Akira Back Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen's Park - In The Mood For A Light Bite

For a unique and contemporary Pan-Asian slash California style of culinary experience in Bangkok, Akira Back at Bangkok Marriot Marquis Queen’s Park offers you some lighthearted bites with a redefined Asian twist. mylifestylenews writes.

Looking for a bite to eat with a difference or in the mood for a light bite perched atop the 37th floor with the city’s nightscape as the backdrop and a fun and speak-easy evening? The first Akira Back restaurant in Thailand is ever-ready to take you on a culinary and sensory journey.

Born in Korea and raised in the USA, famed Chef Akira Back who has been awarded a Michelin star has brought his unique style of contemporary Pan-Asian cuisine to Bangkok for the first time. His modern twist on gastronomy is inventive, exciting and vibrant, blending Japanese and Korean elements with an international influence.

Less demure but flamboyant, the pared-back interior is stunning, arty yet dramatic and decked in rich deep hues of black and gold. The impressive entrance is tiled with dark wood furnishings, creating a more glamorous, sassy and mysterious ambience yet inviting and makes you wonder what is happening inside.

Passing through the hallway, thick Shinto straw ropes in various lengths formed the arches and ceilings dividing different section of the dining area that gives a hint of Neo-classic style. Aesthetically powerful, the design and décor brings some excitement to the enchanting dining room. There are four different venues in one, comprising a main dining area, sushi bar, omakase bar and four aesthetically designed private dining rooms. Black marble and counters with soft lighting (almost too dark and a torch is required to navigate the menu) combine to create a sleek and cozy ambience.

When layering with color and patterns need not be shocking or jarring – done well, it can be harmonious. They put things together in such a contradictory yet harmonious way and that is the charm and beauty of a dramatic and wow factor “quirky” design. With classic and modern, and with contrast and contradiction executed in such a harmonious way, this exudes a sleek, exclusive ambiance that matches with the modern gourmet experience.

Chef Back wants his guests to experience what he would like to experience and how he likes to eat when you walk into a restaurant. The base of chef Back's cuisine is very much centred on his Korean roots and blended with the Japanese culinary skill that he learnt over the years as well as the American cuisine that influenced him during his time living in Aspen, Colorado.

When a Bizen ware is used for the food presentation, it really lends a real nuance and taste to food, even the sound when you scrap the bottom of a bowl or plate with your fork becomes part of the eating experience. Coming to his restaurant is like coming to his house but the only difference is that in here he has to charge you for what you eat.
On Back’s innovative and crafted menu that also reflects his cultural heritage and personal journey, everything is meant to be shared with the presentation that is designed to make every dish easy to eat as he doesn’t really want his diners to decode his dishes and over think about how to eat them. Small-plates from the menu are delicious as distinguished and an interpretation to all precision and finesse and it withstands the scrutiny.

One of the many private dining rooms decorated in oriental motif.

<Tuna Pizza>
 We picked a couple of must-haves from the signature items and began with the most talked-about Tuna pizza. This mini thin-crust pizza has certainly made up to its name with well-seasoned umami aioli, truffle oil and micro shiso. The paper thin sliced tuna was fully covering the biscuity dough and garnished with fine touches of green sprouts. A truly must try!

<AB Tacos>
A modification of TexMex taco elevated with wagyu beef marinated with bulgogi sauce and roasted ponzo and garnished with slices of green chili pepper. This is nothing stand out from the regular taco and in fact the taste was bland and we can’t even taste any ponzu. For a signature dish, this is a total let down.

<Jeju Domi>
Domi fish is a well known spicy Korea fish dish especially it was stewed with red pepper and named Domi Meuntang. Chef Back’s version of Jeju Shashimi Domi sits on a bed of orange tobiko fish roe and Cho Jang (spicy and sweet Korean pepper paste) and garnished with red sorrel – a species of flowering plant in the buckwheat family. Suppose the combination of the ingredients can be quite intriguing but somehow it doesn’t really work on the palate. The Domi was quite chewy and the combination of sauces also did not lift up the entire dish.

<Scallop In Half Shell>
The next dish came from the Robata menu and “from the sea” section. The scallop was openly grilled with half shell opened on a Japanese Robata grill with kimchi bacon and kochujang Korean spicy and sweet pepper paste. The overcooked scallop was also being over powered by its marinade and totally ruined the umami by enjoying the taste of its origin.

<Corn On The Cob>
Finally something that really was delectable and eye catching from its presentation to taste. The mini corn was lightly grilled with black garlic butter and sprinkled with parmesan cheese. A genius combination for such a delicious taste on the palate and this is something we expect from Chef Back’s creation and kudos to do that.

<Lamb Chop>
We were still lingering from the Robata menu and we opted for something “from the land” section by ordering the lamb chop. More like a Peruvian influence by the anticucho aji limo yellow pepper paste with a side of not so crispy julienne cut potato. The meat was not just a butch and muscly clash, but is lightly flavoured and the sauce not overpowering.

<Hot Mess Roll>
As suggested by its name. A total mess-y roll served with crab and avocado and chunky sashimi poke in a spicy ponzu aioli sauce which was below mild than spicy. It makes not much difference from any street sushi roll store on taste beside much more refined touches on presentation. We were not impressed by this dish at all.

<Red Dragon Roll>
Eight mouthful slices of red dragon rolls with asparagus tempura, crab, angry tuna. We couldn’t possibly taste any crab in this roll and it was at lukewarm temperature when it came to our table. We couldn’t have more than a second helping and sent it back to the kitchen.

<Honey Yogurt Panna Cotta>
This honey yogurt Panna Cotta was beautifully presented with the delicious coconut sorbet sitting on top with small cuts of fresh fruits and honey yogurt. Such a gourmet treat!

<Valrhona “Lava” Souffle>
Save the best for last with this hot and cold palate to savour this rich Valrhona chocolate hot “lava” souffle and a scoop of homemade vanilla bean ice cream which is divine. It is totally worth the wait for this a la minute creation.

With a lifestyle dining that complements the sleek environment transforming the modern food scene place into one of the city’s most prestigious dining destinations, taste and aesthetics are equally essential. The food can be appreciated at the intuitive level, in other words, what you see is what you’ll get. From the presentation to palette, each morsel is best to enjoy slowly by heart and passion in cooking is the only key to make things work, once you’ve lost it, it reflects on your dish. While chef Back’s dishes preparation and everything is accurately measured with a scientific approach, some may still rave about the food for Akira Back’s global restaurants and admire his creation, but to us, it was a very average food on delivery for a fun culinary challenge to be expected here. But the attentive and courteous service wins back some of the scores for a hospitality in a world of relaxed, unpretentious, unforced luxury.

Tried & Tested:
Location: 4.5/5
Design & Decor: 4.5/5
Food & Beverage: 3/5
Service: 5/5
Value For Money: 4/5
Experience: 4/5

Corn On The Cob

199, Soi Sukhumvit 22,
Klong Ton, Khlong Toei, 
Bangkok Thailand
Tel: +66 2 059 5555

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. 

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