In Bangkok there are tons of Chinese restaurants to choose from. But there’s only one place where you can enjoy classic traditional Chinese cuisine prepared by one of Thailand’s own Iron Chefs. Chef Pom Cuisine by TODD (official Facebook page) is the new venture of cofounders Singha heir “Todd” Piti Bhirom Bhakdi and Chef Thanarak Chuto (also known as “Chef Pom”). In this new venture, Chef Pom creates authentically flavored classic Cantonese, Hong Kong, and Shanghai dishes with gorgeous contemporary presentations.
Visually stunning dumplings that excite your tastebuds as well as your eyeballs, incredibly tender Dong Po Rou braised pork belly, and baby pigeon a la Hong Kong are just a small sampling of exciting dishes on offer at Chef Pom Cuisine by Todd. There’s much, much more and at very fair prices, too.
Let me show you…
It’s dumpling time!
Chef Pom has created dumplings unique to the restaurant menu that are just as tasty as they are visually appealing. During my visit we tried the Steamed Scallop Dumplings (135 baht/3 pcs), Har Gow (125 baht/3 pcs), and the Steamed Foie Gras Dumplings (185 baht/3 pcs).
These Steamed Scallop Dumplings (135 baht/3 pcs) look like little pieces of art. As soon as they arrived at the table I knew we were in for a treat. My foodie phrases fail me here. It’s not a dumpling that can easily be described. It should be experienced. You can tell just from the ingredients crowning the top–there’s a lot going on here. If you enjoy scallops, this dumpling presents it at a whole new level. I highly recommend this dish.
How do you bump it up a notch for a simple shrimp dumpling? Add a bit of caviar and strip of edible gold flake. This Har Gow (125 baht/3 pcs) contains a large, sweet shrimp cooked perfectly with just a little crunch. The caviar adds a little salt and creamy texture, while the edible gold flake makes it just a bit more Instagram worthy.
Looking like alien eggs, these Steamed Foie Gras Dumplings (185 baht/3 pcs) pack a lot of flavor. The light foam, slightly chewy dumpling case, creamy foie gras filling, and caviar combine into a single bite of bursting flavor and texture sensations.
Something to note, both the Har Gow and Steamed Foie Gras Dumplings are only available on the lunch menu. However, if you let them know in advance they can prepare it for your dinner experience.
Traditional dumplings, too.
If you’re a fan of more traditional dumplings, the menu at Chef Pom Cuisine by TODD has got you covered. As an example, these Shanghai Xiao-Long-Bao (150 baht/5 pcs) dumplings were fantastic. Inside these bite sized beauties is minced pork and a searingly hot soup broth. So make sure you poke a little hole in the dumpling and dunk it in some ginger and soy sauce dipping sauce to cool it down.
And now for something completely different…
As a Monty Python fan I couldn’t resist…but this Crispy Fried Charcoal Taro with Foie Gras and Hoi Sin Sauce (400 baht/3 pcs) starter IS something completely different! The taro is fried with powdered charcoal which gives it a texture almost like silky pork floss. Inside is a filling of melty foie gras with savory/sweet Hoi Sin sauce.
This is one of those dishes that will have you scraping the bowl with a spoon. Hiding behind that shimmering jelly sheet is a marinated cherry tomato. Save that for last for an instant flavor explosion/palate cleanser!
Something from the garden…
For the meat lover who wants a veggie dish, this Szechuan Stir Fried Green Beans with Minced Pork (300 baht) is perfect. Crisp fresh green beans are stir fried with near caramelized minced pork, garlic, and plenty of spicy red chillies (it wouldn’t be Szechuan if it didn’t have some heat, right?). Yum!
As we began to move along the menu I noticed that Chef Pom’s presentation game progressed with each dish being presented just a little more elaborately. This Drunken Chicken (390 baht) dish is an example. The dish is served in bowls on rocks with a sauce chilled pitcher of “drunken sauce” bubbling dry ice fog. Traditionally Drunken Chicken is made with Shaoxing wine, but Chef Pom uses a proprietary mixture of 3 different libations to get this yard bird extra drunken.
Served chilled with flowers and marinated goji berries, this chicken is super tender and deeply flavored from the boozie marinade and sauce. Each bite is best when liberally coated with the ginger paste condiment accompanying the dish.
The first time I had pigeon was on a trip to Cairo. I remember the meat was tasty but there wasn’t much of it. The pigeons that Chef Pom Cuisine by TODD uses are imported from Hong Kong and are meatier. The Baby Pigeon Hong Kong Style (600 baht) dish is presented on a wooden platter with a birdcage over the meal.
The skin is crispy and the meat well marinated and tender. Don’t be afraid to get in there with your hands and start breaking it up to get to the meat. Topping the pigeon is sheets of fried sago tree pearls. A nice bite is to put some skin and meat on the sago and smother it with the ginger paste condiment.
Pork Belly you can spread!
I am a huge fan of all things pork belly. But I have never had a pork belly so tender that you could literally eat it with a spoon or spread it like butter. Served in a two tiered wicker basket, the Braised Pork Belly with Special Sauce (400 baht) is accompanied with slices of fried bun dough.
What makes this pork so tender? It’s prepared Dong Po Rou style. That means it’s braised in Shaoxing wine until the meat soaks up all the juices. The skin, meat, and fat are all so tender it can be spread like butter. The wine also cuts through the fat so it’s not at all greasy. Smear atop the slices of fried bread bun for a real treat!
Room for dessert?
If you’ve managed to save room for dessert, a nice finish is this Mango Pudding (220 baht). Don’t worry, it’s not too much. Accompanying the mango pudding is a deep fried taro ball with crumble and a small scoop of ice cream with toasted sesame. It’s a sweet finish to a fine meal!
A chat with the chef…
Chef Pom left his home of Samut Songkhram with his father when he was quite young. He started working in a garage and other odd jobs but at the age of 12 was provided an opportunity to work in a Chinese restaurant. For 5 years he did the grunt work in the kitchen cleaning and preparing ingredients until at the age of 17 when a Hong Kong chef took him under his wing and taught him how to cook Cantonese dishes.
The rest of the story is an upward climb (with a few missteps along the way) in which he worked in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Sri Lanka ascending the professional ladder to executive chef, public fame through his years as one of Thailand’s Iron Chefs, and finally to successfully achieving the dream of opening a namesake branded restaurant.
Though outside the restaurant stands a 2-story billboard of Chef Pom, he is quite humble in person. As I chatted with him he was very enthusiastic about what was being created at Chef Pom Cuisine by TODD. His goal is to get a new generation of diners excited about the authentic flavors of Chinese cuisine by preserving those flavors and presenting the dishes in modern ways.
I’m hungry. Where is it?
Chef Pom Cuisine by TODD is a 4 minute walk from the BRT Wat Dorkmai station on Rama 3. You can connect to the BRT system from the Chong Nonsi BTS station (it’s a 15 baht fare from there). As soon as you get to the street you simply can’t miss the giant 2-story billboard with Chef Pom grinning. The entrance is to the right side.
The downstairs has dining options for small groups along with side rooms for more intimate dining for larger groups. Upstairs there is private room dining available. Whatever the size of your group, they’ve got you covered.
The restaurant is very tastefully decorated with eastern Asian flare. It was recently remodeled to balance Chinese decor with modern design. Loads of black and red…both the food and restaurant give you a fine dining feel without the heavy price tag. It’s a place where the authentic Chinese flavors will impress you along with the creative presentations.
I want to hear from you!
Should you decide to visit Chef Pom Cuisine by TODD I’d love to hear your feedback in the comment section below, directly to me, or via message on either the Chow Traveller Facebook page or Chow Traveller Instagram. However you choose, I’d love to hear from you!