BANGKOK RESTAURANT

Chairman

The latest opening from the Chef Man goes for retro Hong Kong diner vibes. 

3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Following high-end M Krub's modernist take on Chinese cuisine, the latest opening in the ever-expanding Chef Man empire couldn't be more different. 

Chairman replaces the short-lived Chef Man Express at Emquartier and goes for a '50s Hong Kong diner vibe (known as bing sutt or bing shi). Frequent travelers to HK probably know the score: boh loh baau (pineapple buns), milky teas and coffees, buttery French toast and lots of Hong Kong versions of Western food. (Fear not, Chef Man's steamed salted egg custard bun remains too!)

Highlights of the lengthy menu include the steamed honey BBQ (B35) and steamed yam paste buns (B40), and the baked rice with chicken chop and fish fillet in twin sauce (B260). 

Drinks include iced red bean with milk (B75), Hong Kong milk tea (B80) and chilled milk tea (B110). All items are available for eat-in or takeaway.

Stay tuned for more.

Having expanded with a handful of new branches, Chef Man has a rightful claim to being Bangkok’s most reliable and accessible name for dim sum. With this Emquartier spin-off, Chef Man Wai Yin takes his empire in a very different direction, but one that’s no less ripe for franchising.
 
Chairman goes for a ‘50s Hong Kong diner vibe (known as bing sutt or bing shi), serving carb-heavy Cantonese versions of Western food. Travelers to Hong Kong will likely know the type of place it imitates: Formica tabletops, lino floor, mint green walls and a general sense that nothing’s changed in 30 years. The mall setting obviously means it lacks the time-worn appeal of such institutions, but food-wise it’s as faithful a rendition as you’ll find.
 
That’s not necessarily high praise, but there’s an undeniable charm to these idiosyncratic, deeply unfashionable baked, fried and noodle dishes. Some of it’s plain weird—there’s just no dressing up instant noodles with spam and a sunny-side-up egg (B170)—but there’s a lot more than simply novelty value on offer. The baked rice dishes are particularly enjoyable, especially the chicken in Macanese/ Portuguese-influenced coconut curry sauce (B230). This slop on a plate won’t win any beauty awards, but we enjoy its creamy texture and subtle spicing. The shrimp wonton soup (B180), too, comes with a well-rounded broth and plump dumplings befitting the Chef Man name.
 
This is hardly the place to come looking for greens—the deep-fried eggplant with pork floss (B140) barely counts, though the light tempuralike batter is less oily than it looks—but whatever you do, make sure to order a serving of the poached vegetables with oyster sauce (crisp bok choy on our last visit, B160). 
 
Where Chairman especially excels is dessert, which includes some welcome dishes from Chef Man, namely the always-refreshing chilled mango puree with mango and pomelo (B110), made even better by a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and the signature salted egg yolk custard bun (B40). You can also have French toast with this lava filling (B140)—an absolutely delicious, albeit extreme artery-clogging guilty pleasure. 
 
Despite it being one of the bigger restaurants in Emquartier’s bustling basement food court, there’s little sense of occasion here. There’s also no booze. You wouldn’t come to Chairman for a date or a birthday, but it hits the mark for a milky cup of tea and some retro junk food.

This review took place in November 2015 and is based on a visit to the restaurant without the restaurant's knowledge. For more on BK's review policy, click here.

 

Venue Details
Address: Chairman, 2/F, Emquartier, Sukhumvit Soi 35, Bangkok, 10110 Thailand
Phone: 02-261-0426
Website: http://ow.ly/TF2qk
Area: Phrom Phong
Cuisine: Cantonese, Deli / Takeaway / Take Out
Price Range: BB - BBB
Open since: October, 2015
Opening hours: daily 10am-10pm
Parking available
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