In the latest youtube episode of Bangkok Fatty, I change out of my volunteer clothes and get ready to experience phenomenal Cantonese dining at Mei Jiang in Bangkok’s Peninsula Hotel. There San Pellegrino hosted the December session of their Fine Dining Lovers Series which aims to bring expert chefs from around the region to Bangkok. The invite was to attend a masterclass with Chef Tam Kwok Fung, the two Michelin starred chef from the Jade Dragon restaurant in City of Dreams, Macau.
Chef Tam is not stranger to Bangkok, he’s the original chef from Mei Jiang when the restaurant opened it’s doors nearly two decades ago. The homecoming saw the chef preparing a few special dinners and at the restaurant, but first he entertained press and bloggers with samples dishes from the exclusive events. In the video I followed the chef into the Mei Jiang kitchen and watched him show off his mastery at Chinese (specifically Cantonese) wok style ingredients, using an impressive ingredient list featuring high quality meat and produce from around the world.
His first dish saw abalone thrown in the walk very briefly, and plied into Chef Tam’s special XO sauce. The garnish on this dish was an ornate rice cracker, adding texture to the dish which disappeared all too quickly.
The second of the two dishes is what impressed me most. This when Chef Tam brought giant chunks of beef cheek and talked about how he never like the cut. The meat he was using is Australian wagyu and he cut a cross section, pointing with his knife at the layer of fat at the center.
“The vein of fat makes this cut very special.” he explained.
He quickly seared the meat stepping on foot pedals to quickly ignite his woks. Afterwards he prepared a port wine sauce, using the remaining port wine to serve a sweet shot to each of the onlookers. The hot sauce was poured into a clay pot containing the beef and let to sit, where if undisturbed the juices would continue to slowly cook the meat. This clay pot technique is almost the ancient equivalent of today’s sous vide machines because the end result is a braised, juicy meat with all the slight sweetness and character of the port.
After the demonstration there was a tea ceremony. This is where a performer elegantly pours tea to music, an entertaining way to explain the quality of the tea and importance of the process— although a tad cheesy. It may have been better to start with this performance, because Chef Tam is a pretty tough act to follow.
Overall this was a fun event and they didn’t tell us in advance we’d have a chance to be in the kitchen with the chef. I actually preferred standing in the hot kitchen watching him work, and chatting about his food philosophy, to attending a stuffy multi-course dinner. The food was excellent and it made me all the more excited for a chance to one day visit Chef Tam’s two Michelin starred restaurant Jade Dragon in Macau one day.
P.S. Mei Jiang is well known for their dim sum. You can find their contact details below.
Mei Jiang at The Peninsula Bangkok Hotel Location & Hours
Check room rates: The Peninsula Bangkok Hotel
Genre: Chinese (Cantonese Cuisine), Dim Sum
Address: 333 Charoennakorn Road, Klongsan, Bangkok 10600, Thailand
Directions: Jump off the skytrain at the Saphan Thaksin BTS Station and grab a boat to the hotel from the Saphan Taksin pier.
Phone Number: 02 626 1849
Hours: 11:30am – 2:30pm and 6pm to 10:30pm, Daily