Chinatown is certainly not short of eating establishments, but if you are looking to add a real touch of panache to your meal then it’s impossible to beat the 1930s Shanghai parlour concept at Cotton restaurant. Located on the second floor of Shanghai Mansion Bangkok Boutique Hotel, the decor is simply wonderful, with a spiral cast-iron staircase, traditionally upholstered seating and period touches such as gramophones and antique furniture. The fact that Cotton restaurant faces onto Yaowarat Road means it is central to all the sites and shops of Chinatown and makes a great place for lunch or dinner.
An award winning chef is now at the helm of Cotton and under his stewardship they have compiled a tourist friendly menu that skirts its way through the best of Thai and Chinese cooking with a focus on taste and presentation:
To start we go for some crispy shrimp rolls (250 baht), which are rolled thin and long, and served poking out of a large wine glass. The shrimp is minced and plentiful inside, and the six ‘sticks’ per serving make a perfect appetiser when combined with the sweet, sticky dipping sauce. Next up we went for hot and sour Szechuan soup, packed with sea cucumber, shitake mushroom, egg, shrimp, and a special ingredient, sliced abalone (288 baht). The spice is definitely tempered for tourist palate but the sheer quantity of tastes and textures ensures it is a delicious option.
We followed this with a Chinese vegetarian dish, ma-po tofu (180 baht), and an interesting fusion creation of squid ink egg noodles with Chinese kale and crab claws (588 baht). The ma-po tofu is served with soft white tofu and a slightly tingling sauce – it has the classic full flavour of the original but a little less oily than you would find in a Chinese restaurant. The crab claw dish was a real standout option: the claws are cracked with only the pincer shell remaining, meaning you get to enjoy the full flavour of the white flesh with the minimum of effort. When mixed with the thick stands of noodle and bitter vegetable with a slight crunch you have a recipe that delivers on taste and texture. The size of the dish means it can be enjoyed as a light lunch on its own or as a course during a longer dinner.
As well as excellent food, Cotton serves amazing cocktails and no visit is complete without trying a freshly muddled mojito or balanced martini, and dinner at Cotton has the added advantage of an excellent live band playing swing jazz every night from 21:00. The jazz band here is famed across Bangkok for a good time vibe.
If you are looking for a restaurant in Chinatown to deliver on style as well as substance, then Cotton should be your first stop.
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Shanghai Mansion Bangkok
Enjoy over 2000 full-content Newspapers and Magazines form over 100 countries on your tablet, smartphone or laptop.Available free of charge to all guests while staying at Shanghai Mansion, Bangkok from 1 November 2013 onward.Located amongst the traders and temples of Chinatown, a stay at this Shanghai in the 1930s hotel will be unlike anything you have ever experienced - unless you were actually living in Shanghai in the 1930s.The concept design grabs you upon entry to the lobby with velvet drapes, Chippendale leather sofas and chandeliers all laid out like a merchants drawing room. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Lunch: 11:30 to 14:30 – Dinner: 18:30 to 22:30
- MRT: Hua Lamphong (short taxi or tuk tuk required)
- Address: 479-481 Yaowaraj Road (Chinatown)
- Tel: +66 (0) 2221 2121