the price would still maintain. It’s another profit making strategy by the modern generation. :)

    I have heard about the fried pineapple rice there. I would visit there to try them out. :)

  9. [...] of lime juice in it. At least, this dish was edible compared to the “swollen” ones I had at Yellow Light Restaurant in Georgetown, [...]

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Howdy from the Isle of delicious Asian food and the UNESCO Heritage City of Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia. Just call me Criz Lai and I am here to share with you on what’s the best food you can get in town as well as from many other parts of Malaysia.

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