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Monday 10 June 2019

New Bangkok hotel aims to entice guests with authentic cuisine

A new luxury Bangkok hotel will focus on the rich cultural and culinary heritage of Charoenkrung, the charming and rapidly re-emerging riverside neighbourhood in which it is situated.

Capella Bangkok is a luxurious new boutique retreat nestled on the east bank of the legendary “River of Kings”, the Chao Phraya.

Charoenkrung was one of Bangkok’s main thoroughfares up until the early 20th century, when trade and traffic still depended on the river.

For centuries, new settlers docked on the shores of the Chao Phraya and Charoenkrung became a bubbling melting pot of races, religions and cuisines.

It retains this vibrant character to this day.

Capella Bangkok’s head Thai chef, Wichian Trirattanavatin, was born in Charoenkrung.

Chef Lek, as he is better known, has a lifelong connection with the neighbourhood; as a child he toured the area’s bustling markets and “hole in the wall” restaurants with his father, who worked as a chef in the area for 40 years.

Many of the street food stalls and shophouse restaurants he frequented as a boy are still open today – often run by the same people – and he still pays them regular visits on his trusty scooter.

“It’s the sights, the sounds, the smells and above all the moments that make this place truly special,” chef Lek says. “There’s so much food here; so much variety. And each dish, every recipe, tells its own story.

"Charoenkrung is part of my soul, so it is a great honour to introduce the cuisine of my home to international guests. Charoenkrung has always welcomed the world and Capella Bangkok will continue this proud legacy.”

Guests can discover a wide variety of street food snacks and authentic dishes on the streets of Charoenkrung, many of which have their roots in other countries and cultures. Chinese noodles, south-east Asian satay and Indian curry puffs are all handmade for hungry locals, alongside classic Thai snacks such as moo ping (grilled pork skewers) and sai oua (Thai sausages).

Many of the family-run stalls can trace their roots back multiple generations.

Capella Bangkok aims to deliver authentic dining experiences that are woven into the fabric of the destination.

Following in his father’s footsteps, Chef Lek will combine old school recipes and fresh ingredients with contemporary cooking techniques to elevate local cuisine.

John Blanco, general manager of Capella Bangkok, said: “At Capella Bangkok, we are focused on creating luxurious and highly authentic experiences that echo the traditions of our destination. Whether it is through art, entertainment or cuisine, we strive to showcase the rich culture of the Charoenkrung district.

"Our cuisine will reflect the re-awakening of this captivating Charoenkrung neighbourhood.”

The Capella personal assistants will help guests at Capella Bangkok craft their own local experiences, providing first-hand encounters with resident luminaries and inspiring them to create and share their own memories about one of the the city’s most intriguing enclaves.

Capella Bangkok, opening in the fourth quarter of 2019, will offer 101 suites and the city’s first riverfront villas located within the Chao Phraya Estate, a waterfront land development.

There will be unobstructed views of the river from every room and the luxury property will also features a signature restaurant curated by Michelin-starred Argentine-born, French-based chef Mauro Colagreco.

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