Authentic Chinese food comes to Thonglor via London with The Four Seasons Restaurant.
By John Howe
It was frustrating getting to the Four Seasons Restaurant because I had arrived at the wrong branch. Mistakenly I thought that I was to eat at the Four Seasons in Siam Paragon, but introducing myself to the confused staff it became obvious that I had made a mistake. A quick phone call established that I should have been at the Four Seasons in Thonglor 10.
Jumping on the first motorcycle taxi, I demanded to be taken to Thonglor 10, pronto. The race through downtown Bangkok’s crowded streets seemed like a car chase through 1970s New York from the movie “French Connection.” By the time we got to the restaurant my nerves were as frayed as a pair of distressed Levi’s.
But walking into the restaurant soon calmed my mood and nerves; it is a large space but cleverly designed to seem intimate and cozy; my stress disappeared upon entering.
The décor is typically Chinese. Richly decorated golden designs bedecked the walls and a short avenue of golden pillars led the eye to the back of the restaurant. I relaxed into a comfortable chair and took a few minutes to listen to the traditional Chinese violin music.
Shark’s fin soup is on offer but I remembered my Mom’s advice that chicken soup calms the most ruffled of breasts. The shredded chicken soup did the trick, pieces of meat floated in a thick steaming broth (Bt140). It was a perfect start to any meal.
London’s Four Seasons Restaurant is famed for its crispy duck (Bt 450) and I am a great fan of the dish. The duck’s skin was a deep glossy caramel the flesh tender and juicy. Laid before me the waiter expertly constructed the pancake rolls, smearing first with the most exquisite, sweet, and fruity plum sauce. The whole is an epicurean dream, the moist flesh absorbed the mouthwatering sauce, and six rolls later I was satiated but could have gone on for more.
Next I sampled what my host, Edward, called the “three combination dish” (Bt350): roast pork, duck, and belly pork in combination bathed in a light sauce. This was an unusual combination but the ingredients were on handshaking terms. The belly pork was crisped to perfection and accompanied by an English mustard sauce was tangily moreish. The vegetable was an earthy Chinese broccoli, tasting as if it had been just pulled from the soil. A simple vegetable that was fresh and true to Mother Nature’s desire for authentic tastes.
Another of my favorite Chinese food found its way to the table: prawns in Szechuan sauce. This was both a visual and culinary elation, shiny pink prawns; backs covered in the tart sauce lay temptingly before me. The fleshy prawns were large and briny-fresh the sauce bit back at my palate to remind me of its rural Chinese roots. I decanted prawns and abundant sauce to a bed of Thai jasmine rice so fluffy that each grain could have floated skywards and off to form puffs of rice clouds. The flavor was delicate and enticing to the tastebuds.
I finished off this memorable meal with toffee banana and vanilla ice cream. The banana was fried in a sesame seeded caramel sphere; the hot banana and vanilla ice cream was a good combination of textures and flavors.
I will return to the Four Seasons Thonglor and if you have not eaten at this new Thonglor branch then you are missing a treat.
Four Seasons Chinese Restaurant
Thonglor 10 (Sukhumvit 55) – the restaurant is a 15-minute walk from the BTS Thonglor skytrain station (Exit 2).