Ekkamai, Batai Village & Publika
I'm ever so grateful to The Social Group for bringing another Thai establishment to my neighbourhood of Bukit Damansara. We've had Sri Ayutthaya for way too long; it's good to have an alternative when we don't feel like braving the Sprint jam to get to Happy Mansion's Frame Thai or MyElephant. Ekkamai is the latest addition to Batai Village's growing F&B outlets.
With Ben's and Yellow Brick Road neighbouring Ekkamai, it fills a void for Asian cuisine that is sorely needed.
And Ekkamai is also available at Publika - along the same row as The Social (where Estilo used to be - I will miss the lamb burgers).
The interior is gorgeous and classy. Though the Batai outlet seems a lot more spacious, it is a little more suited for family or date night dining. The Publika outlet is great to have work lunches or meeting up with friends for drinks at the al fresco section.
This review was done not in one trip, or two but three visits to both the outlets to sample the very many dishes. And even then I don't think we've covered half of what they have to offer.
The Play Thaim platter (RM38) is a yummy mix of different Thai foods - there's the crunchy rice crackers, grilled chicken skewers, beef meatballs, fish cakes, lemongrass chicken, sesame prawn toast and caramelised noodles. It's good for 2-3 people to share and the sauces it comes with work with all of the different components of the dish.
The Thai iced tea (RM6) is a very common drink found in most Thai restaurants but for those who are diabetic or can't take too much sugar, Ekkamai's Thai iced tea is superb because it retains all the taste without the sweetness overload.
For those who prefer fresh fruit, the Thai roasted coconut (RM11) is young and its meat is still very tender.
The pad Thai with prawn and tamarind sauce (RM24) comes in a generous portion and is served on a beautiful wooden plate.
Our visit to the Publika outlet resulted in a lot of overeating and plenty of good things to say about the food. The pomelo salad with tiger prawns (RM22) was refreshing and sweet. The pomelo and prawn go surprisingly well together.
The Miang Kam Prawn (RM14) is a traditional Thai starter in which you wrap some fresh herbs, shrimp and other ingredients into a leaf. Ekkamai puts a slightly upscale spin on their Miang Kam by adding a lemongrass foam.
Another starter we tried was the Tom kha soup with sous vide lobster (RM75). This was the best dish out of all of the starters for me but my dining companions fancied the pomelo salad more. The soup is sweet, sourish and milky - just the way Tom yum soups are meat to be. It's a good portion for 2 people but if you're planning on eating many dishes, it can also be split among 4.
If soup is not your thing, then try their soft shell crab (RM28). I'm inclined to say this was the second best dish of the meal but when I tried it the second time, it didn't seem as stunning.
An absolute must-try is their curries. The green (RM24), massaman (RM36) and the duck (RM32) curries are all good picks. But it is best enjoyed with a bowl of brown or white steamed rice. I'm happy to see that this place offers a healthier alternative for rice.
It might have been a carb overdose because we also tried the pla tu (rice with fish - RM24).
We also sampled the salmon belly, which would have been good if we didn't have so much other food overpowering it.
And we had to try the Thai fried omelette (RM12) for sure, because there's nothing more important than getting the basics right. And the fluffy omelette proved that they've achieved a good standard for the staple dish.
Of course, Thais also enjoy indulging in desserts. So we had to try some dishes out of their extensive dessert menu.
The Thai dessert sampler is small tako Pandan and jelly. It's good to end the meal with as it isn't too heavy but if you still have space left then it's the black glutinous rice that is a must-try. It isn't too sweet.
Otherwise, the classic mango sticky rice (RM18) or red Ruby (RM12) is a must.
Ekkamai Batai Village, Jalan Batai 34, Level G2, Block C5, Publika Dutamas, 1, Jalan Dutamas 1 (The Square, same row as The Social)