Sunday, April 21, 2013

THAI HIGH


Lup Chup...delicate fruit-shaped Thai dessert made from mashed mung beans and sugar coated in a light gelatinous skin
Hailed as one of the top restaurants in The Miele Guide, Erawan marks its 5th Anniversary with a big splash, coinciding with the recent Songkran Festival last Sunday. Having impressed all and sundry from day one, this fine Thai eatery has grown so much in stature that diners are compelled to make prior reservations and pre-order their dishes before they set foot there. Oh, you'd better show up on the dot at the appointed hour or else...Word has it that Erawan rarely accepts walks-in because all the food are single-handedly prepared by Chef Korn using the freshest ingredients based on orders received.
Your gateway to Thai gastronomic heaven is through these ornate doors
A cosy nook outside Erawan that serves as a waiting area for diners
An intricately carved side cupboard inside the restaurant
A sense of welcoming homeliness prevails inside; handpainted wall murals serve as a pretty backdrop for the numerous pieces of intricately carved side cupboards and rustic furnishings, elephant figurines, whimsical leafy and floral chandeliers, vases of fresh flowers and artistic accents in the form of paintings and collectibles.

Brace yourself for a blooming great time when you dine at Erawan
Elephant figurines capture the true essence behind the restaurant's name which refers to the gentle mahout
Wall of fame...extensive media coverage has boosted Erawan's popularity to new heights
Dine in comfort tucked away in this cosy corner
There was no hiding my ecstatic delight when long-time friend Marian Eu invited us to attend Erawan's Songkran celebrations. It was a good excuse to finally see what's the fuss about...living in another far-flung corner of Klang Valley, we rarely ventured to Kota Damansara due largely to the horrendous city traffic and limited parking.

Arty elements such as this wall decor lend extra charm within the eatery
The co-owners, Anan and Joanne welcomed us warmly whilst we waited in anticipation for lunch to be ready. This year, Chef Korn opted to go with a Thai Khanom (canape-like snacks) theme so dainty morsels of savoury and sweets were aplenty. The tapas-like offerings provided perfect fodder for avid shutterbugs too.

A feast for the eyes and later...our palates
Saku sai moo...chewy and savoury delight
One of the interesting tidbits we had was 'saku sai moo', translucent steamed sago balls with savoury,  caramelised pork and crushed peanut filling, topped with fresh coriander and fried minced garlic. Another was juicy pineapple wedges topped with tasty minced chicken, preserved white radish and ground roasted peanuts...so simple yet chockful of flavours.

Stuffed pineapple to tickle the tastebuds
 
Various types of Thai glutinous rice dessert creations by Chef Korn
True to its name, the chef also whipped up several fusion canapes: smoked duck with a robust curried dressing, banana blossom salad with maguro, Thai-style seafood salad, grilled wagyu with piquant dressing, salmon & carrot rolls, skewers of grilled chicken with pineapple, prawn paste with lemongrass, salmon & cucumber rolls and golden "net" parcels of beef and Thai salad amongst others.

 
 

Little dishes of Thai laksa - 'khanom jeen' with mixed herbs and veges filled us up. A choice of fish curry and green chicken curry was served to go with the rice noodles. It was an enticing combination of sweet, spicy, mildly bitter, briny and tangy flavours coupled with the richness of coconut milk in the gravy.

Different condiments laid out for Khanom Jeen.  
The service team also dished out bowls of full-bodied, soul-satisfying good beef noodles. The clear broth and tender chunks of beef were lapped up within minutes to the last drop. Stupendously yummy!


Thai dessert is always fabulous to sample and Chef Korn spared no efforts in conjuring up a mind-boggling selection using glutinous rice, coconut milk, mung beans, grated coconut and eggs. We were gobsmacked by the colours, textures and painstaking work that went into their making. That the chef and his team had put in tons of passion, care and love was simply an understatement.

Sweet black glutinous rice and coconut milk broth with lychees
Foy thong...delicate cocoon rolls made from spun threads of duck egg yolks and sugar
Sweet temptations courtesy of Chef Korn
What an eye-opening and invigorating experience it was for me. Beyond the exquisite viands, I understood there's an artist at work here who produces sublime creations that please our stomachs and serenade our souls. Now, that's definitely worth its weight in gold. This is one Songkran celebration that I'd remember forever.

Erawan Classic Thai & Fusion Restaurant
22-1 Jalan PJU 5/16
Dataran Sunway Kota Damansara
47810 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-6141-2393

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