KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 12 — If you spot a Thai grocery shop, it's very likely you will also find food being served there. It's like a symbiotic relationship.
The latest hybrid eatery is Ne.nenebubu TomYum World. What's a little different about this set-up is the mini market is run by local Alex Chew rather than Thais. It's also located at an offbeat spot on Old Klang Road which has very few eateries.
Expect to dine on Thai food with a Chinese slant to it. This suits the area well since their clientele is mainly office workers within the vicinity of Old Klang Road.
Chew also uses ingredients that he sources from Thailand to cook up the dishes. If you wish to recreate those same dishes at home, you can purchase the ingredients at the shop.
The menu is a choice of noodles or rice dishes suitable for one person. Peak times are weekday lunch, while the weekend is quieter since offices are closed.
You have a series of tom yum noodles. Select from a total of five choices for RM16.90 or RM18.90. They vary with various ingredients like chilli flakes, sriracha, chilli paste and so forth. There's a choice of Mama instant noodles or the smooth Thai thick beehoon.
I sampled the Ne.nenebubu signature seafood tom yum noodle (RM18.90) at the shop. Chew tells me he doesn't use any tom yum paste to make the broth as it's all made in house.
The Ne.nenebubu 'ying yong' basil minced pork is packed with flavour from the use of two types of basil.
You will be rewarded with a broth that is slightly spicy with tangy flavours. It's incredibly appetising and you will want to slurp it all up. Inside the enamel pot that it is served in, you will find grilled prawn, sotong, lala clams, fish paste and minced beef balls.
The heat level is rather mild but you can ramp it up if you want with the green chilli sauce on the side. On its own, the sauce makes a delicious dip too as it's tangy and not overly spicy.
For the dishes with rice, there's braised pork leg, two types of pad krapow or minced pork fried with Thai basil or a mix with holy basil and Thai basil.
They also serve an unusual set where yellow sour curry or nut gaeng som is paired with cowslip flower, an omelette made with cha om vegetables and fried fish. If you prefer a more indulgent meal, there's also a tiger prawn version.
There's also a curry chicken with Thai basil and pumpkin, green curry and a creamy tom kha gai with rice. Prices for the rice items range from RM13.90 to RM20.90 which is the tiger prawn version.
On the side, you're given various chilli sauces like the mild red chilli sauce for the braised pork leg rice and a punchier green chilli sauce for the basil minced pork (left). The rice dishes also come with different soups, where there's a clear broth with the minced pork and a dark, slightly saltier broth with the pork leg rice (right).
They also serve a fusion type of Thai items like chicken rice, chicken chop and fried fish served with mango salad. From what I understand, they serve the chicken freshly steamed too.
There's also otak otak paired with chilli dry noodles, Thai style pork balls served with noodles. Currently they are tweaking recipes for their char siu and wantan mee items, hence it's unavailable at the moment.
I also tried the braised pork leg rice (RM16.90), which I packed home. The highlight is the pork belly with decadent, fatty bits of skin. The meat is lightly braised in the broth, which they also serve to you.
Flavours tend to be mild but pleasant for the fork tender meat. Usually paired with white jasmine rice, I was given a choice of their fragrant lemongrass scented rice that they serve for their chicken rice which was delicious.
Unlike other spots, they also serve braised shiitake mushrooms on the plate. You also have ham choy, blanched HK kailan and a jammy centred braised egg to bulk up the meal. There's also a mild red chilli sauce on the side if you prefer a spicier kick.
While the braised pork leg rice is on the milder side, the Ne.nenebubu ying yong basil minced pork (RM15.90) packs lots of flavour. They use a mix of Thai basil and holy basil which gives it a lovely fragrance as you eat the fluffy minced pork with the jasmine rice.
If you dine in, they serve the food on enamel trays and pots like this Ne.nenebubu signature seafood tom yum noodle that has tangy, appetising flavours (left). If you love cooking, there's various Thai ingredients to pick up at the mini mart which also supplies restaurants in the vicinity (right).
Enjoy this with a fried sunny side up egg. Green chilli sauce on the side adds a punchy flavour to the dish.
Again the heat levels are less here, hence I thoroughly enjoyed how I could taste the meat with the herbs better. You won't have trouble polishing off the rice as this dish is an appetising one.
As lunch time is packed with customers, you can WhatsApp them your order ahead for takeaway to reduce the waiting time. There's a QR code on their Facebook page to scan and view the menu details. Look for the hidden shoplot right opposite The Pearl Kuala Lumpur. The turn off from Old Klang Road is where the Public Bank is located.
Ne.nenebubu TomYum World, No. 15, Jalan 2/137B, Resource Industrial Centre, Fifth Mile, Off Jalan Klang Lama, Kuala Lumpur. Open: 11.30am to 10pm. Closed on Sunday. Tel: +6014-6622734 / +6016-4943407. Facebook: @tomyumworld