New menu moves away from café staples to embrace fine dining
Tucked down a small alley behind the Emporium shopping centre, Karmakamet Diner feels a world away from the frenzy of Sukhumvit Road and the sterile lights of shopping malls. Inspired by the Chinese medicinal warehouse once owned by the grandfather of founder and designer Natthorn Rakchana, the décor invokes a feeling of nostalgia and intimacy with its mismatched antique furniture and partitions made of vintage industrial perfume bottles—an homage to the brand’s origins selling aromatic products, both in Chatuchak weekend market and at the small shop tucked at the entrance of the restaurant.
Karmakamet’s 2013 expansion into dining began with a popular brunch selection and its Instagram-friendly candy floss-topped strawberry shortcake, Strawberry in the Clouds (B490). Now, with a newly designed dinner menu, Chef Jutamas Theantae is moving away from café staples and setting out to showcase the talents of her kitchen through serious fine dining. Her dishes, which are meticulously plated and play with subtle textures and flavours, reflect her background in the fine arts and a larger belief that “perfection lies in the details”.
Begin your meal with the complimentary bread bursting with raisins, walnuts, and figs. Delicate cold appetizers like the Burrata Squares (B590), cubes of fresh cheese surrounded by Parma ham and seasonal local fruits, demonstrate the freshness of the menu’s offerings. The Salmon and Black Sticky Rice (B490), smoky and subtly spiced coconut and black sticky rice blinis topped with salmon tartare, demonstrate the kitchen’s ability to create complex balances of flavour and texture. With chef-suggested wine pairings on the menu, drawing from a cellar filled primarily with Austrian organic wines, the tartare pairs perfectly with the light and fruity 2013 Grüner Veltliner Alte Reben (B360/glass).
The Slow Braised Beef Tongue and Seared Scallop (B790) is a winning example of the kitchen’s expertise in meatier dishes. On its own the tongue is extraordinary, a notoriously difficult to cook cut of meat made so tender that it pulls apart with a small nudge of a fork. The addition of the plump scallop adds a hint of sweetness, offering a contrast that makes the beef taste that much richer. If you’re hoping for something even heartier, the Wellington (B1,290) offers a deeply satisfying take on a classic, a 220g beef tenderloin wrapped in flaky pastry and richly marinated mushrooms balanced with the tang of tarragon mustard. The 2008 Heinrich Gabrinza (B2,700/bottle), a complex Austrian red blend, adds an indulgent finish to both dishes.
For dessert tuck into a refreshing Salt Baked Naglae Pineapple (B410), the lightly grilled pineapple and fragrant coconut black sticky rice offering a spin on traditional fruit and ice-cream. Those hoping to end their meal on a less conventional but equally satisfying note will appreciate the Gorgonzola Tart (B410), combing salty and sweet with the sharp flavour of gorgonzola tempered by milky macadamia ice-cream.
By Micaela Marini Higgs
30/1 Soi Metheenivet
Tel: 02 262 0700
Open daily: 10am-11:30pm