The diversified menu from LIU Restaurant in Conrad Bangkok takes the majority of its distinctive influence from Cantonese cuisine, reformed and modified from Sichuan, Shanghai, Beijing and Yunan as well as a hint of Thai flavour. mylifestylenews writes.
Thai food is no doubt the all time favorite that delights every visitor’s palate when they come to Bangkok. But, with such a vast variety of international gastronomy booming into the Bangkok dining scene, Chinese cuisine also stands in a respectable place that warms the hearts of the locals, thanks to the earlier immigrants who passed on this auspicious heritage and tradition by bringing endless delectable and authentic feasts to our table.
The neo-classic LIU Restaurant in Conrad Bangkok is with no exception, headed by Hong Kong native Chef Jacky Chan who blends the culture and cuisine of old China with a diverse contemporary interpretation, leveraging the knowledge and know-how from his native Canton region of China.
Tucked away on the 3rd floor, the word “LIU” in Chinese – literary translated as the weeping willows or the Liuzhou city of China - hangs on the stone wall on a transparent frame and is clearly seen. The juxtaposition of the see-through curtain drapes in auspicious red hue and the wild branches of pussy willows parenthesized into a pond of cobble stones at the entrance and around the corners creates a dramatic mood to the entire restaurant. Dim lighting gives an atmospheric surrounding with space out round tables in red and dark solid wood accompanied by mid century style Chinese antique chairs with silk cushions and plush pillows for further comfort.
In most Chinese and especially Cantonese cuisine, it always has something for every palate and every occasion, with over 30 years of his culinary experience in acclaimed kitchens of China and Thailand, Chef Chan not only reigns supreme over the wok at LIU but is also responsible for all the Chinese dishes served throughout the hotel. From Cantonese Dim Sum (even served over dinner) to infamous dishes from different regions of China, Chef Chan’s menu is indeed quite extensive and we picked a few signature dishes and other recommendations by the manager to venture into the gastronomy journey.
<Steamed Minced Pork Dumplings “Sui Mai” with Trio Topping of Salmon Roes, Shrimp Roes & X.O. Sauce>
We started with some Dim Sum orders as snacks. This Siu Mai came in two giant pieces that were fresh and quite meaty. The full-on toppings were certainly an added value. The
<Deep-Fried Salmon and Wasabi Spring Rolls>
The spring rolls with additional wasabi mayonnaise sauce is another delightful snack that was deep-fried till light crispy texture.
<Steamed Rice Flour with Shrimp & Chive>
This was our favorite. Silky thin layer of rice dough wrapped with shrimps (diced size of prawns) and chive steamed to the right texture and well presented on unconventional long ceramic plate and well garnished with snow pea served on a side of home-made soy sauce. A must order from LIU’s Dim Sum menu.
<Double-boiled Blacked Chicken & Fish Maw Soup with Chinese Herbs>
Most Hong Kong Chefs that have expertise in Cantonese food are well-trained by making soups for its clear and tasty broth to maximize the flavours from the ingredients used. This double-boiled blacked chicken & fish maw soup with Chinese herbs was simply comforting.
<Poached Sichuan Style Farm Chicken>
Also named as “Salivating Chicken”, this poached Sichuan Farm Chicken catches our eyes from the menu renowned for its pungent, oily and the unique Sichuan peppery sauce in which every Chef has their preferred way or secret recipe to present this popular on demand dish. To our disappointment, the sauce was too sweet, lacking in complexity and the kick from the chili, plus there wasn’t any numbness after taste from the pepper either despite this being highlighted when we placed the order. The chicken was tender enough and yet this dish is best served lightly chilled instead of in a lukewarm temperature.
<Barbecued Crispy Pork Belly>
We moved on to the barbecued crispy pork belly. The right part of the pork belly chosen to barbecue this dish is essential and in order to get the right balance from the five layers of fat and meat in between the belly is the best way to enjoy this barbecue dish. It takes some special technical attentions to juggle the fire to avoid the pork belly skin being burnt and the inside meat is not overcooked. Liu’s version of crispy pork belly may not be the best we have had but golden thick pork belly skin was done to the right crispiness and the five-spice marinades did not over power the entire palate. Worth ordering!
<Traditional Roasted Whole Peking Duck>
Being one of the highlights in LIU’s menu, this roasted Beijing duck in Hong Kong Style has its hits and misses. The meat (breast meat) was beautifully sliced and presented on a round plate and topped with spring onion, cucumber, honeydew and sliced chili accompanied by homemade pancake together with tamarind sauce. The pancake and the tamarind sauce were not to our liking, thick elastic dough was used instead of thin sliced and almost transparent steamy pan cake that really kills the palate by enjoying this traditional delicacy. The sweetness of the tamarind sauce also did not highlight nor accompany well with the entire duck and other condiments. We ended up eating the duck separately without the pancake and tamarind sauce despite defeating the purpose by enjoying this comestible duck dish.
<Sizzling Stuffed Eggplant & Minced Pork with Black Bean Sauce>
To our surprise, this sizzling stuffed eggplants with minced pork in black bean sauce was really tasty and gave us back some good memories just like grandma’s recipes that comforted our souls when this dish was cooked.
<Braised Bean Curd with Minced Pork in Sichuan pepper “Ma La” Sauce>
This infamous Sichuan “Ma La” (Spicy and numb) style tofu is hard to get right for its complex taste on the palate with all the spices and ingredients used and having the magic to wanting you to keep scooping it to your mouth unstoppably and it really reflects the chef’s skill by presenting this dish to perfection. Silky bean curd is used here to get the smooth texture, by the look at the color and presentation, you may want to further order a bowl of steam rice to go with it. Chef Chan’s version of “Ma La” braised bean curd did not satisfy us for its bland taste without much excitement that could make your tongue dance.
<Steamed Sticky Rice with Crab Meat & Dried Shrimp in Bamboo Basket>
This dish was highly recommended by the manager. The steamed sticky rice came in perfectly moist and yet each grain was beautifully separated for a refined texture. A very generous portion of hand-pulled crab meat spread all over the browned sticky rice was steamed on a fragrant lotus leaf in a bamboo basket that gives an authenticity in taste and presentation. Don’t miss out!
<Chilled Fresh Mango Pudding>
When dessert was offered, the signature chilled fresh mango pudding was our priority. A bed of diced mango with artificial texture and factory taste like palate did not win our heart especially when it was from the chef’s recommendation.
<Black Sesame dumplings in Ginger Soup>
This classic after meal dessert was too sugary from its syrup soup. A half gentle bite of the dumpling had stopped us to finish the unpleasant fillings and hard dough from the dumpling.
Dining in LIU’s is like a roller coaster ride. One minute it surprises you and takes you up to the top and the next moment it slopes down without any warning. There is plenty of comfort food that will make you smile after enjoying it, as it is like soul food, it comforts and settles you. LIU’s menu covers a vast variety of Chinese specialties from various regions and somehow there is a lack of oversight for what needs to be looked into and done well. We only had the tip of the iceberg from the menu and we look forward to coming back for more of Chef Chan’s exquisite creations.
Tried & Tested:
Design & Decor: 4/5
Food & Beverage: 3.5/5
Value For Money: 4.5/5
3rd Floor, 87 Wireless Road,
Phatumwan, Bangkok Thailand
Phatumwan, Bangkok Thailand
Tel: +66 2 690 9999
Reviews are based on actual day of visit and experience. mylifestylenews reserves the right of final decision in case of any disputes. All images are photographed by mylifestylenews team without any photoshop enhancement and are the property owned by mylifestylenews unless otherwise stated.