Chef's Table - Mastery of French Gastronomy
The Dome at lebua is no stranger to anyone who has visited Bangkok, the pioneer and home to Sky Bar soaring 820 feet above Bangkok first pierced the skyline back in 2003. With the movie <Hangover 2> famed Mezzaluna, one of only two Michelin-starred restaurants in Thailand, The Dome also features five other innovative culinary outposts: Sirocco, Distil, Alfresco-64, Flute and Breeze and the world’s tallest gin, caviar & vodka bar lebua No.3 was debuted last November, featuring Pernod Ricard reserve labels and premium liquors on the 52nd floors marking the world’s first vertical food and beverage destination and now the Chef’s table with the first three Michelin-starred Chef in Thailand and the PINK Bar serving hand-picked champagnes from small and unique producers. When experiential luxury first comes to consideration, you can go above and beyond by creating a unique vision of hospitality. The man behind the visionary making people’s dream a reality is best to thank – Deepak Ohri, lebua Hotels and Resorts very first employee and now the Chief Executive Officer of the brand. The Godfather of the vertical food & beverage destination always dares to dream, creating emotional experience for people who come to his flamboyant playground.
To enter the Pink Bar and the Chef’s Table, first you need to take the vertical lift to the 64th floor where the major food & beverage scenes are located. A warm greeting is assured when the lift door opens by a contingent of well groomed female hostesses who readily usher you to your preferred or pre-booked F&B outlets. By making a right turn and passing through a short hallway, you will see a small screen mounted to the wall featuring Ohri’s trip to France selecting hand-picked special champagnes during exceptional years exclusively for the PINK Bar and the Chef’s Table. Further along, a black and white curved wall photo showcases the-making-of the Chef's Table before the transformation, entering via the classically black and white checked flooring with green French style wall panels adorned with pink roses on the standing mirrored vase that adds an European elegance and charm. Through this entrance is where you’ll take a small ride in a different lift to the PINK Bar and the Chef’s Table onto the 61 floor.
Soft live piano Jazz music fills the air with soothing vocals in the small foyer with bigger checked marble flooring decorated with more pink roses as equally charming as the smaller group of hostesses that carry the warm welcoming smiles standing across from the white piano. Straight ahead is the outdoor patio that looks out to the uninterrupted Bangkok city’s skyline.
We were immediately ushered to the PINK Bar by making a grand entrance into Bangkok’s latest night scene with the mystique of a dusky pink femme fatale and a sexy swish of a Hollywood wiggle. Bathed in “Millennial pink”, the glamorous PINK Bar is totally intimate, sassy and feminine, furnished with “Le Biscuit Rose de Reims” style silky velvet chairs and white marble top tables. A larger and circular lounger caters for a bigger group against the pink shaded wall and lighting drawing its elegance from the 1950’s. While pink exudes love, complete with rose and gold hues, it is another place that you will easily say “I DO”.
Your first glass of champagne is included when you dine at the Chef’s table and we were embraced by the comfortable luxury of rose velvet loungers while sipping our newly discovered Comptes de Dampierre Champagne that Ohri sourced himself in France. Fresh, crisp, aroma of pears and a blend of chardonnay and pinot noir that refined with fine bubbles and a persistent finish make it the perfect aperitif.
The slick gold champagne centerpiece table sculpted from exotic metals juxtaposing the double height champagne cellar well displayed with Ohri’s find, beside the Comptes de Dampierre, Piper-Hedsieck Rare Millesime Brut in different vintages, Dosnon, La Brun de Neubille, J. De Telmont Épernay, just to name a few… are also on the rack and all flown generously to PINK Bar from some very special champagne producers and artisanal winemakers for a truly exceptional champagne tasting experience.
So, where is the actual Chef Table? Across the little foyer by entering to another bright and high ceilinged room, central to the space in the middle of the restaurant stands an enormous Molteni stove in cream and brass that glows warmly and catches everyone’s eyes. With much anticipation to discover more, Ohri quickly pulled me over and had me enter this glamorous “mother space ship” by crossing the line into where the action is taking place. “Can you smell it?’ Ohri asked before I could possible answer his question and he immediately pulled me out from the crossing line. “Now, you don’t smell anything.” Ohri said it with a proud smile on his face explaining the modern tech-savvy with ultra light detection ventilation and filtration system designed in Finland that brilliantly sucks out all of the kitchen fumes at once and not letting any smoke or airborne smell and heat to escape within the Chef’s Table dining room. Unlike any other open kitchen, piped-in air conditioning is also installed within the Chef’s Table helping to offer the Chef and the culinary team to work in a much more comfortable environment. Custom built for beauty with no discernible heat, the opulent Chef’s Table is no secret to anyone and to offer a friendly and engaging way to diners while celebrating the creativity and art of cooking by placing the chef centre stage in an interactive atmosphere. Kudos to Ohri by pioneering once again and continuing to stay at the forefront of Bangkok’s international dining scene.
The 46-seat restaurant is bathed in light and taking the approach from an aesthetic view that less is more. This ethos is exemplified with flat-ironed table tops displaying superb crystal Zalto Gravitas wine glasses that have no base, by pushing the glass to aerate the wine as it rolls in a circular motion and where a flat edge on one part of the bowl prevents it from rolling off the table. There are also water tumblers and crafted The Dome at lebua show plates. Unpretentiously elegant, minimalism seems to play the essential elements on its décor, but it is by no means clinical. Tables are wrapped in a smooth crescent carved from Michelangelo’s favorite Carrara marble with the circular bay windows allowing you to enjoy the panoramic Bangkok skyline while dining sky high and a private dining room sits 10 people comfortably.
Leading the prestige culinary team is Michelin-starred Chef, Vincent Thierry who grew up in the Loire Valley in France believing in bringing the highest quality ingredients with 80% of vegetables sourced locally in Thailand and he plays with texture, balance of flavors that surprise and delight. And of course he cooks with passion and love. Chef Thierry honed his skills in Michelin-starred kitchens across France before being selected by the celebrated Le Cinq Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris and later got his three Michelin stars in Caprice at the Four Seasons in Hong Kong.
People may be less familiar with French cooking and gastronomy in Bangkok and Chef Thierry believes that classic French Cuisine shall be served with simplicity and unpretentious fuss, not overloading the plate with too many ingredients or complication where traditional French cuisine may be considered to be many-layered and complex. Hence, his crafted classic French degustation menu highlights the simplicity of each of the ingredients used - even the daily assorted homemade freshly baked bread and salted, silky butter with organic cream sourced locally from Khao Yai. Both bread and butter cream are simply to die for!
<King Crab Tiramisu>
This “King Crab Cake” marinated with Tandoori fruits and mascarpone cream is rich and creamy with a hint of the Oriental spice that gives a small kick in the palette and well-paired with the 2014 Henri Bourgeois, Les Bonnes Bouches that is citrusy, crispy, dry and with a clean finish in the mouth and beautifully paired with seafood.
<Crayfish Sweetbread Lasagna>
The crayfish is firm in texture with a taste of the ocean served in a light foamy and smoky shellfish emulsion topped with the sweetbread lasagna paired with the tangy fruity 2016 Henri Bourgeois, Rode de Pinot Noir, Petit Bourgeois which complimented the crayfish with a crisp acidity along with spicy note.
<Seared Foie Gras>
Perfectly pan-seared foie gras left a light crust on the outside and runny silky texture inside best to enjoy every spoon full along with the citrus mosaic and fondant carrot. Every morsel is to there to remember especially when it was paired with the pale gold 2015 Chanson, Meursault. The intensity and refreshing aromas of the citrus-fruits mixed with pear and nuts on a hint of vanilla was rather complex but comes clean with a precise finish.
<Normandy Sole Fillet Black Olives>
This classic Normandy sole with black olives is served with stuffed artichoke, cockles and foamy marjoram sauce. This smooth and mild filet was best paired with the savory and classic Pinot base 2015 Lou Dumont, Morey-Saint-Denis. A slightly earthy scent and smooth providing a good match to the filet.
<Duo of Challans Duck, Roasted Breast and Leg Parmentier>
Challan ducks are famous for their use in La Tour d’Argent restaurant in Paris as “Canard au Sang” – (Pressed Duck) of its lean and tender flesh. Chef Thierry’s signature duo Challans duck is served with beetroot, celery, ginger Sauce and a leg Parmentier (French version of cottage pie) with rich and tasty baked mashed potato. Do not get intimidated to see the duck on the rare side as this is how a good Challan duck dish shall be cooked. The full-bodied 2012 Biondi-Santi, Brunello di Montalcino from Sangiovese grape blend was bold and structured, providing the ultimate pairing.
<Cheese Tray Selection>
The premium selection of French cheeses includes Roquefort, Comte and monastery were best paired with the charming 2012 Sauternes Chateau d’Arche with its strong flora note, tropical fruit and honeyed orange rind. Concentrated, fresh and sweet.
<Lemon Vanilla Sphere>
A pre-dessert was served before we opted for the lemon vanilla crispy meringue sphere with tarragon olive oil ice cream. This was the a tour de force from the culinary team and every bite of this homemade ice cream was a delight and paired with the light and citrusy 2017 Leon Beyer Riesling that gives a refreshing finish.
<Creamy Dark Chocolate>
When it comes to dessert, we always make room, with the alternative choice from the degustation menu offering the creamy 80% dark chocolate served with soft biscuit, caramelized pecan nuts praline and whisky ice cream well paired with the pale golden hue 2015 Muscat de beaumes de Venise, “La Pastourelle” Delas that gives fruity and lingering floral aromas, exuding melon and a lemon-tinged finish.
How often do you see the head Chef bring food to your table especially in a fine dining restaurant? The serious yet witty Chef Thierry gets one step closer to his guests exploring their tastes and preferences that infuses his creativity. The Chef’s Table interior design creates the perfect opportunity to do just that. “Part of the duties as head chef, which had to be learned, is to interact with guests. But my team had to learn those skills very quickly. For me the thing that sets a good meal apart from an unforgettable dining experience is emotion. Emotions create a lasting memory. It is not about presentation… it is about taste. If I touch your emotions, I know I have won. I have done my job and you will remember this experience.” Chef Thierry says. That is properly another secret that had won him the accolade of a three Michelin-starred chef besides his ingenious know-how from his elevated French culinary background.
The impeccable service also worth mentioning, lead by the tall and dandy Director of Restaurant Timothy Mordue and his attentive and courteous team, who ensure every guest’s request is being well look after in a subtle and humble way. Starting from the journey to the restaurant, to the grand sense of welcome with effusive hospitality, every aspect of Chef’s Table is crafted with meticulous attention to detail. Every elegant touch is carefully carried up to the sky for you to enjoy. A luxury fine dining destination with no pretension, the relaxed and inviting Chef’s Table is a mastery of French heritage cooking transformed by the simple alchemy of the kitchen into modern, contemporary and heart-warming dishes that are definitely alive with true and heart-warming flavor. There is no impediment that the Chef’s Table not being recorded in the Michelin guide book in Thailand in the coming year with such quality and standards of this fine dining establishment. You have already won our vote!
Tried & Tested:
Design & Decor: 5/5
Food & Beverage: 5/5
Value For Money: 5/5
61 Floor, Tower Club lebua
1055 Silom, Bangrak
Tel: +66 2 624 9555
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