A classic setting serving fantastic steak and seafood.
I have dined at the Water Library on a number of occasions—including Thonglor and 1881 at Groove—and have always enjoyed the food there, so when I heard they had just opened another new venture, this time with the focus on steak and seafood, I had to check it out.
Upon arrival to The Capital by Water Library (Empire Tower F, 3 Narathiwas Road, Sathorn, Bangkok; 02 286 9548), I was greeted in a very welcoming manner and, as I entered the restaurant, I was instantly aware of the approach they were going for: the sophisticated décor representing an old bank with safety deposit boxes on the walls was very appealing.
Now down to the good stuff … FOOD!
The night started with a delicious house-baked ciabatta with hand-churned butter, fresh and delicious. I decided to go for a beer to begin and chose the Kagua Blonde, a unique Japanese beer brewed with yuzu and Japanese peppercorns. It rated 10/10, easily.
First course: prawn cocktail (THB 380), three large, perfectly cooked whole prawns with a balanced side salad and a very flavorful Marie Rose sauce which had a little kick to it, perfect with the beer.
For the second course I had a smoked salmon and asparagus salad (THB 390), which made good use of few ingredients and was balanced and appealing.
Then came the star of the show: a perfectly cooked 350-gram prime U.S. rib eye, well worth the THB 1,750 if you are after your beef fix. They also offer a wide variety of beef from Thailand, Canada and, of course, Japanese wagyu. Perfectly seared and tender as butter, the steak was also a perfect match for an American Cabernet Sauvignon. What I really loved about this dish is that they served it with three different types of salt: sea salt, red wine salt, and spiced habanero salt. Along with the steak I had two sides—creamy, delicious mashed potatoes (THB 150) and steamed cabbage with sautéed shitake mushrooms (THB 150).
After my main course, Singaporean-born chef Haikal came out for a chat and to see if I was enjoying my dinner, and the owner and manager also stopped by to ask if everything was OK. I really appreciate an establishment where the senior figures show sincere interest in their guests.
I told chef Haikal to serve whatever he felt like for dessert, and was presented with a modern take on the classic red velvet cake with a delicious yuzu meringue (THB 290), a perfect way to end the meal. Just to impress even more, each table is given a complimentary decanter with a delicious blend of whiskey and Bickford’s lime cordial.
The restaurant offers a three-course lunch set from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for THB 790++, perfect for business lunches. From Monday to Friday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., any party of four women gets a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine.
Between the perfect technical execution, the use of flavorful, top-quality ingredients—from the hand-churned butter to the flavored salts—and the hospitable front-of-house staff, the Fifth Taste was definitely found here and made this experience what to me eating out is all about.
Open from 11:30 a.m. till 12 p.m. (kitchen closes at 11 p.m.)