Right Up your Street!
By Aiden Jewelle Gonzales
When The Standard, Bangkok Mahanakhon opened to much fanfare and acclaim, one of its biggest appeals, aside from its sky-high views and idiosyncratic charm, was its varied F&B options drawing on culinary traditions from around the world.
Having been thoroughly delighted by the others that I had visited, I was excited to check out Mott 32 Bangkok, which brings to Thailand for the first time the famed series of Mott 32 restaurants, named after the eponymous street in New York. The site of the city’s first Chinese convenience store, which was the seed that grew into New York’s celebrated Chinatown, the street’s rich history is honoured in every aspect of the restaurant; a true homage to Hong Kong culinary excellence and culture.
What struck me as I walked in was that although the space could easily have embraced kitsch and stereotypical when celebrating its Chinese roots, it exercises restraint and instead transports you to bygone times. Replete with warm, atmospheric lighting to set the mood, lending the wooden furnishings a golden glow, artistic references to the restaurant’s storied past can be seen in the hand-painted, black-and-white art
depicting a different era. Your eye is immediately drawn to the shining jewel of a bar in the middle of the room, with marble countertops and a rattan chandelier to lean into its timeless glamour, which is ringed by
seats so you can watch their skilled bartenders prepare their signature cocktails right in front of you.
FOOD AND DRINK
While the restaurant celebrates Cantonese cuisine, it also has influences from Beijing and Szechuan, as well as innovative and contemporary techniques, for a meal that’s truly Szechuan of a kind. I’m told that the provenance of the ingredients takes centre stage, with a keen focus on sustainability and ethical sourcing, with only the best ingredients from around the world, but especially local farms, to ensure quality.
First, we tried a selection of starters to whet our appetites, beginning with a textural and wholly unique plate of Fish maw jelly, Chinese marinade sauce, goji berry & mint (THB 780). Made with different parts of the fish, I was told that it was similar to a Lanna dish from the North, and stood out from anything I’d tasted before. For fans of shellfish, treat yourself to their Whole crispy abalone, salt & pepper (THB 1,380) a delectable portion of this rare delicacy.
Our favourite starter, however, was their perfectly-prepared Barbecue Iberico pork, yellow mountain honey (THB 1,680), which I always look for in a good Chinese restaurant. Melt-in-your-mouth and packed with the sweetness that one would expect from this dish, it was a struggle not to completely stuff ourselves before the mains arrived. One of their signature dishes, pre-order in advance to sample this treat.
For our mains, we tucked into their Signature smoked black cod (THB 1,480) which was coated in an extremely moreish sauce, while the smoked aftertaste undercut the natural sweetness of the tender fish; and of course, we couldn’t leave without sampling their Apple wood roasted 42 days peking duck “signature mott 32 cut” (THB 1,980).
A famed dish that the Mott 32 restaurants are known for, and rightfully so, we were delighted to have the expected and skilled tableside service carving out the duck in front of us. The meat was extremely tender, a by-product of the slow roast, and the sauce pairing was rich and potent; definitely an indulgence that you can’t miss out on, so pre-order the dish in advance. The restaurant also has a plant-based version (THB 980) so vegetarians need not miss out.
Finally, we sampled their desserts, staring with their Almond & chocolate, “oolong tea xiao long bao” (THB 300 for four pieces) which charmed us with their individual packages resembling mini-baskets. Not too sweet and
scrumptious, they were far too easy to eat by the mouthful. For something a little less rich, opt for the sweetened guava soup, sago, pomelo (THB 220) which was surprisingly refreshing and an unusual flavour combination that nevertheless worked wonders.
Of course, don’t forget to pair your meal with any of their signature cocktails. The Hanami (THB 460), composed of bourbon, gin, umeshu, yuzu, shiso, and dried chrysanthemum garnish, packed a punch as
expected, but went down like a dream – deadly in the best way. For something a little sweeter, the Forbidden rose (THB 420) is comprised of vanilla-infused pisco, passionfruit, and lychee, for a fruity and delicious concoction, with chilli and lemon to cut through the flavours.
For those who prefer something less alcoholic, they also have a selection of signature Mottails which are equally as delicious.
The Signature Phuket Lobster “Ma Po Tofu” (THB 2,680) was the unanimous favourite of the night, composed of a heartwarming stew of whole lobster and tender tofu which packed a punch, with the perfect combination of sweet, sour, salty, savoury, and spicy.
MOTT 32 BANGKOK
2nd Floor, The Standard,
114 Narathiwas Road, Silom,
Bangrak, Bangkok 10500
Open daily from 11.30am to 2.30pm for lunch; 5.30pm to 10.30pm for dinner
Tel: 02 085 8888