Brothers Korn and Anan are walking the fine
side of Thai cuisine. They tell TAN BEE HONG that the keyword is fresh,
THE signboard is just the
stylised outline of an elephant and the word Erawan and on the
five-foot way, palms and ferns are growing profusely in pots.
These are indications of the serene atmosphere inside this Thai
fine-dining restaurant in Dataran Sunway, named after the Elephant God.
Step inside and you immediately feel a sense of quiet that puts you at
ease. To the left, goldfish dart about looking for tidbits amidst
snow-white pebbles. On the right, bottles hold floating candles shaped
At the far end are all kinds of artifacts -- from hand-painted ceramic
bowls to colourful beaded necklaces and earrings. And if anything
catches your eye, just ask how much. It´s all for sale.
On the walls, the restaurant owners, chef Tra Kool Yodsuk (aka Korn)
and his brother, ex-bank manager Anan, have painted trees and birds.
Don´t forget to look down to admire wooden floors studded with bronze
leaves and seashells.
It´s been a hot day, so we cool down with tall glasses of iced Herbal
Lemongrass, scented with pandan. It´s a perfect teaser to a Thai meal.
The list of appetisers is long and we find it hard to decide. Anan
recommends a portion of Miang Kham (RM18) with either Mango or Pomelo
Salad (RM20). Feeling indulgent, we decide on all three.
I´ve always loved miang kham. This do-it-yourself dish comprises small
saucers filled with dried prawns, peanuts, roasted desiccated coconut,
chili padi, ginger, shallots and lime -- all finely chopped. It´s fun to
put a dab of brown sauce on a betel leaf and bits of all the
condiments. Wrap it up, pop the whole package into your mouth and chew
slowly to appreciate the bursts of various flavours.
“We make our own brown sauce here and we add lots of dried shrimp and
coconut,” says Korn, who´s also the principal Thai chef at The Cooking
House in Desa Sri Hartamas, KL. “See, it´s thicker than those you find
elsewhere.” Indeed, we could see fine strips of desiccated coconut too.
The Mango Salad is tangy and refreshing but I prefer the more unusual
Pomelo Salad. Both come with extra-large prawns so fresh you can hear
the crunch as you bite into them.
Anan laughs. “Freshness is our big secret. We personally go to the
market to pick out the ingredients. Korn won´t compromise on flavours
either, so many of our items are imported from Thailand, even pomelo.
The ones from Ipoh don´t have the right taste for this particular
The pomelo is skinned and broken into big chunks which are topped with
prawns, browned garlic, shallots, peanuts and coconut. The sauce is
served separately in a small jug.
Then we are served rice in pretty, covered celadon bowls.
For main dishes, we´re having Curry Fish Cake (RM18) which has a fluffy
texture and all the full flavours of ikan tenggiri. “We don´t add flour
to the fish,” explains Anan. Besides fish cake, you can get otak-otak
Korn is well-known for his fish dishes, especially whole seabass (RM38)
which is available steamed with chili and garlic sauce or deepfried and
served with spicy mango salad or the chef´s special spicy sauce. The
latter is mildly sweet and sour and Korn has filleted the fish for easy
We give soup a miss though Erawan offers, apart from the usual tom yam prawns, tom yam with salmon or cod.
“Don´t worry about the pedas factor,” Anan assures us. “Just tell us
when ordering and we will tweak that to suit customers. We have lots of
families with children dining here as well as foreigners who cannot
take very hot food.”
A unique Erawan dish is Green Curry With Salted Egg (RM32). But it´s
not quite what the name implies. The “salted eggs” are actually
tenggiri fish paste stuffed with salted egg yolks! Definitely a change
from chicken or beef in green curry.
The gravy is mildly hot with a lovely creamy texture. And you can find
small brinjals and ma kheua phuang (crunchy miniature Thai brinjals).
Best with steamed white rice, served in benjarong porcelain bowls.
Erawan also has massaman curry, dry panaeng beef curry and roasted duck curry.
We are undecided between having a stirfried vegetable or an omelette.
In the end, we pick a crab meat omelette. No regrets. The omelette is
light and fluffy and Korn uses freshly shelled crabmeat so sweet and
For dessert, we´re having Banana Fritters (RM12) with vanilla ice cream
and Glutinous Rice With Durian (RM12). I don´t like the fritters as the
pastry wrapping is a little tough and chewy.
But the glutinous rice is heavenly! Plump grains of rice scented with
pandan are topped with diluted coconut milk and a big chunk of seeded
durian (not durian puree). It´s a rather big portion and two can share
with satisfaction. There´s also glutinous rice with mango, roasted
bananas and home-made ice cream with flavours of lemongrass and Thai
Oh, by the way, we leave with two sets of hand-painted plates, bowls and matching mugs we buy as presents for two little girls.
Erawan is open for lunch and dinner on Saturday and Sunday from noon to
10pm. Tuesday to Friday, it opens only for dinner from 6pm to 10.30pm.
It´s closed on Monday. It also has a vegetarian Thai menu.
Actually, the soft-spoken brothers prefer customers to make reservations and order from the menu beforehand.
“All our regular customers have a copy of our menu and they always
order ahead. That way, they won´t be disappointed if something is not