Saturday, December 4, 2010

Basil Leaf

Basil Leaf's survival seems to be in doubt, since DBKL earlier this year ordered restaurants on Jalan Damai to cease operations by the end of 2010. It's a worthwhile stop, featuring warm service, a calm setting and satisfactory food.

Vietnamese salmon parcels with "Hanoi chilli sauce." Nicely prepared, with chunks of succulent salmon encased in thin rice paper sheets.

Cambodian banana flower salad with shredded chicken. Very, very spicy!

Vietnamese yellow curry with pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots & cherry tomatoes. Our favorite dish that evening. Comfort food to soothe the soul.

Pha-neng roasted duck with lychee. Tender meat in flavor-packed gravy.

Grilled New Zealand lamb with spicy homemade Laotian sauce. Addictively aromatic, with none of the gaminess that often afflicts lamb.

Stir-fried tom yam paste tiger prawns with enoki & straw mushrooms. Forgettable; tasted more tomato-ish than tom yam-ish.

Southern Thai curry. Thick, tasty and thoroughly brimming with hearty slices of chicken & potatoes. Curries do seem to be their forte here.

Seafood curry in coconut. Prawns, squid & fish, all superbly fresh-tasting.

Steamed pineapple rice. Magnificently presented. Equally impressive, flavor-wise, with a fragrance and fluffiness that outshines other versions of this cliched recipe.

Vietnamese seafood fried rice. OK, but paled in comparison to the pineapple one.

Rhett Butler (bourbon whiskey, cranberry juice, sugar, fresh lime juice) & Sicilian Kiss (southern comfort, amaretto). Decent cocktails.

Palazzo dei Signori Pinot Grigio IGT 2007.

Basil Leaf,
Jalan Damai, Off Jalan Ampang.


  1. Good gosh. First thing I did upon reading this is to google and find out if the news about DBKL asking the Jalan Damai restaurants to close shop by end 2010 is true - and it is! :(

    Okay, to be fair, after reading the news reports I can see certain restaurants (or their patrons, rather) may be causing the problem - but my fave Hajime (and Devil's too) have their own compound for cars and being a Japanese place... is very quiet and peaceful.

    I hope they are not getting kicked out too. :(

    (Sorry, very off topic today.)

  2. Lfb: good gosh. Of course the news is true. Wouldn't it be ironic (in the Alanis sense) if I were reporting false information on this blog :p
    Ya, sometimes at nite, it's a pain to drive and squeeze thru the row of alfresco mideastern outlets on this street. If any outlet survives the crackdown, it'd be hajime, for the reasons u mentioned. Call them and check (and let me know!) Alas, One Bangsar will also be no more by next month, for similar reasons...

  3. Haha, I know that. But sometimes need to double-check ma.

    So sad.

    Shall check with Hajime tomorrow. *fingers crossed*

  4. Lfb: I suppose if hajime were forced to abandon its current premises, it would just relocate, since it's popular enough for its faithful customers to follow them elsewhere. Maybe to Sri Petaling! Heaven knows my hapless neighborhood could use a Japanese restaurant :D

  5. Wow!
    No wonder Basil Leaf was nominated for the Best Thai/Indochine category at the TimeOut thing (though we dont agree on most of the nominations nor winners ;p )..the food looks promising!

  6. Tng: ya, even though I'm the wrong person to really talk about Thai restaurants (since I avoid spicy stuff), I'm still sure that basil leaf belongs on any list of kl's 15 best Thai/indochinese restaurants. Of course, it doesn't hurt that they have a great drinks menu too, heheh!

  7. Good point. Though I'd much rather Hajime relocate to Taman Desa. It's very centralised and there's a huge Japanese population here already.

    Plus two really nice guys also based here. Hehe.

  8. lfb: really? u must introduce me to them sometime then! :D
    marc: probably about 20 percent higher compared to the shopping mall thai restaurants...

  9. Cis! You already met them lah! :P

  10. lfb: what?! who could you possibly .... ohhhhh. hmmm, i'm not sure if i'd classify them as naughty or nice :D

  11. LOL.. Okay, gives up. You win, again.

  12. Lfb: huzzah for foregone conclusions! :D

  13. ooh the food looks good! ok there is some hits and misses but i think it's quite a good restaurant, no?

  14. eiling: yep, it's a shame if it has to close down. hope it'll be able to relocate elsewhere...

  15. hi there! i just came across your blog today and i must say, it's exactly wat i've been looking for! i'm always trying to look for nice restaurants to go to for various occasions, n it's so hard sifting through the many blogs to just find one good restaurant. it's great to have a one-stop blog for all the nice restaurants in town. good job!

  16. Mithra: thanks so much for your very kind words. Much appreciated! Am glad u find this blog helpful =)