Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Food Review: Barn Thai, Plaza 33

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You don't find too many restaurants that offer thai tapas in such a stylish setting as Barn Thai. Step through the imposing front doors and be greeted right in the face by a gleaming gold stallion. That just about sets the tone for what lies ahead.

Plush vintage armchairs admist wooden stools and long tables; a large bar with an equally large selection of cocktails; piped in jazz music and wall prints; thai cultural decoratives and modern art. You get the idea? Wait, there's more. Cascading water feature on walls and a replica of a thai royal sitting chamber – in the ladies toilet.

D├ęcor in the ladies washroom

Now that's what I call a watering hole worthy of the new generation of discerning consumers. Definitely not your neighbourhood family eatery. The entire area is SMOKING FRIENDLY, bucking the norm. They do have a smaller back section and private function rooms, partitioned off by auto sliding doors. The staff will graciously open up this section if you are like me – a non smoker with an extremely low tolerance to passive smoke, with 2 senior citizens, a young kid and a baby in tow.

As for now, Barn Thai only offers thai tapas and a small selection of hot one-plate meals. They are in the midst of hiring more serving staff and beefing up the kitchen team before dinner menu can be launched. No indication of specific timeline yet.

Expecting dainty portions and feeling ravenous, we went rather overboard with the ordering.

Top two photos : Seafood Green Curry Burger and Chicken Red Curry Burger (both RM14 each). These were real mini burgers – two bites and they were gone. The chicken burger had a more pronounced curry bite, which I much preferred over the seafood burger, which had no discernible curry taste at all. The addition of cheese was totally unnecessary. The side of fries was very good though, with a light sprinkling of salt and chilli powder and spicy mayo dip.

Bottom photo: Crisy Fried Tofu with Peanut Dip (RM12) – simple but satisfying.

Clockwise from left: Teochew porridge, Shrimp Tempura, Crab cakes

Thai Teochew Porridge (RM18) with condiments of chicken floss, stir fry kailan with salted fish, stir fry chicken, preserved mustard and century egg with lime, fish sauce and chili. A mediocre assembly, with lukewarm plain porridge and somewhat bland condiments, the exception being the century egg – completely transformed and perked up with the fail-proof dressing of fish sauce, lime, sugar and chilli. I would have been totally happy with just this and steaming hot porridge.

Shrimp Tempura (RM16). Good size prawns encased in rather thick chewy batter.

Crab Cakes (RM16). Generously stuffed crab shells – make sure you eat it with the mint.

For mains, we had Seafood Pad Thai (RM20) – a lovely rendition with generous ingredients and balanced flavours. This was our favourite, along with the Seafood Porridge (RM20) – a steaming bowl of soft rice grains soaked in a hearty broth and chunks of fish slices and prawns.

Chiang Mai curry noodles (RM20) – Known as Khao Soi, this is an extremely creamy version, with egg noodles and a chicken drumstick. Full flavoured, but the richness gets to you towards the end.


Radna Beef Noodles (RM20) was a very tamed affair, with silky smooth but very thick rice noodles and slightly chewy beef.

Basil Chicken Rice (RM20) – again a toned down version paired with a comforting sunny side up.

For drinks, we tried their non alcoholic Zero Mojito and Apricot Fizz

Overall, if you are looking for a comfortable place to just unwind post work with some night bites, this would be a great choice. Whilst the food quality was up to par, the taste was undeniably very safe. Admittedly, I was looking for sharper flavours; the explosion of sweet, salty and sour – the hallmarks of good thai food. I can't wait for them to launch their full dinner menu. This would then be a great place to bring guests and impress the socks off them.

Recommended dishes: Seafood Porridge, Pad Thai.

Stay away from: Seafood Green Curry Burger

Barn Thai | Address: Ground Floor, Plaza 33, Jalan Kemajuan, Petaling Jaya. | Tel: 03-7932.2233 | Opening hours: Daily 5pm – 1.30am | GPS : 3.109636, 101.638.201

This article was first featured on Hungrygowhere Malaysia HERE

Update:  I just received a message from Barn Thai yesterday that they have just started offering a full dinner menu from 530pm till 10pm daily except Sundays. 


1 comment:

  1. Hi Esther,

    Noticed you have visited us prior, love the honest review and we at Barn Thai Restaurant & Bar would like to invite you back to try our new menu either for lunch or dinner. We are open 7 days a week with live bands performing at the bar from Thursdays to Saturdays. Do feel free to contact me at 012 22 83 493 for any inquiries and if you are interested in visiting us I’ll arrange a table in your name.

    Many thanks!

    Gary Liew


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