A gem on the river
Angelini’s gargantuan proportions – all statues quepillars and three-storey picture windows – are in keeping with the sweeping riverside setting. Yet the restaurant sports a casual tone, with generous plain wood tables free of linen, and a simple tile motif that repeats throughout, increasing in size from floor to pillars,to the over hang on the open kitchen and the ceiling, wherea translucent glow instills a fabric quality to flat, square light shades.
Diners’ chat bounces around the room on bright acoustics, along with swing era pop standards from the pianist and singer playing on the ground floor. There are seats down there, although most people sit on the mezzanine or beneath the palm trees on the more romantic terrace, overlooking a floodlit pool and the rumbling Chao Phraya.
Chef Omar Ugoletti – schooled as a boy in his father’s pizzeria – arrived at the end of last year after a stint as chef de cuisine at Cépe Restaurant, in The Ritz Carlton, Beijing. His well-drilled staff know something about the food they serve and make sensible suggestions for accompanying wines. An impressive 29 labels by the glass (B350++-B1,260++) include sparklers and desserts, with interesting choices such as the Moscatel-Gewurz blend of Torres Vina Esmeralda (B520/B2,600++) and Chianti Classico Peppoli (B580/B2,900++).
A leisurely stroll through the menu starts in the Garden of Lobster (B720++), a light, fresh plate of contrasting leaf colours to enhance tomato jelly, beads of salmon roe and meaty pink lobster flesh. Move on through a terrine of foie gras (B580++) served inside a slice of baked apple, the surface caramelised with a touch of sugar, and on the side a mini foie gras sandwich.
For a good main course there’s melt in the mouth beef cheek (B720++), slow braised in a rich, sticky Barolowine sauce and served with creamy polenta and tuber vegetables, and, to end, a white chocolate mousse with citrus and mint granite (B280++) decorated with fresh berries and cocoa spaghetti.
Located beside Saphan Taksin, Angelini is a cinch toget to by boat or skytrain, and the express way is nearby if you’re coming by road.
The Shangri-la Hotel
89 Soi Wat Suan Plu | 02-236-9952 | bangkokriversidedining.com | 6:30-10:30pm