ELEMENTS, Inspired by Ciel Bleu @ Redefined French Flavours with Exquisite Japanese Touches

The Bangkok dining scene just keeps on getting more exciting and better than ever. With 
so many new openings every month, it is hard to keep up with the one restaurant that could possibly impress you for a memorable night out. Rather than book a restaurant that has just newly opened, stick to the one you know that has maturity and maintained a 1 Michelin star since 2018, ELEMENTS, inspired by Ciel Bleu has not failed by putting its name on the preferred list of Bangkok gastronomes heaven. mylifestylenews writes.

Centrally located in The Okura Prestige Bangkok on Wireless Road and easy access by all means of transport especially with Bangkok BTS Skytrain - Phleon Chit stop - this restaurant has a perfect location in Bangkok and being a part of the Okura legacy elevates the luxury experience. To arrive at the entrance you walk up a sweeping marble staircase one floor up from the hotel lobby on the 24th floor and you enter the dining room proper, passing through a wine wall displaying fabulous bottles of re-known global selection of wines.

While you begin to take in the interior, which is a mix of made-to-order industrial hanging lighting fixtures blending in with the modern and contemporary chic furniture, each end of the dining room is book-ended with walls of structurally arranged dark charcoal log-bricks that are illuminated by back-lit blue lighting to express that dramatic yet classy striking theatrical ambience.

The first glance at the main dining room left a good impression and the ambience is 
further enhanced by a classic dining space of well-spaced out dining tables and one side of the room is looking out over the bustling central business district through the giant windows and adorned with potted palm leaf plants.

The open kitchen is helmed by the Spanish storied Chef de Cuisine, Gerard Villaret Horcajo (GVH), who has spent time at the actual Ciel Bleu Amsterdam and working with a number of other world renown chefs. With his passion on world gastronomy, Chef GVH strikes to put his heart and soul and modernized his culinary with a touch of Japanese influence. So, expectations run pretty high when you secure a booking at this sort of prestige establishment.

While the concept is French gastronomy with Japanese ingredients, so a perfect duo combination and on perusing the menu, this all makes sense. From colourful presentation to exquisite flavours, such expectations are simply no less, the rest would well be accompanied by the attentive service and wine pairing. We opted for the 6-course Chikyu degustation menu, to ensure we could gain a more in depth understanding of the earth-themed ingredients and culinary expertise led by Chef GHV and his skillfully trained culinary team.

The evening kicked off with a trio of amuse bouche to pique the taste buds together with a glass of unfiltered Yukinobosha Junmai Daiginjo sake. A nigiri out of hamachi fish (Japanese amberjack or yellowtail) with seasoning and white meringue, foie gras with chocolate choux pastry and orange sauce as well as the king crab tartlette with ponzu gel and edible flowers garnish. This was certainly a wow introduction to the world of Ciel Bleu, with delicate yet bursting flavours from all three citrus savouries and utterly delicious in every bite with a harmony of flavours that have individual voices and definitely whets the appetite for the delicacies to follow. They are all meant to be eaten with your hands (no cutlery provided) as they are no bigger than one bite for each, but can be a little messy if you have just had your nails done today, LOL! So a tad clumsy picking up with your bare fingers for one or two of them especially the nigri and foie gras that has the sticky base.

This was followed by artisanal French butter with two flavours combined as it were - 
three quarters salted and one quarter seaweed - to be enjoyed with three types of bread, although surprisingly the baguette was served at room temperature, rather than crispy and hot which was then replaced after to delight our palate. Before which a glass of Chateau De Bligny Blanc de Blancs French champagne was poured, which was described as having some superb characteristics on the palate, but not as impressive on tasting, although pleasant enough, yet given the plethora of grower champagnes coming out of France that bowl you over on the first sip, we were expecting a little more pizzaz on the palate.

<Dry Aged Madai & Bluefin Tuna> 
This first course was spot on and a beautiful presentation, with clean seafood flavours and a delicate taste of the sea that cannot be faulted. The thinly sliced Mirugai giant clam meat (a refined version of Pacific geoduck) is cured in salted sugar, which provided a textural and flavour counterpoint to the delicate texture of the bluefin tuna. To add the final touch, a deep-fried batter of sesame leaves were presented separately on a napkin cushion that had a Japanese fold style to round up the ocean palate and made a wonderful start to the evening.

<Jean Larnaudie Foie Gras “Tartin”> 
This is an absolutely unbelievable rendition of a classic fine dining dish with a biscuity/pastry “Tartin” base on which the foie gras sits, which is then topped with preserved artichokes, crispy shallots and a base of Marukome shiro miso that overall provides a foil for the richness of the foie gras. This creation is almost a work of artand it is the sort of dish that makes you want more, but for this menu, less is definitely more!  At this point we were also poured a glass of the 2015 Château Carmes de Rieussec Sauternes which perfectly matched the rich palate.

<Ukkari Kasago> 
This high-quality Japanese marble rock fish white meat is moderately firm, has a good texture and is sweet and delicious. It was enhanced with Garum hollandaise, tiny and delicate “dead man’s fingers” Codium seaweed together with the salty, mildly sweet and butterly Normandy cockles. The Garum hollandaise sauce is the most delectable we have ever tasted with a piquancy that is divine and not easily forgotten, as it was simply stunning! As an additional palate teaser, this comes with a side of potato cake with potato salad and clams on top and another sumptuous morsel that stands on its own, but also is the perfect accompaniment to the fish. Once again, the artful presentation that strikes the eye at first glance.

<French Ceps> 
France is famous for it’s mushrooms, especially the wild ones. So this vegetarian dish is the perfect choice to precede the rich meats that are to follow. The composition comes with Topinambour - a crispy Jerusalem artichokes, black truffle bechamel and the fruity and nutty Mimolette cheese - which is served in a form of leaves on the side. As expected, the “Ceps” are also meaty, with a delicate texture and flavour unparalleled that is to be savoured with every gentle bite. A triumph of a dish that creates stunning moments on the palate as well as visually and will be remembered!

This was also accompanied with a glass of superb Italian Santa Barbara Verdicchio Tardivo ma non Tardo Classico Riserva - a wine that is linked to its land and the art of the Marche and the label was also created exclusively for the Santa Barbara company by the painter and restaurateur Catia Uliassi who brings out a strong autonomy in all her works expressive…just like the wine!

<Kagoshima Wagyu A5 Striploin> 
Where to begin with this fabulous presentation and harmony flavours of ingredients used? Pickled raddish, Umeboshi plum and potato gratin that has infused with Béarnaise sauce immediately gives you the WOW factor on the first bite. Two generous sizable, marbled Kagoshima Wagyu A5 Striploin was as we had hoped for, with a rich texture that simply melts in the mouth and left you wanting more, but hey, less is more to embrace such savoury notes. A total triumph of execution and visual composition and hats off to Chef GVH by paying esteem homage for the produce. To accompany such a stunning dish, it was well paired with a glass of 2018 Domaine du Grand Ormeau - Lalande de Pomerol red from the right bank in Bordeaux for its vibrant fruit aroma and great freshness in the mouth, soft tannins with a peppery kick finish.

<Suckling Pig> 
The divine gastronomy continued with the well-portioned and sensibly cooked suckling pig accompanied by chestnuts, morels, red cabbage and drenched with black onion sauce. Despite the flavour of the meat was a tad under-whelming, as suckling pig shall offer a strong pork flavour. When it is cooked properly on indirect heat that shall enable the fat of the suckling pig to melt off, retaining a crispy skin but butter like juicy meat texture. Pairing with this was a glass of 2018 Marques de Riscal Rioja of its expressive aromas on the nose with notes of liquorice, cinnamon and black pepper with a polished tannins and a long, persistent finish to assist the enjoyment was a delight.

A palate cleanser was served of lightly effervescent English breakfast tea Kombucha with wild honey which was quite refreshing and clean in flavours and just the ideal touch.

<Kabocha Cheesecake> 
The first dessert that came to the table was a joyous creation of hazelnut praline, yuzu sorbet and pumpkin spice Kabocha cheesecake. The citrus, nuts and spice combination was very piquant and so enjoyable! This was not the usual ‘suspects’ we were expecting, so a surprise on the palate in a very blissful way.

This dessert has a composition of Japanese whiskey which is actually part plum liqueur, citrus sorbet, caramelized white chocolate ice cream, under which is an almond crumble. Artistically presented in the shape of Binchotan charcoal, the whole dessert is very dense in texture, but a definite clarity in flavours and textures that are to be lingered over for much enjoyment. Overall a very ‘adult’ dessert that we loved to the last morsel and is a point of difference in the world of desserts.

What a stunning experience and incredibly immersive " Autumn Guestronomic Journey" degustation menu that has been created by Chef GVH. We lingered over each dish and on reflection felt that this restaurant deserves at least a 2 stars recognition, what have those mysterious judges missed? With the finest seasonal produce prepared with all savoir faire of French cuisine, the culinary expertise continually surprised us in all ways and created such an elevated experience that will have you talking about the redefined French gastronomy wine and dine experience for some time to come.

The service was spot on with warmth and conviviality, so you felt relaxed and engaged the whole evening and felt so informed about each ingredient. After making some small chat with the service team - Alexander, the manager, Jane, the supervisor, and Tom, the new trainee, it becomes evident that the French Japanese-inspired fine dining takes an average of less than 30 covers a night, allowing the team to ensure that no detail is overlooked. Trust us, if you are a real foodie, you will want to know more, as each dish had so many layers, elements and delicate tastes that it creates intrigue and will keep you salivating at every enjoyable bite. ELEMENTS, inspired by Ciel Bleu must surely be one of the many highlights on every gastronomes list when next visiting Bangkok. C’est magnifique!

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

Park Ventures Ecoplex,
57 Wireless Road,
Bangkok, Thailand
Tel: +66 2 687 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.

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