Chic and nostalgic
Ang Morr modernises the Chinese cook-shop theme favoured by our grandparents
Arriving at Ang Morr, this week’s subject of review, you could tell right away the brand-new establishment had a promising future.
The horizontal architecture, a play of organic shapes and curves, gracefully emerges in the prime Sukhumvit plot of land. The photogenic interior design unifies Wong Kar-Wai’s reminiscence of 1960s mystic Hong Kong with the ever-sunny sky of Bangkok, while an obsolete gastronomic genre cherished mainly by grandma and grandpa inspires its culinary concept.
Such a cunning concoction very new to Bangkok was formulated to create a sensation, which it succeeds in doing.
In fact the restaurant, which launched three weeks ago, has been enjoying its grand opening, so much so that they have to scale back their original plans for breakfast-hour opening and a morning menu.
The brainchild of Yuki Srikarnchana, Nara Thai Cuisine’s proprietor, and Bhanu Inkawat, award-winning designer and founder of Greyhound Cafe, Ang Morr is a cook-shop bistro conceptualised to preserve and pass on the time-honoured cookery.
Western dishes cooked in the style of Chinese chefs, aka “cook-shop food”, which were popular in Bangkok since the 1930s but started to fade in the 1990s, are the restaurant’s main highlights.
However, Ang Morr (Chinese for “red-haired”), is no average fusion of Chinese-Western dishes, but a modern creation with its own identity.
With Bhanu as the brand’s creative mastermind, the typically dull and sparse dining room of a cook shop is reinvented into a lush spectacle with a dynamic “Chinois chic” vibe.
Beef tenderloin salad with clear vinaigrette dressing.
From left: Earl Grey and blueberry granita; Ang Morr’s signature open-top bread with butter; Steamed chicken with ginger in Chinese rice wine with black truffle.
Up on the 2nd floor are two private dining rooms, that can be conjoined into a large dining hall, equipped with a spacious lounging balcony looking over the serene residential neighbourhood.
Just like its visual concept, Ang Morr’s menu is not just a blunt portrayal of legendary recipes but an improved version with a cosmopolitan attitude.
Among the 76-item selections are a few cook-shop classics including stewed ox tongue, fried pork chops, sweet corn soup, macaroni with oxtail consomme and steak salad on offer alongside newly-concocted dishes such as Chinese whisky-infused lobster bisque, crab dumplings with sea urchin roe, foie gras pate with toast and stir-fried beef on deep-fried Chinese dough.
Bread and pastry items are produced in house and available for takeaway from the boulangerie corner set at the dining room foyer.
All of Ang Morr’s food and drink come with a camera-ready presentation.
Mixology is another feature that impressed me. The drink menu lists some 50 options of cocktails, mocktails, smoothies, house-blend teas and kombucha.
Of it, a very fragrant and refreshing chilled green apple-infused Chinese jasmine tea served in a pot (180 baht) gave me a flawless welcome.
Cook-shop style deep-fried breadcrumb crusted pork chop with green pea in gravy.
Lychee Yangmei mocktail (180 baht), a mix of cranberry juice, lychee, lime, Chinese bayberry, elderflower syrup and homemade salted plum juice; and strawberry kiwi smoothie (220 baht) also proved an ideal refreshment.
Our company of three diners had drunken chicken (480 baht) as a starter. Tender yet firm meat steamed in Chinese rice wine with ginger and goji berries came on a bed of amber-hued aspic and topped with truffle paste and thin slices of black truffle. A side serving of spicy XO sauce gave a nice enhancement to the already-flavourful chicken.
The restaurant’s rendering of Chinese-style oyster pancake with bean sprouts (260 baht) was deliciously addictive. It showcased a light and crispy outer crust with a centre dotted with lots of soft shellfish. The addictive pancake is served with Sriracha sauce.
We ordered three dishes from the cook-shop selection.
The nuea san salad (550 baht) featured on a bed of fresh iceberg lettuce sliced tomatoes and onions, pan-fried cubes of pepper-seasoned beef tenderloin that yielded a pleasant characteristic charred crust yet with a juicy pinkish-hued meat, all to be dressed with clear vinaigrette dressing.
Ang Morr’s ox tongue stew with green peas (280 baht) was as nice a rendition as the classic. While fried pork chop (360 baht), showcasing old-fashioned breadcrumb crusted pork chop with green pea in gravy, turned out to be too refined and tenderised, providing unfortunately the texture of a schnitzel.
A cook-shop experience could never be complete without white open-top bread, so we ordered Ang Morr’s housemade rendition, which comes with butter (90 baht). The fluffy bread, a bit heavier in consistency than we expected but still lovely in every bite, was great with the pork chop and stew.
A dish that has much inspired my revisit to the restaurant was a new creation: pan-fried flat rice noodles in brown gravy with Hong Kong kale and sirloin steak (500 baht). The supple noodles, boasting a palatable wok-burnt aroma, came topped with crunchy and sweet Chinese kale and a large fillet of tender prime-grade steak, cooked to the customer’s liking.
For desserts, I highly recommend the Chinese-style toffee banana (320 baht), featuring banana fritters prepared tableside with crispy caramel coating. The portion is big and ideal for sharing.
A delicate helping of Earl Grey and blueberry granita (180 baht) is a great option for avoiding a heavy conclusion to your meal.
The restaurant is pet friendly with a backdoor al fresco terrace to accommodate a gathering with your four-legged friends.
- Ang Morr
- Sukhumvit 38
- Call 02-118-3641
- Open daily, 11am-10pm
- Parking on premises
- Most credit cards accepted