Monday, April 20, 2009

Colour me Thai, Amarin at Mid Valley

We gathered at Amarin in Mid Valley Megamall on a Monday evening, a rah-rah session for a pair of friends about to embark on an exciting business pitch the following day. I'd barely survived the catastrophe of starting the working week still shattered from the weekend so if there was a colour to ascribe my disposition as I walked over from the office, it'd be BLACK.

I'd never been here and was pleasantly surprised by the interior as soon as I entered; it felt like I'd exited the strain and sensibilities of the mall. Warmly lit, the space oozed soothing hospitality. The place reminded me of an eyeshadow powder palette, with fresh roses in cornsilk yellow, Amaranth pink and sunset peach.

We started with Mieng Kam, a platter offering a delectable burst of Earthy tones, disparate distinct flavours for wrapping in a betel leaf. Mel's shock of a pink nail colour (OPI's I'm India-a Mood for Love) dives right in for added spunk.

The Heavenly Thai appetizer platter is reassuringly Golden, with no excess grease yet the parcels, tofu and fish cakes were moist and stayed crisp even for the late-comer.

The Geang Keaw Wan Gai (Green curry chicken) was a solid concoction of Milky Green coating profuse chunks of chicken breast and eggplant. I would've preferred the use of thigh meat, like these guys here but really, not something I can hold against Amarin.

Do-good Green - the kind that puts our mind at ease for the evening, that says we're doing right by our bodies.

The Tofu Song Krean is a Mechanical Brown, for an admittedly predictable dish. Good as a non-extravagant filler, but not much else.

The real shade of Thai however is the shade of Tom Yam Talay (Seafood), the Red of Sin, of fire and angst, of rapture and joy, the red of Agyness Dean's lips.

Does Amarin's deliver? It's hard to say. The seafood, especially the prawns, were handsome but I've honestly had better. Amarin's tomyam had a tinge of sweetness to it, and the spice factor was extremely conservative, both of which I associate with cowardice and faint-heartedness.

But by no means let that put you off. With the service and the price thrown in (came out to less than RM30 per pax, with HSBC discount for a hearty dinner), the ultimate shade of the evening was Success. The result of Jen and Mel's business pitch the following day proved as much!

All the best to them for whatever comes next!


allie said...

I luv meng kam! I observed that they normally used chicken breast for the green curry huh? what's would be the reason behind? *wondering*

teckiee said...

hmm...somehow the mieng kam dont really look appitizing.

Sean said...

coincidentally, i had thai food too for dinner a few hours ago (at bangsar village. it was mediocre; your meal looks much better). unlike your friends, i'd NEVER dare to have tom yam or green curry the night before a business pitch. even now, my stomach feels queasy. i like spicy stuff, but it wreaks havoc on my system.

Unknown said...

The interior looks good. And the dish looks nice.

Yin said...

oh i was here in Jan, loved the food :) must make a note to take mum here!

Bangsar-bAbE said...

I'm like you too! I like chicken thigh in my green curry...smooth chicken is nicer with creamy curry! =P

kampungboycitygal said...

less than rm30? man, that was cheap

Ciki said...

i actually like this place and prefer the breast meat.. lol;)

Big Boys Oven said...

this is awesomely delicious, I like my spice food especially The Thais! ;)forsab

Mellie said... nails are famous! Famous!
:-) Tx 4 the upbeaty cheer to our pitch, 1 more to go, yay!
All the Thai places I've dined, Amarin is 1 of my top choice. Pricing, decor, food. I love their mieng kam!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

yeah the food is somewhat edible but not outstanding..i suppose tats wat u get for being in a shopping centre..having to satisfy every1 palate..

backStreetGluttons said...

Ya , flavorful sharp Thai tastes for success tomorrow ( maybe love too ). they got spicy red color & green style

HairyBerry said...

i guess success consists of abundance of taste, a pinch of jokes, a couple of smiles and definitely a lot of colours! so, colour me anytime with Thai food!

ck lam said...

I had the Mieng Kam once and have not eaten since then. Maybe it's time to take another try.

Rebecca Saw said...

here definitely better than the flying chillies one yea?

worldwindows said...

A little bit too generic for me. Like to move beyond safety zone for Isaan/Eastern food.

minchow said...

Allie, not quite sure, but it might have something to do with the meat holding out better against the simmering time of the curry? You got me!

Teckiee, haha, might be the camera. I'd forgotten my trusty Canon and had borrowed a friend's out-of-production Kodak camera, designed for outdoor photos.

Sean, ooh BV I Ground floor? Can't remember the name but had a decent meal there once.

Food Paradise, nice place all around!

Yin, oh yes, very parent-friendly! I think the colours were designed to soothe any kind of meet-the-parents type of jitters :-D

Bangsar Babe, not enough chicken thigh in the world to go around! I used to be a strictly breast meat person... it was only in recent years that I learned the error of my ways.

Kampungboycitygal, we were very surprised at how cheap it was... I think the exact tab was like RM27 or something per pax. Drinks are expensive though.

Ciki, you do? I'm surprised! I'd assumed you would always prefer the heavier, fattier meat! :-P

minchow said...

Mellie, hope you cruise through the next round too! And thanks for introducing me to Amarin... doubt I would have ever made it there otherwise, even if it's in work vicinity.

Joe, yes we seem to constantly lower our standards or make do when trapped inside a mall. I probably wouldn't put this on a pedestal, next to the other old and trusted non-mall Thai outlets around.

BSG, yes the Thais do have abundance of red and the green, like Christmas all year around!!

Nic, I always think that I should've been born further up north from Penang, right across the border and been Thai. There's something so unmistakably revitalizing about their food and their manner!

CK Lam, I find it the ultimate appetizer! Not too filling that I don't have room for the mains, but opens up your tastebuds to receive more more more!

Nomad Gourmand, not been to the Gardens' Flying Chillies though... there are some good deals they've been advertising, mostly sets. I ought to give it a try!

WorldWindows, yes this is definitely the comfort zone, predictable flavours, very little margin for error. Where would you go to explore for your Isaan/Eastern culinary inclinations?