Traditional Cantonese cuisine served in a contemporary setting
The Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park Hotel’s upscale Chinese restaurant Pagoda is one of the newest additions to the city’s dining scene. The restaurant, still in its soft-opening, serves traditional Cantonese cuisine in a contemporary setting. The spacious eatery is spread across a main dining room, with seven adjoining private rooms that come with their own wait staff. The interiors balance chinoiserie elements such as lanterns, Oriental ceramics, and lattice woodwork with non-traditional touches like vintage gothic chandeliers, bright wallpapers, and throw pillows. The modern eatery exudes a warm and familial ambience, steering clear of the cliché red—and we are truly thankful for that.
The kitchen here is manned by Executive Chef Oscar Pun from Hong Kong, whose culinary expertise spans over 30 years and at several Michelin-starred restaurants across Southeast Asia. At Pagoda, he teams up with Restaurant Manager Piyanan ‘Pui’ Karawa to create a menu that focuses on healthy Cantonese cuisine that retains its authenticity and flavours.
As is customary, we begin with a range of dim sums that we pair with Seven Angels (B120), one of their many fine selections of premium teas. The first to arrive is Gold Fish Wanton (B120), with shrimp roe in Sichuan sauce. True to their name, the dumplings are delicately shaped to resemble the fish, which is a fun touch. Up next, Steamed Rice Rolls Stuffed with Crispy Prawns (B150) doused with generous amounts of black vinegar sauce. The last in this course are the Wantons with Fresh Prawn (B150), soaked in a peppery Sichuan sauce. One bite and the piquant flavours of ingredients, which include star anise and peppercorns, will guarantee a memorable sensation on your palate. To complement all of these striking flavours, we highly recommend the Double-Boiled Fish Maw Soup (B680), made with the earthy and fragrant morel mushrooms. It’s the perfect combination.
This is followed by Chef Oscar’s signature Crispy Pork (B400) which we enjoyed with Pagoda’s Rosella Tea Soda (B100). The delicious offering is served alongside mustard sauce which, the chef tells me, is how locals in his home town pair it. The skin of the pork is thin and the meat, succulent and juicy. This perfection is achieved by the process of ‘slow’ baking the dish three times.
For the mains, we sample bites of flavorsome Baked Cod (B980) paired with fluffed egg whites, and topped with balsamic vinegar—“it’s his favourite,” Pui informs us. The light batter, sans oil, makes this one a healthy option. We then see Chef bring his local inspiration to the table with Steamed Sticky Rice with Crab Meat (B1,900), served in a bamboo basket. For that extra flavour we are recommended to team that with seasoned minced pork that is served in a crab shell. This one was a definite winner across the table. We accompanied this final dish with the simple yet delectable al dente, Stir-Fried Okra with Lao Gan Ma Spicy Sauce (B320).
By Reena Karim
Pagoda Chinese Restaurant
4F, Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park Hotel
199, Sukhumvit Soi 22
Tel: 02 059 5999