January 8, 2015

Barn Thai @ Plaza 33

A Thai-rific Affair!

The Thais are synonymous for their flavours and every meal is a symphony of savory, spicy, sweet, sour and bitter all together. For those seeking robust and exciting Thai flavours, you might want to check out Barn Thai Restaurant and Bar at Plaza 33. Serving up its own modern interpretation of authentic Thai cuisine, Barn Thai is set to satisfy many with their signature servings of Thai tapas and signature Thai dishes.

The restaurant oozes with modern contemporary Thai charm the moment one walks in. It’s interior is cleverly section into a cozy bar area upfront while the dining is set at the back of Barn Thai. The bar area is perfect for socializing while enjoying some cocktails and the restaurant’s Thai Tapas. Lots of wood elements are seen throughout the whole restaurant and bar. A majestic looking wooden horse sculpture greets everyone at the entrance. The back of the dining area is spacious and stylish. Barn Thai is filled with lots of Thai elements from posters to Thai decorative items, so dining here certainly takes one back to Thailand itself.

The menu consist of a Bar menu that operates in the late afternoon onwards and a regular dining menu available for both lunch and dinner. We had their dinner menu with some foodies one evening and was pretty satisfied with the mix of authentic Thai dishes together with some modern ones.

Since we had our kids with us, we had their Chicken Fried Rice (RM17). It may be simple fried rice but it was heavenly aromatic and that perfect egg topper is how I have always enjoyed my eggs. Crispy on one side but just cook with a molten egg yolk center.  The fried rice is fluffy and flavourful, so much so some of us adults stole some bites. Needless to say, the kids happily walloped the fried rice with the next dish of fish.

The Sweet & Sour Grouper Fish Fillet (RM48) was ordered for the kids as well but as usual, we adults stole a few bites. What I enjoyed was the large pieces of fried grouper which was fleshy firm and sweet. It was smothered in loads of sweet and sour sauce with lots of onions, cucumber, bell pepper and pineapple. Though the kids only ate the fish, I believe the adults polished off the sauce and its other condiments in the dish.

Mixed Seafood Curry (RM38) was served piping hot in bowl with a warmer to keep this warm. One look at the dish and I was already salivating at the thoughts of the creamy curry gravy laden with spices. There were lots of prawns, squid and fish swimming in the bowl among chunks of long and round eggplants. The red creamy curry sauce was gorgeously thick and robust, beautifully balanced with spices and cooked with more fresh herbs of basil and lemongrass. I love creamy curries and doused by rice with lots of curry gravy. It may be spicy to some but I love the good spicy heat on this curry. Super shiok!

Our greens for the evening was Stir Fried Broccoli with Shitake Mushroom (RM23), a classic rendition of sautéed vegetables, this case it was broccoli with the earthy plump shitake mushrooms in light oyster sauce. Decent in my books…

Stir Fried Eggplant with Minced Basil Chicken & Shrimp (RM32) is Barn Thai’s version of a classic Thai Pad Kra Pao. The dish relies heavily on the distinctive aroma and flavour of Thai holy basil, a herb that renders a unique and aromatic basil note. Cleverly incorporating the bland eggplant and adding in minced chicken and shrimp, the dish now has various levels of textures and flavours as well. The eggplant is the perfect sponge to soak up all the flavours of the sauce too, making this dish hearty and satisfying with rice.

If you love super spicy Som Tam, you must order their Chicken & Papaya Salad (RM23). The shredded papaya salad packs quite a punch in heat if you happen to bite into smashed bird eye chilies. What I happen to love was the combo of juicy chargrilled chicken thigh paired with the salad. It’s a complete meal on its own. This dish has all the Thai flavours of savory, spicy, sweet and sour in one plate. I love that they also put a lot of peanuts in the papaya salad and raw long beans, fresh tomato and raw lettuce.

Deep Fried Sea Bass with Thai Ginger Sauce (RM79) also proved to be a hit with many of us that night. Whole sea bass is deep fried till crispy and is doused with a pungent and spicy Thai ginger sauce. This one really turn up the heat in our mouths. The sauce is lightly creamy with a gingery punch. There is lots of complex flavours in the sauce with all the ingredients. I also spied kaffir leaves, curry leaves, round eggplants and Thai pea eggplants. Thai pea eggplants are hard to come by here and its really a plus point for Barn Thai to include this in their dishes. They are very crunchy and added texture to the fish. There are also long strands of green peppercorn in the sauce. It’s a dish that really whets the appetite and will certainly have you going back for more.

Personally I thought the Baked Tom Yum Chicken (RM28) was really unique. Instead of the usual tom yum soup, we opted for this dish.  Deboned chicken thigh is marinated tom yum spices and chargrilled till cooked. A final ladle of thick robust tom yum sauce is smothered all over the chicken and finished with a sprinkling of chopped chilies, lemongrass and finely shredded kaffir leaves. The dish is like a firework of flavours in the mouth. Nothing short but fabulous, the intense tom yum sauce really kicks in an addiction like no other. A Must-order if you love bold tom yum flavours!

Pla Tod Ka Min (RM29) is translated as Tumeric Fried Fish.  The fish is deep fried with turmeric, garlic, lemongrass, galangal and black pepper. It is then served with a bowl of pungent fish sauce chili dip that is also guaranteed to turn up the heat in your mouth and a side of pickled vegetables. I was told that this dish is a Southern Thai dish. It is indeed a flavourful dish and goes well with rice. In fact, all the Thai dishes here work well with rice as they all have strong flavours.

The spicy evening ended with much sweetness from the Mango with Sticky Rice (RM12) and Tub Tim Krob (RM8). Both are classic Thai desserts that really always never fail to please any palate.

Barn Thai has once again proved why it deserves a comeback. Diners can expect quality and bold flavours here though prices are on the higher end. Don’t fret because you do pay for what you get in terms of quality. Other plus points include the gorgeous ambience and the effort Barn Thai puts in to give every diner a wonderful Thai experience.

Ground Floor, Plaza 33, 1
Jalan Kemajuan, Section 13
46100 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Tel: 03-7932 2233

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