If you were to discount the ones in 5-star hotels, there aren't really that many upmarket restaurants in Johor Bahru. So when I found out about a brand-new Thai restaurant (just opened in April 2008) from an online forum, I decided to try it out.
After picking up my sons from their extra-curricular activity at school last Saturday, we headed out to this new place called Tera Thai Fine Dine for some lunch. The restaurant is located at Jalan Abdul Samad, quite near my sons' school. It is originally an old Malay type house that has been extensively renovated. The interior is pleasantly furnished with high quality teak furniture and traditional wood carvings. Very classic decor, indeed.
The restaurant claims to serve authentic Thai cuisine. We tried a deep-fried fish dish (Chu Chi Plah), a small plate of asparagus with prawns (Knor Mai Farang Phad Gung), fried beef (Nea Thod Kratiam) and of course, the common denominator of all Thai eating places, tom yam (Tom Yam Talay Nam Khon). I'm writing down the Thai names just to show you that they are really serious of this authenticity thing. Just don't ask me what the words exactly mean.
The fish was not bad. It was prepared in a way that I've not tasted before. The beef and vege were average. Most disappointing was the tom yam. Not that it tasted bad... only that for a true Thai restaurant, I had expected a real kicker of this well-known soup. I have tasted better tom yam at so-called genuine Thai restaurants in Ipoh and in Sungai Buloh. Even my wife makes better tasting tom yam than this.
The full meal for four persons including soft drinks cost me a shade under RM200.00. Reasonable enough I guess, considering the upmarket settings. Given the new squeeze on our pockets due to the recent petrol price hike, coming to a place like this can only happen very rarely, unless you have a fat expense account.
Nonetheless, Tera Thai is really a nice restaurant if you want to take your date out to somewhere exclusive. It is also a good place to hold lunch or dinner discussions with clients or potential customers because of the quiet ambience.
So, will I come back to this place again? Hmm... maybe, I think.
Tera Thai is open for both lunch and dinner. They can be reached at 07-2226300.