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.
We see him in silent repose in the lotus pond. (No, no, not Andre)...
The place is tastefully decked out with fragrant jasmine flowers. I was tempted to string it into a garland for AWOL.
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.
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.
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.
The mince chicken within was lovely and flavourful.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Stir Fried greens with lovely bits of fragrant garlic. No complaints here. Greens are greens, and they're GOOD for you.
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.
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.
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....
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.
One small flame in the light of a thousand......
Ah, lets face it, I am not an artistic writer......
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.
My steamed pumpkin and custard was amazing!!!! The best of the desserts, I'd dare say.
Bald Eagle's Durian & Glutinous rice, reminded him of his mother's cooking.
The compulsory Tap Tim Krub...very nice, perfect, not too sweet.
Even the goddess holds up the dessert in high esteem.
Actually, what ARE they all doing, I can't remember! Isn't she absolutely HAWT!
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.