A rare legacy fine-dining experience
In the world of fine French cooking, Jean-Michel Lorain is legend. J’Aime by Jean-Michel Lorain, located on the 2nd floor of the U Sathorn Bangkok, represents this Michelin-starred chef’s maiden foray into Asia, offering Bangkok diners the opportunity to experience the enduring, faithfully preserved recipes and cherished cooking traditions that are behind the Lorain family reputation for innovation and quality.
Overseeing the restaurant’s gleaming show kitchen is Head Chef Amerigo Tito Sesti, who keeps the Lorain gastronomic legacy flame burning with his impeccable kitchencraft and presentation, infused with his unique contemporary flair.
A recently launched 7-course tasting menu—paired with French wines—created by Chef Jean-Michel, himself, features a starter course of tuna tartare served with deep-purple disks of vacuum-marinated eggplant and tomato gel with a finely laced savoury tuille cracker on top. This was followed by duck confit encased within a meticulously cast cone-shaped consommé aspic (which jiggles merrily as it’s placed on the table), served with a caviar-speckled dollop of herring-cream. Wine pairing: Clos des Chartreux, Riesling, 2014, from Alsace.
No sooner had the glazed crayfish with tarragon rouille and sparkling wine foam succeeded in enchanting our palate, along comes pan-seared scallops served with a precious nibble of the renowned Spanish Ibérico lomo and Jerusalem artichokes to reset the dazzle button. Wine pairing: Saint- Véran Le Clos, 2014, Maison Verget.
Though for many an acquired taste, the famous Michel Lorain “black pudding” has been a favourite with patrons for generations. Bearing no resemblance whatsoever to its haemoglobin-derived main ingredient, the dish has an appealing sausage-like texture and earthy flavour, masterfully equipoised with a supernaturally smooth potato mousseline and panseared apple wedge. This is followed by a veritable garden of mixed mushrooms, snuggled coyly into the fold of boneless, perfectly browned pieces of slow-cooked chicken in red wine sauce. Wine pairing: Bourgogne Pinot Noir, Parfums de vigne, 2012.
The afters trio featured both a memorable pistachio soufflé served warm, along with a heavenly apricot vacherin with sichuan button and Bahibe chocolate. Meanwhile the mille-feuille “Napoleon”, layered with cream and strawberries, is a signature dessert dish which has been on the menu continuously since the restaurant’s founding. Wine pairing: Muscat de Beaumes de Venise Domaine, Des Bernardins, 2014.
The dining room is a picture of understated elegance, with details of muted gleam. Any hint of stodginess is tempered with touches of refined whimsy, most notably a see-through piano mock-up mounted upside-down on the ceiling, which gives the room a quirkily upscale, “capsized luxury cruise ship ballroom vibe”. And if the surname of the Maitre’d and F&B operations head seems familiar, that’s because Marine Lorain is, in fact, daughter to Jean-Michel.
NOTE: The 7-course tasting menu is B3,199 net, including tea and coffee, add B1,850 net with wine pairings.
J’Aime by Jean-Michel Lorain
U Sathorn Bangkok,
105/1, Sathorn Soi 1
Tel: 02 119 4899