In the busy commercial area of Sunway, and located on the lobby level of Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa, lies Busaba Thai, a beautifully decorated restaurant with a grand entrance flanked by two magnificent wooden horses.
Having opened on Valentine’s Day earlier this year, the restaurant’s owner was formerly an architect and this is clearly evident in its contrasting traditional décor, which still manages to maintain a contemporary atmosphere. It is filled with all manner of keepsakes and treasures from Thailand, hand-picked by the proprietor himself.
Partitioned off in one section near the bar, with a view outside through gorgeous floor-to-ceiling windows, was a long table bathed in the glow of very realistic looking LED candles, and laid under large moon-shaped lanterns. This was the opulent setting in which a group of 20 selected gourmands dined at the recent MIGF Publicity Dinner.
The guest list included YM Tunku Dato’ Johanez Bin Tunku Annuar and his lovely wife, Festival Advisory Committee Member Datin Winnie Sophia Low; Sunway Le Cordon Bleu General Manager Ming Ho and Executive Chef Rodolphe Onno; Wawasan Holdings Group CEO Dato’ Tan Boon Pun; 1001 Technologies Executive Chairman Looi Kien Leong; Asia Vision International CEO Dato’ Simon Wong; Festival Advisory Committee Member Dato’ Nick Lough and his wife Datin Merina Lough.
They were welcomed with a refreshing virgin mojito, before being taken on a tour of the cosy two-storey restaurant, together with MIGF Organising Chairman Dato’ Steve Day. Many praised the attention to detail and exquisite decorations, ranging from ancient wooden doors set in the walls and a modern electric fireplace, to an authentic Thai wooden boat hung from the ceiling.
Before the meal began, the always-smiling Chef Sonthaya Kundet was introduced by Dato’ Steve as a true foodie, whose home-cooked styled dishes are based on favourite family recipes from his childhood in Thailand.
Datin Winnie Sophia Low, Trisna Lim, Peggy Yong, Datin Su Wai Fun, Ng Kor Shing, Dato’ Kee Hua Chee and Tunku Johanez
Tan Keen Yew and Grace Lee enjoying some welcoming virgin mojitos
Dato’ Steve Day, Looi Kien Leong, Peggy Yong, Shirley Tay, Trisna Lim, Ng Kor Shing and Dato’ Kee Hua Chua
Datin Su Wai Fun greets Datin Merina Lough
Datin Michelle Shu, Dato’ Simon Wong, Chef Rodolphe Onno and Ming Ho
Datin Su Wai Fun, Dato’ Tan Boon Pun, Datin Min Yee Lee and Dato’ Kee Hua Chee
MIGF Organising Chairman Dato’ Steve Day introducing a beaming Chef Sonthaya Kundet and the team of Busaba Thai
The royal dumpling appetiser was a great way to start the meal, with its unique pairing of minced Chor Moung chicken. After this, came the angle bean salad with prawn, minced chicken and boiled egg, topped with Chef Sonthaya’s own special Thai sauce, a unique twist on the dish as many did not think angle bean could be served fresh.
The Royal Dumpling appetiser and the unique Angle Bean Salad prepared by a smiling Chef Sonthaya
Dato’ Steve did his customary introductions as the starters was being served, resulting in much laughter and merriment among those present. Equally hilarious and fascinating, the anecdotes on each guest served to break the ice nicely.
As for the food, the tom yam soup was an obvious crowd-pleaser with Ms Ming Ho commenting on the freshness of the herbs, and Tunku Johanez applauding the balance of spice and flavours. The main course, however, was easily the most popular of the evening, as it featured Chef Sonthaya’s very own signature heavenly egg roll stuffed with succulent crab meat. This won rave reviews from all the guests for its creative presentation and “divine” taste. This was served with stir-fried broccoli and scallop with creamy green curry chicken and fragrant white rice on the side.
Rich flavours: Red Tom Yam Prawn Soup
The star of the evening: Chef Sonthaya’s signature Heavenly Eggroll with Crab Meat
A waiter serves the main course to Grace Lee
A sublime creamy Green Curry Chicken
Last but not least, was the dessert – ice water chestnut, served in a fresh coconut – which was Dato’ Simon Wong’s favourite because of the freshness of the coconut and the addition of the jackfruit, which he thought added a nice exotic flavour.
Ice Water Chestnut Served in Coconut – a refreshing dessert to round off a great meal
At the end, Tunku Johanez was invited to say a few words on behalf of the guests. Thanking the Busaba Thai team, he remarked that it had been a “splendid evening” and admitted that though he was not a big fan of Thai food before the dinner, he was now a solid convert. His statement drew a loud round of applause from the rest of the guests who whole-heartedly enjoyed the meal. Festival Advisory Committee Member Dato’ Nick Lough concurred with Tunku’s speech on the dishes presented, also remarking that after 15 years, MIGF still continues to break ground in introducing exciting fresh food to KL’s dining scene, and that this year is the best one yet.
Dato’ Nick Lough praises the team of Busaba Thai and the fabulous setting
Thai hospitality: the wonderful and friendly staff of Busaba Thai
The Full Festival Menu at Busaba Thai is RM158 ++ per person (without wine), for a minimum of 2 persons. House wine (both red and white) available for an additional charge per glass or bottle. To view the menu, click here and to read more about Chef Sonthaya, click here.