Iyara Thai Cuisine @ Automall, Karpal Singh Drive, Penang.
Ardent fans of Thai food need not to take an arduous journey out of town just to find a decent Thai restaurant. Iyara is a new Thai establishment housed in Automall, Karpal Singh Drive. It is a simple, homey space with uncomplicated Thai-influenced setting. The place has a clear and straight-forward menu; not the fancy Thai-seafood menu but rather, traditional and authentic Thai delicacies and desserts. A place most suitable for family dine out.
*A reader of mine shared her experience with me: she ordered the same Cendol but it was served differently- the portion was a huge difference. It appears that there might be a tendency of inconsistencies in Iyara.*
We decided to venture into something out of the norm; not a common scene in Thai restaurant- Thai Koay Chiap (Rm 10/ Small) comes in a hearty portion, Pork Knuckle version if you must know. It was served to our table piping hot, the broth exhibited limited pork flavors, probably dominated by the herbaceous aroma of the soup. The koay/ folded Rice cake was soft and smooth, perfectly complementing the seemingly invigorating soup. Extremely comforting if eaten on a rainy day but if I must nitpick, it would be the amount of meat given; we would prefer a meatier concoction instead of having more fats over meat.
A slightly different variation of Pat Thai- Glass Noodles (Rm 10/ Small); the presentation might be deceivingly simple and not quite visually-appealing. The texture was okay, though they were not chewy but they were not slouchy or mushy either. It has traces of Tomato Ketchup/ Thai sweet Chili Paste but the Chef played a nice twist... by adding in loads of sweet-savory Thai Dried Shrimps. As a result of that, the Pat Thai carried an avalanche flavors from the sea. Additionally, the addition of julienned Cabbage and Spring Onions added another layer of juicy crunch to the dish.
I would not walk out from any Thai restaurants without ordering Tom Yum Seafood (Rm 28/ Small); Iyara's comes in a scorching red hue. The portion was big enough for 2-3 diners. We love how the Tom Yum brimming with flavors- sweet, sour and spicy notes; all omnipresent in the fiery hot soup. However, we thought that they could be more generous with the ingredients; three pieces of Shrimps, Squid and Fish in total. Too much soup and too limited ingredients; the Tom Yum is perfectly spooned over rice though.
Tab Tim Krob/ Water Chestnut in Coconut Milk (Rm 6.90)
Cendol (Rm 7.90)
Dessert lovers are not forsaken here in Iyara. Treat yourself to a bowl of popular Thai-dessert, Tab Tim Krob for Rm 6.90. It did not come in a huge portion but it was generously tucked with sliced Jackfruit, Herbal Jelly cubes, Water Chestnut and served with fresh Coconut Milk. It carried a sleek of sweetness; absolutely comforting. Equally delicious was Cendol; they were running out of Ice Cream, I would love to have a scoop of Ice Cream otherwise. It comes in a hearty portion- Green Cendol Jelly, Herbal Jelly and big, sweet Red Beans; drenched in fresh Coconut Milk.
Taste: 7.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service: 7.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Price: 7/10 (1-3 expensive, 4-7 average, 8-10 cheap)
Parking: 7/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Ambiance: 7.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service Charge: Yes 10%
Address: 29C-02-03, Maritime, Lebuh Sungai Pinang 5, Karpal Singh Drive, 11600, Georgetown, Penang.
Business Hours: 12 pm to 3:30 pm; 6 pm to 10 pm. Closed on Wednesdays.
Contact Number: 604- 376 3733