Words: Alison Brand
Photos: Monica Tindall
Nestled a stone’s throw from KLCC on the ground floor of Lot 163, Fraser Place, a new top quality food venue is quickly becoming renowned amongst those in the know as quite possibly the best Thai restaurant in KL. Having only opened its doors less than two months ago, Malai Thai has already become a firm favourite amongst many of the local expat residents and businesses seeking excellent quality, and authentic Thai flavours.
Malai Thai @ Fraser Place
The restaurant’s interior is spacious and filled with lovely natural light during the day. Designed with simplicity and elegance in mind, the seating includes a choice of either tables or booths, allowing both couples as well as larger parties to be accommodated with ease. The Thai owner has gone to great lengths to ensure the Malai Thai experience is as authentically Thai as possible, with most of the accessories and tableware having been hand-picked and imported from Thailand. The chefs themselves have also been expertly chosen for their specialist culinary skills, which they all learned and honed to perfection in Thailand, and now bring to Kuala Lumpur for the benefit of everyone to experience!
Appetizer Menu Malai Thai
Thoughtfully served in a glass and placed on a bed of deep green dried Kailin leaf, the Por Pieer Tod (RM21) Thai spring rolls with glass noodles and vegetables definitely did not disappoint! These long, thin crispy golden rolls were filled with just the right amount of smooth glass noodles and Thai vegetables, and once dipped into the lush plum sauce were quite simply delicious!
Always a crowd favourite, the chicken satay sticks (Gai Satay – RM22) were a case of ‘now you see it – now you don’t’ as they were quickly savoured by everyone at the table. Beautifully presented on a banana leaf and timber platter with layered finely diced chilli and cucumber inside a small glass as a decorative touch, the thin skewers of chicken were juicy and tender, and the peanut dipping sauce was simply divine.
Yum Sam Krob (RM25), the three crispy salad comprised of white fish, prawns and squid, all thinly battered and deep fried until golden brown. Served with crispy lotus chips, fresh green papaya, tomato, lime juice, tom yum paste, chilli and Thai sauce, the complementary textures in combination with the super fresh ingredients made this a Thai salad to impress.
Panaeng Tow Hoo (RM20) will definitely please those who like to order from the vegetarian selections on the menu. This dish was comprised of crispy golden fried tofu, still silken on the inside, served with the most amazing creamy coconut curry sauce. The gorgeous flavours of lemongrass, Thai garlic and galungal all working in perfect harmony to take this dish to the next level.
Perhaps the highlight, and even the standard test, of a quality Thai food is experience is the Tom Yum Soup. Malai Thai has the soup available as vegetarian, with seafood, noodles and chicken. We try the seafood version with noodles (RM37) and find the perfect balance of sour and spicy – the signature equilibrium that Thai’s are known for. Packed with fresh prawns, squid, mussels, red snapper, baby octopus and noodles, this is definitely one to share.
From the comprehensive selection of fabulous stir-fries, we were treated to the Pad Krapow with Chicken (RM20). The flavours of the chicken cooked in a base of oyster and Thai soy sauce, and combined with chilli crispy Thai basil, were well balanced with enough kick to warm the taste buds.
Malai Thai Curries
Perhaps one of my favourite dishes of the evening (however hard to choose with all the fabulous food we had been enjoying…!!) was the Gaeng Keawwaan Thai Green Curry with Beef (RM28). This was a simple, honest Thai curry, with melt-in-your-mouth slices of beef in a beautiful, creamy green curry which allowed every flavour included during its expert preparation to be appreciated and again accompanied with just the right level of heat to bring it all together perfectly.
Of course one can never walk away from a Thai restaurant without being treated to the quintessential and most famous dish of all – the Pad Thai! The Malai Thai version of Pad Thai glass noodles served with prawn (RM26) was an excellent example of how each dish is prepared from scratch upon order in the kitchen by the restaurant’s speciality chefs, with the freshness of the ingredients and the authenticity of the flavours being the primary focus every time. This was a delicious and honest version of the globally adored Thai dish and surpassed all our expectations.
For those of us hoping for some freshness from the sea, the Pla Kla Pong Nung Manow (RM47) was a definite highlight. The steamed white Snapper was beautifully fresh and succulent, with flavour infused from the inclusion during steaming of coriander, lemon, chilli, Thai basil and lime. Again, each of the elements of this dish complemented the entire culinary experience, however expertly prepared to allow the snapper to be the undoubted hero of the dish!
Dessert Menu Malai Thai
After being treated to such a fabulous array of amazing food from each section of the menu, we were definitely ready to round things off with a little bit of sweetness! Of course, there was Khao Niew Ma Muang – Thai Sweet Sticky Rice with Mango (RM18) and as expected, based on the quality of the previous dishes, was an excellent choice! The fresh, juicy sweet Thai mango was served sliced beside the coconut sticky rice, and was deemed by everyone as being one of the best versions of the dish we had all experienced!
Last but definitely not least on offer from the dessert menu was the Coconut Ice-Cream served with Thai sweet condiments (RM16). We were treated to two bowls of delectably creamy coconut ice-cream, with one bowl featuring small brightly coloured spheres of jackfruit, yam and water chestnuts on top of the ice-cream, while the other was garnished with coconut crunch bites and fresh mint. Both ice-cream dishes were served with paper-thin wafers, which proved to be an excellent way of making sure that all the ice-cream made it from the bowl onto the spoon!! This was definitely a favourite with all the best of Thai flavours to top-off a superb Thai meal.
Reasons to visit Malai Thai: Traditional Thai meals all prepared using the freshest ingredients (sourced from Thailand in most cases) by expert Thai chefs. Excellent value with reasonable prices for top quality food and service. An elegant yet casual atmosphere with tastefully decorated interiors. Excellent location, parking available within Fraser Place. Serves lunch and dinner, takeaway also available. Good for groups or parties, walk-ins welcome.
Thai Restaurant KL
Fraser Place, Lot 163, 10 Jalan Perak
50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
+6 03 2181 2505
For group reservations and functions contact JoAnnA Chee CDD Hospitality at +6 011 1769 8233
Malai Thai Opening Hours: Mon to Sat 12:00 – 22:00 (closed Sundays)