The buzz: The newly relaunched Marriott Marquis hotel (which completely remodeled what was the Imperial Queen's Park) has been rolling out a bunch of new food and beverage outlets. This grand Cantonese restaurant sticks to traditional flavors but adds more creative presentation.
The decor: Taking the space that also used to belong to a Chinese restaurant in the hotel’s previous incarnation, Pagoda goes a familiar plush route with round tables and low-hanging chandeliers. In short, it’s the kind of place where you’d expect to find large family gatherings. Seven private rooms sit on the rim of the main dining hall.
The food: Headed by Hong Kong-native chef Oscar Pun (whose experience includes HK’s Mandarin Oriental, plus Kempinski and Shangri-La hotels in Beijing and Macau), the menu comprises both sets (from B1,500) and a la carte options. The chef adds creative touches to some otherwise staid dim sum items, like goldfish-shaped hargow (shrimp dumpling, B120). There are also some rarer traditional dishes like “Chicken Beggar” (B1,280), which sees a whole stuffed chicken wrapped in lotus leaves and bread dough. The resulting chicken is juicy and fall-off-the-bone tender, with a tasty stuffing of gingko nuts, dried scallops, shiitake and pork belly. If you come in a big group, don’t miss the intense steamed sticky rice with crab meat (B1,900), which is served in a bamboo basket with delicious crab fat sauce. Barbecue dishes are another highlight, especially the divine crispy roast pork (B400), which comprises thin, crispy skin and tender meat, and is made with pork collar instead of belly. Get a chilled mango pudding (B150) to round off your meal in flavorsome fashion.
The drinks: The variations of tea (like green tea, jasmine and oolong, from B90) come served as part of a choreographed “kung fu” ceremony where a tea master pours hot tea from a long-spouted pot. Enjoy the show every day at 12:30pm and 7pm.
Why you should care: This new place for a family Sunday lunch is also a real contender for the best moo krob (crispy roast pork) in town. Natcha Sanguankiattichai