BANGKOK RESTAURANT

The Water Library Thonglor

At the growning Water Library chain's most spectacular venue, diners sit are seated right across from their own personal brigade of chefs. 

At the growning Water Library chain's most spectacular venue, diners sit at a long bar that can hold a maximum of 10 people, and everyone is served simultaneously at 7:30pm. There's an element of theater to being seated right across from your own personal brigade of chefs, who can explain dishes as they prepare them. Produce is imported from all four corners of the globe and the menu changes constantly. 

The buzz: The new sister branch of the original venue in Chamchuri Square is taking the high foodie ideals of its wealthy owner to new heights with something totally revolutionary for Bangkok: a restaurant that serves a maximum of ten diners per night, charges them big bucks for the privilege and then doesn’t let them even select what or when they’re eating. They’ve also assembled a dream team of mixologists, chefs and wait staff from all over the world to make it happen, and use only the very best imported ingredients to boot.

The décor: Understated but very sexy, from the darkly lit and sophisticated bar area downstairs, to the minimal but cozy dining room upstairs. There is a pleasant outdoor terrace for pre-dinner drinks, or if you want to drop in for a cocktail; and they are currently working on a high-end wine bar across the courtyard.

The food: This is a tasting menu with a difference. Service starts at 7:30pm and they wait for every diner to show up before starting on the 12-course menu. It’s part meal, part theater, with the team of chefs preparing the plates in front of you and then explaining the ingredients. These are mostly sourced worldwide, like the Irish oysters with seaweed and caviar, or the chicken that comes all the way from Bresse in France. Every dish looks very modern with the army of chefs (from Thailand, Europe and Singapore) employing plenty of gastro tricks like foams and emulsions to reinterpret the textures and flavors. The menu changes regularly and the current spring choice sees Pyrenean lamb and Japanese rockfish among the highlights. None of this comes cheap though with the price starting at B6,600 per person for only food.

The drinks: The bar has been set up by Italian Mirko Gardellino who spent years as a mixologist in Germany before being lured to Thailand. It means there’s an impressive menu of unique cocktails like the Bangkok Basil (B280) which uses homemade gin infused with basil, lemon, sugarcane and Haribo Goldbears. There’s also a large choice of spirits and an extensive wine list. Finally, you can have a wine pairing to go with the menu that will cost you an additional B1,800 and gets you six different wines or an exceptional pairing that costs an additional B10,200 and requires a minimum of five people.

The crowd: The well heeled, moneyed and connected come for the meal but downstairs it’s a little more egalitarian, covering everyone from advertising types to leading film directors. Nick Measures

Venue Details
Address: The Water Library Thonglor, The Grass Thonglor 12, Sukhumvit Soi 55, Bangkok, Thailand
Phone: 02-714-9292/-3
Area: Thonglor
Cuisine: Fusion
Open since: January, 2012
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 6pm-1am
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