En-Thai-cing Flavors at Soi Twenty Three!
Nestled in the bustling cosmopolitan city of Kuala Lumpur in the Golden Triangle is Soi 23, a fine Thai restaurant located in Pacific Regency Hotel Suites, offering a multitude of enticing Thai flavors of sweet, sour, salty, spicy and even bitter! Perched on a hill just opposite the famed KL Tower, Soi 23 is a hidden gem serving Northern Thai (Isan) influenced cuisine. This elegant fine dining Thai restaurant has garnered rave reviews among local critics and collectively received several awards over the years.
The restaurant boasts a serene and elegant ambience with a gorgeous backdrop of the city’s view, eceptionally mesmerizing at night. Dressed up with lots of earthy cream and wood colors, the plush restaurant is spaciously designed with comfort and style in mind. Doubling as a breakfast nook for the hotel guest, Soi 23 is transformed into a class of fine Thai at night.
Truly authentic to its exotic roots, Soi 23 is helmed by Chef Suphakit Khammungkhun who hails from Ubon Ratchatani, a northern eastern province in the gorgeous region of Thailand. The demure sweet-natured Chef Suphakit concocts up a selection of bold and mesmerizing flavors at the restaurant. Despite his humble personality, his cuisine speaks otherwise, glowing strongly in flavors and textures with an elegant touch!
Thai cuisine is like a complex musical chord. Showcasing a mélange of ingredients with bold spices and herbs, the flavors are harmoniously balance, striking an exotic sensation in the cuisine. Catching up with great friends, I arrived with anticipation for a night of fun-filled company with foodie connoisseurs and Thai cuisine!
If you read my previous Thai posts, you would know how much I L.O.V.E Thai Iced Tea! Thick in milky flavors with a strong brew of tea, Thai Iced Tea is nearly perfectly made here at Soi 23.
Nua Dad Deaw Tod Bai Ma Krood Krob
The opening act of the night was much raved even before it arrives! Fried Air Dried Beef with Kaffir Leaf looked fairly simple in outlook but offers a much more complex flavor echoing its name. The dish did live up to its raving! Usually synonymous with a tough chewy jerky texture, this dish was surprisingly executed with much grace. It has an intense deep spice and beef flavor from the drying method but it’s not as tough as most beef jerky are. Tremendously enjoyable with its dense texture and flavors, the air dried beef is further pumped up with a piquant Thai sauce.
A second order was immediately put in… that’s how good it was!
Yum Som O
I love Thai salads. The fact that it doesn’t resemble the standard green leaves studded with extra ingredients and drizzled with dressing makes Thai salad a higher notch in my favors. Expect nothing short but bold flavors in Crunchy Pomelo Salad at Soi 23.
The bits of carefully segregated pomelo sacs are tossed with raw red onions, fried shallots and other secret ingredients. Thoroughly bursting with a rainbow of sourness, sweetness and spiciness, the refreshing salad whets the appetite with delight. The texture is amazing with each bite as the sacs burst into squirts of juices in the mouth. If not for sheer control, I would gladly hog this whole plate of salad to myself!
Tom Yam Nam Kon Pao Nim
Despite its many variations of the infamous Tom Yam soup with seafood, this version has got to be one of the most refined and classy soup I have tasted! Spicy Creamy Soft Shell Crab Soup with Lemon Grass and Mushroom is simply a glorious pairing of crisp fried soft shell crab pieces gently floating in a richly spiced up Tom Yam broth. The Tom Yam broth shined boldly with such finesse in flavors. It’s rich in sourness and spiciness while aromatic with a glorious hint of lemongrass and finished off with a creamy edge. Every sip of the broth took me to Thailand and back. I also adored how the fried soft shell crab soaked up the taste of the broth, lending the ordinary crab to another level of textures and taste.
Highly recommended on my books!
Kaeng Mussaman Kae
It’s not a curry I would normally order at a Thai restaurant but I am glad that I got to savor the Mussaman Curry with Lamb. Lusciously creamy with loads of nutty flavors melding with spices, the curry was not too spicy but rather heavily flavored in spices. It has a sweeter flavor while hints of tangy tamarind are noted as an aftertaste. Tender chunks of lamb and potatoes are paired with the very creamy curry. An elegant curry dish summed up this dish.
Pla Tod Rad Sos Sam Rod
I swooned over the highlight of Chef Suphakit’s signature creation of Red Snapper Deep Fried with Three Flavors Sauce. Albeit sounding ordinary, the dish is an explosion of taste! Whole red snapper deep fried till crispy and smothered in a fiery red sauce was indeed stimulating on every bite. Crispy and soft in texture, the fish was very provocative in its combination of spicy, sweet and piquant flavors. I like the bold sharp flavors of the sauce as it is what makes the dish a signature from the kitchen.
Pad Ka Nar Pla Kem
Thai cuisine often goes lux on their vegetable dishes, pumping them up with ingredients like salted fish and roasted meats. Stir Fried Kailan with Diced Salted Fish may not be spicy but is nothing short of a valiant dish with the intense flavors of aromatic salted fish. Crunchy kalian contrasted with crumbed salted fish, garlic slices and bits of red chili pepper. If I have to pick one vegetable dish, I certainly wouldn’t mind this one…
There was a claypot promotion going on when we dined so we could not resist a taste of the one pot wonders.
Echoing its infamous sister of Kung Op Woon Sen or Prawn with Mung Bean Noodles, this one is done with flower crab! Claypot Thai Vermicelli with Crab proved that crabs are also perfect with its infamous counterpart. Soaking up the sweet nuances of the crab juices, the thin chewy noodles are worth slurping for!
I was already full with the glorious spread and also from the much laughter of the night’s conversation but managed to sneak in a spoonful of Thai Chicken Briyani. At least I think that the flavors of this rice dish resemble a biryani. Savory and sweet fluffy rice accompanied the buttery tender drumstick well. The rice was studded with loads of spices from cinnamon to star anise and more while golden sweet raisin added further texture and flavors. If only I had more stomach space, I would have enjoyed this more!
Desserts served at Soi 23 may be on the popular list of Thai cuisine but these are made really well with an extra touch!
Ka Nom Pudding Mamuang
Khao Neow Mamuang
Both Mango Pudding and Mango with Sticky Rice showcased sweet ripe mangoes to its best! While Mango Pudding may be more ordinary, the Mango with Sticky Rice is superb! Soft and moist, the sweet sticky rice, a combination of original and pandan flavor, is topped with crunchy bits of mung beans and paired with thick slices of sweet yellow mango. What makes the sticky rice stand out is the addition of the crispy beans. Exceptionally good in taste and texture!
Tab Tim Krob
My all-time favorite Thai dessert has to be Chilled Water Chestnut in Tapioca Flour Served with Coconut Milk. Creamy and redolent of the aromatic coconut milk, this icy concoction has jeweled bits of red tapioca coated crunchy water chestnut and sweet strips of jackfruit. Refreshing and cooling after the spicy meal!
Man Sam Balang
Sweet Tapioca with Coconut Milk has dense pieces of sweet boiled tapioca coated with a rich creamy sweet coconut sauce. It’s very aromatic and sweet but I would prefer a softer texture in the tapioca.
Dinner was truly satisfying as anticipated. Not only was the dishes well flavored and refined, the expansive view of the city’s skyline was amazing. Soi 23 is the restaurant for an impressive experience of Thai flavors. The restaurant seats about a 100 guests, so be sure to make your reservations early and find out why Soi 23 is one of the best kept secret in the heart of the city!
For reservations, please call +603 2332 777 ext. 6807 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Pacific Regency Hotel Suites
KH Tower, Jalan Puncak, Off P.Ramlee,
50250 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 603 2332 7777 ext. 6807
Fax: 603 2031 2492
6.30am to 10.30am – Buffet Breakfast
12.00pm to 2.30pm - Thai and Fusion a la carte
2.30pm to 5.30pm - Fusion a la carte
6:30pm to 11:00pm – Thai and Fusion a la carte