Potong, situated in the heart of Bangkok’s vibrant Chinatown, offers an exceptional dining experience, one that transcends the ordinary and takes you on a journey through Chef Pam’s culinary mastery. The restaurant’s unique concept revolves around “The Five Elements,” which is not merely a theme but an all-encompassing culinary philosophy that defines every aspect of your visit.

As I entered Potong, I was immediately struck by the fusion of modern and traditional elements in its SINO-Portuguese design. It’s evident that this establishment was built to stand the test of time, with techniques that were truly ahead of their era. What makes Potong even more remarkable is its rich history – spanning four generations and over a century, Chef Pam’s family lived and worked in this very building, producing Chinese medicine under the name “保坤益母藥” (bǎo kūn yì mǔ yào). The stories that echo within these walls add depth and character to the dining experience.

I opted for the 20+ course chef’s tasting menu, a culinary adventure that showcased the brilliance of Chef Pam’s craft. Each dish embodied The Five Elements, an intriguing and innovative concept that explores the unique properties of earth, water, fire, wood, and metal, fusing them into a harmonious culinary universe.

The experience began with a kombucha of the day, a refreshing introduction to the meal. The journey continued with an array of dishes, each an artwork on its own. Standouts included “in love,” featuring marinated palm seed with shaoxing wine and cilantro oil, and “reincarnated,” a delightful combination of grated shrimp yolk, yin-yang egg noodle, morel, and caviar. The “beautiful” course was a symphony of flavours, combining blue crab with mud crab roe emulsion and crab butter bread.

The menu artfully navigated through a spectrum of tastes, from the delicate “palm-meat bun” with cashew nut pate to the interesting “roasted duck brain” and “duck heart” in the “bold” course. The creativity in the “legacy” course, a remake of Thai-Chinese street desserts, was the perfect sweet ending to an exquisite journey.

Complementing the culinary artistry was the attentiveness of the service staff, who guided us through each course, enhancing the overall experience. A delightful surprise was the complimentary glass of welcome wine, perfectly paired with the dishes. It highlighted Potong’s commitment to a holistic dining experience.

Potong is more than just a restaurant; it’s an exploration of culinary philosophy, history, and innovation. The Five Elements come alive in every dish, creating a dining experience that is truly unforgettable. Potong is a testament to the evolving nature of gastronomy, where tradition and modernity converge to create something truly unique.