Travel Forum
Home FAQ Members Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read  

Welcome to the Travel Forum: information, advice, blogs and photos to help you find paradise in South East Asia. Registered users can log in here; if this is your first visit, then you can register now for free to enjoy full access to the forums. You don't have to register to post, but limitations exist unless you do (to prevent spam).

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10th June 2013, 02:15 AM
Travelforum On The Brain
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Melbourne, Oz
Posts: 515
Smile China House Restaurant at The Oriental Mandarin Hotel

After arriving in Bangkok from Shanghai on a delayed China Southern flight wherein no drinks or meals were offered, we found ourselves at around midday at the Royal Orchid Sheraton and not having eaten anything for 16 hours.

Looking out of the hotel room’s window my eye landed on the Oriental Hotel farther down the Chao Phraya River. “Why not try a yum cha”? I asked the Shopper Girl.

She was all for it, so a little while later we found ourselves outside the China House restaurant of the Oriental Mandarin hotel. The China House restaurant is located in a separate house near the entrance to the complex.

Upon entering, it becomes patently obvious that a large sum of money had been spent on the interior design which resembled a Shanghai Art Deco building of the 1920s.

We were ushered to our booth by a penguin-suited waiter and in doing so I ordered a pot of Oolong tea to accompany our forthcoming yum cha banquet. After all, "Yum Cha" translates "to drink tea".

While we awaited the yum cha trolleys to come rolling past our booth, we both commented on the outstanding interior design which was certainly something to behold.

I noticed that the restaurant was 85% full on a wet late Sunday morning with most of the clientele being of Chinese descent which is always reassuring in a Chinese eatery.

For our first up offerings we chose shrimp dumpling from the cart, which were enclosed in a mini bamboo steamer. The pastry was fluffy light and the interior of the dumplings was filled with mascerated prawn meat mixed with bean shoots, finely sliced spring onions and slivered carrots.

There were several dipping sauces on the table and I discovered that a combination of light soy sauce mixed with sweet chilli sauce was more than adequate for our prawn dumplings.

Next up was something that I had seen many times but never had the gumption to eat: fried chickens’ feet. Summoning up some courage, I ordered one from the cart whilst the Shopper Girl declined. I discovered the chicken feet to be crunchy with a very light flavour of chicken. Dipped in dark soy sauce they tasted even better.

Next came a small bowl of winter melon soup, a delicate combination of refined and clear chicken stock with some finely diced winter melon, spring onions and black mushrooms. This particular soup is absolutely gorgeous and I marked it down as one to search out the next time we entered an up-market Chinese restaurant.

After a short interval another cart arrived from which we selected two spring rolls. These were not your ordinary “garden variety” spring rolls but something very special. The light-as-air pastry simply melted in the mouth and the interior ingredients consisted of mashed cabbage, spring onions, thread noodles, finely diced Shitake mushrooms and bean shoots all of which was held together by a paste that obviously had light soy in it along with several other things. Both of us agreed that these were probably the best spring rolls we had ever eaten.

The Oolong tea was refilled as the next trolley arrived from which we selected some chiu siew pork. The glaze on the fillet pork pieces was brilliant as was the taste of the dish. With a little light soy for dipping, the chiu siew pork was an absolute winner.

The next sampling consisted of tofu with roasted egg plant and garlic and ginger slivers covered in oyster sauce. The tofu needed the addition of the last three ingredients, as it was almost without any taste by itself. The roasted egg plant didn’t really do it for me and we found this to be the most unappetising dish that we selected during the yum cha lunch.

Another five minutes elapsed wherein we marveled at the hundred or so red lanterns hanging languidly from the ceiling and in doing so, giving the dining chamber a cosy red glow.

From the next cart that trundled by we selected a dish of suckling pig. This was a lovely serving of very crisp pork, succulent underneath and bronzed on top. Sadly, there were only two pieces each, so the dish disappeared in very quick time with much oohing and aahing from the girl opposite me.

The next cart had Peking Duck which we never shy away from. The skin of the duck was as it should always be, that is, bronzed, crispy, glistening and succulent. Accompanied with ultra thin pancakes and “pencils” of cucumber and spring onion with an accompanying “Peking Duck Sauce”, it was indeed a splendid dish.

Our last chosen dish was a desert consisting of agar agar with raspberries in a raspberry coulis. The Chinese are not noted for their collective inspiration when it comes to desserts, however, this particular offering was adequate and refreshing, rather than being outstanding and therefore memorable.

The carts were still doing the circuit of the opulent dining room, but at that stage both of us knew that to continue eating would mean heading towards gluttony corner, so I summoned one of the penguin suited waiters and asked for the tab.

COST: All inclusive yum cha lunch at 888 baht per person +10% service charge and 7% VAT: TOTAL: 2078 baht, which at time converted into $64 Australian dollars. (Notice the “888” for the basic charge? They are the ultimate combination of lucky Chinese numbers!)

Whilst this might appear overly-expensive, Australian readers of this review might well reflect on their local Chinese restaurant that does a daily yum cha, because the average cost there would equate to what we paid at the China House restaurant at the Oriental Mandarin, and it is generally conceded that the China House is the best Chinese restaurant in Bangkok and it is certainly housed in probably the most lavish of any Chinese restaurants that we have visited during a lifetime of dining out.

SCORE: Ambience, 10/10; Service, 10/10; food, 8/10; value for money, 8/10: TOTAL: 36/40.

RECOMMENDATION: I can heartily recommend the China House restaurant for a yum cha. Their a la carte menu is another thing with some incredibly expensive dishes on the carte. Take my tip, just go for the yum cha and have a pot of Chinese tea that is frequently replenished, as liquor at any of the Oriental’s eateries is way out there in over-priced land.

FOOTNOTE: I was informed later that the chef at the China House restaurant is from the Oriental Mandarin Hotel in Hong Kong, so the quality of the Yum Cha then came as no surprise to your correspondent, as the OM in Hong Kong is regarded as the citadel of Cantonese cuisine in that crowded city.

NEXT: We take a closer look at Took Lae Dee, which is bar-style eatery inside Foodland, Sukhumvit Soi 5.
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 13th June 2013, 10:15 AM
roving rabbit's Avatar
Travelforum Addict
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 269

Well Emdee now that you have tried the chicken feet I am sure you will be trying it again. There is a great little place in Chinatown in Melbourne that does steamed chicken feet with black bean sauce. I am usually the only one that will eat them-a bit glutinous but very moreish once you have acquired the taste. I am also a fan of the Oolong tea- I think the perfect drink with a good yum cha.

Thanks for the review. Am looking forward to the next one and as we are heading off to Bangers in the next few weeks and its not far from our accommodation at the President Solitaire .

Last edited by roving rabbit; 13th June 2013 at 10:16 AM. Reason: Typo
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 16th June 2013, 09:44 AM
steveadmin's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Bath UK
Posts: 1,264

Great recommendation and an enjoyable review - I had to smile at the price - "lucky numbers" used as a marketing technique, priceless! I had chicken feet in Taiwan - surprisingly tasty once you get over the 'eww' factor!

Please like us on Facebook:
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 17th June 2013, 05:54 AM
Travelforum On The Brain
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Melbourne, Oz
Posts: 515

They look better Steve than the ones I had at the China House Restaurant. How can that be possible?
Reply With Quote

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Chinag Mai to China by car...Need passengers Travel Forum Guest Thailand Travel Forum 0 4th March 2011 04:05 PM
Combining Thailand with China tintin Thailand Travel Forum 0 18th July 2010 12:29 PM
Mei Jiang Restaurant, Peninsula Hotel Emdee Thailand Travel Forum 1 4th May 2010 06:30 AM
Bangkok Hotel near restaurant areas Karen B Thailand Travel Forum 3 23rd February 2010 03:38 PM
china KTsummers General Chat & Introductions 2 25th March 2008 10:58 PM

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT. The time now is 02:16 AM.

Copyright ©

LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO © 2007, Crawlability, Inc.