Behind Emporium lays a diner fitted neatly into an aromatic store
The Karmakamet Diner story began six years ago; however, the brand and the dream to co-own a restaurant of its owner Natthorn Rakshana and his close friend chef Jutamas “Som” Theantae began much earlier.
In fact, they first set up shop as a market stall at Chatuchak Market in 2001 while Som was finding her feet only to become one of Bangkok’s most trusted and innovative chefs.
The next part she notes sadly, “We’ve never been taken seriously.” Over time, customers became infatuated with the aesthetic and the Instagrammable cotton candy floss. The interior resembles a renovated old wool house and a Chinese incense store. A large timber bar with incense draws French classics like kir royal while each table is lined with white cloth and a rose. Lit up with golden lighting, it’s all intimate. The second floor is home to a 14-seat (minimum spend B10,000) and 16-seat (B15,000) private dining rooms that can be combined to serve up to 24 people.
“People think we’re just a beautiful, romantic restaurant,” she says. While it was chef Som’s first time cooking comfort food, the restaurant and its menu are worth far more than a social media snap. The new summer menu is not only evident of their ability, but it also blows that theory out of the water.
It all begins with Oyster Kiss, a cold take on the street food hoy tod which sees a vinaigrette-marinated oyster topped with sprouts, duck egg pancake and garlic chilli (B290). Paired with sparkling French champagne from Cramant called Diebolt Vallois Prestige, it is “the only drink I drink nowadays,” chef Som says, noting its clean, crisp flavour and nonexistent aftertaste.
Next comes cold explosion, a combination of melon jelly, Oscietra caviar, cod roe and avocado cream which, when matched with the jalapeño and green chillies sauce, really dances on the tongue (B790). It’s followed by pan-seared red snapper served with white banana prawns and a white bean stew and olive tapenade with chilli oil (B790). After the third dish, it’s time to move to another Austrian vino K Blend. With good wine, you can taste its routes, chef Som tells us. Now we taste pici noodles, which serves a generous 700g lobster with Madeira-infused bisque and handmade fettuccine with champignon and green asparagus. It’s a wholesome yet still light pasta dish. The final dish is a 10-14 hour braised beef tongue which is so soft that on first touch our knives don’t pierce the meat but pressed it like jelly. It’s served alongside beef jus, scallop and a baby shrimp cake.
Dessert brings us back to a glass of prestige as we’re served an old fashioned doughnut coated with camembert cheese and vanilla ice cream (B390). It is midground between soft cinnamon kind and bagel as it’s kind of doughy, but pairs nicely with the ice cream. The savouriness from camembert and crisp flavour of the wine is a pairing we enjoy.
30/1 Sukhumvit Rd, Soi Methi Niwet
Tel: 02 262 0700