Ayutthaya was at one time the Capital of Thailand. The kingdom Ayutthaya was in power for about 400 years, from 1350 until 1766 AD. One of the paintings or murals that you will surely encounter while in Bangkok will be of the war being fought by King Naresuan (from Ayutthaya) and the Crown Prince of Burma on elephant backs, resulting in the death of the Burmese crown prince. Until today, part of Thailand's Royal Regalia still consists of relics from the Ayutthayan Period, being King Naresuan's musket, sabre and hat.
This was the most tumultuous time in Thailand's history and continues to inspire the imagination of script writers. The epic movies "Suriyothai", "Naresuan" and "Bangrajan" are all based on the history of Thailand during this period which saw a lot of attacks from the Burmese and also some onslaught from the Vietnamese until the Kingdom fell after a successful full scale incursion by the Burmese army in which the whole city was razed and looted. This occurred while Thailand was under the reign of King Ekkatat and the Burmese was under the control of Aulungpaya. Until today, the sacking of Ayutthaya remains a sore point for the Thai's national pride.
I first dined at Restoran Sri Ayutthaya at USJ 2 years ago, after being brought there by some friends. Although the flagship restaurant under the Sri Ayutthaya chain is located at Damansara Heights, I prefer the USJ branch because I felt that the service here is better and being smaller, it is also cozier and less grand. And the noise levels here are lower. The owners took particular care to design the restaurant to replicate an ancient Thai house with a pond and a decorative Spirit house greeting diners upon entering the restaurant. The the lighting is muted and comfortably dim and the interior filled with faux antique replicas of a bas relief, ceramic and wood carvings.
The menu is a mixture of Thai and Chinese, with an emphasis on seafood. The wine menu is visibly lacking and budding oenologists may be disappointed here.
One of the most compelling reason to dine here would be the oysters. Delicious, plump, fresh oysters flown in from New Zealand. My favourite oyster dish at Sri Ayutthaya would be Kerabu Oyster, but unfortunately my dining companion has an irrational fear of raw food. So, we ordered the New Zealand Oysters Baked Thai Style, and in this case, the performance of the Soloist was overshadowed by the accompaniment. The oysters came baked with some cheese with garlic and then topped with corriander, chilli and some lime juice. Although still succulent, the subtle briney flavour of the oyster was overpowered. If you are here and have the stomach for raw oysters, try their Kerabu Oyster. A tantalising dish, where a bed of corriander, garlic, onion and bird's eye chilli lay on top of the oysters in their shell and then slathered with lime juice. The textural and taste contrast is absolutely amazing!
Next we had the Baby Octopus Fried with Dried Chilli, which was a very lively and vivacious. The Octopus was crunchy and aromatic and the sauce was not too spicy and piquant.
The Rambutan Kerabu was basically the normal Thai sweet and our salad, but interestingly they added some canned rambutans to the mix of salad veges and black fungus. The version I had in South Thailand was fresh rambutans. Still, and interesting dish if you are itred of the usual kerabu mangga or mango salad.
The next dish is more interesting. Roast Thai Chicken wrapped in Lotus Leaf. They used free range chicken for this dish, and the chicken was roasted before being steamed in some lotus sead paste and some chinese herbs. The resulting chicken was bursting with flavour and the lotus seed paste imparted a slightly sweetish tinge to this otherwise savoury dish. The herbs very balanced and not overpowering. I have not had this chicken anywhere else before.
Overall, the dining experience was good. Beautiful ambiance, very attentive service. The food was above par when compared to the other Thai Restaurants in KL but they should look into their wine list and dessert menu, which was rather run of the mill.Sri Ayutthaya
22, Jalan USJ 11/3J
UEP Subang Jaya