Eat & Drink

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Flavours of neighbour up north

Inthira from Conrad Bangkok is serving some of her specialities at Makan Kitchen. — Photos: GLENN GUAN/The Star

Inthira from Conrad Bangkok is serving some of her specialities at Makan Kitchen. — Photos: GLENN GUAN/The Star

THE authentic flavours of Thai cuisine adds to the already extensive food offering at Makan Kitchen in DoubleTree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur.

The restaurant, which boasts of Malay, Chinese, Indian, Peranakan, Kristang and Iban food, is presenting its Absolute Thai Buffet Dinner until April 30.

The delectable flavours of Thai cuisine is being prepared by chefs from the hotel’s sister properties of Conrad Bangkok and Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok.

Chef Inthira “Chef Jib” Phumpaijitr from Conrad Bangkok, who is spending all of March here, has been serving up her specialities at Makan Kitchen. She draws inspiration from her family, combining hot cooking with a special skill in fruits and vegetable carving.

Gung Che Num is raw tiger prawns with premium Thai dip.
Gung Che Num is raw tiger prawns with premium Thai dip.

Those who frequent Thai restaurants or go on yearly trips to the Land of Smiles know what magic can be conjured up with lime, lemongrass, fish sauce and fiery chilli.

We had the chance to sample some of the must-haves at the Absolute Thai buffet dinner at Makan Kitchen.

For appetisers, we began with som tam, a Thai papaya salad with dried shrimps, roasted peanuts and chilli-lime dressing.

This is a dish that packs a whole lot of spice into a small serving. The use of papaya instead of the usual sour mango was a nice change, with the roasted peanuts providing a bit of crunch.

We also had Gung Che Num – raw tiger prawn with premium Thai dip.

Som Tam, which is Thai papaya salad with dried shrimp, roasted peanuts and chilli-lime dressing, was surprisingly very spicy.
Som Tam, which is Thai papaya salad with dried shrimp, roasted peanuts and chilli-lime dressing, was surprisingly very spicy.

I am not a big fan of raw food but I found myself liking the “simple yet complicated” dish.

The prawns were, thankfully, fresh, with no overpowering fishy smell, while the Thai dip tied it all together and made it an appetising affair.

Apparently, to get it right, the chef has to blend a variety of ingredients to make this sauce, and you must get the proportion of each ingredient right.

In any trip to a Thai eatery, a bowl of tom yam is a must.

Naturally, each of us had a bowl of River Prawn Tom Yam infused with lemongrass, kaffir lime and galangal.

Must-have desserts Pumpkin Custard, Red Ruby and Jackfruit in Coconut Milk as well as Mango Sticky Rice.
Must-have desserts Pumpkin Custard, Red Ruby and Jackfruit in Coconut Milk as well as Mango Sticky Rice.

This was quite different from the tom yam I am used to. The roe from the prawn gave the soup a richer seafood taste, but did not overpower its slightly sour taste.

Moving on to the mains, we enjoyed steamed white rice with Pla Neung Manao – steamed seabass with fragrant lime broth.

The tip when eating this dish is to scoop up the lime broth and thoroughly drench your fish with it to get the full flavour.

My favourite from the mains is the Nam Tok – grilled Angus Thai Beef Salad.

The beef is slow-cooked for four hours, resulting in a medium well-done, soft-textured beef with slightly charred edges. Just perfect.

Another must-have is the Thai Green Curry Chicken.

The tom yam offers more that just a strong sour flavour, thanks to the use of prawn roe.
The tom yam offers more that just a strong sour flavour, thanks to the use of prawn roe.

For vegetables, we had Stir-fried Morning Glory with Chilli and Shrimp Paste. I would have liked it to be spicier.

Mango Sticky Rice, Pumpkin Custard and Red Ruby and Jackfruit in Coconut Milk were our desserts for the night.

I went for the pumpkin custard first. The pumpkin was bland but that made it a good match with the sweet custard. Being moderately sweet, they were a good combination and did not disrupt the taste of the other desserts.

The Red Ruby dessert is usually extremely sweet but the one we were served with was chilled and lacked sugar.

I would have loved a bit of sweetness to bring out the exciting flavours of this treat.

Thai Green Curry Chicken.
Thai Green Curry Chicken.

As for the Mango Sticky Rice, it was rich with coconut milk, giving this popular dessert even more oomph than usual.

The Absolute Thai Buffet Dinner is available from 6.30pm to 10.30pm (Monday to Sunday), priced at RM135 nett per person.

MAKAN KITCHEN, Level 11, DoubleTree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur, The Intermark, 348, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur (Tel: 03-2172 7272) Business hours: 6am to 11pm.

This is the writer’s personal observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro

Tags / Keywords: Central Region , makan kitchen , absolute thai , DoubleTree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur

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