Baan Kun Ya @ Centrepoint, Bandar Utama

November 8, 2015

Baan Kun Ya offers a beautiful setting for a Thai meal of both classic & contemporary fare - with a team that includes a Thai head chef, the restaurant's philosophy of soulful cooking is embodied by its name, which translates into "Grandma's House."

The ideal meal at Baan Kun Ya begins with Miang Kham (RM26) to perk up the appetite - cha plu leaves with an array of accompaniments, from chopped cashew nuts, chillies & dried shrimp to ginger, shallots & lemon, for a diversity of flavours in each invigorating bite. We also like the sweet-sour zing of the Yam Pak Kut Goong Yang (RM25) - grilled tiger prawns cushioned with a substantial salad of blanched fiddlehead ferns (pucuk paku), fried onions & Thai herbs for plenty of fibre.

The use of chillies & punishing spices at Baan Kun Ya is relatively restrained, providing for mellow recipes not overpowered by fieriness. Seafood enthusiasts might want to try the sea bass, fresh & lightly steamed, complemented with coriander, garlic, lemon juice & lime slices (RM46), or the prawn tom yam, milky but not too creamy, loaded with lots of crustaceans (RM48). The current menu carries one curry - green, with clean, uncomplicated flavours - with a choice of beef (RM42), chicken or tofu.

The chicken & the egg are both worthwhile for patrons who prefer even milder nuances: The meat is tender, comprising grilled boneless thigh flesh marinated with lemongrass & matched with green nam pla fish sauce (RM35), while the capably prepared omelette contains succulent chunks of crab, both inside & out, for a thick, fluffy treat presented warm on a banana leaf (RM32).

Single-plate nourishment is available: Our top temptation is the fried rice, bolstered by fragrantly juicy pandan chicken, half a thinly breaded hard-boiled egg & kaffir lime leaves (RM22), though it's also difficult to resist ordering the phad thai, aromatic with tamarind paste, partnered with a tiger prawn & the requisite peanuts, bean sprouts, chilli flakes & spring onions (RM25).

Save space for desserts; these may be Baan Kun Ya's forte. We especially like the Look Choop (RM24 for 12 pieces) - smooth mung bean paste cooked with coconut milk, wrapped in a glazed jelly skin, looking like candy in shapes of fruit & vegetables; easy to pop into the mouth & happily enjoy. For a refreshing finish to the meal, there's Bua Loi Tub Tim (RM8), the 'purple floating lotus' favourite, featuring pearls of crunchy water chestnuts coated in tapioca flour, submerged in a bowl of chilled coconut cream & palm sugar. If you're sharing, there's a selection of Tar Kho (RM10 for three pieces; creamy chestnut jelly laced with sago & corn, layered with coconut cream, wrapped in pandan leaves & crowned with sweetened shredded egg yolk) & Woon Jet See (RM12 for three slices; rainbow-coloured coconut milk jelly, topped with egg yolk-coated mung bean paste).

Baan Kun Ya's drinks are distinctively delicious too, with thirst-quenching highlights like the butterfly pea-dyed Nam Aun Chan (RM9.90), a rich ice-blended coconut beverage (RM12.90) & the Nam Kra Jeab roselle beverage (RM9.90). Wine is offered by the bottle, with a French M. Chapoutier starting at RM119. Many thanks to Baan Kun Ya for having us here.

Baan Kun Ya Thai Dining
F107-F110, First Floor, Centrepoint, Lebuh Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya. Daily, 1130am-11pm. Tel: 03-7733-3337

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