Progressive Thai expressions at Kompassion

Progressive Thai expressions at Kompassion

Kompassion describe themselves as ‘progressive Thai cuisine’. If you’ve visited the newly revamped set up, progressive is indeed the best way to describe how far they’ve come.

Not a new establishment, the resto has been around for about 9 years. And I confess after one or two visits in the early years, I wasn’t inspired to return as the prices were on the high side, and the setting wasn’t appealing.

Then, in 2020, during the first MCO, Kompassion refurbished the venue, reinvented themselves and gave their menu a spruce up as well. The result is a big WOW! I’ve been back several times since and recommended friends as well, all of whom have been suitably impressed.

What’s new? First up – the décor has a brighter, younger feel. While the old interior was darker and had an elegant (read: ‘I am expensive’) mood, the new space is welcoming, vibrant and modern, yet cosy and familiar at the same time. Kompassion has also expanded to 2 shoplots, and given little touches such as an old kitchen food cabinet out in front, a big potted plant smack in the middle of the room and woven trays pinned on the wall that add character to the place.

Foodwise: starters – Kompassion’s take on Vietnamese springrolls (I always order this same dish), a version of nyonya popiah, but loaded with fresh veggie, bits of chargrilled meat, chicken floss, drizzled with a sweetish sauce. Fresh and appetising, a nice change from the usual Western style salad.

Pomelo salad – comes with prawn and drizzled with chicken floss and house dressing. Again, the taste was on point – bright, sweet and sour, and great mix of textures. Came a bit late, after all our mains were served as the kitchen had a bit of a setback, which spoilt the food sequence somewhat (should be starter flavours before main) but otherwise, perfectly lovely salad.

Pork satay – (had this on a different occasion) frankly, I can’t imagine anyone not liking this skewered grilled pork – slightly charred for added fragrance, nice cuts of meat with very little fat ( some places come with more fat than real meat) and marinated well for a tasty treat.

Mains – Tom som fish soup, an aromatic sweet and sour clear soup with strong ginger and basil notes. Yes, this is a soup, but there were so many pieces of fish that this qualifies as a main dish. This was my friend’s favourite.

On another occasion, we tried the Tom Yum Gung, generously laden with seafood. Authentic flavours, savoury and spicy, love this.

Hanglaey Pork belly – a red curry from Chiang Rai, from chef Nikom Uatthong’s hometown. Not really spicy but more of a mellow, rich broth – a unique take on curry and unexpected in a good way with well-rounded mouthfeel.

Moo tod – another starter, fried pork with garlic and a dash of truffle oil, this also qualifies as a main as it’s perfect with rice, mod tod is apparently more of a homestyle dish rather than resto offering. The meat had a crispy edge, fragrant and had a nice bite – a dish of myriad textures and flavours.

Dessert – the list is impressive, from ice cream to conventional sticky rice to shaved ice drinks. Kompassion also has a good selection of mocktails.

My favourite is the Kedondong sorbet drizzled with brown sugar sauce – so refreshing, the unique aroma of the fruit is beautifully captured within each mouthful. The Kompassion special is also memorable – coconut ice-cream+pea flower ice cream+coconut sorbet, with sticky rice, red ruby, cendol, corn and almond nibs. There are a number of other unique flavours of artisanal ice cream available, created in-house. We also tried the mango sticky rice that came with black glutinous rice instead of the usual sticky rice. Good stuff, just that the mango wasn’t sweet enough.

Honestly, I feel Kompassion should start an afternoon session just for desserts as their menu is quite extensive.

Dinner was about RM250 for three pax, and considering how we ate so much, plus drinks and desserts, it was very reasonable. Kompassion has certainly upped their game, yet managed to keep their prices down at more affordable levels.  

Add: 5 Jalan SS 20/11, Damansara Kim. Tel: 018-289 6953.