Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Authentic Thai Food @ Kinnaree

Neighboring Thailand one would think that Thai Food in Malaysia would actually be good. But this is not the case in Kuala Lumpur. After trying a few Thai restaurants there was not one that served anything that comes close to Bangkok despite claiming to hire Thai chefs.

This has always puzzled me because many Malaysians visit Thailand every year for their food so why would you "Malaysianize" the Thai food here when you have paid expat chefs from their home country to cook the real thing?

This is where Kinnaree comes in. Reading a newspaper article about the restaurant, Kinnaree was rated by Thailand Tatler as one of Thailand's best restaurants in 2007 and 2008 and had opened their first overseas restaurant in KL. With their chefs from Bangkok cooking in KL we decided to stay away from Chinese Food tonight and see if Kinnaree was any good.

We ordered quite a few dishes that night but started with something I'm sure is created in their Malaysian kitchen... Thai Inspired "Yee Sang". The verdict? Let's just say Yee Sang is much better eaten in Chinese Restaurants. I do give them credit for creativity by having a fish sauce based dressing that packed a lot of chili!

Thai Inspired Yee Sang

Our appetizers of Spring Rolls and Paper Prawns came next and were excellent. Both were not greasy and was really crispy.

Po Pia Thod (Spring Rolls)
Gung Hom Pha (Paper Prawns)

For our main dishes we ordered the Green Curry Chicken whose curry was as good as any I've had in Bangkok. The chicken however was a little dry because of their choice in using white meat rather than dark meat.

Gaeng Keaw Wan Neur (Green Curry Beef)

Duck with Tamarind Sauce (Ped Makham) was good as well. The duck is cooked well done but was still tender because it was sliced very thinly. The tamarind sauce had a nice sweet and sour balance which went very well with the duck.

Ped Makham (Grilled Duck with Tamarind Sauce)

Steam Fish with Lime Sauce was next. I've eaten this dish many times and Kinnaree's version is the most beautiful I've seen with the entire sea bass de-boned. The Lime sauce had the right amount of heat, sweetness and sourness from the lime and the fish was perfectly cooked.

Pla Khraphong Neung Manao (Steam Fish with Lime Sauce)

Another Thai Dish I usually order is Stir-Fried Morning Glory and the one served here was delicious. It had the right amount of saltiness from the oyster sauce and the vegetables still retained a little bite.

Thai Style Morning Glory

I've never been to their restaurant in Bangkok but this is probably the closest Thai Restaurant I've eaten in KL that is comparable to the one's I've eaten in Bangkok (factoring out the Yee Sang). I would definitely make it a point to try their Bangkok branch when I'm there in March.

Food: 3.8/5
Service: 3.5/5
Ambiance: 4/5
Price: $$ (Under USD $20 per person)

Contact Information
Address: 12-1 Palm Square, Jaya One, 72A Jalan University, 46200 Petaling Jaya
Tel: +603-7957 3910

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