I had read about Erawan from the pretty smashing, multi-authored food blog on the Malaysian Insider and its post here got me all hot and bothered, despite the threat of Fusion starting to sound like an excuse for aspiring gourmands to splice and dice cuisine artlessly, badly. Getting to Kota Damansara was however, another challenge for what is that geographical horror if not another cultural nightmare? I shall however, save that rant for another day, for there we were, regardless, ready to pounce and devour.
Seeing that there were all but two of us, Anan, the charming manager deftly explained that the portions were a little on the large side and recommended we went for the single-serve rice dishes or the tomyam noodles, which were also more economical options. The idea of a basil stir fry with rice and a fried egg just didn't cut it with us so we went with ala carte.
I loved the handsome shelled prawns and the succulent chunks of pomelo dressed with toasted coconut and crushed peanut. Not crazy about fried shallots in general, but it somehow worked to this salad's advantage here. Gorgeous!
We had to contend with a lengthy wait for the mains to arrive, and understood later that Erawan's main chef Korn attends to each and every dish, hence the delay. I need to add here that a meal at Erawan isn't meant to be an in-and-out sort of dining experience; it absolutely needs to be savoured, sipped and praised.
When it finally did arrive, the Tomyam Seafood unseated us from our quiet lull. We were provided a choice of Clear or Thick soup, and spice levels of one (mild) to five (very spicy). Our pick of Thick, level Three set our bellies and worlds on fire. This was very hot and very good.
I had my heart set on the duck curry, but it was unavailable that day. The manager recommended the Green Curry Fish Paste in place. The fish paste, made on the premises with fresh ikan tenggiri (mackerel) are shaped like balls, with a salted egg yolk ensconced within. This was an interesting twist to an otherwise spectacular ode to a classic. Suppose that warrants a nod to "Fusion"?
Fragrant jasmine rice presented in dainty little bowls. Toto, we're not in Tai Pai Tong anymore!
To wash it all down, Lemongrass juice with ginger, dwarfed next to the Iced Lychee Tea.
The meal came up to RM93.50, very gratifying and well worth the journey into the frenzy that is Kota Damansara. For this and this alone, I could sideline my loathing of the rampant use of "Fusion" and just bask in the perfect marriage of spice and everything nice.
Erawan Classic Thai & Fusion
22-1 Jalan PJU 5/16 Dataran Sunway
47810 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-6141 2393
Reservations are highly recommended.