Chef Lek, who was born in this historic neighbourhood, introduces guests to a melting pot of influences on the banks of the Chao Phraya.
Bangkok, Thailand – Capella Bangkok, the luxurious new boutique retreat nestled on the east bank of the legendary “River of Kings”, the Chao Phraya, will introduce guests to the rich cultural and culinary heritage of Charoenkrung, its charming and rapidly re-emerging riverside neighbourhood.
Charoenkrung was one of Bangkok’s main thoroughfares up until the early 20th Century, when trade and traffic still depended on the river. For centuries, new settlers docked on the shores of the Chao Phraya, bringing with them not only new thoughts and beliefs, but also fresh hopes and dreams. Charoenkrung became a bubbling melting pot of race, religion and cuisine, and it retains this vibrant character to this day.
Capella Bangkok’s head Thai chef, Wichian Trirattanavatin, was born in Charoenkrung, which makes him the perfect person to showcase the gastronomy of this diverse district. Chef Lek, as he is better known, has a lifelong connection with the neighbourhood; as a child he toured the area’s bustling markets and “hole in the wall” restaurants with his father, who worked as a chef in the area for 40 years. Many of the street food stalls and shophouse restaurants he frequented as a boy are still here today – often run by the same people – and he still pays them regular visits on his trusty scooter.
“It’s the sights, the sounds, the smells and above all the moments that make this place truly special,” Chef Lek says. “There’s so much food here; so much variety. And each dish, every recipe, tells its own story. Charoenkrung is part of my soul, so it is a great honour to introduce the cuisine of my home to international guests. Charoenkrung has always welcomed the world and Capella Bangkok will continue this proud legacy.”
Guests can discover a wide variety of street food snacks and authentic dishes on the streets of Charoenkrung, many of which have their roots in other countries and cultures. Chinese noodles, Southeast Asian satay and Indian curry puffs are all handmade for hungry locals, alongside classic Thai snacks such as moo ping (grilled pork skewers) and sai oua (Thai sausages). Many of the family-run stalls can trace their roots back multiple generations.
Around every corner hidden treasures await; countless reminders of the traditions of Chaorenkrung and the Chao Phraya, just waiting to be rediscovered.
Capella Bangkok will deliver exceptional and authentic dining experiences that are woven into the fabric of their destination. Following in his father’s footsteps, Chef Lek will combine time-honoured recipes and fresh ingredients with contemporary cooking techniques to elevate local cuisine to the highest levels of global gastronomy, delivering delectable and beautifully presented dishes in an exquisite riverfront setting.
John Blanco, General Manager of Capella Bangkok, comments: “At Capella Bangkok, we are focused on creating luxurious and highly authentic experiences that echo the traditions of our destination. Whether it is through art, entertainment or cuisine, we strive to showcase the rich culture of the Charoenkrung district. Our cuisine will reflect the re-awakening of this captivating Charoenkrung neighbourhood.”
The Capella Personal Assistants will help guests at Capella Bangkok craft their own local experiences, providing first-hand encounters with resident luminaries and inspiring them to create and share their own memories about the city’s most intriguing enclave: Charoenkrung.