Unusual but nice...deep-fried chicken with herbs make superb mouthfuls
Som Tam - green papaya salad to whet the appetite
Tantalising Deep-fried Catfish with Mango Salad
Meet Ahmad Rasly Hj Osman and his wife, Sandy who are determined to offer genuine and affordable Thai food in Kuala Lumpur.
Having worked in Bangkok for the past six years, the couple were often told by the many Malaysian friends who visited them that it is virtually impossible to find delicious yet reasonably priced Thai dishes back home. So upon their return, Rasly decided to open Baan Khun Li (‘baan’ means house, ‘Khun’ is the Thai honorific for ‘Mr’ and ‘Li’ as in Rasly) which translate into 'House of Mr Li'.
The outlet itself is simply decorated with a Thai statuette at the main door, and some dark wood accents and Thai woven fabric hangings on its walls. Warm mood lighting that lends the place a cosy feel.
Most of the outlet's specialties are culled from Sandy's collection of recipes with the balance coming from their chef.
You must order the green papaya salad (RM8) as a starter to whet the appetite with its tantalizing tartness.
Then go for the tom yam seafood (RM14-small, RM22-large) which is guaranteed to bring a tear or two to your eyes and awaken your palate with its robust spicy and sour nuances. It also has a lovely creamy finishing from the addition of coconut milk whilst squid, prawns, sliced fish, oyster and button mushroom complete this mouth-watering concoction.
If you are looking for something different, deep-fried catfish with mango salad (RM12) is a good bet. The outlet uses fresh catfish bought from the Sunday Thai market in Petaling Jaya (outside the Siamese Buddhist Temple) specially to make this dish. A painstaking dish to produce, we were told the catfish needs to boiled, deboned and flaked before it is deep-fried over high heat with dried chilli. As a result, the fish flakes turn out nice and crispy and are served with roasted peanuts and a bowl of salty, spicy and tangy mango salad. Yummy!
Other enjoyable dishes include deep-fried seabass with Thai chilli sauce (RM25), fried chicken and herbs (RM10), Massaman bef curry (RM15) and steamed seabass with garlic and chilli (RM25).
The Massaman beef curry here is light and creamy with tender and chunky beef pieces, potatoes and ground peanuts. Although the fried chicken with herbs was a little nondescript at first, we eventually found that it tasted quite superb when both the chicken and the mixture of deep-fried garlic slices, strands of tiny green peppercorns, shredded ginger, lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves are eaten together.
Desserts were sold out the evening we went to Baan Khun Li but I found they usually serve Thai cendol and ‘tab tim krob’ or chilled waterchesnuts dices in coconut milk at RM5 each.
So now what are you waiting for? Go on, head over to Mr Li’s house for a real Thai home-cooked meal.
The outlet can seat up to 60 persons inside and 40 persons outside at the patio area.
BAAN KHUN LI (pork-free)
Lot 13A Perdana The Place
No 1 Jalan PJU 8/5G
Bandar Damansara Perdana
47820 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 7727 1780 / 7726 2713
Business hours – Monday-Saturday 12 noon to 3 pm; 6 pm to 10 pm