The smell of fresh paint still lingers in the air as you walk into Setia City Mall. Yes, it’s new. The mall opened barely a fortnight ago, so everything is spanking new there. Walk in from the South Entrance main door and you will see the sparkling new KHAO by Rama V on your left.
KHAO by Rama V is a new concept restaurant from none other than the award-winning Rama V Fine Thai Cuisine. Read about my reviews of Rama V here and here. The good folks of Rama V are now presenting a new refreshing style of enjoying Thai food in a casual chic setting. The décor is simplistic with square tables and bucket-shaped white chairs lining the length of the restaurant and some booth-style setting in the inner right enclave.
So, why and what is “khao”? I know it sounds like that bovine creature and even the concierge at the mall misunderstood me and gave me a puzzled look when I asked for its exact location in the mall. Well, “khao” is the Thai word for rice. As Andre Shum (co-owner) explains it, “Rice has always been a centerpiece in any traditional Thai meal and no matter how scrumptious the other dishes are, a Thai meal without khao is incomplete”.
My favourite: Miengkam
Setting a new trend in Thai dining, KHAO by Rama V’s menu offers an enticing array of set meals, bento-style. Yes, you get to enjoy classic Thai dishes without having to crack your head deciding what to order as the set comes complete with appetizers, main dish, soup, dessert, all served with a bowl of khao, of course… and for added value, a sunny-side egg comes together atop your khao. These are great for the harried shopper, for the single diner (or even couples) and even better for families because everyone gets to taste a bit of several dishes from the menu with no worry of over-ordering.
Yam Woonsocket Sen Ta-lay - Glass Noodles Salad
So, take your pick of bento-style sets ranging from Single Sets (each set comes with 3 appetizers + main course + soup + fruits of the day) with prices ranging from RM21-RM25 per set. If you don’t feel like having khao for the day, there are sets that come with fried noodles, like Pad Thai. If you want more variety, go for the Combo Sets (each set comes with 3 appetizers + 2 main courses + soup + fruits of the day) with prices going from RM25-RM29 per set. Vegetarians, take heart, there are also special vegetarian sets for both the Single (RM19-RM20 per set) and Combo (RM20-RM21 per set) versions.
Single Sets: Left: Yellow Curry Chicken Set; Top Right: Beef Massaman Set; Bottom Right: Pineapple Fried Rice Set
I particularly enjoy the Beef Massaman set… the beef slices are so tender and the curry is so wonderfully flavourful that you just have to drench your bowl of khao with it.
Tod Mun Kai Yeaw Mar ~ Century Eggs wrapped in Fishcake
Besides the sets, a la carte items are also available on the menu. If you have dined in Rama V before, you would notice that most items here are pretty similar. Well, Chef Ruthira aka Chef Blue (such a cool name!) helms the kitchen here and it’s not surprising that he brings with him most of the well-loved dishes from the mother restaurant. There is one item though, which is unique and available only at KHAO and this is something you have to try – Tod Mun Kai Yeaw Mar ~ Century Eggs encased in fish paste (RM17). Eaten with some fresh herbs like mint and basil, the combination of the jelly-like century eggs and the spicy aromatic fish paste is quite addictive! It may sound like the most unorthodox pairing, but believe me, it works.
Por Pae Sod Ped ~ Fresh Paper Rolls with Duck
I love how they serve Miengkam (RM12) here – they take all the work out for you. Every “daun kadok” comes with all the condiments already assembled inside, so all you have to do is just pop that leaf parcel into your mouth and enjoy the explosion of flavours on your palate. The super crunchy Kung Sa-Bai ~ Fried Shrimps with Minced Chicken wrapped in Egg Noodles (RM16) should not be missed either. Strands of dried egg noodles are twirled round fat succulent prawns mixed with minced chicken and deep-fried … and these cocoon-like shrimps are served in a bamboo basket, for that visual impact.
Kung Sa-Bai ~ Fried Shrimps with Minced Chicken wrapped in Egg Noodles
Asparagus with Scallops
Pineapple Fried Rice from one of the sets
For desserts, at the moment, only the Khao Neew Ma Moung ~ Mango with Sticky Rice (RM12) is available. Other favourites like the Thab Tim Krob, Coconut Jelly with Waterchestnuts & Taro and Coconut Icecream will be available very soon. Oh, do try their “quenchers” under the Drinks list… blast your tongue with a refreshing dosage of lemongrass, lime, basil and mint leaves in their Lemongrass Basil (RM10.90) – simply delightful!
Khao Neew Ma Moung ~ Mango with Sticky Rice
KHAO by Rama V
LG 21 Setia City Mall
7 Persiaran Setia Dagang
Bandar Setia Alam
40170 Shah Alam, Selangor
Opens daily 11.00am till 10.00pm