Sunday, 26 October 2008

The Basil Leaf

My makan gang and i sometimes are a crazy lot. It is been a long time since we met up. de not so tasty defoodland was our last sojourn. So NY started his -"let's go makan routine"... And when he said something reasonable - i was thinking - "TAI CHAU"... No... he was thinking something else a little bit more classy than tai chau. I thought he said reasonable prices -_-"

Then this time around he was the organizer - since i officially retired from the food organizing community. The dude change the date twice - causing some confusion on the attendees. Luckily all was well at the 11th hour..

Then the booking of tables - our usual mass email routine i left the parting shot - "I DIDN'T BOOK tables".... Suddenly we had two bookings of table - LOL...

Anyways to top it off - it was raining so heavily that day - only NY ended up there first. He called FF and me to find out if we are on the way - i suspect it is more of whether he was in the right restaurant or not - LOL again.

Our choice of restaurant is something different from the usual pork, pork, pork routine. Surprisingly we went Thai. Yes, thai food for a group that normally loves their meat. Well. We do get bored of pork at times so that is why we wanted something different and our choice of restaurant Basil Leaf, nestled in the quiet neighbourhood of Jalan Damai. Now, i discovered there are few other places here that we can try around this area.

The basil leaf restaurant setting is actually quite interesting- i was fascinated by the walk way which is built on top of a koi pond. The winding road allows you to see koi and walk on top of it. Heck, if you are not careful you might fall into the pond as well. Sorry no pictures, was pouring that time. The whole set up of the restaurant makes you feel like you are in fancy thai house for the rich and famous. With rich wall colors and interesting statues, you get a chance to enjoy nice interior deco + good food as well.

I was rather annoyed though that when told by the waiter i cannot take picture in the room below. Reason given was because i need to have people in the room to only take picture. If you explain it in some other way i still can understand but not the reason above.

Thai food being thai food means you need to order a few dishes as size portions are small unlike the large style chinese dishes. So we started off with 3 appetizers and 4 mains to share. And 2 desserts. Ok. We do eat a lot.

We tried the spring roll. I can't remember the name of this. It's spring roll. I detect something different they have put in here and it tastes quite nice. Add the thai chilli sauce for more "oomph". However, i prefer mine plain as i want to savor the taste of the spring roll. Ah, look only 8 pieces. I bet it was only 2 spring rolls.

Next, i first tried this in My Elephant but since then i always look out for this - Mieng Kam. Now, NY the carnivore saw this dish and thought that it was a really vegetarian dish ( it aint' so as mieng kam has prawns and fish paste put in ) However after 1 leave and having him ask for more leaves means this is a good dish. The combination of onions, coconut, lime, dried shrimp, shallots + some chilli wrapped up in betel nut leaves actually gives a interesting combination when you eat. If you run out of leaves you can ask for a bit more. I cant remember if we were charged extra for the leaves.

We each took a bowl of tom yam soup of varying contents, chicken for me and seafood for NY, FF & CG. This version we had was the clear soup version - which is supposedly not so hot. LTC decided to opt for the red one. I am not sure if he heard the waiter saying it is the hotter version. When his red soup came, i thought it looked like red lava! Ours was not so spicy but enough to get the kick going. On this cold day, the tom yam soup was really good to go with the wet weather outside. Now if i had bihun or rice added in, i would be more a happy kitteh.

Obligatory veggie dish of brinjal and tofu stir fried with basil leaves. This is quite nice actually though i am not really fond of the taste of basil leaves but bearing in mind most of our dishes are spicy and hot, this was pretty mild in comparison.
My camera skills left me momentarily with the next shot. Two dishes below, the prawn and mango spring roll and at the far end, my one favorite duck and lychee curry. I must say the prawn dish, had hidden weapons of mass destruction. There were a lot of finely chopped vegetables with this dish unbeknown to me i bit into a bird's eye chili. *fire*. Had to down a few cups of water to get rid of the fire. I find the prawn dish so so only but really thought the duck and lychee was pretty good. The gamey taste of duck goes well with the lychee which makes quite a different contrast. I think if you put rambutans in it will taste nice as well.

My all time favorite green chicken curry. Coconutty enough that i like it. I wonder why thai restaurants seldom use cut pieces of chicken instead have preference to use slice chicken thigh or breast. So far, i noticed this pattern in most restaurants. Thought the food will be more tasty if we put chicken pieces instead of slices. This was quite a popular dish amongst us because a lot of us like sauce. Sorry, yes blurry photo as well ;P

Of course it is customary to order fish and i had to take a picture that makes the fish look like some gruesome sea monster. Remember my rak thai post? Yeah it looked like sea monster as well. I can't really remember how this tasted though. At least it doesn't have the "soil" taste as my mom puts it.

Finally the desserts were ordered. Now their choice of desserts are not very extensive and contain the usual mango with sticky rice, jackfruit and tapioca pearls plus fried banana and haagen daaz. How Thai is that?? Anyway since we were going thai, we stuck to Mango and Stick Rice and honey dew with tapioca pearls as our choice. Mango sticky pudding was quite nice. Enough coconut milk so that you don't drown in it and the mango was tarty enough to contrast with the sweetness. Note for 5 persons - please order 2 servings.
Eeps this was my favorite of the night because i love the tapioca pearls! :) I think i can make this at home!

Anyway, basil leaf is good for those who want to eat in ambience and also enjoy some good food. The place was packed with expatriates that night who loved to sit in the open air part of the restaurant. The taste can't be that bad because otherwise there will not be a lot of people! I don't mind going there again but not too often. Price wise it is bit steep. We paid RM80 for 5 persons. *Shocker*

P/S: Ny - i think we still need to eat tai chau once in a while.

The locale:
35, Jalan Damai, Off Jalan Tun Razak,
55000 Kuala Lumpur.
Monday to Saturday (Close on Sunday)
Lunch (1200 to 1430) Dinner (1830 to 2400)
Kitchen closes at 2230

Restaurant line: +603-2166 1689


  1. the price sounds ok for a boutique restaurant, the one we had in Penang was a bit expensive RM110 for 3person. lol!

    I over heard that you are cravibg for macarons, lol!

  2. RM80 for 5 person, somemore got fish, no bad hor...

  3. BBO: Well - we live in expensive times so must save a bit mah. Yeah i have macaroon cravings :) i has sweet tooth!

    Mimi: Not so big fish ha.portions look bigger in the picture :P

  4. Hi NekoHime
    Kindly be informed that this post has been reprinted on, thanks. ^^
    P/S: We have put your name and link credit back to this article.



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