When our friend told us about an ala-carte, fine dining Thai buffet with free flow beer and drinks, we could hardly wait to try it! Rama V's buffet is only available on weekends during lunch and I must say it is a pretty good deal for the amount of food we'll be able to try. It is located in KL where there is a cluster of embassies and housed in a refurbished bungalow. Parking is somewhat limited so best to car pool although it doesn't seem like there are many patrons on weekends.
|Very fine indeed|
|Pity the rest of the house does not match the entrance|
To minimise wastage, there is a guideline for the number of dishes one can order which depends on the number of people in one's party. Once you have finished the ordered dishes, you are welcomed to order more so it is best to come with a group of 6-8 friends to be able to fully taste most of the dishes available in the ala-carte buffet.
|Array of drinks available|
|Yam Pla Duk Fu|
This dish is a spicy catfish salad with dressing made from sliced mangoes. The catfish tastes quite dry as it is deep fried til crisp but provides a nice crunchy texture to the salad. The sliced mango dressing infused with fish sauce is quite spicy and gives a yummy flavour to the overall dish.
The typical Thai appetizer, Meang Kam is served beautifully on a square plate with defined slots for each condiment. The condiments include lime cubes, deep fried dried shrimps, ginger cubes, bird's eye chillies, cubed raw onions, toasted groundnuts and some little sticks of I-dunno-what...probably herbs (or coconut shavings if Wiki is correct). The sauce is thick and I prefer to put more of it on the chaplu aka kadok leaf as otherwise the leafy bundle tastes quite bland. My favourite condiments are raw onions, dried shrimps and lime cubes =)
|Build your own salad|
|Tom Yam Kung|
The Tom Yam Kung is murky and spicy with lots of seafood and parsley shavings. One of the best I've had and definitely much better than Khuntai's with just the right sour notes (on a side note, I have no idea why there are so many hits for Khuntai when the dishes are SOOOO sour!!!).
I'm not sure if Poe Tak is commonly available in other Thai restaurants but this is the first time I've seen this dish. I was initially quite hesitant to order it as clear soup, to me, just means bland or tastes something like chicken soup. Never have I been so wrong and I must say that Poe Tak is now my favourite and even tops Tom Yam Kung!! =D
This clear seafood soup is spicy and infused with Thai herbs. As with the Tom Yam Kung, it consists of lots of seafood and parsley which is my favourite herb. Its spiciness was bearable but the more I drank, the spicier it became! >.< In the end I had to halt my drinking and take a few mouthfuls of other dishes before resuming another spoon of soup. But it was extremely addictive with its light clear bittersweet taste (somehow it tasted like extremely concentrated ginseng chicken soup to me but JS disagreed) and sharp zing.
The culprit turned out to be a whole family of black peppercorns hiding in the soup with its accomplice - dried chillies.
|Kai Pad Ka Pao|
This is a quintessential Thai dish of minced chicken stir fried with lots of fresh basil leaves and chillies. Fragrant and heartwarming, this is the perfect dish to go with rice.
|Gaeng Ped Pol Linchee|
Ooo this is yummy...thick red curry with a hint of sweetness by the plump lychees. The roasted duck surprisingly went very well with the curry combination but the brinjal I felt was too hard and did not absorb the curry flavours. There were also these giant pea pods which looked very cute, dotting the dish.
|Pla Dang Sam Rod|
This fried red snapper was my favourite of the lot. The fish had a lovely light batter and its meat was still moist and firm despite being bathed in hot oil. The 3 taste chilli sauce was spicy and complemented the fish very well.
|Kai Hor Bai Toey|
The Pandan Chicken was really flavourful and well marinated and did not need the help of the accompanying chilli sauce to boost its taste. The chef also managed to retain the juiciness of the chicken despite being deep-fried until its skin was crispy. We were really stuffed by then but I still forced myself to finish the chicken as it was that good.
Two in the party were ecstatic that it was finally time for dessert and let me assure you, it wasn't the girls...
|Chendol, Taro and Sticky Rice in Coconut Milk|
The cendol expert said this Chendol was so-so only. It was creamier than the local version as evidenced in the picture and JS didn't like the addition of yam in it.
|Water Chestnut Dumplings with Jack Fruit in Coconut Milk|
No comment on this as I did not try it but looks good!
Tasted like it was straight from the can haha but still good! The chunk of ice helped reduce its sweetness.
Fresh fruits with a surprise strawberry - what else is there to say? =P
Guess how many of us were there for this meal? Only four and we were stuffed beyond words but what a great meal! Although it was a buffet, every dish was prepared with care and tasted better than your average Thai meal. For a price of RM 65, I have to say this is a very good deal as you can sample lots of dishes without breaking your piggy bank (considering the amount you'd have to pay if you ate this much ala-carte).
They've got sister restaurants at Setia City Mall and Paradigm Mall which I hope are cheaper versions and we've already got plans to head to one of them =)
PawPoints: 5 Paws
Rama V Fine Thai Cuisine
5 Jalan U Thant
Tel: 03 2143 2663
Daily: 12pm - 3pm, 6.30pm - 11pm