Published by Bangkok Post Newspaper on May 27, 2016
When where you dine matters as much as what you eat and with whom, and if your inclination is for classic Cantonese cuisine prepared by a proper Hong Kong chef, Silver Waves at Chatrium Hotel Riverside Bangkok ticks all the boxes in bold.
With its sweeping curvature, the better to see the river, high ceiling and widescreen windows rendered like eyewear by turquoise steelwork indicative of the vertiginous altitude, claustrophobic it isn’t. Décor is underplayed Middle Kingdom chic in shades of ivory, teak, silver-grey and blue. Chinese ceremonial arches break up the subtly themed space. There’s a balcony for a blast of fresh air from the main dining room and, up some winding stairs, four private dining rooms each with their own al fresco viewing platforms.
The tucker, too, lives up to the venue’s upscale staging. In command of the kitchen since 2010 is Yang En Chung, former Head Chef of the famous Hong Kong Palace in the alleged SAR. He’s definitely doing a good job as the restaurant is listed by USA Today among Bangkok’s 10 best Chinese restaurants while winning hands down in the view category.
The all-you-can-eat dim sum lunch is understandably popular at 690++. Around 40 selections are offered. Choose one each of five soups, four special dishes, four rice & noodle dishes and two vegetable dishes and as many as you can put away of the 16 steamed items, four buns, and nine deep-fried & baked numbers.
As we were exploring both the dim sum and a la carte menus, we couldn’t sample many of the “little treats” and “heart’s delights” but what we did get round to was first class.
Start with a generous bowl of Szechwan hot and sour soup. At best, as here, it’s a complicated recipe with sea cucumber, fish maw, mushroom, tofu and chicken. Plus ginger, rice vinegar, pepper and black bean sauce with a fiery prik-e-noo bite and of course corn starch binding it all together.
Soon the dim sums were flowing freely, including sumptuous crab claws enveloped in minced shrimp topped with yellow curry sauce, exemplary shrimp, crab stick and conpoy dumplings, awesome har gaow with the lightly seasoned shrimp firm and fresh, and toothsome garoupa with steamed prawn and black bean sauce. Each required just the slightest brush of sour Jiaozuo black vinegar. Spicy steamed prawn in Thai-style seafood sauce defied any of the long array of condiments as did the delectably oozy, salty-sweet crystal cream buns that looked like mini-mandarin oranges.
Silver Waves is also justly renowned for its unique green oolong tea-infused Peking Duck which, in a further departure from the mainstream, is served with wonderfully crispy-caramel skin still attached to perhaps 0.5 cm slivers of tender smoked duck making it more of a mains than usual. Gossamer-fine pancakes, ornately bound sheaves of scallion, cucumber and chilli and Chef Yang’s irresistibly finely poised hoisin brown sauce make this a worthy signature dish indeed. But then there are signature dishes in every section.
A yet more indulgent a la carte dish is large, fleshy crab claws enclosed in diced prawn and drizzled with chef’s titillating XO sauce.
Silver Waves differentiates its deep-fried pancakes stuffed with pureed dates dish from the pack by making them slightly thicker and crispier, with more date and red bean filling, and serving them a la minute.
Obviously sundown is a draw, starting from 5pm with a tapas menu served before the main menu gets going at 6pm.
Yes, New Road can be a traffic nightmare but at least once you reach the river end of Chan Road, you’re right there. Alternatively hop the free shuttle boat from Sapan Taksin Pier.
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