Krung Thep Restaurant Brings Authentic Thai Heat And Flavours To Damansara Heights

Bring The Heat

You know a restaurant’s going to be spectacular when their staff place, unbidden, a basket of deep-fried chicken skin in front of you before your meal commences. What an opening move that is, complete with a palate-cleansing selection of raw vegetable crudités and herbs – the traditional Isan way – and three dips (sweet chilli tamarind, house-made Sriracha sauce, and my personal favourite, grilled and smoked aubergine paste). From the get-go, this is food that inspires fierce loyalty and multiple repeat visits – but Krung Thep justifiably deserves a cult following.

In Damansara Heights’ Republik, in the midst of the flames and smoke, is the no-nonsense chef Piyanat Yowabut – popularly referred to as Chef Gug – who prefers to let his cooking speak for itself (and it says volumes). Running the front-of-house is Krung Thep’s general manager Peter Lamb, who brings a level of efficiency and professionalism rarely demonstrated in Kuala Lumpur’s dining scene, no doubt garnered from his previous experience at London’s Hakkasan and Bangkok’s Ku De Ta. Together, they’re a powerful, potent combination – enough to keep pushing the restaurant’s standards higher, ensuring no meal ever falls flat.

Those with sensitive tongues should be aware that Krung Thep has a fairly merciless approach to its spice levels. This is very much the real Thai deal, or as Lamb puts it more tactfully, “We absolutely stay true to what the Thais would do. If a dish is meant to be outright spicy and there’s no way around its flavour components, we’ll suggest another dish that’s comparable – but not that exact dish – for fear of not wanting to destroy what was designed to be made. If they wouldn’t do it in Thailand, we won’t do it in Krung Thep.”

So there’s fair warning before you go charging headfirst into Gug’s signature larp bpet of minced duck salad, which you can watch him mixing with aplomb in the open kitchen (request a counter seat for extra excitement) to lethal effect. It’s entirely worth the pain, but diners of a less masochistic inclination can explore gentler classics like the warming, unctuous hot and sour Wagyu beef soup from the northeast region, or Central Thai-style seabass grilled in banana and pandan leaves. Served with lashings of sweet tamarind fish sauce and a generous chunk of sticky rice, you’d have to be a miserable soul indeed not to find joy in the technicolour vibrancy of Krung Thep’s food.

Providing a respite from the heat of the charcoal stoves and the menu’s blistering array of regional Thai cuisine are its boozy coolers – the ChaCha Yen iced tea with Mekhong rum is an effective remedy – and house-made ice creams. Those, too, are unlike anything else you’ll find in the city: ingenious combinations with Thai ingredients give rise to pairings such as Thai tea with dried oyster mushrooms, vanilla bean and prawn oil, and salty coconut with caramelised yam. Far tastier than blasting yourself in the face with a fire extinguisher.

Krung Thep Restaurant


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