A stunning, youthful addition to Bangkok’s Chinese fine-dining scene.
The buzz: Part of the Rosewood hotel’s Bangkok debut, Nan Bei serves up authentic northern and southern Chinese cuisine in a dazzling Art Deco setting.
The vibe: As you exit the elevator on the 19th floor, an atrium containing a 10-floor waterfall and over 600 tiny illuminated birds (referencing China’s version of Valentine’s, in which star-crossed lovers are reunited by a bridge of magpies) awaits. Two kitchen counters—one dedicated to southern seafood dishes and the other to northern Peking duck—sandwich the main dining room, where mustard leather chairs perch atop a striking inlaid marble floor. Interiors by AvroKo are a lesson in contemporary Art Deco perfection. The light fixtures alone are worthy of an Instagram series, while a confluence of cerulean, emerald, dark wood, black marble and leather ties together the lounge, bar, private dining rooms and compact balcony. As your eye is guided from room to room by symmetrical bespoke archways, you almost forget to marvel at the aerial views over Sukhumvit.
The food: Divided into north and south, the menu is succinct yet packed with specialties led by five Beijingese head chefs who, before now, had never left China. Cut through the oil of the richly peanutty gong bao chicken (B480) with a citrusy cucumber and dried tangerine salad (B180) or the light and fresh chilled jellyfish salad (B480) with crunchy Chinese cabbage, aged vinegar and mustard oil. The rich Beijingese ge da tang (B360) is not to be missed, its tomatoey broth brimming with wispy beaten egg, soft flour dumplings and fresh seafood. Executive chef Matthew Geng’s signature honey-glazed tiger prawns (B1,200) are served whole, with a crunchy skin and a juicy interior. Carved tableside, Nan Bei’s authentic Peking duck (B1,900) is served three ways—crispy skin with granulated sugar for dipping; succulent slices for wrapping in soft, house-made pancakes with thick soy sauce; and, finally, either a fragrant caraway stir-fry or soup made using the carcass, ensuring no part is wasted. Save space for dessert, as you’ll want to try their gorgeously light and milky mango pomelo sago (B290), as well as their hazelnut chocolate-filled sesame balls dipped in caramel (B360)—a sweet and salty foray into Chinese-Italian fusion.
The drink: Specialty teas meet their match in a unique whiskey pairing menu—try the sweet and smoky Macallan 18 whiskey paired with the earthy, chocolatey non-smoked lapsang tea (B800). Cocktails utilize Asian flavors, like sake in the Yoghurt Pisco Sour (B400) with lychee and green apple, or kaffir lime and guava in the Nan Bei Highball (B350). For red wine, try the Italian Le Volte dell'Ornellaia, Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet (B640/glass; B3,100/bottle) or for white, the Dreissigacker Organic Riesling from Germany (B630/3,100).
Why we’d come back: Until now, Chinese fine-dining in Bangkok meant stuffy white-table-clothed dining rooms, or oriental cliches of red and black. Nan Bei sets itself apart with its opulent yet youthful ambience. This place is prime for special occasions with friends or colleagues.
|Address:||Nan Bei, 19/F, Rosewood, 1041/38 Phloen Chit Rd., Bangkok, 10330 Thailand|
|Open since:||April, 2019|
|Opening hours:||daily 11:30am-2:30pm, 6-10:30pm|
|Dress requirements: Smart Casual, Private rooms available|
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