Water Library Central Embassy

reviewed by : Melissa Richter

24 May 2019

  • reviewer's rating :
summary : Water Library is a casual dining destination with a great all-day French brasserie dining concept. Guests enjoy elegant surroundings along with fine coffees in the afternoon and world-class wines during the mealtimes with attentive service.

With a plethora of Water Library dining concepts to choose from in a variety of locations throughout the city, you may want to make your way to brasserie located on the 5thfloor of the high-end luxury mall in Central Embassy. Open since 2015, this location is exceptional for more than a few reasons. They offer the same world-class service and a stunning wine list that you would expect from their fine dining outlets, combined with an upscale yet casual environment with modest price points. 

The decor is masculine yet warm with a clever “steampunk” meets cigar bar vibe that invites you in and makes you feel like you are anywhere but inside of a shopping mall. Black cast iron arches, geometric black and white tiles are accompanied by soft leather furniture, wood accents, and soft amber lighting. Bottle lined walls, an open bar, and a highly coveted selection of tables along the back wall that boast stunning city views all contribute to an undeniable sense of style and charm.

No matter how you slice it, this location has a great energy abuzz that offers guests an opportunity to come for artisan tea and evocative desserts, cocktails, appetizers or host a business lunch or dinner with family or friends. Case in point is their drink list which displays a stunning array of spirits, digestifs, signature and classic cocktails along with a selection of premier cigars. The wine list is no less impressive, with world-class vintages offered by the glass, 1/2 carafe, full carafe or bottle.

On our visit, the knowledgeable staff recommended one of the most evocative wines I have ever had the pleasure of drinking that is exclusive to Water Library as it comes from the personal vineyard of Mr. Pote Lee who is the owner and founder of the brand. The Great Flyte Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013 from Napa California can only be described as magical, as it is an easy drinking table wine that has a unique ability to pair exceptionally well with any dish you order. Whether it is fish, meat, cheese or dessert, it has a depth of character and complexity that is simply mind-blowing. Smokey and spicy, without any aftertaste that comes from heavy tannins, it morphs to highlight the spice or fruit of the bouget when enjoyed with food.

Chef Bee (Praphan Sakonpanya) heads up the kitchen and is a protégé of beloved Chef Haikal Johari from the now-closed Water Library Thonglor. He has brought to bear his 15 years of tremendous experience and skill to the kitchen by combining his impeccable French techniques, with the highest quality ingredients along with his palate for Asian spices and seasoning. What he is best at is balancing flavors such as sweet, salt, heat and umami and creating a cohesive and satisfying menu of dishes that can be enjoyed individually or shared.

Experience this firsthand when you order the Hand Cut Australian Wagyu A5-marble Beef Tartare w/ Dijon Mustard Cream & Confit Quail Egg and the Cold Pasta Capalleni w/ Hijiki Seaweed, Chilled Lobster & Black Truffles. The beef is luxurious and tender with a bold and sweet teriyaki flavor profile and the cold noodle dish is a refreshing Asian twist on a pasta dish with delightful umami notes that make your palate sing. Other highlights from the appetizer menu include the Hokkaido Scallop w/ Squid Ink Rissoni and the Baked Camembert w/ Truffle Honey & Croutons. Despite the look of the dish, the scallops are light with a delightful black squid ink rice-type pasta swimming in a sauce that was reminiscent of lobster bisque. The baked cheese dish is a gooey delight that is elevated by the addictive truffle honey.

For the main course you can’t go wrong with the elegant Chilean Sea bass w/ Bacon Mushroom Ragout, Ponzu & White Truffle Emulsion or the Fresh Boston Lobster w/ French Fries & Clear Butter. Enjoy these with a glass of semi-dry Barrel X' Riesling from Germany as it is the perfect accompaniment to the expertly pan-seared sea bass and earthy mushrooms and truffles as well as the succulent richness of the grilled lobster meat that you drench in rich clarified butter. If you’re looking for something heartier opt for the Australian Wagyu Striploin (400grams) served with Roasted Onion w/ Avocado & Potato Hash Browns. It comes with a peppercorn cream sauce that was redundant as the perfectly seasoned medium-rare beef is best enjoyed on its own. End your meal with their signature Durian Soufflé w/ Homemade Rice Ice-cream which encompasses the very essence of durian in a refined and ethereal way.

Water Library Central Embassy is exceptional because they extend the culinary journey beyond the food with the service and attention to detail and offer a casual version of a 5-star dining experience that can be enjoyed every day.