by Guest Writer UnkaLeong..the Thai Food Connoisseur 😉
When I was in Thailand, I’d notice a portrait of a man in many of the Restaurants I frequented. Being the inquisitive little tyke that I am, I asked my Thai colleagues who he was and why it was that his portrait could be found in restaurants. Turns out the picture was that of His Royal Highness, King Chulalangkorn – Rama V. Legend has it that he had a penchant for good food and would go around disguised as a commoner to sample a restaurants food. Hence, it’s considered good luck by Thai’s to adorn their eateries with a potrait of Rama V. On a separate note, King Rama V is also the grandfather of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej – Rama IX, the current king of Thailand.
Enough with the history lesson, on to the food 😉
Rama V is also the name of a restaurant in KL which has been around for close to 15 years.
It prides itself in serving authentic yet innovative Thai cuisine and when I first arrived at the Restaurant, I knew that my Thai honed taste buds would be in for a treat! Tucked away in a bungalow along Jalan U Thant, stepping into the restaurant itself transported me back to Thailand.
Greeted with a Lotus pond.
And what a treat it was! Our affable hosts, Andre and Danny had arranged for the Chef’s Degustation menu for us to sample that night. I’ll let the pictures do the talking.
Mieng Kam, started our gastronomical juices flowing. Nothing like a little DIY to start a meal. Using Daun Kadok as the base, an assortment of condiments ranging from Phrik Kee Noo (Cili Padi), Peanuts, onions, lime, ginger and dried shrimp all held together with a palm sugar based sauce. Mix and match the ingredients to your liking. I started of with a single cili padi and by the 4th leaf, I was loading it with 4 of em spicy buggers. Nips and I were perspiring by our second leaf. This simple yet lovely dish, set the tone for a night of indulgence 😉
Crispy Rice crackers served with a Minced Chicken sauce (Kao Tan Na Tang) which reminded me of green curry chicken.
Shrimp Cakes served with Sweet & Sour Sauce. Nice!
Chor Ladda, a lovely flower shaped dumpling stuffed with Minced Chicken and Peanut.
Trust me on this one, it really tastes as good as it looks.
Thai Pomelo Salad with Australian Abalone and Shrimp (Yum Som Oh). Just the right blend of spicy, sour and sweet. The abalone used in the dish went well with the Pomelo. To me, one of the stars of the night. Hmmm… I wonder if they serve Yum Woon Sen, my favourite thai dish?
Marinated Raw Prawn Served with Chilli and Ginger Sauce (Goong dten ~ Lit.Dancing Prawns) Rumour has it that the prawns have to be so fresh that they do a dance in your mouth when eaten. Hence the dishes name. Excellent!
Soon Hock steamed in lemon and chili sauce. (Pla Bu Neung Manau), The spicy and sour soup and the freshness of the Soon Hock really hit the spot. According to Danny, the fish was still swimming minutes before it was prepared. The fish was steamed to perfection, retaining it’s juicy moistness.
Tom Yam Scotland Clam a.k.a Tom Yum Hoi Scotland.
I Kid, I made the name up. Hahaha. The ubiquitous Thai Dish. The standard by which most Thai eateries are judged. Served in a young coconut, it had just the right amount of spice to me and the crunchiness of the shells (hoi) which are from Scotland lends an interesting twist to this traditional thai soup. Two thumbs up.
Sauteed Live Spider Crab in Thai Chilli Paste. The crab was huge!
The sweetness of the crab and the richness of the coconut married well with the thai chilli paste that was used to cook this curry. A scissors was provided for us to cut through the shell. “Could you pass me the scissors?” was the catch phrase of the night 🙂 The Live Spider crab is not available on their normal menu, but can be arranged for your dining pleasure should you book a week in advance. An alternative and more economical replacement to Spider crab would be Goong Maenam (river prawns) which, in my mind would go very well with the sinfully thick and really rich curry gravy. I swear, the gravy had a life of its own. I had to control myself from asking for more rice!
Stir fried asparagus with Sea Snails and Oyster Sauce. The sea snails packed an interesting crunch to the asparagus.
Red Curry with Roasted Duck and Lychee (Gaeng Lam Yai Bpet Yang) Can’t complain. Always love a good duck dish.
Sautéed Lamb with Young Pepper and Basil. In a dish where beef or chicken is normally used, I was pleasantly surprised to find that lamb would go well with this combination as well. The lamb wasn’t gamey at all.
Always save room for dessert. At Rama V they have a huge spread. Don’t believe me? Check out the picture below.
We ordered Mango Sticky Rice (Khao Neow Ma Muang ). Red Ruby Crystals (Tab Tim Krob), Cendol, Pumpkin Custard (Sang Kaya Fak Thong ), Steamed Tapioca served with coconut milk sauce. I don’t really have a sweet tooth and the Tum Tim Krob suited me just fine. It wasn’t overly sweet.
*hic* What’s Thai food without Singha.
Excellent food, the usual suspects and alcohol. The Holy Trinity if I could say so myself.
Thanks again for having us again Danny and Andre.
Rama V. A feast to the eyes and palate. Food fit for a King. Shall be back soon 😉