Rak Thai, The Gardens Midvalley

* Featured on TheStar’s Sunday Metro 14th Sept 2008

I haven’t really been exploring dining options in The Gardens as I haven’t been there much. But on a quick dinner meet up with some clients, was brought to Rak Thai (literally translated to “Love Thai”).

I like the spaciousness of the restaurant, with its simple, yet flattering decor. The cement floors, low back seats, wooden chairs, the golden grilles etc. We ended up seating at the low back chairs, enough to seat 4 at a table. I thought it would be a bit uncomfortable to eat there but surprisingly, it was alright. Reminded me of my tv dinners. Lol. The dinner was pre-ordered before we arrived so I didn’t know what to expect. Photos are not that nice either as I had to snap them quickly with my mobile phone.

First up was the Green Chicken Curry with rice. The rice was tinted green, from herbs most probably. The curry itself was a bit on the oily side but very rich and tasty with the infusion of taste from kaffir lime leaves, galangal etc.

Stir-fried Kangkung Thai Style wasn’t any much different from our Malaysian style in taste though the local Malaysian normally uses belacan paste but this dish used fresh chillies, and quite liberally too! These red chillies are of course not as spicy as its cili padi cousins so the spiciness level was still manageable.

Thai Fried Chicken with side serving of Yum Woon Sen (Glass Noodle Salad). I didn’t think much of the glass noodle salad even though I am a huge fan of the seafood version. This was the basic version, with almost no other ingredients apart from side crushed peanuts. Tangy enough. I quite like the chicken but am reminded that it’s also easily available in any dai chow stalls.

I loved the Crispy Fish with Thai Sauce which reminded me of homecooked food. The crispy fish, paired with soy sauce was quintessentially a homecooked dish from my younger days.

Tom Yam Gai and Thai Stuffed Omelette. I have always loved the clear version of Tom Yam soup but this was a let down. A few miserable chicken slices, oyster mushrooms floating amongst chinese celery bits. It was watered down and bland. But other reviews have been raving about this so I reckon another try is in order. The Thai stuffed omelette fared better though, with minced meat, basil leaves, mushrooms and fresh chillies in it. Very good accompaniment for plain white rice.

Thai Seafood Lemongrass Fried Rice was quite nice and aromatic. Preferred this to the Pineapple one.

Pineapple Fried Rice. Snapped this a bit late, hence the messy look. But in all honesty, the presentation of the dish was also on the messy look. 😛 Tasted alright, and the rice was fragrant with the aroma of the pineapple cubes.

Thai dessert Tub Tim Krob or Red Rubies which is water chestnuts in red beads served with jackfruit strips, shaved ice and coconut milk. Doused generously with coconut milk, we couldn’t taste much else. Though the slivers of jackfruit was very sweet, there wasn’t enough to go around with the shaved ice.

All the salads and desserts are prepared at a counter at the corner of the shop front which does seem to attract takeaway orders.

Mango with Sticky Rice. The sticky rice was drenched with coconut milk so it was a bit on the jelak side. The mango was definitely of a local variety as it a had tinge of sour. Would have tasted better with the famous sweet Thai mango variety.

Overall, I felt the food here wasn’t pure Thai but more of a combination of Thai & Chinese for some dishes. But it does have a nice and cosy ambience and waiting time was minimal. Service was a bit slow though. Still, as my dining experience was quite rushed, I would like to return on another day to try other things and give the clear tom yam a fairer chance.

Rak Thai
LG 232 A, Gardens,
Mid Valley City,
Lingkaran Syed Putra,
59200 Kuala Lumpur.

other reviews;
three meals of goodness
the gastronomic diary
motormouth from ipoh
after giovanni


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