SITTING at a large round table in Novotel Bangkok Bangna's elegant Shui Xin restaurant, you can’t help but feel special. Waiters approach like ninjas – silent, swift and precise. Traditional Chinese music tinkles in the background and soothes the senses; and a spotlight beams down into the center of the table highlighting whatever you’ve ordered. It’s a culinary show where the food is the star.
For Chinese food, Shui Xin is the real deal. Since its opening 21 years ago, you’ll find no Thai-Chinese fusion, no westernization of dishes, and no greasy imitations. What you will find is a superb selection of authentic Szechuan and Cantonese dishes prepared by Chef Somporn Sumritnork and his talented team by using only the finest ingredients.
As with most Chinese restaurants, the most popular choice here is the Peking duck (B699++ with pancakes). And it’s a triumph. The huge platter of crispy duck skin looks particularly good glistening golden brown under the spotlight, and when you wrap it in a pancake with hoisin sauce and pop the parcel in your mouth, you’ll likely groan with delight.
Also scoring top marks is the Stir-fried scallop with black pepper (B550++), whose big juicy flakes dissolve in the mouth with an explosion of flavour; and we loved the Marinated jelly fish Thai style (B250++), and
Stir-fried tofu with chives and bean sprout (B180++).
The restaurant’s menu is designed to cater to the Chinese way of dining – that is to groups of diners sharing rather than individuals eating alone. And for most dishes on the menu you will see three prices listed. Small feeds one to three persons; medium feeds four to six; and large feeds six to ten. Of course, the more people you go, the better the value.
There are numerous choices in various categories such as fish, pork, poultry and beef, plus your usual rice, egg noodles, and rice noodle selections (try the Stir-fried crispy noodle with either seafood, pork or beef gravy sauce. B220++).
There’s also a separate menu listing more than 30 Dim Sum items. These are very popular with lunchtime diners but are good at any time of the day. Starting at only B60 for two items, they’re great value, too.
While Shui Xin may be a bit of a drive out of town, anyone looking for authentic Chinese food at very reasonable prices should definitely seek it out.
333 Srinakarin Road, Nongbon, Pravet. Open daily for lunch 11.30am to 2.30pm, and dinner from 6pm-10.30pm. 02 366 0505. novotelbangkokbangna.com