Monday, August 22, 2016

Celadon, Kuala Lumpur by Bilby Blue

Thai food is very popular in Malaysia and I have found that it is often every bit as good as you would expect in Thailand. On a recent trip to KL I checked out Celadon, on the top floor of the Pavilion shopping mall in the Bukit Bintang district.

Dining opportunities are everywhere in KL, ranging from amazing street food right through to fine dining in posh hotels. However for a solo female traveller KL shopping malls are very attractive – the food is generally of a good standard and transport is readily available. Not to mention all the shops…

Celadon, Kuala Lumpur - pad thai goong
Pad thai goong

Cheap and cheerful food courts are usually, but not always, in the basement but for those wanting a bit more refinement there are often several high quality dining options, generally located on the mall’s higher levels. Celadon was definitely at the high end.

D├ęcor was modern Asian – dark timber, a mix of comfy leather chairs and padded high back chairs, black carpet and black tablecloths. Along one wall dark timber shelving was packed with silken cushions of intense jewel-like colours – it looked stunning (the photograph does not do it justice).

Celadon, Kuala Lumpur - yam ma muang goong keaw
Yam ma muang goong keaw

I started with yam ma muang goong keaw – a beautifully fresh green mango salad that incorporated funkiness from crispy dried shrimps and crunch from a generous amount of peanuts. The dressing was a perfect blend of sour, sweet and salt, with plenty of heat from finely sliced red and green chillis.

Celadon, Kuala Lumpur - lime juice
My fresh lime juice, sweetened with sugar syrup, was very welcome – always a good accompaniment for spicy food.

Celadon, Kuala Lumpur - green chicken curry
Green chicken curry

I also ordered a green chicken curry, with some steamed rice. The waitress warned me that the curry was very spicy and asked if I would prefer it to be mild. While I am used to chilli heat, after several fiery experiences in Malaysia I have learnt to play it safe unless I know the restaurant well. The green curry included three types of eggplant – purple, pale green and those tiny ones that look like peas – with lots of Thai basil in a complex coconut gravy with a splash of coconut cream and accompanied by some roti. It was wonderful – and very, very chilli hot.

Thailand is known as a producer of celadon ware – a type of ceramics, typically (but not exclusively) with a green glaze. As you would expect, all the dishes were served on celadon.

Unfortunately I had to pass on dessert – the servings had been very generous.

My bill came to MYR69, or about AUD25 – not cheap by Malaysian standards, however it is reasonable for a special meal where you would want to pay a little more for the extra touches and ambience. And in that location you would expect a premium (it is a classy shopping mall). I thought it was great value for money.

A month later, I was back in KL, and returned to Celadon for a noodle lunch (see pic above). Visually striking with a huge prawn head rearing upwards, the pad thai goong (rice noodles with tiger prawns, eggs and tamarind sauce, served with ground peanuts and bean sprouts) was one of the best I have tasted – and that includes some great experiences in Bangkok. The egg omelette was so thin it was almost transparent and the balance of sour, sweet and salt was spot on. There was some chilli powder on the side if you felt the need for more heat – it was ground super fine and intensified the dish without any harshness or bitterness. Awesome.

Celadon, Kuala Lumpur

Celadon, Kuala Lumpur

Verdict

We loved it
We loved it.

Overall

Great Thai food with excellent service, and in an easy-to-find location for visitors to KL. Service was prompt and the staff made a solo diner feel most welcome. I would love to return with a few friends to indulge in a wider range of dishes.

Find it at

Celadon
Lot 6.37, Level 6
Pavilion Kuala Lumpur
168 Jalan Bukit Bintang
50200 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
Telephone: +60 3 2148 8708

Celadon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

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