Despite boasting a diverse range of cuisines in their existing restaurant portfolio, The Peninsula Bangkok has made a name for itself with the hotel’s sophisticated Cantonese dining concept, Mei Jiang. Helmed by Chinese Cuisine Executive Chef Ball Yau, former Head Chef at Michelin-starred restaurants Lei Garden Mongkok and Shatin in Hong Kong, Mei Jiang is proudly introducing a 16-course Degustation Menu, presented in a tasting portion and rooted in beloved Cantonese flavours and ingredients. Prepared with the freshest local and globally available ingredients, Chef Yau’s new menu will treat diners to an array of exquisite new creations, as well as some irresistible classic, time-honoured recipes.
Located on the ground floor of The Peninsula Bangkok, the charm of Mei Jiang’s dining room comes from the full-length windows facing a lush green lawn towards the majestic Chao Phraya River. The interiors of Mei Jiang are reminiscent of an exquisite Chinese teak box, emphasising earth tones with the use of ornate lattice as the ceiling, wall partitions and window frames. Simple but elegant, the pale cream themed décor with a central floral display and ornaments of courtly characters from the Ming dynasty create a refined atmosphere for an authentic Chinese fine dining experience.
Food and Drink
Having led some of the finest Cantonese kitchens in Asia — including 1949 Jin Bao Street in Beijing and, most recently, The Langham Shenzhen — Chef Yau is a venerable name in the Chinese dining scene, a master of classical Cantonese cooking styles with an eye for beauty.
With our meal thus placed in the capable hands of Chef Yau, we begin with traditional Cantonese dishes served in a creative presentation: Crispy bean curd filled with assorted fresh mushrooms, without the greasy feeling often associated with Chinese cooking due to the chef’s ‘less is more’ approach towards oil usage, and Pumpkin with homemade preserved plum sauce, a refreshing starter that helps preparing our stomach for the coming 14 dishes.
We are introduced to the chef’s artistic disposition with one of the signature highlights of the Degustation Menu: Sweet and sour crispy Carabineros. While sweet and sour sauce is commonly used in Chinese stir-fried cooking, Chef Yau has delicately blended fine Asian and Spanish ingredients, creating flavourful shrimps bearing the thinnest crispy sheath from a flash fry in the wok, with a hint of sweetness from the sauce. The melon and dragon fruit mini balls are not only artistically arranged but also a clever touch, as the fruitiness helps to reset our palate from the salty, savoury stir-fry.
After sampling some rather virtuous, seafood-driven courses, we’re ready to throw in a bit of meat in the mix, which arrives by way of Chef Yau’s Braised M6 Wagyu beef brisket rolls with turnip in beef soup. When the dish descends on the table, the wagyu beef wrapped with a thin sheet of turnip manifests the chef’s attention to culinary detail, yet looking a bit dry as it comes without any sauce. When the clear beef soup arrives and is added to the bowl, the contrast of soft fat with the warm, flavoursome soup takes the dish to another level. Easily our favourite of the night, the premium tender and beef brisket rolls melt like butter on the tongue.
For dessert, we’re treated to Chef Yau’s own twist to a traditional Cantonese dessert, Pumpkin coconut cream with bird nest, followed by Sweetened tofu flower with gingko and water chestnuts. A delicacy in Chinese cuisine and rich in collagen, bird nest is prized by Asian females for its ability to help regenerate skin and prevent premature ageing. Chef Yau’s own version of the dessert with pumpkin and coconut cream is a delightful combination that adds layers to the otherwise almost tasteless bird nest. Meanwhile, the 16 hand-crafted Degustation Menu comes with special Chinese tea-pairing option — each dish can be paired with carefully selected house blend teas prepared by the tea master, depending on the specific flavours and character of each individual recipe.
If a tasting menu featuring bite-sized delicacies is not your thing, there’s much more to explore on the à la carte menu, including authentic Cantonese delights and Mei Jiang popular favourites, such as Peking Duck, Deep-fried fillet of snow fish with homemade dried shrimp and chili salt and Clay pot fried prawns in port wine sauce. Of course, Chef Yau’s special dishes are available on the menu, too.
Overall, Mei Jiang stands out in in the realm of classical Chinese cooking in the Bangkok dining scane, and Chef Yau has proven time and again that he can draw out inherent flavours and textures of high-end ingredients and prepare them with skill and creativity. Our tasting of the 16-course Degustation Menu offered ample proof that Chef Yau is still at the top of his game, despite having to helm a kitchen in a non-Chinese speaking country for the very first time. Factor in the comfortable setting, hospitable staff and innovative interpretations of Cantonese cuisine, Mei Jiang at The Peninsula Bangkok continues to be held in the highest regard for their premium quality Chinese fine dining offerings.
The Peninsula Bangkok, 333 Charoennakorn Road, Klongsan, Bangkok, +662 020 2888
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 2:30pm; 6pm – 10:30pm
Price: THB 4,900++ per person and tea pairing at THB 888++ per person
Noise Level: Comfortable
Service: Professional and knowledgeable