[Kuala Lumpur] Thai dinner at Krung Thep, Republik @ Plaza Damansara

Krung Thep at Plaza Damansara, helmed by Isarn-born Chef Piyanat Yowabut aka Chef Gug, must be one of the most exciting new additions to KL’s dining scene. Chef Gug worked under David Thompson in Nahm Bangkok, and brings the latter’s emphasis on applying traditional (oftentimes time-consuming) cooking techniques to carefully-sourced ingredients, with an emphasis on freshness.

  1. Crispy chicken skin “larb” - this was served to us as we sat down to peruse the menu: impossibly-crisp wispy shards of wafer-thin chicken skin, served with 3 kinds of dip, and raw vegetables.

  2. Sai auo gek - smoked lamb sausage, with “nahm phrik nhum” Northern spices. The restaurant opted to go pork-less for its menu as over half of the potential client base in the Damansara area are Malay-Muslim. Hence, the sausage here used lamb as its base meat.

  3. Gung orb woon sen - claypot-baked prawns, glass noodles, ginger & green chili sauce. This dish was stupendous - well-seasoned and cooked to perfection.

  4. Gai yang kao suan kwang - grilled chicken with white peppercorns, lemongrass & chili-tamarind dressing. Probably the best-tasting Thai-style grilled chicken in town - the quality of the ingredients used really shone through. The chicken was flavoursome, and seasoned with a deft hand.

  5. Phu gub goong pad pong garee - flower crabs, prawns, yellow curry and coconut milk. Absolutely loved this dish - the restaurant was only 12-days-old when I was there last weekend, so the kitchen has not adjusted the flavours to suit the local KL palate as yet. What we got here was a very authentic rendition of the crab & prawn curry - slightly sweet, and not as spicy as KL’s robust tastebuds demand.

  6. Steamed glutinous rice (khao niew)

  7. We ordered our favourite cold drink here - the cha yen (Thai iced tea). Quite disappointed that it tasted rather diluted, and not as good as I know this drink can be.

  8. Vanilla ice-cream with shrimp oil and sea salt - adding shrimp oil into the ice-cream added a new taste dimension to the ice-cream. Amazing.

Krung Thep has had a goof start. Service was still pretty shaky, and the kichen has yet to reall settled down. But, overall, a very nice place for good Thai food.