With the dawning of a new year just days away, it’s timely that the menu at Rama V has some new breaths injected in it. The beautiful and luscious grounds surrounding this Thai fine-dining restaurant never cease to delight me and I can always look forward to an exceptional dining experience in Rama V. A couple of weeks ago, we were invited by the owners, Andre Shum and Danny Jee for a pre-Christmas gathering, together with their lovely better halves. It was a great catch-up session and also a chance to check out some new dishes on their menu.
Rama V is now helmed by Chef Paphatson Singhakhat, fondly known as Chef O, who used to run the kitchen of Fa Ying, their sister restaurant in Paradigm Mall. The smiley soft-spoken Chef O has come up with several new items to add on to the menu and yet still retain Rama V’s signature popular dishes. Oldies but goodies like their iconic violet coloured Chor Ladda (RM24) …flower-shaped dumplings stuffed with minced chicken and peanuts and traditional Thai Hors D’oeuvres – Mieang Kam (RM22) remain firmly in the menu.
New dishes aligned to the traditional dining concept in Rama V that made their way to our dining table that evening were Yam Tha Wie (Ancient Thai Salad RM24), Gaeng Pla Par (Spicy Wild Curry Fish RM32), Pad Ma Khiaw Yaw Kab Bai Ka Pao (Stir-fried Thai Eggplant with Thai Herbs and Hot Basil Leaves RM20). The Yam Tha Wie looked and tasted similar to Gado-gado.
Yam Tha Wie (Ancient Thai Salad)
Gaeng Pla Par (Spicy Wild Curry Fish)
Pad Ma Khiaw Yaw Kab Bai Ka Pao (Stir-fried Thai Eggplant with Thai Herbs and Hot Basil Leaves)
My favourite is the tweaked Som Tam (Papaya Salad) which now has wedges of salted eggs added in. Now known as Som Tam Khai Kem Rama V (RM24), it’s an excellent appetizer as the salted egg adds a most interesting dimension to the tangy crunchy salad.
Som Tam Khai Kem Rama V (Thai Papaya Salad with Salted Eggs)
Green Curry is a staple in any Thai restaurant but Chef O has gone one step further by using Fish Paste stuffed with salted egg yolk instead of meats. Known as Gaeng Kiaw Loo chin Pla Yad Sai Khai Kem (RM28)…these are immensely good as the bold brash flavor of the salted eggs blends well with the spices.
Gaeng Kiaw Loo chin Pla Yad Sai Khai Kem (Green Curry with fish paste stuffed with salted eggyolks)
Chef O’s Seau Rong Hai (RM40) has a rather sad note to it – it means “The Tiger Weeps” and it’s actually Thai-style Grilled Tenderloin Steak served with Tamarind Sauce – a speciality from the Isaan region. Perhaps it was meant to explain that the steak was so tasty the tiger wept in wonder? The fact is, this is one helluva delicious steak with a superb blend of spiciness and tanginess from the tamarind sauce.
Seau Rong Hai (Thai-style Grilled Tenderloin Steak served with Tamarind Sauce)
The Pla Chon Luw Sauw (RM70) made a grand and dramatic appearance on our table. A whole deep-fried King Fish (freshwater snakehead) curled itself seductively amidst a pile of Thai herbs, chopped chillies, onions and crunchy cashew nuts sprinkled with lime juice. Looking rather menacing, the tender flaky texture of the fish soon won us over (as long as you don’t peer too long or closely at the fish head!)
Pla Chon Luw Sauw (Deep-fried King Fish)
The Sah Toh Pad Goong (Shrimp Paste Petai with Tiger Prawns RM38) and Pla Ja La Ned Nung (Steam White Pomfret in Superior Soy Sauce RM100) were just so-so for me.
Sah Toh Pad Goong (Shrimp Paste Petai with Tiger Prawns)
Pla Ja La Ned Nung (Steam White Pomfret in Superior Soy Sauce)
Testing new ground, Chef O came up with several Modern Thai dishes to tempt jaded palates. Soup Fak Thong (Thai Roasted Pumpkin Soup RM18) and Soup Gaeng Leang (Clear Southern Style Soup RM16) are good to go if you want something different from the usual tomyum soup.
Soup Fak Thong (Thai Roasted Pumpkin Soup)
Soup Gaeng Leang (Clear Southern Style Soup)
A dozen or so of Hoy Nang Rom Sod (Fresh Australian Oysters with Manow Sauce – RM28 for 4pcs) would go perfectly in between sips of the soup.
I particularly liked the See Krong Kea Yang Kab Sos Massaman (Rack of Lamb in Massamum Sauce RM45) and Kai Yad Sai Kra Pao (Thai Styled Chicken Roulade RM35) for a refreshing take on the two popular western-inspired dishes. The lamb was studded with fragrant Thai spices and the chicken roulade dressed up prettily with chopped colourful vegetables doused with an enticing sauce.
See Krong Kea Yang Kab Sos Massaman (Rack of Lamb in Massamum Sauce)
Kai Yad Sai Kra Pao (Thai Styled Chicken Roulade)
Rama V now also offers Thai Barbecue on its menu – guests can select from a variety of fresh seafood to be grilled. The winning touch comes from the delicious dips. The huge Kung Mea Nam Yang (BBQ River Prawns) were served with a piquant Manow and Seafood Sauce which I couldn’t have enough of.
All new items are already available in Rama V’s menu so make a beeline there soon to catch some of Chef O’s actions.
Rama V Fine Thai Cuisine
5 Jalan U Thant
Opening hours: 12pm-3pm; 6.30pm-11pm