Bai Yun, a Chinese restaurant located on the 59th floor of Banyan Tree Bangkok Hotel, serves one of the eight culinary traditions of Chinese cuisine – Yue Cuisine (Cantonese cuisine). Yue Cuisine is the most recognized Chinese cuisine due to its dominance in a vast area in Guangdong including Hong Kong and expansive influence reaching every corner of the world. Traditional Yue Cuisine emphasizes on cooking methods, culinary skills of the chef, timing, freshness and balance of flavours. Although Yue Cuisine is found everywhere in Bangkok, I, who was born and have lived over half of my life in Hong Kong, find enjoying an authentic Cantonese Cuisine in Bangkok rather difficult. Most restaurants serve ‘Thailandized’ Yue Cuisine. At a recent gastronomic event hosted by Bai Yun, I have experienced the most authentic Cantonese dinner in Bangkok by the Guest Chef Jacky Chen from Banyan Tree Yangshuo.
Dining Experience at Bai Yun – Cantonese dinner by Guest Chef Jacky Chen from Banyan Tree Yangshuo
Chef Jacky is the Head Chef of the Chinese restaurant, Bai Yun, at Banyan Tree Yangshuo. He is a celebrated chef in Guilin, Guangxi for his proficient and outstanding mastery of Yue Cuisine. His cuisine exemplifies what Yue Cuisine is all about – the balance of colour, aroma, and taste. Chef Jacky explained to me that the fresh produce and harvest he found in the local markets in Bangkok were very different from what he has always been using in Guangxi. Although local ingredients were less delicate in terms of taste and texture, Chef Jacky was still able to present the best Yue Cuisine at this exclusive dinner event.
‘The Best of Chinese Cuisine’ by Guest Chef Jacky Chen at Bai Yun – a 6-course set menu
This 6-course set menu was divine. It showcased nearly all dominant cooking techniques in the cuisine, such as braising, double-boiling, stir-frying, shallow frying and deep-frying. The balance of tastes and colours was witnessed, with enticing aroma lingered in my nostrils the moment each dish was served.
(1) Marinated Bean Curd Filling with Fruit Salad
Chinese-styled salad with a twist of using berries as the citrus-sweet sauce to give the whole dish a delicate touch of fruity taste. The timing for the stir-fried vegetables was handled perfectly right to keep the veggies fresh and green. The bean curb, though marinated and braised, was still full of the flavour of soybeans. It was a refreshing, light starter.
(2) Double Boiled Chicken Soup with Sea Snails and Wild Mushroom
Double-boiling or double-steaming is extensively used in Yue Cuisine when preparing delicate soups, especially those with expensive ingredients. This cooking technique prevents the loss of the essences from the ingredients being cooked, intensifying all the flavours in the soup. This soup was brilliantly prepared. I wonder how many times this soup has been filtered, no layer of oil was spotted. It tasted light and flavoursome. With the intense aroma of the morel mushroom, this soup tasted perfect!
(3) Braised Pork, Red Sauce
The crème de la crème of this set menu is this Braised Pork with Red Sauce. It is a very traditional Cantonese dish, but Master Chen elevated it to its finest. Layers of fat melted in my mouth without any greasiness. The red sauce, which was enhanced by the natural sweetness of chestnuts, turned this piece of pork belly a scrumptious delicacy!
(4) Braised Grouper in Rich Beer Sauce
This beautifully-plated fish dish was another thumbs-up dish! The grouper fish was deep-fried first before being braised with the beer sauce. The timing for cooking the fish was spot on. The best way to enjoy this dish is to break the artistic presentation first. Cut a bit of fish fillet, tomato and Chinese crisps and eat all in one bite. The juice of tomato complemented the fish with natural sweetness. The texture of fish fillet and Chinese crisps created an interesting contrast on the palate.
(5) Fried Rice with Dry Scallops and Wok-fried Local Garden Greens
It’s a classic Cantonese-styled fried rice. If you look at each grain of rice carefully, you will notice the slight yellowish colour. It is another unique frying technique used in Yue Cuisine. Whisked egg evenly wrapped each grain through fast frying technique. Fried shredded scallops were sprinkled on top of the fried rice for an enhanced aroma.
(6) Royal Court Almond Milk with Egg White Flake
This Chinese dessert is the best authentic one I have ever had in Bangkok. Almond milk, which was put inside the fairy fruit, was rich in the aroma of almond. The sweetness of the fairy fruit acted as a natural sweetener. The almond milk was mild in taste and light in mouthfeel. The egg white tart topped with a supple, soft apple rose was heavenly tasty.
Who in Gourmet Bangkok team reviewed this dinner at Bai Yun, Banyan Tree Bangkok?
Chelsea Chan ~ A food lover, golfer, fun lover, and adventurer
Chelsea was born in Hong Kong and is a genuine food lover. Her palate is especially sharp on Cantonese food, delicacies from Hong Kong and meat (especially beef, chicken and lamb). She is able to taste how the food is cooked and prepared. Besides, she is also a pro buffet gourmet because of her unlimited appetite. When she says ‘too sweet’, it may not be sweet for you as her preference for chocolate is 72++ dark chocolate.
Neng Srichaisak ~ A pro golfer, travel lover and photographer
Neng was born in Bangkok and is an enthusiastic photographer. Ever since joining the Gourmet Bangkok Team, he has developed an intense interest in food and food photography. He is good at searching the best angle for a dish. He likes spicy food and is able to tell the exotic spices used in Asian cuisine. He also acts as the Thai-Cantonese interpreter for Chelsea when reviewing restaurants in Bangkok. As he is a pro golfer, he reviews all golf courses for Gourmet International Team.
Will Gourmet Bangkok recommend Banyan Tree Bangkok?
Definitely! We highly recommend Banyan Tree Bangkok to you all. Banyan Tree Bangkok strives to provide exquisite gastronomic dining experiences to diners in Bangkok. From time to time, renowned chefs including Michelin-Starred Chefs are invited to showcase their outstanding and famous dishes at different eateries in Banyan Tree Bangkok including Vertigo TOO, Saffron and, of course, Bai Yun.
You must try an exclusive dining opportunity at Banyan Tree Bangkok. It will be unforgettable! ~ Chelsea
Where is Bai Yun, Banyan Tree Bangkok?
Bai Yun Chinese Restaurant
Banyan Tree Bangkok
Address: 21/100 South Sathorn Rd, Yan Nawa, Sathon, Bangkok, 10120 Thailand
Phone: +662 679 1200
Website: Banyan Tree Bangkok
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