Water Library Brasserie on the fifth floor of Central Embassy is by far the prettiest restaurant in Bangkok’s most luxurious mall, serving modern French bistro dishes inspired by the brand’s ever-expanding portfolio of venues across the capital.
Previously associated with purely fine dining, Water Library at Central Embassy is seen as a move away from the more exclusive scene, especially when compared to its original home at Chamchuri or at the now-closed Thonglor branch, which adopted a highly successful chef’s table concept. Set lunches here present good value for money at just under 1,000 baht for three dishes, although a la carte options – just like the luxurious stores below – do come with a price tag to match the brand.
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Rarely does a restaurant’s appearance (especially one located in a shopping mall) impress like Water Library. There’s a distinct 1920s Parisian brasserie theme going on, and the industrial-workshop vibe is helped along with a giant slab of iron fronting the restaurant, faux overhead walkways and frosted-over windows. It’s broody and sophisticated, yet there’s enough light to see what you’re eating. Water Library Central Embassy also has an even brighter room at the back, which leads to a small balcony area overlooking Ploenchit Road, nice for drinks when it opens in the evening.
Starting off with the cold capelinni pasta (580 baht), presentation here is just as intricate as the flavours. Topped off with a truffle essence and chilled lobster-like relish, this classic French combination, when done well like it is here, is always going to be a winner. Less spectacular, however, was the grilled yellow-fin tuna (370); the fish and vinaigrette work just fine, but it is more salad leaves than anything else.
Venturing into the meat dishes at Water Library, the choice is limited but very, very good. French classics like steak frites (1,290 baht) and duck confit (690 baht) both feature, as does the Australian rack of lamb (890 baht), which came to our table almost still bleating - just how we like it. The lamb is served with a herby sauce and green pea puree, both subtle enough to allow the succulent, red lamb meat to still standout.
This lineup of fish dishes again follows the Water Library’s bistro-pub kind of feel, with the likes of fish and chips, roasted salmon and their signature Chilean Sea (790 baht), which is grilled nicely with a crispy finish and presented atop a rather moreish mushroom and bacon ragout.
Still room for dessert? Make sure you go for the apple tart tartin, another dish that you’ll find across the Water Library brand. Combined with vanilla ice cream, the tart reaches just the right levels of sweetness, and its generous size justifies the 380-baht-price tag.
Away from the a la carte menu, Water Library Central Embassy has a rather economical lunch deal, with three courses for 990 baht. You can also enjoy their fancy afternoon tea set after you finish your shopping downstairs, with a selection of cold appertisers, pastries, cakes, coffee and tea starting from 690 baht per person.
Find Water Library Brasserie on the fifth floor of Central Embassy Shopping Mall, with direct access via Ploenchit BTS Skytrain Station.
Water Library at Central Embassy
- Opening Hours: 10:00-22:00 Daily
- Location: Water Library Brasserie, 5/F, Central Embassy, Bangkok
- Tel: +66(0) 2160 5893