When fresh local produce being the key ingredients used in Thai cooking that plays a strong part, the recently revamped BENJARONG Bangkok redefines the delights of tradition Thai food with Chef Morten Bøejstrup Neilsen at the helm. For something different, summon up your culinary courage and enjoy some innovative Thai dishes that you may have never tasted before in your entire life. mylifestylenews writes.
Traditional Thai food has certainly been repositioned since Chef Morten Bøejstrup Nielsen has joined the team in 2015 (who recently left). The award-winning Danish chef left behind the best of his Thai cuisine with new world innovation to the culinary team to continue serving contemporary dishes that are distinctly Thai at heart.
Specialized in combining modern techniques with traditional flavor profiles to produce a particular style of Thai cuisine, Nielsen’s influence and passion for Thai cuisine dedication over a decade didn’t disappoint. Under his direction, Benjarong has evolved from a Royal Thai cuisine concept to a more contemporary restaurant whereby traditional flavours are celebrated yet deconstructed and presented in innovative ways.
Benjarong translates as “five colours” or “five paradise of the Royal Thai Kingdom”. The tinted tradition Thai wooden doors with two big Kirin face handles and door knobs contrasting the contemporary design of Dusit Thani’s lower ground foyer, complimented by the wood carving panels that distinguished the authenticity of a Thai heritage.
The ambience has quite a romantic Thai sensibility to it, with the entrance hallways adorned by exquisite hand-painted Thai murals on the walls which are dedicated to the hotel by reknown Thai artist Chernchin Cherdchoochai.
Hand-painted Thai murals on the walls are seen in Benjarong by reknown Thai artist Chernchin Cherdchoochai.
With well-spaced out tables you can opt to dine indoors in the majestic dining room with soaring ceilings, grand columns and elaborate murals, or outdoors amidst the ambience of a lush landscaped garden, framing a soothing koi fish pond and stepped waterfall feature of some grand proportions. The innovative design and striking décor reflects an eclectic combination of color, texture and bespoke elements to create a sense of upscale yet unpretentious ambience for diners.
Benjarong’s lavish decor and five-star hotel service used to be the kind of thing connoisseurs of Thai cuisine would avoid like the plague, but now it has to be one of the city’s best kitchens for genuine Thai flavors.
The menu is filled with Thai classic, but all done with a touch of skill and craft. We kicked of the evening with Tom Yum Soup of Prawn, Galangal and lemongrass. Thick creamy broth that is sweet yet pungent but minus the real spicy kick from an ordinary Tom Yum Goong soup that you could have expected for an alternative enjoyment.
We were particularly excited about the deconstructed Yam Pla Duk Foo – Crispy catfish salad and green mango with crabmeat and Tom Yum custard. Served on a glass bowl, the catfish was minced and deep fried to a very light and almost fluffy texture, which complimented the moist texture of the crabmeat and mango salad with a hint of sweetness from the Tom Yum custard. A true traditional Thai gastronomy elevation!
Next dish to the table was the Pla Yang Samunprai – Grilled fish in banana leaf with aromatic herbs. This dish is best to be enjoyed right after it is presented for its best aroma from the herbs used in cooking and the banana leaf that encased the fish with a pleasant hint of aroma. A mouth full with a light splash of the chili and sliced red onion fish sauce is a delight.
Ordering a table full of food is quite a common scene here in order for everyone to be able to sample pieces and pieces of this rich heritage gastronomy. It is undoubtedly that another of Benjarong’s signature dishes Phad Thai Goong is a must order. The Phad Thai in Benjarong is done in its very own al-dente way, not too dry yet well seasoned and absorbing the best of the tamarind sauce. Simple delectable!
Thai food is good to share and meant to be shared among others on the table, from its unique and tasty treats with so many delectable dishes that you won’t want to miss, particular Benjarong’s all time favorite order Kang Kiew Wan See Krong Neau Toon – This 72-hour cooked beef ribs in aromatic curry of green herbs and spices was cooked in rich coconut milk to perfection to the approval of the people who know good Thai cuisine. The large portion of meat was tender and easily fell off a gentle poke to remove the flesh. It is best to enjoyed with a hot bowl of Thai Jasmine rice. Be sure to try some.
We wanted to skip dessert but the manager insisted we sample Benjarong’s version of Mango Sticky Rice and Basil Ice-Cream with Fresh Pineapple and Salty Meringue. Do not expect to have the usual mango sticky rice that you have experienced over the years, as Benjarong’s version has been ‘westernized” to a different palette level and served with coconut nitrogen offering an ice cream texture together with mango sorbet that sits on top of the fresh mango.
We cannot fault the aromatic flavours of Basil ice-cream, so rich yet so refreshing and contrasting the palate from the salty meringue, pineapple and crumble that gives a different level of texture. There isn’t any hint of basil from its presentation yet this is such an ingenius invention to finish the evening for an eventful dining experience.
There is always something that caters for every palate with the fantastic range of salivating dishes from Benjarong’s carefully crafted menu. There are so many other signature dishes to sample but we only have one stomach to fill it with what we can for one evening. We promised the manager we will be back!
Tried & Tested:
Design & Decor: 4.5/5
Food & Beverage: 4.5/5
Value For Money: 4.5/5
Kang Kiew Wan See Krong Neau Toon
Basil Ice-Cream with Fresh Pineapple and Salty Meringue
946, Rama IV Road,
Tel: +66 2200 9000
Tel: +66 2200 9000
Reviews are based on actual day of visit and experience. mylifestylenews reserves the right of final decision in case of any disputes. All images are photographed by mylifestylenews team without any photoshop enhancement and are the property owned by mylifestylenews unless otherwise stated.