Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rama V

I remember the first meal I had on holiday in Thailand. The Mieng Kam is one of my favourite Thai snacks. Even now, everytime I eat that deep green Kadok Leaf (Piper sarmentosum) that wraps dried shrimp, fried coconut meat, diced fresh herbs (Galanga, Citrus hystri and onion) , and thick sticky sweet mieng sauce, I am transported back to the dusty roads of Bangkok, the bustle of Chatuchak Weekend Market and the chaotic hum of Sukhumvit shopping.

Needless to say, Thai food ranks way up there on my list of favourite foods. One of the places that has been around for ages in KL, is Rama V.

This was "THE PLACE" for Asian fine dining back in the day when Micheal Jackson was still the king of pop and Meg Ryan still had her own nose and cheek bones. I remember the second year back from Uni in Cardiff, being on holiday and all, we would tag along with our senior 'yuppie lawyer friends', who use to knock off work late and grab a quick bite at Barn Thai whilst unwinding to the Live Jazz band. Rama V was the other trendy, shi-shi place that side of town, that the yuppies frequented as well. Time passed. Things changed. Rama V slipped into oblivion.

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Then one day, we get a call from an old friend. Apparently Rama V is back in the groove of things with new management.. the works... and menu is as good as ever! Of course we had to go check it out (with foodies in tow, obviously).


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What can I say. This place is still amazing! Fantastic ambiance, cool deco and great service to boot. We started with the Mieng Kam, the Kao Tan Na Tang (Crispy Rice Served with Minced Chicken and Shrimp Sauce) and the Chor Ladda which is the Flower Shaped Dumplings Stuffed with Minced Chicken And Peanut.
My goodness, if Mieng Kam was my favourite starter before this, let's just say that now, Chor Ladda ranks a close second! That gorgeous flower dumpling with magnificent deep purple hues makes me want to keep it as a souvenir (not eat it!). Each mouthful is a wonderful explosion of sweet peanut and savory chicken... yes, yes, somewhere in my mind I am walking around in flip-flops and a summer dress in the Sukhothai gardens photographing gorgeous, looming, stone statues set against a clear blue sky. Bliss!

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Next, the Pomelo Salad with Minced Chicken & Shrimp and the Banana Blossom and Minced Chicken Salad were served. This is thai salad with a twist! Imagine being served in the actual Banana Blossom itself.. beautiful! The taste was uniquely thai and the flavours were distinctly light and refreshing. Just as how a salad should be.


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Between the The Hor Mok Talay which is the otak otak and the river prawn, I take... the river prawn! I loved the taste of the herbs used to marinade the prawn but found the otak otak a little over cooked. However, looking at the presentation of the food, all is forgiven... even slightly overcooked otak-otak is soon forgotten!

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After that, amidst the laughter and the wine and the Soju (!) the other dishes were a bit of a blur but none the less delicious. I remember trying the Tom Yam Seafood - delicious but a tad mild, the Sautéed Beef with Young Pepper and Basil - succulent and tender, the Thai Fish Cake - fresh and crisp and the Deep Fried Garoupa Fish served with 3 Taste Chili Sauce.

If you are wondering how we ate so much, let me just say that there were 6 of us there and occasionally, our hosts joined in.

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Thai desserts are renowned for their intricacy and the time and care involved in their creation. Thai women have such lovely delicate hands, no wonder they make such pretty delicate desserts;) Many Thai desserts just consist of three ingredients - flour, sugar and coconut, though close to a thousand different sorts of dessert have been created by the Thais! These days fewer are on offer, or even to be found. Not only that, the freshness of the coconut used is compromised more than ever. What crime! What sacrilege!

Anyway, if Mieng Kham is my favourite Thai starter, then Tab Tim Krob would be my favourite Thai dessert. Unfortunately for me though, most Tab Tim Krob that I have tried here in Malaysia, is not up to par mainly due to the sub-standard coconut milk they use.

Well, just check out the dessert platter at Rama V. If this is not thai dessert variety at its best, I don't know what is. Amongst the ones you see are the Mango with Sticky Rice, the Kao Nya Durian, the Steamed Tapioca served with Coconut Milk Sauce, the Pumpkin Custard, the tab tim krob i.e. Water Chestnut Dumplings with Jack Fruit in Coconut Milk (my favourite!) and the Thai Bo Bo Cha Cha.

So which ones were good? My favourites were the Mango and sticky rice, the pumpkin custard and the Tab Tim Krob. Sweet, tangy, rich, milky and most importantly, made with the REAL thing!

Wow! What a night. We polished off all the food, a couple of bottles of wine and soju, took many photographs, chatted with our hosts about old times and then called it a night. What a perfect end to a perfect dinner!



Footnote:
*The food featured -
STARTERS: MIEANG KAM Traditional Thai Hors’ Doeuvre, KAO TAN NA TANG Crispy Rice Served with Minced Chicken and Shrimp Sauce, CHOR LADDA Flower Shaped Dumplings Stuffed with Minced Chicken And Peanut.

SALADS: YAM SOM O Pomelo Salad witn Minced Chicken & Shrimp, YAM HUA PLEE Banana Blossom and Minced Chicken Salad.
MAINS: TOM YAM TALAY Tom Yam Seafood served in Young Coconut, NUE PAD PRIK THAI ORN Sautéed Beef with Young Pepper, Chili and Hot Basil Leaves,Thai Fish Cake, PLA KAO SAM ROS Deep Fried Garoupa Fish served with 3 Taste Chili Sauce, HOR MOK TALAY Seafood Souflle (Otak-Otak), CHUCHEE KUNG ME NAM River Prawn with Thai Chili Paste and Herbs.
DESSERTS PLATTER: KAO NYA MA MOUNG Mango with Sticky Rice, KAO NYA DURIAN Durian with Sticky Rice, MAN CHIEAT Steamed Tapioca served with Coconut Milk Sauce, SANG KA YA FAK THONG Pumpkin Custard, TAB TIM KROB Water Chestnut Dumplings with Jack Fruit in Coconut Milk, SAM SAE Thai Bo Bo Cha Cha.

** photo of restaurant in 4th collage courtesy of Rama V

*** photos of statues taken on our holiday in Sukhothai


**** a big thank you to andre and danny for being such great hosts.

***** portrait of cumi&ciki in the final collage courtesy of Luscious Lemongrass aka queen of dslr and now more recently known as, (due to an amazing post on the 'boogeyman blumerman') the new queen of horror!



Add:
Rama V,
No. 5 Jalan U Thant,
55000 Kuala Lumpur.

Contact: 03-21432663
Opening Hours: 11am-3pm, 6.30pm-11pm


38 comments:

Julian Si said...

Nicely written, a great restaurant deserves such a write-up :-)

Big Boys Oven said...

Gosh! ain't thai getting trendy this days! we are enjoying 3-4 thai dinners within a week! true in love with thai! :)

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

good excuse to escape the jln tun razak jam eh...hmmm need to think of how to get myself to that jam after work ar..

thule a.k.a leo said...

this kind of post definitely warrant drive all the way from PJ :)
Jenn & I had fallen in love with Thai food long time ago, fallen deeper when we went to Bangkok and Chiangmai last year... lol!!!

Selba said...

Wow! What else can I say except... I love this post!!! :)

Beautiful collages... nice written.... have I mentioned before that I'm a Thai freak? Hehehe....

CUMI & CIKI said...

jules:
yes, love the place. brings back memories!

BBO:
wow, really? then you will love this place

joe:
ya la. you can go chill out there for happy hour. then dinner. then go how after jam!

thule:
yea same here! recognize our shots from Sukhothai..? lol

selba:
no you have not! is there good thai in indonesia?

J2Kfm said...

i fell in love with mieng kam as well. but hard to find in most thai restaurants here lah ...

what a good write up. makes my mouth water ....

mimid3vils said...

Now I always craving for Thai food, donno y...?

thule a.k.a leo said...

of course I do :)

CUMI & CIKI said...

j2kfm:
true, its so common in thailand though and aw, thanks!

mimi:
me2. spicy food increases the appetite rite?!

thule:
lol. knew u would!

Simon Seow said...

Wow, really feast like a king.

PureGlutton said...

Yes, i love mieng kam too! Nothing beats the bursts of colorful flavours as u chew on that folded piece of kadok leaf! Oh my...those purple flowery dumplings look divine!

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Such details! Bootiful!! *clap clap clap* I can't wait to go there again soon. Food's great. Especially love all the salads. I'm gonna just order starters. Wonder if that's okay...?

thenomadGourmand said...

gimme tht chor ladda!!!
and ALL of the desserts plzz..
I'm sure nw Rama V is fully booked thks to ur write up here ;)

::. Anton ::. said...

I remembered introducing this place to Precious Pea months back. I simple love the mieng kamp, banana flower salad. Their pineapple fried rice was amongst the best I've tasted so far.

Ambience is wonderful too ^_^
+Ant+

kampungboycitygal said...

whoa look so atas! expensive? i so wana go!

qwazymonkey said...

Your pichas are spicy like em Thai food! Not to mention inspiring too! :)

CUMI & CIKI said...

simon:
and queen! ahem;)

pureglutton:
yup yup! once you start you cannot stop.. i like mine with extra chilipadi and ginger:P

LL:
why thank you. I was inspired:P
just only starters? I don't see why not - leave space for the incredibly rich desserts!

TNG:
lol, cute hor, the chor ladda.. so pretty - i think im gonna go look for a dress in dat color;)

Anton:
ooo, really? we hvnt tried the pineapple rice yet - we really must go back again

CUMI & CIKI said...

KBCG:
It really is rather affordable! The prices are so moderate that you'll be surprised! Not half as expensive as say fine-dining japanese or french or italian;)

Qmonkey:
thank you! like i said.. i was inspired:P

k.t.x said...

emmm, cool! i hv not been to this one nor many upscale thai joints simply because i cannot come to the fact that i need to pay that much for good thai stuff...lol. i got a thai fren in KL who makes the greatest tabtimkrab, so much so, the thai embassy gets her to prepare those during a festive occasion!

CUMI & CIKI said...

ktx:
oh, but the food here is really affordable for what it is! not expensive at all.

Selba said...

Not so many but yes, they are quite good ones :)

CUMI & CIKI said...

selba:
good to know but if i come visit you cari u go makan2.. let's just say i won't be asking you to take me eat thai food. Indonesian food la of course! lol;)

Jason said...

Nice nice... I'm going for Thai feast this weekend too. Hope the food would be this good!

550ml jar of faith said...

I actually had no idea about Rama V until very recently, when a client got us to check it out for an event. It really is a slice of serenity, tucked away in that little corner all by itself. And awww, I think that's one of the best C&C shot in the last collage I've seen in a while!

worldwindows said...

Wet and saucy, fish sauces, herbs and spices, what a way to go.

fatboybakes said...

wah, such a clear pic of chummy and ciki...
greetings from oz....looking at the pics almost makes me miss you guys..

CUMI & CIKI said...

jason:
oh lucky u.. enjoy.. take loadsa pix!!

faith:
thx to the amazing lemongrass. there can only be one la;)

WW:
yea, this would be one option for my last meal on death row..:P

fbb:
what do u mean ALMOST makes u miss us guys? u come close to missing us but NOT..?! ROFL

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Yahoo! I have a footnote too. Chicken shitz Johnson, eat your heart out.

breadpitt said...

ops...should not visit here at night...the thai thing make me drooling....sweet and sour...sometimes dessert were just nice even if its made out of simple ingredient...wonderful right;-)

CUMI & CIKI said...

breadpitt:
nor breakfast, nor just before lunch.. ! just like when I see your desserts.. ;P

sc said...

ooo.. the have pamelo salad there? love that! my fren has been raving about this place and asking me to pop over.. guess it's high time i do so :)

Nic (KHKL) said...

i like the fact that these restaurants are making a point to stay relevant in today's highly competitive market. like depeche mode liddat..haha..hey, they oso got a new album out! oh, pet shop boys as well!

great shots and yummy food, c&c!

ling239 said...

so many desserts!! ^_^
what abt the tiny fruit shapes desserts with fillings that we had in Thailand ? cant remember the name though.... i miss that a lot!

CUMI & CIKI said...

sc:
yes go! think u will love it:D

nic:
lol, i agree man.. relevance is KEY!

ling:
oh those! yar like mini angku rite?
That one they didnt hv ..

jojoeyeball said...

ling: its called 'loop choop'..thai dessert made in shapes of tiny fruits, chili etc..in the old days it was only served in Palaces for the Royals

CUMI & CIKI said...

jjball/LING:
yes! and we recently had it again at RAMA V.

read all about at A Whiff of Lemongrass website! cheers

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