Cantonese traditions get a modern upgrade and ace riverside views
Riverside dining in Bangkok should, ideally, tick several boxes: An address at an impressive hotel, an ear-popping elevator ride that delivers well-heeled diners to a grand dining room, bird’s-eye views of the Chao Phraya River (bonus points for floor-to-ceiling windows), and, of course, food so good you almost forget to take photos before you eat. Silver Waves, a stylish Cantonese restaurant at the elegant Chatrium Riverside Hotel, delivers all in spades.
Extra-crisp linens adorn well-spaced tables that are large enough to accommodate groups, and the vaulted ceilings, curvature of the dining room, and Instagram-worthy panoramas add to the impressive look and feel. The usual Chinese decorating tropes, like red lanterns and ornamental dragons, are noticeably absent and instead, the décor adheres to a muted colour scheme of warm blues and deep wood accents, which allows the views to hold court.
Like the decoration, the Cantonese cuisine adds modern touches to a classical base under the watchful eye of Chef Wilach Hemuthai. The Isaan-born chef cut his teeth at some of Thailand’s top hotel chains, like the Shangri-La, Mandarin Oriental, and Anantara, and did a stint on Iron Chef Thailand before he was appointed Chinese Chef at Silver Waves in early 2017.
Kick things off with one of the chef’s more avant-garde dishes: Deep-Fried Tiger Prawns with Wasabi Sauce and Watermelon (B650). The prawns retain a crisp exterior without compromising on the flavour and juiciness of the meat, and while the warm wasabi sauce bordered on overwhelming at times, the fresh, cool melon pleasingly cut through the spice. Next, sway back into a more traditional lane with the Wok-Fried Snow Fish with Salt and Pepper (B940), which is sweet and flavourful, with a not-too-crispy exterior and fish that flakes into tender bites with a simple prod of a chopstick.
The signature dish of the venerable chef is his Peking Duck Served in Three Courses (B1,750). The terse description belies the complexity of flavours, and the oolong tea-infused duck is carved tableside and—as tradition begs—is served with spring onions, paper-thin homemade pancakes, and a deliciously thick plum sauce. After carving, the duck breast is sautéed with whole black pepper kernels, and the drumstick is braised for 20 hours and served with a warm and nourishing vegetable soup.
If huger still calls, the Pan-Fried Scallops (B840) with X.O. sauce and gingko nuts sit atop a dim sum-inspired turnip, which fuses the restaurant’s afternoon buffet specialty with the creative forces of the kitchen.
The chef’s cooking largely eschews expensive ingredients to focus instead on creating traditional and satisfying Cantonese dishes, and the all-you-can-eat afternoon dim sum is a testament to that. With more than forty selections on offer (B820 per person), it’s easy to see why this feast is perennially popular with holiday-goers and families. Book a private room for special occasions or business meetings.
By Ashley Niedringhaus
36F, Chatrium Riverside Hotel
18 Charoenkrung Rd.
Tel: 023 078 888, ext. 1948
Open daily: 11:30am-2:30pm, 6pm-10:30pm