Celadon sits next to the luxurious Sukhothai Hotel in Bangkok in a graceful building evocative of the city’s many peaked-roof temples, surrounded by a small moat lined with green, starkly lit in the night. Inside, you can sit in a sort of veranda’d space, with tall windows open to the night air, or otherwise indoors at the elegant main dining room, a layered look in the wood paneling and curtain fabric – an orchid rising midbloom out of the middle of the space.
In contrast to the city, stepping into Celadon is a breath of serenity, respite from the bustle and grit of Bangkok. There is a tasting menu, and seasonal specials, as well as an photo gallery of dishes on the iPad the waiter brought us. We opted to order family style instead, to have some more flexibility to try a few things not on the tasting menus.
A little amuse-bouche:
The spicy papaya salad (with roasted pork neck) and the green mango salad with fried fish were both well-seasoned and refreshing. One of my favorite dishes of the evening was the thai sweet corn soup with succulent chunks of crab meat. The soup was rich but not overly heavy, and came to the table steaming hot (the way Asian soups, and really most soups that aren’t chilled, should be served).
They served the chicken red curry with both white and brown rice, the latter of which was especially tasty and not the chewy, almost-barley-like brown rice that you always get in the States. My other favorite dishes of the night were the crab-fried rice, a simple staple done well, and the wok-fried ruby fish with shimeji mushrooms, chilis and basil sauce – really tender chunks of fish, with strong flavors in the sauce, surprisingly light for being wok-fried and rich with savory umami.
Stir-fried beef with aromatic herbs:
There was also a seasonal dish of clams, which looked good but didn’t taste as nice as the other dishes; the sauce was almost gravy-like and peppery to the point of masking what maybe tasted like really fresh clams:
We finished the meal with mango sticky rice with coconut ice cream:
A spectacular meal, in whole, and worth the money for how elegant the space is and how refined the food is.
(1) Khong Waang Celadon appetizer, in particular the fried marinated chicken in pandarus leaf (2) sweet corn soup with crab meat, (3) wok-fried ruby fish, and (4) the mango stick rice with coconut ice cream.