Monday, February 8, 2010

Permission to Fusion, Erawan Classic Thai & Fusion, Kota Damansara

The word "Fusion" used in food is a source of great personal agitation. Kinda like badly cut pants that chafe at the thighs. Or the Malaysian persistent fondness for replacing the article "the" with "D'" and springing a whole host of D'ed abominations, like D' Pub, D' Shop, D' Bakery, D'Place where you don't want to be if you had a shred of sense in you. Or the inclination to bad spelling, like replacing the letter "S" with "Z." Appropriating the language of another is a necessity for our young lingual heritage but come on, this level of abuse is practically Defilement - another D word of epic popularity among the jesters we call politicians.

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.

The Erawan Pomelo Salad arrived swiftly, well before we had taken in the cosy, warm interior of the restaurant. It came with a separate serving of sweet Mieng-Kam like sauce, to which we were told to mix in on our individual platters to our own taste.

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
Kota Damansara
47810 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-6141 2393

Reservations are highly recommended.


boo_licious said...

We have been dying to try this place too after reading Msian Insider's article. Must make effort to visit.

Big Boys Oven said...

So near, I must drop by soon! :)

Kenny Mah said...

Kota Damansara is a wee bit far for me but after reading your ravishing review, it's surely the time for me to make a culinary pilgrimage to that side of the world (or Klang Valley lah). :)

Sean said...

i think i've only ever been to kota damansara once, but tales of traffic turmoil on weekdays have deterred me from returning!
the curry looks great, but then, i'm a sucker for salted egg yolk! am waiting for someone to produce a dish of foie gras coated in salted yolk (would that be fusion too?) :D

Bangsar-bAbE said...

Tomyam that set bellies on fire? I'm sold! ;)

Ciki said...

permission to fusion..? permission granted! i too wanna go here!

ai wei said...

i wanna come here too. just look at the bowl. it looks classy

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

I think I'm attracted to all the dishes! I must admit that the salted egg yolk green curry made my heart skip a beat, but the others seem equally attractive. I love the rice receptacle. It's the little details that get ya.

Rebecca Saw said...

yes, I read the article too!
But I havent tried Khun Tai yet!! How??

minchow said...

Boo, it took great effort on my part to venture into that area! The traffic, the traffic!! But oh, how very worth it!

BBO, yes you are practically the mayor of KD... you cannot NOT go there!

LFB, we stay in the same neighbourhood now so I totally understand the geographical conundrum. But trust me, well worth the journey!

Sean, foie gras coated in salted yolk?! *GULP* I am not sure if I have even the mental constitution to imagine that wealth of flavour!

Bangsar Babe, you know you're ready for it! Go get em girl!

minchow said...

Ciki, they can fusion and commit bad spelling for all I care! Just gimme gimme that tomyam!

Ai Wei, yes and the rice they serve is actually a cut above the rest... really great stuff!

LL, tell me about it... presentation makes all the difference in some cases. The bowl made my day!

TNG, let's go Khun Thai soon! I really wanna try the steamed fish - the last time I was there, the table next to us loved it so much they toppled over the hot plate while attacking it in unison, I kid you not!

iamthewitch said...

Did you get stomachache after the fiery hot tomyam? I always do! But I still love it! LOL

Anonymous said...


"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

salted egg with green curry?? faints.

superwilson said...

Kota Damansara is growing to be the next Cheras. So many good food!

Big Boys Oven said...

Gong hei! Gong Hei to you! maymany returns to you from this Tiger! :) have loads of fun this festive...... from us both Sunny & Sid!

backStreetGluttons said...

Fusion can be great , as in the best of every & any thing, like that perfect woman. How about mixing calmness,suspense, happiness and high risk ? and great rewards !
:D we are talking about someone

Happy New Year ! n more of D suspense

Selba said...

Definitely, it sounds like a great place for Thai food.

Happy Chinese New Year and also Happy Valentine's Day :)

worldwindows said...

Happy and Prosperous CNY to you!

Rebecca Saw said...

lets go!!
waitin fr ya! sat lunch is best. jz let me whc sat