Newly-opened PengYou on Rama IX serves modern Cantonese cuisine
The restaurant boasts decadent dishes, with price tags to match
From the same management who brought you stylish Hotel Labaris Khao Yai, comes PengYou Cuisine & Specialty Bar, a new Chinese restaurant with a modern twist. Located in a quiet residential area on Rama IX Soi 41 where 99 Rest Backyard Cafe used to be, PengYou (friends in English) went through a complete transformation to emerge anew and with an air of modern luxury.
The first thing to greet your eyes is an impressive-looking circular counter bar accented with gold lines and single malts are the main focus. You can perch on a barstool to enjoy some signature and Instagrammable cocktails while getting a front-row view of the mixology show. Speaking of IG-worthy drinks, opt for Violet rosella (B320), which looks extra posh with a Chinese five-coin tassel tied at the top of the wine glass stem. As its name suggests, it's refreshing and fragrant with elements of rosella. If you really want someone to comment on your IG post, go with Golden dragon (B320), which looks curious with a piece of bakkwa or Chinese jerky as a garnish instead of bacon.
A few steps from the bar is the bright dining room with a golden moon gate in the centre at the end of your eyesight. You can enjoy the surrounding garden wherever you sit, thanks to large windows on both sides.
Through a moon gate door, lies a private room with an ensuite bathroom in another building for more privacy and style. This is where you dine around a round table with a Lazy Susan (the rotating tray) in the centre a la to jeen. There's a wooden structure resembling a roof beam on the ceiling for extra ambience.
Steamed Shu mai dumpling with foie gras.
PengYou's showy proclivity extends to the plating and presentation of their dishes. Steamed Shu mai dumpling with foie gras (B490) is inspired by beef Rossini but instead of a beef base topped with foie gras and truffle slices, you'll get a shrimp base instead. The dish becomes a video moment when a waiter slices truffle on top of the dumpling at your table before you eat. The dish bursts with succulence and flavours and the use of free-range foie gras lessens my guilt. Peta, please don't @ me.
Steamed black golden har gow with Mexican abalone.
Another decadent dumpling I had was Steamed black golden har gow with Mexican abalone (B420). The juicy dumpling is decorated with gold flake on top and next to it is tender abalone covered in a tasty sauce.
Dim sum classic.
Two dumplings are never enough (I'm of Chinese descent, you see) so I had Dim sum classic (B590) next. It's basically a dim sum platter with five selections namely pork and shrimp dumpling wrapped in seaweed, har gow, steamed prawn with lime and chill sauce and barbecue pork bun. Although these types of dim sums are dime a dozen at Chinese places, PengYou's use of quality ingredients came through them.
The Steamed rice roll with prawn (B350) is a more sophisticated version of the spring roll. The juicy filling is wrapped in crispy pa thong go first and then tender sen yai. Tobiko sits atop each slice for an extra texture and a burst of flavour while a small cup of wasabi mayo lends a zesty yet creamy contrast.
A Chinese meal may feel incomplete without cha siu pork, crispy pork or roast duck so why have one when you can have them all as the Barbeque platter (B990)? The trinity of treats was served with four dips so you get to mix and match flavour a bit. The crispy pork stood out the most to me with its audible crunchiness and several layers of meat and fat which goes great with sharp and creamy mustard. The cha siu pork was grilled with lychee wood for extra aroma, being tender without breaking apart too quickly.
If you're going to have a cheat day, you may as well go for Kau yuk (590) or Braised pork belly served with plain mantou, pickled mustard green and bok choy. The fat layers of each slice will definitely explode in your mouth.
There are more epicurean dishes to savour at PengYou such as Buddha Jumps Over the Wall (B1,700), Canadian lobsters in XO sauce (B2,200) and Fish maw in abalone soup (B900) but they won't come cheap, especially after tax and service charge. PengYou is open 11am-11pm and a cigar room is coming next month. More info at fb.com/pengyou.bkk or call 061-161-1682.