BANGKOK RESTAURANT

Chinatown Scala

The buzz: This Chinese restaurant sits on the fifth floor of very new mall Siam Square One, serving up a thick menu of Cantonese favorites. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because it’s the new modern endeavor of Chatchai Kiatkanokkul, the third generation owner of the legendary Chinatown Scala on Yaowarat Road, which started life with his grandparents selling food from a basket way back in 1951.

The décor: In keeping with the trendy mall vibe, it’s far more extravagant than the old-school family restaurant. Helping with the interior is Begray, who you might know from their work with Casa Lapin and Karmakamet Diner. The tables and chairs are still quite plain, but the atmosphere is livened up with adorable old Chinese calendars and dim sum baskets lining the walls, vivid Chinese patterned wallpaper and hanging ceramic tea pots.

The food: The menu remains mostly classic, covering Cantonese-style dishes from crab and steamed fish to countless stir-fried and deep-fried offerings. There is slightly more attention paid to presentation, with rich Thai-friendly flavors in the likes of the poo ob woonsen (baked crab claws with glass noodles, B800). Appetizers include fried gingko nuts (B120), spring rolls stuffed with shrimp and crab meat (B180) and the ever-popular aor suan (fried oyster with egg, B150). Dim sum, of course, spans salapao (buns) to ha gow (B40-B45). The most exciting thing is this place actually makes for a nice affordable lunch spot amid Siam’s sea of restaurants: order the masterfully executed fried rice dishes like the flavorful khao pad nam liab (stir-fried rice with Chinese olives and pork, B150) or the bamee gung pad prik pao (stirfried egg noodles with shili sauce shrimp, B135).

The drinks: Like most traditional Chinese restaurants, there isn’t a great focus on drinks. Jasmine tea starts from B50 a jug and chrysanthemum juice at B80 a jug. Beers are limited to Chang (B130) and Singha (B130) while fruit juice is from B60.

The crowds: Singaporean and Hong Kong tourists after a heavy day’s shopping, Chula students and families on the weekends.

Venue Details
Address: Chinatown Scala, 5/F, Siam Square One, Rama 1 Rd., Bangkok, Thailand
Phone: 02-251-2863
Area: Siam
Cuisine: Chinese
Price Range: B - BB
Open since: June, 2014
Opening hours: daily 11am-2pm, 5-9pm
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