I was checking my mail...
Hmmm...an email from Kak Serai?
An invitation to the Malaysian Floggers' year end party???
I was thrilled. Finally, a chance to meet all these wonderful people who foodspired me.
So, I filled up my leave card, changed the date of my bus ticket and started to imagine all the wonderful food and faces that I will meet later.
Fast forward to last Friday.
Music from the 80's filled the rather petite restaurant. Candles and white chrysanthemums added a touch of sophistication to the already interesting interior. There were handshakes, hugs and laughters everywhere. A lovely entree.
The entree was so engrossing that I almost forgot about the real food. My Elephant (no pun intended) has been the talk of the town. A few floggers gave it some rather positive remarks and KLUE rated it as one of the top 10 restaurants in 2007. I was quite sceptical at first as I always equate Thai food with tom yam, pandan wrapped chicken and kerabu. Nothing more, nothing less. After the Elephant experience, I realised I was wrong. Very.
One can't help but be charmed by the thoughtfully decorated glass, which was filled with a cooling pandan-flavoured syrup drink. Who would have thought that a piece of pandan (screwpine) leave and a dainty white chrysanthemum could go so well together? Lovely.
Brown rice was served instead of Thai fragrant rice. Well-cooked and fluffy, it was.
First dish to arrive was the Pak Choop Pang Tod or Thai Style Vegetable Tempura which was basically long beans, carrots and lotus roots coated with tempura-like batter and deep-fried. The vegetables remained crisp and were not too oily. I wished the batter was more flavourful though. I'm not sure if this was an authentic Thai dish.
Next up was Kom's Chicken Wings with Mango-Kiwi Dressing. I never knew that kiwi could be incorporated into a savoury a dish. The chicken wings were flavourful but lacked in crispness. The wings blended very well with other Asian ingredients such as mango, sweet chili sauce and fried garlic bits. A dish that (I thought) could do without the kiwi.
Served in a bag-like shaped bread, the Choo Chee Goong (sounds like a Chinese name, doesn't it?) or Thai Yellow Curry With River Prawns was perhaps the most visually interesting dish of the night. The prawns were tender while the curry was rich and fragrant, thanks to the chopped kafir leaves. The bread was soft (with a slightly crisp skin) and was a good sponge for dipping the curry.
Salad for the night came in form of Som Tam Malakor or Green Papaya With Dried Prawns And Peanuts. The distinctively textured ingredients such as long beans, tomatoes, papaya strips and peanuts made this rather moist salad an enjoyable one. However, I thought the dressing was on the bland side.
How could a Thai meal be complete without a tom yam dish? Our Tom Klong (Northern Thai Tom Yam With Fish Cutlets) was fiery and optimally tangy. With every sip of the appetising soup, I had to wipe the sweatbeads off my forehead. A small price to pay for the flavourful concoction though. The flavouring ingredients for the soup included galangal, tomatoes, cilantro and dried chilies (instead of the bird eye ones). Enoki and oyster mushrooms provided extra texture and flavour to the soup. The fried tenggiri (Spanish Mackerel) was small but fresh.
If I had to choose one dish that best represents My Elephant (again, no pun), it has got to be the Red Curry Duck With Konnyaku, Avocadoes And Rambutan. A creative ensemble of colours, flavours and textures. I enjoyed the curry which was rich, aromatic and slightly spicy. The creamy texture of the avocado blended well with the curry while the rambutans added a slight crunch and sweetness. The downside being the slightly chewy duck meat and the undetectable konnyaku. Anyhow, an appetising dish that went well with rice.
The Chillied Lamb looked and tasted like a typical stir-fried padprik dish. The only difference was the choice of meat. There was a lesser variation of vegetables too. The julienned peppers and cashew nuts added flavours and textures to the dish. As with any padprik dish, this went well with rice.
The Steamed Fish or Plah Nung Manow was well presented and the clear fish gravy was rather flavourful, with a blend of ingredients such as lime, lemongrass, cilantro, chilies and garlic. The fish (siakap or Barramundi, if I'm not wrong) was well-cooked, judging from the flakiness of the flesh.
For dessert, Sago Pudding With Thai Mangoes was served. Neither warm nor cold, the intended temperature was questionable. The plus side being the ripe and rather sweet mangoes. I could also sense a hint of jackfruit in this dish but did not confirm this with the staff.
Overall, the dishes were commendable but could have been better. I will return for the duck curry.
After the dinner, an award presentation ceremony was held. Similar to the MTV Movie Awards, categories where rather unconventional, ranging from "blogger with the most kissable lips" to "most flirtatious blogger" to "most enlightened blogger". It was a very good way to introduce all the bloggers, especially to the new floggers like myself. I was bestowed the "most poetic blogger" award, probably due to my shiok sendiri (self-indulging) Tell-A-Tale series. The award was a set of stationaries for me to construct my poems. How thoughtful!
A birthday cake was also presented to SC and Chris (Christine's boyfriend). It was a durian cheese cake from FatBoyBakes.
The party ended with exchange of telephone numbers, hugs and a post-party party at Pirates. It was a shame that I could not join them at Pirates as I had other plans.
The night wouldn't have been realized without the hardwork put in by the organizers, namely; Lyrical Lemongrass (Celebrity Blogger Of The Year + Photography Extraordinaire + Luscious Cover Girl), Precious Pea (My Majesty, Her Royal Highness The Queen To King Crab) and WMW (Human Tripod Blogger With The Funkiest Psychedelic Flower Power T-Shirt). I could not thank you gals enough.
Kudos to Jackson for driving the "Sharity for Charity" campaign where each blogger contributes a present which will be placed under a Christmas tree to be given to children from a selected orphanage. Check out this link for more details.
And thank you fellow floggers/bloggers for all the words, smiles and laughters that made the night a memorable one.
Here's wishing everyone a new year of good health, happiness and above all, love!
For more information on the the restaurant (map and contacts) and the party (including the complete winners list), do check out the following sites:
Brought Up 2 Share
Cari Makan Di PJ
Block C-G4, Happy Mansion,
Jalan 17/13, Section 17,
46400 Petaling Jaya.