Thai Restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand: Celadon Restaurants, Wine, Travel, Opinions

Restaurants and bars
Open: Lunch and dinner daily
Price: High (by Bangkok standards)

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Phone Number: +66 2 287 0222
Address: 13/3 South Sathorn Road
Bangkok, 10120
Country: Thailand
Food Style: Thai

From the moment you arrive within the grounds of the Sukhothai Hotel, the noises and hysterical traffic from South Sathorn Rd just seem to fade into memory. Set in several acres of manicured grounds everything about this hotel is in contrast to the mayhem that is the rest of Bangkok.
Celadon itself is a quite separate building. It consists of a two-winged Thai-style pavilion that seemingly floats in a lotus pool. Take your camera - you'll want a pictorial memory of its beauty.
Inside it's serene, elegant, light, extraordinarily comfortable, the waiting staff are well informed, friendly and attentive and, best of all, the food, while refined, has not had the aromas and flavours dumbed down for westerners. Here you can get some sense of the depth and complexity of Thai food.
Among the highlights from our meal were chor ladda, flower-shaped dumplings stuffed with minced chicken which were memorable because of the spices and herbs used to flavour the filling, plamuek yang, a dish of grilled squid served with a spicy sauce, hor mok talay, a custard-like seafood dish, which is steamed in a banana leaf cup, and hoy malaeng poo ob mordin, which was a dish of the freshest mussels and herbs, steamed in an earthenware pot.
We also tried panaeng gai, a dried curry of chicken, especially to compare it with the curry dishes served in Australia's Thai restaurants. It had a complexity and flavour balance that was far removed from your average suburban Thai restaurant although, as we'd expected, Australia's finest Thai restaurants such as Sailors Thai and Longrain fare well by comparison.
Mostly in Bangkok you don't feel the need to drink wine which is good because it is so expensive. But the mood at Celadon, especially at dinner, really demands that you do. We drank a Hugel riesling, which at 1590 bhat was reasonably well priced, and which complemented the complex and spicy flavours well. There are other Alsace wines on the menu too, all of which are ideally suited to this cuisine.
The dining room is air conditioned, but there are also outside tables available.
We left Celadon desperate to return as soon as possible. We could have tried yam pra-in, a roasted eggplant salad garnished with prawns, boiled eggs, mint leaves and lime dressing, or plaa nuea makhau orn, a spicy beef salad, pla sumlee dad diew, which is deep-fried cotton fish with green mango salad, tom klong hoy shell, a clear scallop soup flavoured with tamarind juice and grilled herbs, or the Celadon's miang kam, a dish we've eaten and loved in other restaurants. So many more dishes on the menu, so little time!
However, the praise we lavish on the restaurant from past visits needs to be tempered by the less than perfect meal that we had in June 2008 where the food lacked its normal freshness and vibrancy. We will try agai on our next visit to Bangkok to see if things have imporved.
The Sukhothai is well-known so taxi drivers should be able to find it. You could also take the SkyTrain to Sala Daeng station, then walk along Soi Convent or Soi Sala Deang, both of which are good food streets, to Sathorn. You need to cross to Sathorn South at the only obvious set of traffic lights then turn left and walk past the Westin Banyan Hotel to the Sukhothai. You'll see the long garden-lined drive way. In all, it's about a 15 minutes walk.
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