LIU Restaurant - Keeping Classic Cantonese Flavour Right

IU Restaurant in Conrad Bangkok is an eponymous Chinese restaurant that has been popular over the years in Bangkok because of the diversify of the menu that has been influenced from various regions in China especially its Cantonese gastronomic cooking that delivers and endures with such a classic flavour. mylifestylenews writes.

Located on the third floor of the hotel, it is an easy passage from the hotel lobby up the elevator and then at one end of the corridor you can’t possibly miss the entrance by its hue of red design settings. “LIU” literary translates as the weeping willows or the Liuzhou city of China hang on the stone wall on a transparent frame is clearly seen. The qui sait “neo-classic” Chinese fit-out and interior of LIU Restaurant is pretty full-on and the rather congested table setting that may look a little dated with the mid century style of chunky chairs sat with red silk and Chinese motif cushions, yet, LIU Restaurant does not try to be cutting edge new, but stays grounded in tradition with an abundant use of the auspicious red colour, traditionally styled antique Chinese furniture and an overt use of lanterns and hanging lamps throughout the entire restaurant.

The space is broken up with brick and wood separating the main dining area with various VIP rooms for a more intimate dining, decorated with metres high wild branches of pussy willows to add a more dramatic ambience alongside with other Oriental decorative ornaments. Overly dimmed and warm lightings also don’t help to add any vibes to the entire ambience as well as the dulled and old-fashioned piped-in Chinese instrumental music played in the background. A typical yesteryear Chinese restaurant that is more than satisfactory for locals and tourists alike for the stereotypical look of past century celebrated Chinese restaurant design and décor.

Nonetheless, the focus for dining in LIU Restaurant is their incredibly extensive menu that is rooted in the traditions of Chinese food, covering north to south. It takes the majority of its distinctive influence especially from Cantonese cuisine, reformed and modified from Sichuan, Shanghai, Beijing and Yunan as well as a hint of Thai flavour.

With Dim Sum being a well know drawcard for lunch, plus you can order a few selected Dim Sum dishes for dinner in which not many traditional Chinese restaurants would offer Dim Sum dishes for dinner, and then you have the length and breadth of cuisine which makes it difficult to decide what to order, as we had to focus on a good cross selection to savour and understand the Chef’s talent and ability for delivering the restaurant’s authenticity at its best.

<Double Boiled Fish Maw Soup with Sea Conch, Dried Scallop & Black Garlic>
A classic clear broth that is utterly tasty, rich in flavour and light on the palate extracted all the nutrients and flavours from the premium ingredients used. Simply comforting and enjoyable and a perfect way to warm up the appetite.

<Steamed Minced Shrimp & Scallop Dumplings with Mayonnaise Dressing>
Two giant pieces of shrimp “Siu Mai” topped with fresh scallops that was juicy and extremely tasty. It may be too big for a one go mouth full yet it is certainly an added value Dim Sum dish to order.
<Steamed Shrimp Dumpling with Squid Paste>
This ‘black’ Har Gau is another eye-catching dish of its very striking presentation due to the ink squid paste used. While it may not add any distinctive flavour to the shrimp fillings yet it was perfectly steamed for a delicious bite.
<Steamed Shrimp Dumpling Topped with Salmon Roe>
Another bright and colorful basket of steamed shrimp dumpling topped with salmon roe was served. A generous three pieces of silky thin layer of rice dough wrapped with shrimps and steamed to the right texture.

<Steamed Rice Flour Rolls filled with Crispy Spring Roll>
Another highlight from the Dim Sum selection was this “Cheung Fun” in red rice paste wrapping being one of our all-time favorites. Its crunchy inner deep-fried dough being perfectly crispy as it should be, double wrapped over the fresh and delicate prawns filling that creates quite a delight in texture and exceedingly flavoursome.

<Crispy Glutinous Dumpling with Salted Lemon & Dried Shrimp “Ham Siu Gok”>
Presented in a Kum Kuat in shape and topped with mint leaves to give a more attractive presentation to this execution. Such an attractive look and executed on point – crispy on the outside and soft and tasty on the inside, the sticky glutinous texture was done al-dente and chewy at the same time on the palate which is the soul and essential must-have texture for this dish. A must-order.

<Shredded Spring Roll filled with Seafood & Mango>
This airy, flaky and light crisp of shredded spring roll is another wonderful appetizer to whet your appetite. Never mind its orangey roe garnish but the mango and seafood filling blended well with the golden spring roll infused with wasabi which is not that pungent and yet deliver a good kick to this creation.

<Peking Duck Roll & BBQ Pork>
LIU Restaurant version of Peking Duck roll is another innovative presentation with immaculately sliced of crispy duck skin sits on top and outside of the pancake. Superb! Equally tasty was the pork with a crispy skin on top and juicy, tender layer of meat and fat to follow through on the palate. Yum!

<Homemade Seaweed Bean Curd topped with Crab Meat & Crab Roe>
The tofu is incredibly silken in texture and so soft and cannot be faulted. Spears of asparagus was a nice cleansing touch as the crab meat and sauce are quite rich and dominating!
<Japanese Kurobuta Pork Ribs> - Seasonal Dish
Hot and sizzling! Five meaty Japanese Kurobuta pork ribs sits on a heavy and steamy lava stone alongside with some broccoli while it was presented to the table. The marinated meat was slow cooked to bring out the smoky flavour and the quality of the meat shining through, it was so tender and just fell off the bone. We suggest to enjoy it right away while the meat sitting on the lava stone continues to cook and to prevent it from getting further burnt or destroying the quality of the texture.

<“Dong Po” Pork Belly stewed in Chinese Wine>
This dish has one of the most stunning presentations. The pork belly has been braised in Chinese wine, sweet, thick and dark soy sauce and a few spices for a very long period time for its tender texture of the meat and also allows the meat to absorb fully from the condiments that creates a subtle yet distinctive flavour. The meat literally falls apart at the touch of a chopstick for the melt-in-your-mouth effect and the best accompaniment of steamed & deep-fired “Manto” buns and one of each was hung on a special serving dish through stainless steel spears for such impressive presentation. Expect a hint of sweetness from this dish as the caramelized sugar reduction onto the sauce is the way to enjoy this century old classic recipe. Simply divine!

<Fried Egg Noodles with Cuttle Fish, Tiger Prawns & Scallops>
This is an all-time favourite noodle dish of ours and it did not fail, with slightly chewy noodles, fried egg and other ingredients to create a harmonious flavour with a touch of dark soy and the balance of expertise was just right!

<Chilled Fresh Mango Pudding with Condensed Milk>
Unfortunately, the dessert has no surprises here and the mango with artificial texture and factory taste like palate did not win our heart that cannot be tweaked beyond the borders of the ingredients. Passed!

Overall, the evening was still quite enjoyable, although some of the dishes were very safe and predictable in taste, but there were some unexpected highlights that created a ‘WOW’ moment on the plate and on the palate, so there is the occasional spark of culinary genius and the ability to use high quality ingredients to create a special moment. You could argue that you are in Bangkok and just want to enjoy classic Chinese cuisine that hits the mark without surprising because you want comfort food and this is where LIU restaurant culinary team strive to excel. They have a very strong lunch market for Dim Sum and having tried some quintessential dishes they can punch above their weight in the food stakes, but maybe need more diners to challenge them, as it was near empty on the night we dined.

Subsequently, the attentive service could not be faulted especially we had Khun Lek who looked after our table without hurrying the delivery of the dishes to the table and gave us plentiful time to enjoy every moment and to admire and savour each dish presented. LIU Restaurant still deserves a round of applause by staying truthful to its authenticity of bringing classic Chinese/Cantonese flavour to win the Bangkokians’ demanding palate as well as looking after those who crave to have a typical Chinese meal that warms your heart and doesn’t veer too much off the beaten track. Recommended!

Tried & Tested:
Location: 4/5
Design & Decor: 4/5
Service: 4.5/5
Food & Beverage: 4/5
Value For Money: 4.5/5
Experience: 4/5

3rd Floor, 87 Wireless Road, 
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.

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