One of the great things about Bangkok is its diverse culinary landscape, which allows diners to find cuisines from a plethora of cultures. The MICHELIN Guide Thailand, which celebrated 361 dining establishments representing an array of cuisines in its 2022 edition, is a testament of the destination’s international food scene.
One of the highlights in the latest edition of MICHELIN Guide Thailand was Yu Ting Yuan—the first and only Cantonese restaurant to be awarded one MICHELIN Star in Thailand. Helmed by executive Chinese chef Qiu Xiaogui, whose culinary career has taken him through some of the most recognised kitchens in Guangzhou, China, where he spent over two decades honing his craft.
In late 2020, Qiu joined Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok for the opening of Yu Ting Yuan, where he steered it towards its first MICHELIN Star in the MICHELIN Guide Thailand 2022 with his detail-oriented craftsmanship and contemporary take on Cantonese favourites.
“Traditional Guangdong flavours are very popular among our guests. On top of the essence of Cantonese cuisine, which is freshness and wok hei (literally translated as “breath of work,” referring to the charred aroma of food stir-fried in a wok), I work with the freshest ingredients to make the dishes healthier in a refined way,” says Qiu.
“In the past, eating was about filling the stomach but now it's about nurturing our bodies with quality food,” he adds.
From handcrafted dim sum, live seafood to perfectly charred barbecue meat, Yu Ting Yuan impressed the MICHELIN Inspectors for its “refined cooking style that emphasises nuance of flavour and strikes the right balance of oil.”
Here, Chef Qiu shares his thoughts and feelings when Yu Ying Yuan received its first MICHELIN Star.
How did you feel when Yu Ting Yuan received its first MICHELIN Star?
"I felt exhilarated. As the first Cantonese restaurant to receive a MICHELIN Star in Thailand, I also feel the pressure but it’s also a motivation for me."
What does the MICHELIN Star mean to you?
"It’s truly an honour. The MICHELIN Star is a goal that every chef wishes to achieve. It’s a recognition not only for me but also for my team."
What do you think impressed the MICHELIN Inspectors about your restaurant?
"First, our carefully-sourced, high quality produce. Second, freshness. Our dim sum is freshly made daily and our barbecue items are also roasted to perfection. We make sure to let the ingredients shine—our lobster steamed with 20-year Huadiao wine is one such dish."
Who would you like to thank the most?
"We couldn’t have achieved the MICHELIN Star without the support of the team and our guests, who have given us valuable feedback."
"We do as we do everyday and thrive to serve the best Chinese food that we know by heart."
Hero image: © MICHELIN Guide Thailand