Ekkamai: Thai Set Lunches & Teh Time Treats

June 18, 2019

Plaza Batai's bastion of Thai cooking is bringing out a wave of new specialities that could keep us lingering here from noon till long past sunset: An expanded selection of set lunches that offer delicious value starting at RM22.90++, Teh Time treats that'll tickle the fancy for Thai sweets, and fresh modern recipes for its a la carte menu (Thai tacos, anyone?).

Click above to watch our special video on Ekkamai and interview with its head chef Awee.

With more than two decades of professional experience, taking her from her homeland to London to KL, Ekkamai's head chef Awee is one of the most skilled Thai chefs working in Malaysia - it's no surprise though that many customers might not recognise her name, since she's an unassuming talent with no thirst for the limelight, preferring to let her work speak for itself.

Running in both Plaza Batai and Publika, Ekkamai's weekday set lunches currently number a lucky 13, extensive enough that you can eat here in the afternoon for two weeks and still not finish sampling everything. There's truly something for everyone, from the crowd-pleaser of Tom Yum Fried Rice with wok-fried chicken, prawns, kangkung and egg to the vegetarian-friendly Paneer Pumpkin Curry, a fun medley of Indian and Thai inspirations, prepared with hand-pounded red curry paste that's free of fish sauce, to Wagyu Radna Beef Noodles, smoky-charred koey teow in thick gravy with Australian wagyu rib eye slices, gorgeously grilled to medium-rare glory, sumptuously and surprisingly succulent for a set lunch offering.

Other options span favourites like Thai Laksa, Pad Thai and Pad Gaprow with Rice to Clear Boat Noodles, Bah Mee Pok Noodles, Pad Kimao Drunken Noodles (pictured above, wok-fried kwayteow with chopped beef tenderloin, chillies, basil and fresh lime) and more, a diverse and distinctive repertoire at RM22.90++ per dish (add RM8 to enjoy the Wagyu Radna Beef Noodles). The set lunches also come with a house-made drink and dessert of the day, with lovely possibilities like floral-shaped jellies.

When we visited Ekkamai slightly past 2pm, the lunch crowd remained robust, with some staying on for the restaurant's Manis Teh Time session, pairing a choice of Thai sweet-tooth temptation with two cups of coffee and/or tea for only RM19++. Indulgences include Thai Tako (coconut milk and water chestnut pudding); Steamed Banana And Tapioca; Khao Niaw Sangkaya (sticky rice with coconut custard); Khao Tom Mat (sticky rice steamed with banana, crowned with desiccated coconut) and more.

From Tako to Tacos: By the time tea is over, it might be worth sticking around for dinner, especially with engaging concoctions like the Tom Yum Tacos (RM22), a Thai-Mex triumph of crispy tortillas stuffed with tom-yum-spiced crispy dried shrimp and pomelo salad, pleasantly piquant. The Tom Yum Tacos are new to the menu, as are other originals like Thai Crispy Noodles - a Cantonese-influenced 'Kongfu Chow,' Duck Kiamchai, and Josper-Grilled Charcoal Prawn In Shell.

Many thanks to Ekkamai for brightening up our weekday with its lunch and tea. Selected food photos in this post are courtesy of Ekkamai.


8, Jalan Batai, Plaza Batai, Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: +603-2095-2772

34, Level G2, Publika, Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: +603-6203-9883

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