It’s yacht dreams are made of!
By Aiden Jewelle Gonzales
I’ll admit, when I first heard of the newly-opened Siam Yacht Club by the Chao Phraya River, on the basis of its name alone, I expected nothing less than luxe trappings (in maritime blue and white, of course); exceptional hospitality; and the very best of food and drink for its exclusive clientele. While my expectations were lofty, they were certainly not disappointed. On the Ground floor of the well-established and beloved riverside property, Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers, this brand-new drinking and dining spot aims to bring together the best of Bangkokian sophistication and entertainment; an oasis where you can let your troubles float away on the River of Kings.
Perched by the river, the Siam Yacht Club is deceptively capacious, with a glut of indoor and outdoor dining spaces for groups of all shapes and sizes. A wooden deck overlooks the river, with marble-topped tables and comfortable yet refined seating, and a glass barrier so you can watch the boats and yes, yachts, glide by without obstruction. Around the corner is a stage for entertainment, and I’m told to visit on Wednesdays to Sundays as there will be a DJ for sundowners, as well as a live band with local talent featuring contestants from The Voice Thailand belting out the best of international and Thai hits.
Mathieu Bellec, the Cluster Executive Assistant Manager in charge of Food and Beverage at the resort, tells me that the vibes on those days are incomparable, while there is a regular rotation of other events, including bar takeovers by renowned mixologists, concerts, and more music-related happenings.
By the stage is a more intimate haven under the trees, with an al fresco bar and room for people to enjoy the outdoors while still sheltered from the sun. Meanwhile, the indoor space features a live kitchen, soothing shades of white and blue to keep with the theme, and patterned tiles to draw interest. If you’re looking to host a private dinner party, their Captain Bush Room, with genuine maritime knickknacks and recessed lighting that brings to mind the interior of a ship, can hold 12 pax, with a THB 25,0000 minimum spend. It’s recommended that you book two weeks in advance as the space is popular among business groups and more.
FOOD AND DRINK
“The food here is inspired by the river, which has a long history as part of numerous trade routes,” Mathieu tells me. Focusing on Asian flavours while using European techniques to keep the integrity of the ingredients, every choice is intentional, from the aromatic herbs, to the spices that came to Thailand from 16th Century Portugal, to the kind of seafood used in any given dish.
We started our meal off with their refreshing Broccolini (THB 398) salad to whet our appetite, comprised of fresh asparagus and arugula, with green apple for a touch of piquancy and white balsamic to bring together the dish. Next, the Ahi tuna (THB 298), made of a volcano maki, was one of my personal favourites. Comprised of perfect morsels of delicious lean tuna slices and burnt sriracha to make it moreish, I couldn’t get nearly enough of this bite-sized treat.
As an unashamed seafood lover, their SYC Oysters Pick of the Week (THB 328/528/798 for 3/6/12 pieces, respectively) is not to be missed. Generously sized and pre-shucked, their quintessential briny zest is offset by your choice of red wine mignonette or seafood sauce. If you couldn’t get enough of that purported aphrodisiac, however, worry not, as you can order the SYC seafood tower (THB 2,698) which is three tiers of succulent seafood treats, from lobsters, to outsized tiger prawns and river prawns (considered a prestigious delicacy), to oysters, mudcrab, and mussels galore. You also have three sauces to choose from, and as someone who likes her food a little saucy, I was in Heaven – everything complemented the dishes perfectly.
As we moved on to the mains, already half-stuffed with the delicious fare, I was especially impressed by the Paccheri (THB 498), a beautifully-presented feast for the eyes, with edible foam and a soft-shelled crab that I was told was especially chosen for its crunch. A pasta dish inspired by Ang Mo Kio in Singapore, the subtle sweetness of the crab meat was brought out to best effect by their preparation methods. If you’re looking for something more classic, the SYC burger (THB 498) made with minced Wagyu, spicy mayo, and smoked provolone cheese will hit the spot, with a perfectly-baked brioche bun and parmesan frites to pair.
Finally, their Spring lamb, silver fern farm (THB 1,498), using grass-fed lamb imported from New Zealand, was a fall-off-the-bone delight. Cooked in just the right way, my colleague who is hesitant about red meat was especially impressed with how its gamey flavour didn’t overpower the dish.
Of course, we couldn’t end our meal without sampling their desserts, and we started with their artful Red hot chilli chocolate (THB 298), comprised of a dark chocolate treat wrapped in a carmine chilli shell that packs a surprising punch. Edible flowers and fruits make it an indulgence for your eyes as well. Meanwhile, their Coconut pannacotta (THB 298) is a refreshing take on the traditional dish, with Thai flavours giving it an unusual twist.
No riverside haunt is complete without tipples that you can sip by the water, and the cocktails at the restaurant are worth the (metaphorical) price of admission alone. With a mixology team from France, each drink is perfectly balanced and dangerously good, starting with their Smooth sailing (THB 398) cocktail, which true to its name, is comprised of velvety-smooth Kakubin Japanese whisky offset with Thai tea and lime. All their drinks use local spirits – for example, the Catamaran (THB 398), refreshing to the extreme with mint and pineapple, is Phraya rum-based; whereas their Light house (THB 428), a personal favourite as I’m an incorrigible gin gal, is made with Saneha gin.
The Calamaretti (THB 498), made with immense and juicy white prawns, baby squid, and mussels. The sauce, which channels tom yum flavours, is delectable, while the combination of seafood makes for an appetising dish that you won’t want to put down.
SIAM YACHT CLUB
Ground Floor, Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers 2 Charoen Krung Road Soi 30 (Captain Bush Lane), Siphya, Bangrak Bangkok, Thailand 10500
Open daily from 5pm to 1am Tel: 02 266 0123
Facebook and Instagram: @SiamYachtClub