Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Rama V Revisited

Rama V, (that's FIVE, not VEE), also known to us, who studied Sejarah, as King Chulalongkorn, like its namesake, I thought, was history. 15 years ago, or thereabouts, this was THE fine dining thai palace to be in.... I remember vividly, my super fussy eater friend, (godma to my kids), raving about this place and hosting dinner there once. The conclusion at the time, excellent, but pricey, and reserved for special occasions.

With the passage of time, and the advent of myriad new restaurants, the name faded into the annals of culinary history, so much so, my reaction to Julian Si's post about this place was, "WAH, IT'S STILL AROUND AH?".

It was with great delight we got an invite from Ciki of Cumi and Ciki, to dine there one night, courtesy of the proprietors. (more about them later). The other lucky diners were AWOL (a whiff of lemongrass, aka Queen of the DSLR, aka Thamby), Bald Eagle, Cumi, obviously, and me & other half.

We are the first to arrive, and Ciki sends an sms telling us to look for Andre Shum.

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We see him in silent repose in the lotus pond. (No, no, not Andre)...

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The place is tastefully decked out with fragrant jasmine flowers. I was tempted to string it into a garland for AWOL.

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Rama V...
a bit of trivia here, the actual historical figure, is the famous and much revered King who modernised Siam. He was also the son of King Mongkut, Rama IV, after whom the famous musical The King and I, and the movie Anna and the King, were loosely based upon. Rama V must have been one of Anna's students.

With the marvel of search engines, if you were to google Rama V, you actually get more hits of the restaurant that of the historical King. (as in search Malaysian pages).

Eventually, everyone arrives, bearing alcohol. Cumi brings a lovely bottle of Shoju, which went oh so well with the food.

We start off with the requisite Mieng Kam. A lovel platter of assorted condiments to be wrapped in a Kadok Leaf.... which reopened the old wounds of how the maid completely shaved my Kadok bush. Nevertheless, the Mieng Kam was lovely and refreshing.

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Check out the lovely chilli padi that gives it that extra oomph. I simply LURVE chilli padi.

Then came the Kao Tan Na Tang, mince chicken with crispy rice crackers. Most interesting fare, not your usual run of the mill starters you get at Thai restaurants. The moist mince chicken complemented the dry crispy crackers.

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The absolutely beautiful blue lotus dumplings. I always am fascinated that people have the patience to lovingly fashion these dumplings, by hand, obviously, one by one. Tedious work such as this, makes me think of peeled melon seeds. Kuachi. I often wonder how it's done. Do they have an assembly line of retired old ladies, biting and cracking the melon seed and spitting out the skinned melon seed? I digress.

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The mince chicken within was lovely and flavourful.

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Pomelo salad. As pomelo is one of my FAVOURITE fruits, it didn't take much to win me over. Crunchy juicy pomelo, with fragrant fried shallots, chicken bits, really, a whole kaleidescope of flavours in one spoonful.

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Next came the Banana Flower (Jantung Pisang...what a novel way of using it as a gorgeous decorative receptacle), with minced chicken. Hmm, come to think of it, there was a lot of chicken that night.

Alright, time to intro everyone.

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The guest were us, ie, Bald Eagle, Mrs Bald Eagle, Cumi, Ciki, Me & the photoshy wifey, so pic not here, the suave & charming owners, Danny Jee, (top left with Ciki), who looks every bit the restauranteur, and PR fella, and the dashing Andre Shum, who looks like those young successful entrepreneurs who was also, as it turns out, Ciki's tuition mate. These two gentlemen have taken over the helm of Rama V and look set to launch it to greater heights. Hospitality was par excellence. Thanks you guys, I think I daresay all of us had a fabulous time.


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Back to the food. The ubiquitous Tom Yam. Okay, Tom Yam is very subjective. Some like it hot, some like it sour, some like neither. Me, I like it hot, intense and sour. This Tom Yam is more moderate, and suitable for those with less intense expectations.

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The deep fried Garoupa was well fried, and lovely and crispy, the way a deep fried dish should be. The sauce was a 3 taste chilli sauce. Very exotic sounding. The fish was fresh, and succulent, and wasn't like deep fried to masquerade the lack of freshness unlike at some joints.

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The River Prawn!!!! WOW! What luxury. I think its priced at RM38 each. But they're huge, and oh so delicious. Actually, if you think about it, even the Soo Kee's Sang Har Fried Noodles in Lucky Gardens already costs RM28 per prawn. Succulent, sweet, and crunchy.... oh soo sooo good. Really!

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Basil and Beef....well, after the river prawns, it was a bit of an anticlimax, but the flavour nevertheless is excellent....a wholesome dish that goes very well with rice.

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Stir Fried greens with lovely bits of fragrant garlic. No complaints here. Greens are greens, and they're GOOD for you.

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Goodness, even as I'm writing this, I am AMAZED by the humongous spread. Hey guys, that was a very generous dinner indeed!!!! The otak otak...such lovely presentation.

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Oh, the otak otak was AMAZING. A burst of flavours as you bite into it. Literally, you can feel an explosion within your mouth, tangy, savoury, herby, all in one bite. I'm not usually a die hard otak otak fan, but this was superb.

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Thai Fishcakes. Hmm, I cant remember when this was served. Was it a starter? They would be perfect as starters.

Our gracious hosts were busy flitting around that night, as business was good. Even at 10pm there were people walking in to begin dinner. But they always flitted back to us..... Awww.

Everyone's favourite time....despite the gargantuan amount we ate before....

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While waiting for dessert, we stroll around the outside area. The place has 3 or 4 individual chalets as private dining areas. Perfect for a party of up to 30.

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One small flame in the light of a thousand......
Ah, lets face it, I am not an artistic writer......

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It's amazing. AWOL has a built in mechanism that whenever a camera is pointed at her, she whips out her glasses and goes into the posey pose.

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My steamed pumpkin and custard was amazing!!!! The best of the desserts, I'd dare say.

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Bald Eagle's Durian & Glutinous rice, reminded him of his mother's cooking.

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The compulsory Tap Tim Krub...very nice, perfect, not too sweet.



Even the goddess holds up the dessert in high esteem.


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Actually, what ARE they all doing, I can't remember! Isn't she absolutely HAWT!

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Ah, Andre Shum....doesn't this look like it belongs on the cover of Fortune 500 or something?

Anyway, THANK YOU again, Danny and Andre, for having us, and it was a wonderful experience, and how heartwarming to know that this fine establishment has been given a new lease of life under you guys!!!! Will be back soon!

Check out Ciki's post here.

25 comments:

thule a.k.a leo said...

I thought that you were kidnapped :) haven't updated your blog for a long time... haha

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

no post on perth, striaght jump back to KL reviews?

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

Why so shy? Put up your pic laaaa. Don't worry...you'll be on my blog for sure, baybeh.

The food was very good...beyond expectation, actually. I went there for a second visit after this, and it was still consistent. The pumpkin dessert was special...egg custard and pumpkin go so well.

jason said...

I lurve the pumpkin egg custard (er... I had it in Cititel before, not Rama V). And btw, welcome back!

CUMI & CIKI said...

harlo fbb!
this is your FAN speaking/writing.. we luv ur shots.. we luv ur ever so farnee blog:P(mwuahahaha:P)

Bangsar-bAbE said...

The pumpkin custard looks intriguing. And yes...she is HAWT!! ;D

Gosh...you really love chili padi huh??

CUMI & CIKI said...

andre looks so hamsum ..! totally fortune 500. and danny luks like a shupastar... ahem:P

Selba said...

*gaps*

Whoaaaaa... so nice!!! The pictures, the food, the gals and even the guys! ;)

Life for Beginners said...

Only you, dear sir, can switch from blue dumplings to philosophical ponderings on kuaci and the peeling of, and still have us eagerly following your thread!

Bravo!

P.S. May I order in advance on behalf of my New York pal, Ekin-san (i.e. your most fortunate four-hundredth FatBoyBakes Fan Club fan), a dozen of your lovely flourless chocolate cakes? No idea when that fler will arrive on our distant shores but I told him to hurry before you get so femes you can't afford to take our pedestrian orders no more.

:D

J2Kfm said...

LOL at that auto-specs-on-mode for camwhoring purposes. =P

anyway, read this from Ciki's. delicious stuff lah ... so elegant somemore.

qwazymonkey said...

Was Perth really such a bore that you've gotta post about KL? Was looking forward to read about Freo, Margaret River and the dolphin in the Swan River!

Back to the Thai food, if you guys ever go there again ajak skali lah. McC doesn't eat spicy food, so I can't possibly just enjoy by myself. :)

thenomadGourmand said...

the desserts...i want!!

Paprika said...

Oooh thanks for clearing this up for me. I had heard that it had closed down. Didn't realise it had changed hands instead. Menu looks new and improved. Will definitely go give it a try!

fatboybakes said...

paps, yeah, most ppl's reaction is, "oh? its still around". you MUST try. i cant wait to go back again.

TNG, indeed, you should want. the pumpkin custard is great. but must share...its humongous.

boy ah, wait la, must gather my thoughts on dearth... i mean perth...also, i wanted to quickly post the RAMA V one before my degenerated by alcohol brain loses all memory of the dinner.

j2KFM, next time you come to KL, tell us la, we organise go together gether.

fatboybakes said...

LFB, hahah, and only you, my dear sir, can string together a whole sentence with so many words before a period. bow bow. puhleeez la, wat tok you, pedestrian orders my a**...anyway, the fler comes from NOOOO YORK wor, how can my humble offerings have any effect on those sophisticated palates. (not that our palates here are not sophisticated la)...

selba, yup glad you agree, such a gorgeous bunch of people right...i am so lucky to be surrounded by them. hahah.

ciki, indeed they do. (roll eyes at the OTHER comment)

bangsar babe, yup, i lurve my chilli padies. the hotter the better.

UnkaLeong said...

Cili padi hor...Was i supposed to pass you some r? Food looks delish! Wonder if it will stand up to my BKK trained tongue :P

fatboybakes said...

jason, actually last time, when i was student, my summer house mate, a thai fler, made this divine pumpkin custard, but the custard was a durian custard. SOOO GOOD. must try to replicate la.

thamby, how are them puppies?

nipple joe, see my answer to jonathan.

thule, haha, was away in perth ler buddy.

thule a.k.a leo said...

how was Perth?? thought of going there for holiday getaway, coz my friend is there and I can save on accommodation and maybe on transport :)

thule a.k.a leo said...

how was Perth?? thought of going there for holiday getaway, coz my friend is there and I can save on accommodation and maybe on transport :)

Nic (KHKL) said...

"I was tempted to string it into a garland for AWOL"

ahhh, how aptly. a garland for the Goddess of DSLR. hehehehe...

the food looks good lah. we must go there again! the occasion? hmmmm, to celebrate the envious camaraderie that us friends share la, op cors! ;D

gfad said...

*echoes paps* Still around ah?? Kenot visit BKK, might as well eat thai food at home.

So how WAS Perth lah? Faster do a review, will be going there in July. Still dunno where to go and what to do.

Tummythoz said...

So any idea whether it's still at fine dining prices reserved for special ocassions?

Yalor. How was Perth? Really dearth? Any must buy foodstuff? Me going soon too.

fatboybakes said...

tummythoz, its really quite reasonable. considering a lot of thai places these days ah, easily RM40 above per head.

perth ah? will blog about it soon, but nah, nothing you cant buy here. macadamias are even cheaper here.

gfad, aiya, there's nothing to do....walk along the river la hand n hand with your hubby. very romantic.

hairy, yeah, lets go!

thule, will blog abt perth soon.

unka, yup, where's mah chilli pahdi?

Anonymous said...

I went to Just heavenly today at Damansara Heights dreaming abt the death by choc cake after reading so much abt it. They shld tell you that it had a strong coffee mousse in it. Not everyone likes coffee. It shld be renamed Choked by Coffee instead. Luckily i was saved by the lush Banana cream pie.

fatboybakes said...

anonymous, aww, there there, at least u were saved by banana cream pie. what an odd place to talk about just heavenly cakes...
i am not really familiar with their death by choc...having only had it once a long time ago. shall i convey your message to the JHP flers???