Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Rama V Fine Thai Cuisine

It was that time of the year again. Crystal, our dear dutiful daughter once again organised a dinner for us to commemorate a joint Parents Day. Last year she fixed us at the Carcosa Seri Negara. This time around, it was at the Rama V Fine Thai Cuisine. She arranged everything and presented us with a RedRibbon Days voucher for RM250.

The Rama V is located on Jalan U Thant, off Jalan Tun Razak in Kuala Lumpur. It appeared to be a chic place, with soft and striking lightings at the entrance. It was apparently converted from a large bungalow house with a huge compound. It was raining when we arrived and the parking attendant very considerately offered us an umbrella and parked the car for us.

We were greeted by the receptionist who recognised our voucher and reservation, and promptly led us to our table.

The restaurant has many awards to its name, including best Malaysian restaurant for several years.

RedRibbon Days advised us by email that this was a fine dining place and recommended that we dressed smart and casual for our dinner. We did so accordingly. But as it turned out, the place was really not that fine. It was rather crowded and noisy. A couple of kids were very distracting. People walked in and out in shorts and slippers. It was by no means a fine dining place.

The main dining hall was the downstair of the old bungalow house. There were a number of rooms and sections.

Outside, behind the bungalow house was a very nice garden, complete with soft lightings and water systems. Around the garden were several chalets for group diners.

Our table was in the entrance section of the restaurant. It wasn't an ideal location. It was rather long and we were seated at both ends of it. It was kind of awkward at first. We felt so very far apart. A waiter came and helped with the menu. He was obviously an foreign worker. He didn't speak very good English but was nevertheless very efficient in helping us in our selection.

The starter of the meal was this combo. It was a selection of Thai delicacies - fish cake, spring roll, prawn batter, and others - with 2 kinds of Thai sauces. It was a basket meant for 2 to 3 people. Everything in it was nice. I particularly liked the fish cake which was delicious.

When the next dish arrived at the table, I was like "OMG, so much food". It was a big plate of catfish salad. After the combo basket, we were almost there. Now this big plate. And we still had 3 more dishes to come. Anyway, the salad was typically Thai, with lots of peanuts, garlic and the sweet sour sauce. The catfish was apparently deep fried into the batter. But when we bit into the batter, we did not taste any fish - just flour.

The seafood tom yam was rather mild. And that was how we liked it. We had decided on the way to the restaurant that we would only take the tom yam if it was not too sour and fiery. And the waiter assured us that when we ordered it. It had the usual fish, prawn and squid and tasted quite delicious.

This was a duck curry. I was very curious. I had never tasted duck curry before. And it turned out to be really very nice. The meat was distinctly duck. The curry was typically Thai. And I think they made a very good combination. I enjoyed the dish very much.

This single prawn was 50 bucks. Ordinarily, I would not have ordered it. But we had 250 ringgit to spend and we wanted to maximise it, or else the remaining balance would be burnt. The menu stated that it was a river prawn. The only large river prawn I know in Malaysia is the udang galah. But this did not seem like udang galah. Unlike the udang galah, this prawn had a much smaller head and a lot more meat. In any case, it was very well done. It was deep fried and served in a nice Thai sauce.

Dessert was a variety of Thai delicacies. The waiter brought a large tray of assorted cakes, and we picked what we wanted. Perhaps our choice was not good for the desserts were no wow.

This was a bowl of water chestnut in coconut. Like the cakes, it was just so so.

I wanted a cup of coffee. I stopped one of the waiters. He obviously was a foreigner and did not understand what was coffee. He should not had been there in the first place. I later made my wish known to a different waitress. Then I waited and waited. After 2 or 3 reminders, my coffee finally came. It was half a cup and the coffee was cold. And it costed me 10 ringgit. What a rip off for half a cup of cold coffee.

All in all, the food in Rama V was good. It wasn't ridiculously expensive. The taste was distinctly and authentically Thai. No doubt about that. But the service was somewhat lacking. And the ambiance certainly was not one you would expect in a fine dining place. It was not a place we would go to for a special occasion. Most of the diners, I believe, were there just for an ordinary everyday meal.

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