My Spicy Thai Affair!
Located in the bustling tourist area in the city, many would have naturally assumed that Baan 26 would target its audience to tourist. That said, I was surprised to see more locals than tourist there. I met up for dinner with some friends there one evening and was introduced to one of the owners of Baan 26 who happens to know my friends. Baan 26 has been operating for seven years already and when it started out, Changkat Bukit Bintang was barely a hot spot. In fact Baan 26 was one of the few restaurants to start in that area before it became well known.
Curious with its name, I found out from the owner that after he made a trip to Thailand, fell in love with the cuisine and the rest was history. He wanted the restaurant to represent a home where one can come in to enjoy an authentic home cooked Thai meal, hence he named it Baan which means home in Thai. 26 happen to be the number of the building and he was 26 years old when he opened the restaurant. Baan 26 serves up authentic Thai cuisine helmed by a Thai chef and his team. Till today, specific ingredients are still source from Thailand for distinctive authentic Thai notes.
The ambience is a mix of eclectic décor items from Thai wood carvings to Thai handmade lamps and unique art pieces. Grey walls are jazzed up with bold bright red on the bar and certain wall panels. Walk in deeper and there is another section painted bold red with long banquette seats. Walk up to another level where diners can enjoy more privacy or simply hang out on its open balcony upstairs. Furniture consists of mixes of high tables with bar stools and steel rustic looking tables with chairs.
The menu at Baan 26 has pretty much what Malaysians loves, the essential Thai dishes like Tom Yam, Thai Fish Cake, Spring Rolls, Curries, Pandan Chicken, single dishes and desserts. Once the menu was ordered, our drinks came shortly. I had my favorite Thai Iced Milk Tea while others had Iced Lemongrass Ginger Iced Tea and a big bucket of potent alcoholic drink which I forgot the name.
Our appetizer came and it was so prettily served on traditional Thai porcelain plate with a side bowl of daun kaduk leaves. I love Mieng Kam because it has such great flavors of sweet and sour with loads of textures. Our Mieng Kam has crispy fried dried shrimp, roasted peanuts, toasted coconut shreds, ginger and shallot cubes, tiny pieces of lime and cut bird eye chili.
Simply put a little of everything into the daun kadok leave folded into a cone and drizzle with some sauce. One whole bite explodes in my mouth as it tingles with sweet, savory, spicy and hints of bitterness all rolled with various textures. Super addictive and we fought for this to the last bit!
Spicy Tom Yam Seafood
Simply kick-ass good! A sip of this Tom Yam soup will take your taste bud on a rollercoaster ride. We had a seafood version filled with juicy sweet prawns, squid and fish. The Tom Yam here has two versions of clear or creamy. We were recommended the creamy and were really satisfied with it. Intense heat, sourness, creaminess and perfumed with lemongrass and kaffir leaves, we really enjoyed this to the very last drop… shiok!
Lime Chili Steamed Fish
I must have this dish as I feel it’s a great testament to an awesome Thai meal. Our sea bass is cooked beautifully in a fish-shaped cauldron bubbling with hot broth. Laced with loads of minced coriander steams, chopped garlic and chili padi, the broth is powerful in flavors of savory, sour, spicy and a little sweet. I can just keep drinking the broth happily. The sea bass is a perfect fish for this style and really compliments the broth well with its firm flesh and sweet flavors.
Stir Fried Squid with Thai Herbs
We were not warned but this innocent looking dish is spicy on a high level. Squid pieces are stir-fried with chili paste, chili, basil and kaffir leaves. The squid is tender and tasty, perfect with a bowl of white rice. It’s good but if you are not into heat, make sure to tell the wait staff to go easy on the chili.
Thai Green Curry
A classic curry that shouts Thai, the green curry chicken is very creamy and velvety with a medium note of spices and heat. I like how the fresh basil jazzed up the flavors. Crunchy baby eggplants, tender boneless chicken and soft eggplant pieces are all nicely flavored in the curry. More rice please…
Stir Fried Glass Noodles with Tiger Prawns in Claypot
We were stuffed but dug into this dish with gusto upon inhaling its lovely charred aroma. Lovely soft chew glass noodles has soaked up flavors beautifully with bits of vegetables and herbs and topped off with juicy fresh prawns. Savory and lightly sweet, this was the only dish that was not spicy that night. It is another popular dish at Baan 26 and we saw most tables enjoying this dish too. Hearty and comforting, another great dish done well at this restaurant…
Basil Leave Fried Rice with Shrimp
Spicy as well, the fried rice is pretty good too. It has a nice wok heat and spice heat and the rice grains are fluffy and well separated. If you are looking for a single dish, this one might prove to be a worthy meal on its own.
Mango Sticky Rice
Ah dessert time! I always feel desserts are simply a must to end a spicy Thai meal. It makes a nice sweet ending after a spicy affair. Another classic well done, the glutinous rice is soft and sticky, laced with sweetness and served with ripe sweet sliced mango and coconut syrup on the side.
Water Chestnut in Coconut Milk
We all like this too, creamy and sweet, its well chilled with tapioca coated water chestnut and sliced jackfruit. Small rocks of ice are purposely put into this dessert with specific size to retain the cool and chilled note of the coconut and it won’t melt as fast to dilute the sweet coconut soup.
We really loved all of the dishes we had at Baan 26 that night. Though it may seemed that it has more of a bar ambience but the food is great. Dishes are bold in flavors and spicy. A meal at Baan 26 might liven up your evening for you and if it takes your fancy, hang around for some giggle juices to chill out. Prices vary with some really value for money and some on a pricier end but I feel it’s decent since we are talking about city area and quality is good. I can certainly see why Baan 26 is a favorite with many locals, great food and drinks and comfortable bar ambience. There are plenty more dishes that I would return for like Thai Curry & Egg Squid, Red Duck Curry, Sizzling Garlic Tenderloin, Crispy Chicken with Tamarind Sauce and more.
No. 26, Changkat Bukit Bintang
50200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: 603 2142 8878