Erawan.. Thai does not get any finer!

ERAWAN, one of the Thai names for Airavata, the Hindu Elephant God. However in Thailand the name is more synonymous with the famous Erawan Four-Faced Buddha Shrine located by Grand Hyatt Erawan Hotel in the heart of downtown Bangkok, and more infamously the site of a recent ghastly bomb attack..! Not a great way to start a food blog piece.., but hey.., don’t knock it yet as you might have just gained some useless information with which to impress your friends…

Anyway, ERAWAN, the Thai Restaurant, which is located in Petaling Jaya, KL, has been voted “Best Thai” in KL by popular food and travel sites like Trip Advisor, Timeout, Hungrygowhere, etc, for several years running. However it was a maiden and momentous experience for “AllAboutSix” as we crawled through the KL peak hour traffic with our Malaysian foodie host, to discover what this mad rave is all about… All I can say is that the results were resounding… Read on to the individual reviews to find out why:


The evening’s menu

Royal Lotus's Petals Snack
Royal Lotus’s Petals Snack
Mangosteen Salad
Mangosteen Salad
Pomelo Salad
Pomelo Salad
Tom Yum
Tom Yum
Steamed Curry Fish Cake Otak Otak
Steamed Curry Fish Cake Otak Otak
Cockles Curry
Cockles Curry
Chicken Massaman Curry
Chicken Massaman Curry
Lamb Curry
Lamb Curry
Bone Less Roasted Duck Curry
Bone Less Roasted Duck Curry
Spicy Cod Fish
Spicy Cod Fish
Squid With Salted Egg
Squid With Salted Egg
Stie fried Sunflower Stems with Garlic
Stir fried Sunflower Stems with Garlic
Durian platter
Durian platter

Reviews

All scorings based on individual's opinion
All scorings based on individual’s opinion

Guest Hosts Doctor Jiak & Lady Chantilly says…

(1) Venue 8 – You feel like you are walking into co-owners / brothers, Chef Korn and Anan’s intimate and cozy house. Tastefully decorated albeit a tad cramped with the restaurant running a full house. The owners’ attention to detail is very obvious. The restaurant is always adorned with huge displays of bright coloured orchids. G.licious and Tonuerchi were impressed with the cleanliness and dryness of the quirky washroom. G.licious NEVER uses public toilets in Singapore…let alone the ones in Malaysia! (2) Taste 8.5 – Chef Korn is self-taught kitchen maestro who hails from Chantaburi. He learnt how to cook from his mother at a young age, perfecting his dishes and presentation. The chef has also mastered the art of royal Thai cuisine whose grandmother used to cook in the royal palace. Each dish is beautifully presented in exquisite Thai cookware. Diners are highly encouraged to browse the menu on Erawan’s website to pre-order a day ahead for popular dishes. This ensures the ingredients used are delivered and prepared on the very day. Their appetizers are my favourites. Whenever it is mangosteen season, I’ll head there for the Chef Korn’s special Mangonsteen Salad. My friends were rendered speechless (very rarely) with their first mouthful. I stared at Will-I-Ham and Tutu Kueh’s faces (well, they were sitting across from me) and watched the expressions on their faces. Experiencing the explosion of flavours of the juicy sweet mangosteens, squid, prawns, minced chicken, shallots and mint leaves, balanced with the refreshing tangy sauce. There was this harmonious balance of sweet, sour and hot lingering in their mouths, slowly tantalizing their taste buds. O-R-G-A-S-M-I-C!!!!! That’s how I feel every time I savour this exquisite appetizer. My second favourite appetizer is Royal Lotus Petal Snack. I have never seen this appetizer on other Thai menus. It is a Thai Royal snack, which is similar to Miang Kham which the Thai common folk wrap the aromatic condiments with betel leaves. The lotus flowers are homegrown by the restaurant and each delicate white and pink petal is carefully selected. Not many Thai restaurants serve the Pomelo Salad, which had always been my favourite since my younger days. Well, till the flawless Mangonsteen Salad came into my life. I’m still enticed with the Pomelo Salad. Whopping chunks of sweet-sour pomelo, enhanced with Alaskan crabmeat, meaty prawns with a generous topping of grounded roast peanuts and fried shallots. The sauce is served on the side to prevent the crunchy ingredients from getting soggy. Erawan’s uses the best ingredients paired with simple Thai herbs and spices. You will find Australian beef and lamb, giant river prawns and Alaskan King Crab in their main dishes. However, my favourite main dish is the humble see-hum (blood cockle) curry. I have introduced this cockle curry to many see-ham lovers, who now refuse to share this dish with more than 1 person on their subsequent visits. I have NEVER eaten any cockle that is larger or more succulent than the ones served at Erawan. The curry is rich and flavoursome. The cockles are cooked to perfection. They burst in your mouth, never overcooked. Accompanied with white rice. SECOND ORGASM. Oooooh Wow! Another special mention at Erawan is the availability of unusual vegetables on their menu. Humming bird flower, Water lily stem, Chayote and Climbing wattle are amongst their seasonal selection. The finale for my dining experiences at Erawan will always be the Durian Platter. I’m a dessert fanatic. Unfortunately, stuffing myself on see-hum curry and rice every time does not leave room for dessert. My love affair with the Durian Platter began earlier this year when I curiously asked Chef Korn’s brother, Anan, why the platter is priced at RM50, which is a rather hefty price for dessert. Anan emphasized that they only use the highest grade of durians, Musang King durian, or the next grade if Musang King is not available. It would not hurt to try it once to see what Anan is bragging about. We were shocked at the small plate of the pricey dessert placed before us, consisting of a serving of the bitter sweet King of Durians, rich creamy homemade durian ice cream and salty sweet green glutinous rice. Anan strongly recommended each spoonful should be a combination of the trio. Let’s just say 4 ladies shared the durian platter and every single one of us were lusting for a second order of this decadent dessert. Since that fateful encounter, it’s the FINAL CLIMAX for me and every durian-loving friend of mine! (3) Service 7.5- They were understaffed with a packed hectic restaurant that night. Anan, forever the attentive gracious host, still sat down at every table to take their orders. He would magically appear the moment your dish is served, to explain each dish in detail. Chef Korn rarely appears at the front of house. I told Anan, Erawan was top of my list of restaurants to introduce to my best friends from Singapore on this visit. Anan brought his brother Chef Korn to meet us. Both brothers were very accommodating and obliging to my besties’ requests for numerous group photos. (4) Value 7- Award winning Erawan’s Thai classic cuisine is as fine as they come.  This is not the typical Thai restaurant fare you would encounter. Many first-time diners are not expecting to pay so much at a restaurant tucked away in a nondescript neighbourhood, a long way from the bustling city lights. Prices have increased substantially since my first visit to Erawan after moving to KL but I can attest that Erawan is still probably the best Thai restaurant north of Singapore.

Tutu Kueh says…

(1) Place 7- After a 30mins drive from KL and tuck away in Damansara is this little 40 seater Thai restaurant called “Erawan”. Once you walk into the restaurant you smell the fish sauce mixed with spices and immediately you know you are in for a treat. Decor was typically traditional Thai but with a touch of up market dining feel to it when you see a row of Miele ovens at the back of the restaurant.  The lights were abit dim for my liking, however the restaurant was well decorated and just bright enough to see what thr next table is ordering so you just know what coming out of the kitchen going to be SEDAP!! (2) Taste 8.5- Talk about royalty. ……Erawan got class la…why do wraps in lettuce cups??? They serve the dried shrimp minced pork in FLOWER PETALS…it was very elegant and the filling was superb with just the right amount of crunch from the fried hei bee and right amount of spices from the pork..not too much of each but just enough for you to want another wrap…fantastic. The other starter should be their “piece de resistance” the mangosteen salad. …f#÷×@ outrageous  to use mangosteen as a savory dish but this is something you put in your mouth and swallow. …the taste. .the textures  ..the spices…the acids and the sweets of this dish is balance to perfection…small segments of mangosteen which are seddless combined with soo many levels of other spices and taste will definately blow your taste buds and mind off the charts. Who would think mangosteen can be so well prepared as a savory dish…👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻.. however this mangosteen dish is seasonal and better pre order to avoid disappointment.  We had another wing beans salad and i think a pomelo salad which was really above par…Tom yum kung was also very good but could not keep up with the next level of taste which their main courses can offer you.. Firstly the see hum (cockles) curry is really a work of art.. huge…giant cockles cook just enough to be tender and not rubbery with red curry and betel leaves is something you need to try….no taste of iron from the bloody cockles just the taste of fantastic curry..this is dish I will swap Australian port mosley Oysters for … The Duck curry, Chicken curry and the fish were also absolutely delicious and every dish taste different from each other and that gives you a whole bloody night orgasmic sensation when you try every dish separately. The die die must try dessert is of course the Durain platter but again order only during season for durain dessert. Overall taste for Erawan is a real dining experience and a real wow factor for your taste buds. From start  to finish a real treat to your palates for the finest Thai food experience. To top that off,  thanks to my Datuk friend who bought a 2000 Mommessin clos de tart Grand Cru red to accompany with the meal…the first 30 mins of the meal I was speechless. .the combination was a match in heaven… (3) Service 7- Like any good restaurant where you are serving dishes hot and fast from the wok..service will be compromised but they did their best to serve us whatever was required. ..the partner/managers at the front of house was very good in explaining the dishes to you and very very detailed and interesting how some of the dishes came about. Service was therefore so so but the food made up for it. (4) Value 8- Prepare to spend about M$150 ringgit each as the dishes are relatively on the high side for Malaysian. But for Singaporeans we are blessed with a strong dollar and we will spend about S$60 to $70 for this experience…worth every dime!!! Best Thai food for me inside and outside Thailand. Kup kun kup to chef!

Tonguerchi says…

(1) Place 6.5- It was a long time getting there. The tight traffic and curvy bumpy roads made it feel like trying to pull off undersized jeggings stuck around your ankles; just not fast enough. But stepping through the golden carved doors was like being transported into a royal hideout den of secret intimate expectations. Nothing fancy in decor but exciting suspense with foreplayed anticipation having been told of its popularity and reputation ahead of coming. (2) Taste 8.8- Pink petalled cups welcomed us with a delectable starter of surprise. Picking it up in hand, I glimpsed a garden with garlands and bouquets of exotic thrills as I slipped the lotus of love past my eagerly parted lips to consummate with wet waiting tastebuds. The flower and its contents burst into life in my mouth delicately like a bloom of both ecstatic and esthetic spasms that wrecked me for a lifetime of lncomparisons. Another special SPOON mention is the seedless mangosteen salad. My favorite white, sultry and slippery baubles of sweet gooey fruity flesh slid and teased my tongue playfully in the company of the tart savory sour pinch of the salad, inventing a totally new raging spasmodic exploration of climatic culmination that money cannot always buy. Only available seasonally, we were fortunate to experience it’s priceless glory. Everything else after came like an afterglow of sublime satisfaction. Like curling up and cuddling in pillow talk. Not as ecstatic but blissfully and sensually gratifying. Anticipate feeling like the lusty favourite at the King’s secret table. I left weak in the knees and still blushing ☺️ I think I’m in love with Chef Korn. (3) Service 6.5- Kinda felt like it was understaffed what with us pouring the wine ourselves although that made it also quite private and intimate without the hovering service. (4) Value 8.5- I’m sure I cannot find this periodically intense quality or uniqueness anywhere else. So I’m willing to pay for this very affordable royal treasure. You just can’t buy love but this time we were lucky it was for sale. ❤️

Will-I-Ham says…

(1) Place 6.9 – Ouch! One hour ride to Erawan, so thank god for good company or I’d be car sick before getting there… Erawan isn’t really big dig (about 12~15 tables) so I’d presume reservation’s a must before venturing that road trip. It’s located around the western part of KL in some nondescript suburban shopping alley, nothing to shout about but fortunately the interior deco was pretty charming and tasteful, filled with happy chatter and delightful sounds of clinking wine glasses. Nothing fantastic to write home about but I was adequately impressed and felt comfortable throughout the night. (2) Taste 8.5- YeeeeHaaaa! Highest score ever given for this category to date and believe me I’m super stingy with my scoring covenant.., hence Erawan is definitely within my TOP 3 best Thai restaurant trophy case… We started our evening with the Royal Lotus Petals Snack, which is a concoction of condiments including dried shrimp, nuts, fried scallions, lemon grass, peppered with a variety of spices and wrapped in a soft crisp lotus petal… An awesome combination leading to a taste explosion in my mouth. It was followed by a tasty prawn salad which I thoroughly savored until the final appetizer arrived… Like a lightening bolt I was stunned by the genius of this orgasmic masterpiece. A culinary wonder made with prawns, cuttlefish and Mangosteen, seasoned with with just the right tinge of mint leaves, lemon grass, chilli padi, and a variety of other Thai spices to round up the kaleidoscope of taste… First thing to overwhelm my unsuspecting taste bud was the freshly scooped mangosteen pieces which worked perfectly with Thai spices to offer a powerful sweet sour jolt with a soft slimy finish as the mangosteen slid down my throat. Truly amazing dish that brought a tear to my eye as I raved on hysterically like a complete lunatic… Quite possible the best “Thai” dish I’ve had in all my life… All the main dishes that followed were also extraordinary and highly memorable.., but pales in the shadow of my mangosteen wonder-dish! Sadly I learned that this is a seasonal item hence I would highly recommend timing your visits with a mangosteen harvest calendar! (3) Service 7.0- KL traffic at 7pm is like walking through quicksand wearing flippers, hence we took twice as long on the road while our zealous host called to delay our reservation twice before we got there. Luckily the manager who took the call was kind enough to hold our table even though they were running a full house, so kudos for that’s pretty considerate and customer friendly. The manager also took time to explain the dishes served and even invited his rather introverted half-brother Chef Korn to grace us with his presence… Of course after such a magical meal we couldn’t resist raining oodles of love and allegiance to his culinary genius, not to mention a gazillion snapshots as if Elvis himself was standing alongside. All-in-all the service was very pleasant and attentive, and arrival of dishes well-timed. Well-done in my books. (4) Value 6.0- @Rm200/head for Thai food in Malaysia would seem a little steep even without parity in SGD, and mind you this price is without wine & champagne which was separately supplied by our gracious host. Nonetheless although good value would certainly emerge @20~25% cheaper, I would indubitably still visit Erawan again on my next trip to KL for I’m a real sucker for a truly lip-smacking, tongue wagging, knee slapping, hair-yanking and groin kneeing-ly great meal… i.e. if it be still mangosteen plucking season of course…😅

G.licious says…

(1) Place 6- Good balance of Thai touches (dinnerware and artifacts) with modern lines (white washed walls and sleek brown wooden panels). Antique brass lighting in a corner and pretty orchids in Chinese porcelain pots adds homeliness. On another wall, numerous framed restaurant achievements and credits hung neatly. Dimly lit, cosy yet casual. Love the adorable brass birdie faucet in the ladies! (2) Taste 7- Interesting array of Thai dishes! It’s no wonder the familiar Tom Yam Soup received no commendations! It was tricky for a non-chili eater like myself this evening. But even so, I made it a point to taste little bits of every dish and the verdict is simple… The chef cleverly combines simple ingredients with elaborate sauces, curries and dressings. Must mentions.. the Mangosteen salad.. Boy was that fiery! But at the same time, the seedless mangosteen flesh was plump, sweet and juicy! This seasonal item left a burning sensation on my lips, but I’m glad I got to savor its wonderful contrasting flavors. The Pomelo Salad was a hands-down winner for me! Chunky pieces of juicy Thai pomelo combined with crabmeat, prawns, shallots, cilantro and doused with roasted ground peanuts. The accompanying sweet tangy sauce brought another layer to the overall taste but optional for me as I liked the natural sweetness of every ingredient in the salad. Another outrageous (-ly good) dish was the Cockles curry. The shelled cockles were SUPER fresh and SUPER fat. Cooked in a mildly spicy red curry to perfect doneness. Even though it was spicy, I braved multiple spoonfuls with rice then followed by water! In another non-spicy dish, every piece of squid was generously coated with creamy salted egg yoke sauce which wasn’t so salty, you can eat it on its own! Very tender and succulent. The simple stir fried Sunflower Stems with garlic looked ordinary enough to pass up but it was, in reality outstandingly flavorful! And what the heck are sunflower stems anyway!? Never had them but think I’ll be looking out for these precious shoots everywhere! Dessert was unquestionably the perfect climax! The Durian Platter consisting fresh local durian pulp, durian ice cream and glutinous rice was magnificent! The salty rice with the bitter sweet durian pulp plus cold ice cream… Well.. let’s say 3 persons to one portion will be a thing of the past😀! (3) Service 6- Service was decent. Dishes were served at orderly intervals. The friendly owner patiently explained the complexity of the dishes, origins of the seasonal ingredients. Thereafter, the Chef came out to meet us and he was a sweetheart! Modest and passionate about his culinary skills! Nice work, Chef! (4) Value 5.5- Rm200/head. Certainly a little expensive based on the following: ⊗no drinks! ⊗portions were small! ⊗in Malaysia!? ⊗Mostly low cost ingredients (albeit well executed!)  Ideally, for the same meal, I’d pay RM140 and would be happier if I had been able to try a few more non-spicy dishes 🙂


More tantilizing photos ahead!

IMG_2716
Erawan Classic Thai & Fusion
“..stepping through the golden carved doors was like being transported into a royal hideout den of secret intimate expectations.” Tonguerchi
Traditional Thai dinnerware at Erawan.
Traditional Thai dinnerware at Erawan.
Not your usual Thai affair...
Not your usual Thai affair…
IMG_2718
Royal Lotus Petals Snack “An awesome combination leading to a taste explosion in my mouth” Will-I-Ham
IMG_2723
“The Pomelo Salad was a hands-down winner for me! “ G.licious
IMG_2743
“.. thanks to my Datuk friend who bought a 2000 Mommessin clos de tart Grand Cru red to accompany with the meal” Tutu Kueh
IMG_2731
“I have NEVER eaten any cockle that is larger or more succulent than the ones served at Erawan” Lady Chantilly
IMG_2736
“Anan strongly recommended each spoonful should be a combination of the trio.” Lady Chantilly
IMG_2735
“Love the adorable brass birdie faucet in the ladies!” G.licious
Chef Korn.. cute like a Minion!
Chef Korn.. cute like a Minion! “I think I’m in love with Chef Korn” Tonguerchi
IMG_2741
“Modest and passionate about his culinary skills!” G.licious
Always start with some bubbly.
Always start with some bubbly.
Think we can safely say they were happy with dinner!
Think we can safely say they were happy with dinner!
Allaboutsix was here
Allaboutsix was here!

Erawan  @ No.22-1, Jalan PJU 5/16, Dataran Sunway Kota Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

Will-I-Ham Gravatar

 

Update 29 August 2016~ Erawan is currently on the move to a new location. Stay in the loop here http://www.erawan-classicthai.com/2016/05/relocation-in-august-2016.html?m=1

 

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