Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Restaurant-style fine Thai dishes to recreate at home

May 15. 2016
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By Sharmila Nair
The Star

KUALA LUMPUR - The most anyone could do after eating a scrumptious meal at a restaurant is to go home and drool over it for days. But not the patrons of Rama V Fine Thai Cuisine located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.
They get to feast on fine Thai cuisine at the restaurant and recreate some of the dishes at home – thanks to MPH Masterclass Kitchens’ Rama V Thai Cookbook that was published last year.
 
The cookbook includes 25 of the restaurant’s iconic dishes such as Chor Ladda – the strikingly blue, flower-shaped dumplings stuffed with minced chicken and peanuts; Som Tam Khai Kem – Rama V’s signature papaya salad with salted egg yolk; Gaeng Ped Pol Linchee – roasted duck curry with lychee; and Seau Rong Hai – a Thai-style grilled steak with tamarind sauce.
 
For those who think that the restaurant is making a mistake by revealing the secrets to its money spinners, Rama V CEO Andre Shum said he believes in sharing the authentic Rama V experience and spirit of fine Thai cuisine beyond the restaurant. It also ensures the longevity of the flavours of the now two decades old establishment.
 
“There are only 25 of the recipes in the book, and we have lots more where they came from, so we are not exactly revealing all of our trade secrets. Besides, our patrons come to Rama V for the experience and ambience on top of the food that we offer,” he said.
 
Opened in 1995, the Thai fine dining institution almost closed down in 2009 before F&B entrepreneur Shum, and travel industry veteran, Danny Jee, swooped in and took over the restaurant along Jalan U-Thant. Jee has since left the restaurant which is currently undergoing renovation.
 
Those who crave for the authentic Rama V taste can always turn to the pages of the cookbook to get by until the restaurant re-opens some time in June. The instructions are pretty easy to follow, but you may want to tweak some of the quantities of the ingredients according to your taste and expertise. Fret not, as it wouldn’t change the taste of the food entirely.
Following this method, we tested some of the recipes and our tester was pretty pleased with the results and gave it the thumbs-up. She noted, however, that the recipes can be quite imprecise and careless, like asking you to slice when shredding is required, or forgetting a step or three, but with the guide of the pictures, and some knowledge of Thai food, a savvy cook should be able to figure it out and still produce tasty Thai dishes with the classic taste promised.
 
Rama V Thai Cookbook is 144 pages of colourful pictures and recipes that are divided into eight sections – appetisers, salads, soups, curries, mains and desserts. And yes, before you wonder out loud, there is a recipe for the dessert that is synonymous with Thai food – Khao Niaw Ma Muang, or Mango Sticky Rice. Did you know that you can also replace the mango in the recipe with jackfruit or durian – or any other fruit for that matter?
 
For newbies trying out the recipes, the book is also filled with useful tips and tricks that can be used in the kitchen.
 
An explanation is also given for each dish, so that you know the history and why it is important to the restaurant before you recreate it at home.
 
“Authenticity is greatly valued at Rama V, which is why we go back to the root of each dish, to learn how it was prepared traditionally, and proceed to replicate that in our kitchen,” said the author. “We don’t just offer Thai food that tastes great, we serve original Thai flavours in our efforts to give our customers a truly authentic Thai experience.”

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