There is a real endorphin rush when a new and talk-of-the-town restaurant opens and with the level of anticipation that makes it even more exciting, Ang Morr made a stylish entrance to Sukhumvit precinct with a touch of Chinoiserie culinary and a further enhancement of a delightful presentation that will have you wandering for the lust of desire for an alternative nouvelle dining experience for a craving of all things Chinois with fondest nostalgic memories in Bangkok. mylifestylenews writes.
Ang Morr literary translates as “Red Hair” referencing those farangs - foreigners mainly referred to Westerners living or visiting in Thailand and most often being described of their natural red hair kind and breed from the west. This astonishing concept of wine and dine establishment retraces the long and diverse history of foreign food culture in Thailand, paying esteem homage to the time honoured “Cook Shop” recipes and culinary culture where dishes looked Western but had distinctly Chinese flavour that redefines this unique mixture of Western, Chinese and Thai tastes enhanced by a sensible and elegant arty “Chinois Chic” interpretation to its carefully and playfully crafted menu that re-opens your eyes with envious curiosity to savour the gastronomy that you may think you knew to a familiar welcome.
Such “Cook Shop” culinary culture can be traced back to the King Rama IV era at a time when Western expats settled in the Thai Kingdom and recruited Chinese chefs to cook for them and the whole concept for this newly created brand is based on the delicious memory of Thailand’s first generation farang food by a Chinese Chef - “The Cook Shop” – in a modern bistro setting. The reason for opening Ang Morr was due to a family decision and the chef’s ability to cook Thai Chinese food and we are all the better for it, because they have so much to offer discerning palates. Having become well acquainted with both Thai and Chinese cuisines.
We were excited to see what the chef had created and chose a good cross section of menu items to delight in the “Cook Shop” dishes, definitely not old school but on the contrary reflecting the palates of today while offering a glimpse into the past. Yuki Srikanchana of The creative Nara Thai Cuisine group has done it again alongside with creative director Bhanu Inkawat setting the stage for a new dining adventure.
The bustling and chic Sukhumvit neighbourhood is always well loved by the tourists and sophisticated locals alike for its range of amenities and easy connections to Siam precinct and the rest of Bangkok’s hangouts. Beacon of light - in a tranquil residential rural setting in soi Sukhumvit 38 is this ingenious conversation that ignores the obvious in favour of design that elevates functionality as well as beauty. The charm begins from the outside of an almost hidden stunning piece of architecture with the external construct that seems to have been influenced by the 1960’s Palm Springs in California, with a space age type driveway entrance and round windows cut out of the concrete shell.
It is so arresting from the street frontage which creates intrigue for what will be found inside and the interiors are just as fascinating. With this eponymous restaurant chain in Bangkok just as much interest continues within, the luminous Ang Morr’s interiors pounds your heart with its beautifully decorated zones for every age of customer to enjoy any time of day. They have an open bakery kitchen on the left inside the entrance, so a feature that contributes throughout the day and plays an integral part in some of the dishes.
On entering the restaurant you have a fabulous view of the iconic and illuminated retro bar set up straight ahead that instantly attracts you to want a cocktail or many other choices of beverage, plus an amazing wine list at very affordable prices, including French Champagne of all things!
Ang Morr’s slick and stylish interior caters for a more casual and unpretentious dining. The atrium has a mid-century European cafe ambience with a duplex high ceiling, designer light fixture that resembles a starfish satellite that is quite luminous and inspiring to look at as well as patterned marble and mosaic flooring that wants you to recall the decadence of the Roaring Sixties that offers a sophisticated mod dining experience, elegantly upgraded.
Further in, another zone off to the right has fabulously vibrant botanical wall paper set in the 1960’s vivid Shanghai retro ambience corner to get you to travel back “In The Mood For Love”. Such an interior production set is well fitted to Ang Morr’s contemporary Chinoserie style and at the same time also works as “private” dining area for a more intimate group dining experience.
The sweeping staircase next to the stylish neon illuminated bar will to take you up to the mezzanine floor and access to the balcony to marvel the garden landscaping from atop which is another spot you have to chill and unwind. It is so much to soak in on first visit and to admire from this gorgeous conversion of an old mansion that was once an Italian restaurant as told. While new concept restaurants are multiplying in Bangkok, there’s a bold focus on mastering one thing, so the quality of food has to go hand-in-hand and while not being deceived by its attractive interior, Ang Morr’s menu focus is reintroduced to please the Bangkok gourmands by delivering original “Cook Shop” fare, familiar and nostalgia yet expressive Chinese dishes with a playful contemporary twist.
<Har Gau with Truffles>
This first dish arrived to our table and immediately caught everyone’s attention! Three reasonably sized “gold fishes” were moulded from the classic steamed prawn dumpling lively “swimming in the water” and presented on another elegant turquoise Chinaware sat on the bamboo basket. This most stunning presentation signature dish is often seen and popularized by many Instagrammers for this picture perfect opportunity. In addition, these essentially fancy prawn dumplings with truffle paste had such a playful and creative presentation with meaty prawn filling that oozed freshness. Just almost too delicate to eat but must enjoy it while it is still steamy!
<Chilled & Spicy Tofu Salad>
Comfort Chinese savory food with elevated presentation drenched with home-made Nam Jim dressing - a combination of birds eye chilies, garlic, fresh lime juice and fish sauce, topped with sprouts and crispy mushroom over the chilled and silky tofu to create yin and yang palate. This really piques the appetite to enjoy in every mouthful.
<Oolong Smoked Chicken Drumsticks with Himalayan Pink Salt>
What a triumph of flavour and quality meat this was! The ink-black Oolong tea leaves smoked chicken legs that creates the golden brown color and aroma, were adequately seasoned with the Himalayan pink slat, all of which is served with pickles and Sichuan pepper sauce presented on a vibrant rouge plate over a stoneware that creates the double effect of elevated vision which made this already delicious dish even more inviting. This is a stunning dish with incredibly tender chicken meat and perfectly smoked crispy skin with the smoky tea flavour. Encore!
<BBQ Pork Bun>
A rendition of the new style with a semi-crispy texture outside, a complex pork and sauce filling inside which is simply delicious. This nouvelle style of Char Siu Bao
is always our favourite and Ang Morr’s version did not disappoint especially with its moulded plum mandarin like presentation.
<Cook-Shop Steak Salad>
Never judge the book by its cover! The presentation of the meat may make you think that this is one of those tourist trap foods yet being laid on a classic Ang Morr’s tailor-made painted red peony oval plate. This is a dish of two different cultures married to each other. The menu states this is the first generation steak salad in Siam country, with the beef tenderloin steak fried until crispy outside and tender inside and served on a crispy iceberg lettuce bed with sliced tomato, onion rings and clear vinaigrette dressing. The beef is more traditional Chinese style in cooking with a wonderful crispy outside and still juicy inside that offers a complexity in taste.
Another classic “Cook Shop” recipe that is cooked in the Chinese way but tastes very western and is utterly delicious. This deliciousness comes with a lot of preparation, so this chunky oxtail is braised for six hours to bring you this clear broth of beef consommé with tomato and onion and with the addition of pasta (to satisfy your hungry stomach in the past) that adds another dimension. The stock base is packed with flavour thanks to the long cooking hours that is very much enjoyable and delightful. A truly savory palate cleanser!
<Chinese Chicken Curry served with Acar Pickles>
Rich and creamy yellow curried chicken drumsticks are served with Acar - Thai cucumber relish. The aroma of the curry smell is so good even before tasting it and is akin to the northern Thai Khao Soi, so unctuous in taste and flavour. Traditionally it would be eaten with rice, but Ang Morr’s way wants you to enjoy with fresh and sinful signature Ang Morr homemade bread with butter which is freshly made on the premises highlighting the quality and it is predictably delicious!
<Lotus Roots with Crispy Shrimp & Chillies>
Thin sliced lotus roots are half stir-fried and half deep-fried with shrimps, ginko nuts and crispy chillies to give you a combination of different crunchiness and crispiness on the palate served on a skillet pan. This is the all time comfort food that is delicious and is another simple pleasure that delights the dining experience. A must order!
<Fried Pork Chop & Green Peas>
A truly classic “Cook Shop” dish of a yesteryear fried pork chop redefined. Great old-fashioned light bread-crumbed pork chops with green peas in a classic home-made gravy and it ticked all the boxes. Do not miss out!
<Fried Rice Noodles with Hong Kong Kailan & Sirloin Steak>
This was our last dish from the main menu and it only works if they get the noodles right. These pan-fried flat rice noodles were a triumph! Even after tossing everything together and ensuring that every ingredient was covered in the gravy (as one must do before eating), the noodles were still so crispy, the kale cooked al dente and the medium rare steak was of the highest quality. Nothing could be faulted and a fitting end to our mains.
<Chinese Toffee Banana>Dessert is somewhat crazy - these Chinese toffee banana fritters were freeze-dried with crystalised crunchy caramel in a soft, buttery heart, served with giant ice-cream balls, sprinkled with roasted sesame seed and presented in gueridon service a la minute next to your table after the order is placed.
With smoky dry ice to create the dramatic effect over the presentation demonstrates the science and the purity and nuance, it certainly circles off and on the menu, so if you get it, just shut up and eat as much of it as you can before anyone else wises up to how good it is.
When eating out becomes a luxury item in your weekly budget, attention to detail and service can be the biggest lures when choosing which restaurant receives your repeat business. We want warmth, not pomp. We want a fun-time. Ang Morr is weaving contemporary sensibilities with flavours of their heritage while a handful of restaurants are spearheading a movement that redefines what we might have once called fusion food yet doesn’t deliver.
Hospitality is a hard business right now, but in a tough economy, coddling is cooler than ever. In this dazzling comer of Sukhumvit, Ang Morr still aced it, it is the menu that delivers expectations at every turn, creating a dining destination that hums with an almost visible creative force old yet new. Savor the Ang Morr “Cook Shop” flavour while they have just set new Chinese dining experiences on fire. BRAVO!
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