If you’re not in the know already, a firefly is now one of the city’s dining scene influencers. As the name may already suggest, Wang Hinghoi (The Palace of Fireflies), is a firefly-themed restaurant and a home to hundreds of the fairy light-like beetles.

Following the four elements of life, the Thai-inspired menu here is also divided into themes of earth, water, wind, and fire, rotating throughout the 18-month duration which simulates a whole lifetime of a firefly.

Combining four basic elements of life with a firefly, which is a symbol of fertility, the urban restaurant succeeded in their goal of commingling ecology with the culinary and begot this nature-derived dining experience.

With this month bringing the return of the water-themed menu under the title “Blue Planet,” we had the privilege to indulge in 9 scrumptious new dishes. Read on for our full review below.

Ambience 

Situated beside the old RCA golf course on Kamphaeng Phet road, Wang Hinghoi has transformed the abandoned land into a fine-dining restaurant with an alluring theme.

The venue also serves as a multi-purpose eatery, with the on-site art gallery or the Glow Museum which is currently displaying the Aqua Elemental Exhibition (Dhata-wari) which includes bio art of soil and water like you’ve never seen before.

The most mind-blowing area, however, is the dark-as-night firefly room or what we would refer to as an urban firefly farm. Brimming with glowing beetles, this little room in the back of the restaurant will astound you with its glowing resplendent experience.

With an idea to bring nature and metropolitan lifestyle altogether under one roof, the dimly-lit restaurant depicts a picture of an urban forest, thanks to the semi-large garden amid the space and their use of wood element as decorations.

Food


Following the themes of earth, water, wind and fire, the food here reflects their intention of merging culinary delights with natural elements. This time around is a water-themed menu, so each dish got an aqua-related name like the Local Splash (pork belly served with herbed pork jus) and Lunar River (fruit salad with lemon ice cream).

Stone and Ripple

With a focus on modern Thai cuisine, the gastronomic restaurant serves deconstructed Thai food, reimagining the look and presentation while retaining its authentic and true flavours.

Log of Life

Titled Blue Planet, the 9-course set menu is composed of three amuse bouches, two appetisers, one soup, one salad, a stellar main and an indulgent dessert. We started off with the three bite-sized hors-d’oeuvres; Stone and Ripple (Namprik Aong atop confit marble potato); Log of Life (mackerel coconut curry-infused lotus stem); Spicy Coral (deep-fried Chicharon with house-made chilli cream sauce) — all of which showcased the restaurant’s romantic affection for Thai cuisine.

Tako Picasso

Authentic Thai flavours continued in our next dishes of Tako Picasso, which is fermented garlic rice-stuffed squid that imitated the stuffing of Thai Plaa Som (fermented fish), followed by Lonely Island — a ham hock terrine topped with foie gras and garlicky lime dressing.

Lanna Kingdom

Next up we were served the true show-stopper of the meal, Lanna Lake, which is perfectly reminiscent of the spicy yellow curry noodle, Khao Soi – a staple in the Lanna Kingdom (in the northern parts of Thailand). Showered in the luscious butter squash-based Khao Soi curry soup, the pan-grilled pork tenderloin and the noodle made from cuttlefish swam in the well-balanced flavours of the spicy, salty and sour soup.

Lunar River

Although the next salad dish – which was composed of berries, salad leaves, cheese spread and lemon ice cream – was not quite our favourite, the presentation of the Lunar River salad was quite impressive and beautifully decorated.

For the main course, we devoured a dish named “Eclipse,” which was a medium-sized grilled lamb chop served with laab eggplant and raisin-spiked rice with feta cheese. Juicy and spicy, the dish packed some kicks that excited our palate. The only downside, however, was the use of raisins since the dried grapes added this peculiar sweet flavour that, we feel, should not be included in savoury rice and laab.

Finally, we capped off the meal with Blue Planet, a sweet black sesame paste-stuffed mochi. The dish looked slightly plain and boring until the egg nog gave the rice cake life and brightness with its buttery sweetness. The dessert represents our water-fueled planet, so this final dish undoubtedly gave a good close to the new aqua-themed dinner at Wang Hinghoi.

Verdict

Go there for a deconstructed Thai food. The venue serves a new type of Thai cuisine with modern twists while maintaining the same good taste that provokes nostalgia like traditional Thai dishes do. The meal here also tells a tale of the ecosystem, commingling dining and the natural experience so seamlessly. With the use of the firefly as a symbol and theme for the restaurant, you would hardly believe the pairing of the firebug farm and the culinary delights are so well balanced and refined. Looking for Thai cuisine that hasn’t yet lost its novelty from the elevated use of imported ingredients? Wang Hinghoi offers a Thai fine-dining meal that uses pristine domestic ingredients served in a subtle and nature-inspired setting.

Opening Hours: Mon-Sun from 6:30 pm-12 am
Recommended Dishes:  Log of Life, Lanna Lake and Eclipse
Price: THB 2,590++ for the 9-course set menu (additional of THB 550 for cocktail pairing )

Noise Level: Moderate
Service: Responsive and very friendly

Wang Hinghoi, Kamphaeng Phet 7 Road, Bang Kapi, Huay Kwang, Bangkok, +6691 979 6226

Kankanit Wichiantanon
Writer, Bangkok
Kankanit is a writer by day and a baker by night. If there’s one thing you should know about her, it’s that she can wax poetic about food 24/7. Her daily routine is writing, cooking, eating, repeat. They are the things that inspire her from morning 'til night.