Part café, part deli, Dean & Deluca won the hearts of New Yorkers with its marbled, minimal, neo industrial—and therefore very New York—style, not to mention its cornucopia of gourmet goods. As the brand expanded, becoming a hybrid restaurant store-coffee shop with dine-in menus, beer and wine, and house-made sweets, it seemed only natural that it would arrive in cosmopolitan Bangkok.
Today, Dean & Deluca cleaves to its highbred beginnings. Its latest branch, under the waterfall in destination mall EmQuartier—part of the Thai-owned company’s aggressive growth plan to open hundreds of new stores worldwide—feels as if the brand has arrived in the right place at the right time. And its menu, an approachable composite of American comfort food, spiced to local levels with the aid of local ingredients, should solidify its reputation for first-class casual dining in the city.
A primer: many dishes involve such products as belly bacon from Sloane’s, mushrooms from ACK Hydro Farms, and honey from Chiang Rai. So local really means local. Take the riff on caprese salad for example. Sweet seasonal tomatoes are tossed with Kampot peppercorn, basil from the Royal Project, and balls of bocconcini (B185/B370/B555). This refreshing starter, which could be confused for a meal when ordered in one of its larger portion sizes, sets the table for heavier fare.
The half-slab of Sriracha-lime BBQ ribs (B695), marinated in Hitachino beer, dial up the heat on an American tradition, yet add a Thai touch through charred lime on the side and sweet, garlic-laced chilli sauce on top. Good ribs are hard to find in Bangkok. With a little crisp on the meat, and serious tang in a sauce that borders on cloying, but doesn’t quite go over the edge, these rank high. The namesake Dean Burger (B445) is not for the faint of heart, or those wearing white shirts. Brioche buns barely contain the stack of Thai wagyu, crisscrossed bacon, Rogue Ale mustard sauce, and aged cheddar. Its marigold-coloured sauce, which is seasoned with nam prik pao, also provides kick.
Black truffle macaroni and cheese (B295) won’t qualify as Thai-inspired, but that shouldn’t preclude you from ordering it. Earthy truffle elevates the decadent blend of asiago, tallegio, and provolone. Of course, being a café, there’s a prime selection of smooth coffees, too, including a hot caramel macchiato, which pairs pretty perfectly with tropical pancakes (B295). Mango, pineapple, banana, and strawberry salsa crown a fluffy brown four-stack. Have it for brunch, but leave the pyjamas at home—it’s in EmQuartier, after all.
Dean & Deluca
GF EmQuartier, The Waterfall Quartier | 0 2261 0464 | deandeluca.co.th | daily 10am-10pm