The legendary Thai lifestyle of days gone by, restored in all its glory
Translated from Thai, thiptara means “water from the heavens”. Set in the midst of a lush tropical garden alongside the Chao Phraya River, and surrounded by majestic banyan trees, the aptly named Thiptara restaurant at The Peninsula Bangkok hotel transports its guests to the era of King Rama IV with its elegant charm, antique furnishings, traditional artwork and architecture, as well as its cuisine. Being on the Thonburi side of the river too, it’s easy to forget about modern day Bangkok from the moment you arrive.
The venue itself seats approximately 60 people and offers both open-air riverside seating, sporting magnificent views of the famed ‘River of Kings’, as well as covered seating in teak salas—which are more suited for Bangkok’s unpredictable rainy season. A traditional khim player adds to the authentic ambience, as the instrument’s melodic sounds whisk you away to a bygone time and place.
In a celebration of Thai made products, every Thursday the restaurant showcases a selected Thai alcohol, including beer, wine, or spirits. On the evening of our visit we were welcomed with rum and vodka based cocktails as well as a savoury spin on the traditional dessert cho muang, steamed flower-shaped dumplings.
The menu features traditional dishes from across the four regions of Thailand, including spicy salads, fish and shellfish, curries, and desserts. We began our meal with two light salads: Yum Som O Goong Phao (B440) featuring pomelo (from the Nakhon Chai Si District of Nakhon Pathom province), grilled prawns, roasted coconut, and shallots; and Yum Tua Pu (B420), a spicy wing bean salad with ground pork and prawns, roasted chili paste, soft boiled egg, roasted coconut, crispy garlic, and shallots. Both dishes combine together to form a beautiful blend of textures and flavours. The pomelo salad is smoky and mild, while the wing bean salad is sweet and spicy, and the two together present a marriage of perfectly balanced flavours.
We followed our salads with a selection of curries and fish. Gaeng Phed Ped Yang (B460) featuring the chef’s signature roasted duck simmered in red curry with sweet basil and eggplant, and Gaeng Massaman Nua (B520), the famous Southern-style beef curry with peanut, potatoes, and shallots. Both came highly recommended, but the standout dish of the night was the Pla Hima Sam Rod (B820), the chef’s signature deep-fried Atlantic snow fish with a spicy sweet and sour sauce—crunchy and pungent yet beautifully soft and delicate. A choice of white or brown rice is served with all main dishes.
For dessert, a must-try is the signature Khaoniew Mamuang (B350), the famous Thai mango and sticky rice with coconut cream dish. The sweetness of the mango and coconut cream suited us well after the spicy curries and fish mains.
All too soon the evening came to an end and we reluctantly boarded the hotel shuttle boat to take us not only across the river, but back to the present day too.
By Kelly Harvey
Garden Level, The Peninsula Bangkok
333 Charoen Nakorn Rd.
Tel: 02 020 2888
Open daily: 6pm-10:30pm