A Taste Of Culinary Excellence
In 2009, the unveiling of Water Library at Chamchuri Square brought joy to Bangkok’s food enthusiasts. This haven of fine dining, coupled with a sophisticated atmosphere and a mesmerising water bottle display resembling a towering bookshelf, provided a chance to indulge in European gourmet delights. No need to embark on a halfway-around-the-world journey or break the bank at a five-star hotel – this was a local gem offering a taste of culinary excellence.
When the curtains finally came down on this gastronomic oasis in June 2023, the talented team were thankfully given a fresh lease of life. Now, The Water Library at Central Embassy is the newest fine dining establishment in Bangkok, that’s quickly becoming the talk of the town with its remarkable cuisine, old and new world wines and amazing selection of matured and rare whiskies.
Dining at The Water Library is an invitation to explore a world of carefully balanced flavours, eye-catching presentation and exceptional quality. The adventure commences the moment you step into the restaurant and your gaze is captivated by a line up featuring some of the most exquisite whiskies in the world. Also on display is the owner’s private label whisky as well as more than 500 other old and rare spirits which guests can order.
And so, we took our seats for what promised to be a gastronomic journey through the very best of French cuisine; with an Asian twist. Just in time for the festive season, the culinary geniuses at The Water Library have created two exclusive set menus: the ‘Classic’ and ‘Le Festif’. These five-course menus feature a wide variety of ingredients from the land and the sea, which are enhanced through a commitment to excellence, thus creating a memorable dining experience.
Boasting over a decade of expertise, Chef Keerati ‘Buln’ Changchaempradit has honed his craft at top-tier venues like the Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers and the Eastin Grand Sathorn in Bangkok. His experience extends to working at Todd English’s Tuscany Restaurant in the Mohegan Sun Casino Hotel, Connecticut, USA, alongside renowned American chef Todd English. Now, Chef Buln brings his wealth of culinary skills to The Water Library as its new Chef de Cuisine.
To whet our appetite, Restaurant Manager Watchara ‘Tai’ Maprangkam served a complimentary array of Amuse Bouche. The four dainty and delectable treats were served on a bed of dried beans. They alternated in taste and texture from crunchy and soft to savoury and slightly salty. It was the perfect preview of Chef Buln’s style and culinary skills.
With the bite-sized hors d’oeuvres dispatched, our meal began with ‘The First Noel’, a Japanese-inspired dish with three slices of the delightfully tasty Shima-Aji fish. Presented as sashimi, it was accompanied by crispy fish skin, baby tomato, red radish, edible flowers, and drizzled with elderflower vinaigrette making for a fragrant and fresh first course.
The table service at The Water Library can only be described as impeccable and as each course was carefully served, we were given an in-depth description. For our next course, we deviated slightly from the Le Festif menu and were served ‘Cold Pasta’, angel hair pasta folded into a roll and topped with Tasmanian abalone and a healthy serving of Hijiki seaweed sauce and truffle essence for a real burst of flavour.
To heighten each course and to keep the diner engaged, The Water Library uses an eclectic array of premium tableware with eye-catching plates, dishes and cutlery. Up next – and served on a different shape and style of plate – was ‘Carabineros is Coming to Town’, which takes inspiration from the classic song Santa Claus Is Coming to Town. The Carabineros shrimp, imported from Spain, has a rich flavour and deep red colour. The shrimp has a firm texture and a sweet and rich taste which is taken to another level with the Oscietra caviar and garlic milk and fennel sauce.
For the main course, diners are offered a choice between ‘Winter Glory’ – Mana-Katsuo fish served in a sweet crab soup with fried sweetcorn – and ‘What a Feast!’ – A3 Wagyu Beef, served with beef fried rice, kohlrabi, chanterelle mushrooms and a vibrant beetroot sauce. Being a beef aficionado, I opted for ‘What a Feast!’ and I wasn’t disappointed. Cutting the A3 Japanese Wagyu striploin was as easy as a hot knife slicing through butter, so tender was the melt-in-the-mouth premium beef. Superbly succulent and flavourful, as a ‘cownoisseur’ I pay compliments not only to the skill of the chef but also to the excellent quality of the produce.
Le Festif menu provides diners with two dessert dishes. We began with the Pre Dessert of Cardamom ice cream covered with a layer of Butterfly Pea jelly, a delicious combination if ever there was one. This was swiftly followed by the playfully named ‘The Red Nose Reindeer’, a fresh rhubarb dish with pistachios and a raspberry sorbet, topped with tuile chocolate antlers to evoke Rudolph’s charm.
Our last dish was another complimentary offering. This time we were served delightful Petits Fours, a selection of homemade sweet treats served on a striking black slate plate. We were not done yet though. A final complimentary serving was what Khun Bom described as The Water Library’s Petit Five, a sweet truffle treat sprayed with a fine mist of matured Macallan whiskey. What a lovely and fun ending to our gastronomic journey.
The Water Library also has an amazing cocktail menu. I highly recommend the superb pairing options. For example, Nutella Royal is a cocktail evoking nostalgic flavours of Nutella chocolate. Crafted with vodka, hazelnut liqueur and lactose-free pistachio milk, it is served alongside Nutella biscuits. Alternatively, savour the David Beckham, a signature cocktail that combines sweetness, coolness and refreshing aromas. This unique blend includes gin, flower syrup, herbal tonic water, lemon juice and Japanese cucumber, served with beef tartare mini sandwiches.
The Le Festif menu is available for lunch and dinner until 31st January 2024. The Water Library is open daily from 11am to 10pm.
The Water Library’s is part of a group of restaurants and lifestyle brands, including Hong Bao Cantonese-style restaurants, Plu Thai restaurant, Ciao Pizza, Warp, and The Godfather wine stores and Davidoff Cigars. The group’s loyalty programme, Ace Card, allows members to earn points and collect rewards and benefits. Join for free today by downloading the Ace Card application on Android and IOS. For more information, click here.
For more information and reservations, call +66 (0) 652 – 549 – 645 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Punch Media Digital.