Food of days gone by
With Capella Bangkok opening this year after a lot of anticipation, we are starting to get a look at the hotel’s food and beverage options. We’ve previously written about Côte by Mauro Colagreco, the new collaboration between Capella Bangkok and world-famous Italian-Argentine chef Mauro Colagreco. Now, Bangkok’s new-age urban resort is lifting the lid on another riverside dining project, Phra Nakhon, which takes inspiration from the rich food history of the surrounding riverside area—there are dishes from across the whole country as well, so don't worry about variety.
The project is helmed by head chef Wichian “Lek” Trirattanavatin, who has a lifelong connection with the riverside and Charoenkrung neighborhoods — touring the markets as a child with his father who was also a chef in the area for 40 years. The gist of this place is more old-world than experimental, in fact Lek has stated that one of his core missions is to “defend” old-world recipes and to bring guests back to bygone eras of the country’s culinary history. Since Phra Nakhon has historically been a port for traders from across Thailand, those old-world recipes comes from across the nation. Expect the likes of fresh-shucked oysters with house-made chili paste, Chiang Mai-style beef skewers, Southern-style wild-caught squid, chargrilled catfish topped with pomelo salad, sai uoa made with Kurobuta pork, and yum hua plee (banana blossom salad with a spicy coconut dressing). The amose bouche and petit fours experience change daily and include specials from the chef and his team.
Whether it’s a fiery curry, wok-grilled plates or moreish noodle bowls, all of the dishes put a spotlight on local suppliers — cassia leaves from Chai Nat, duck breast from Trat, pork from Chiang Rai. You can also order a “fish of the day”, which comes baked or deep fried.
All of the meals finish with some traditional Thai sweets, like caramelised water chestnuts, house-made ice cream (meant to mimic street food vendors you’ll find in Bangkok) and sweetened taro.
There is, of course, also the restaurant's signature tasting menu, Sam Rub, charting the memories of old Siam with a range of sharing menus and lunch sets that follow the "old world" theme. The tasting menus come with wine pairings too.
Phra Nakhon, Capella Bangkok, 02-098-3888. Open daily noon-3pm (Thai lunch), 6-11pm (Thai dinner); 11am-11pm (all-day menu with Western selection). Sunday Brunch from noon-3pm (International buffet with Thai dishes cooking a-la-minute)
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