Founded by Chef Yeung Koon-Yat, dubbed the King of Abalone for his once-Michelin starred Forum Restaurant in Hong Kong, Ah Yat Abalone is as well known for its dim sum as its shellfish. Open for more than a decade, the Bangkok restaurant is still one of the city’s best for Cantonese cuisine, even if some dishes don’t quite hit the high notes.
Aside from their sets, which range from B1,880 for five dishes including abalone, way up to B14,800 with Peking duck and lobster too, you can have a lot of fun with their a la carte offerings. We love their BBQ section in particular, especially the crisp roasted pork belly (B300)—the price and portion might shock you, but its taste will blow you away. The roasted skin is so crunchy it’s like eating a rice cake, while the meat is juicy with a saltiness that almost renders the mustard and red dipping sauces redundant.
Another reason to visit is the stewed fresh abalone with goose web and shitake mushroom (B1,000), the springy abalone perfectly complemented by the red sauce stew. The goose web, too, is braised to the point that the meat slips effortlessly from the bone—chewy and delicious. One simply can’t visit without trying the lava buns (steamed Chinese bun with salted egg custard, B130 for three) which are immaculate, not at all floury and stuffed with a delicate custard.
Sadly, not everything lives up to these lofty standards. The fried soft-shell crabs (B250) are smothered in flour—and it’s a similar problem with the ha kau (steamed shrimp dumplings, B130). Though tender, the steamed pork ribs with XO sauce (B98) are pretty bland tasting, too. Another minor issue is the service, which is a little rushed due to the big crowds. You’ll also have to make a reservation in advance or else face what’s a justifiably long queue for a table.