Yet another world ranked chef has chosen Bangkok for a new venture. This time, it’s former Michelin-starred Henk Savelberg from Holland, who launched at the end of last year.
And you see the Michelin credentials immediately, both in the number of amuse bouches – which add to the experience of a special occasion – and the attention to detail that goes into each. The four sampled were all expertly crafted, including a delightful king crab with spicy lobster soup jelly, avocado and wasabi. The restaurant has a high ceiling, very large windows, big black marble floor tiles and fat pillars sporting mirror panels and highlights of orange. It’s all a bit stark and cold in atmosphere, but there are wonderful aromas coming from the open kitchen.
The short menu has six starters (B1200-B3000), eight mains (B1650-B2450) and four desserts, plus cheese (B750-B900). There’s also a three-course chef’s suggestion lunch menu (B1800) and a seven-course tasting called the Savelberg Experience (B4900), available with a pairing of seven wines (B2940).
Part of the Experience is a delicate lobster salad (B1350). It has enough lukewarm seafood to let you know you’ve started dinner, and it’s cooked perfectly, lifted by a quenelle of lobster cream, blobs of lemon gel and a subtle honey-and-lemon vinaigrette. Slender coils of fresh carrot, daikon, radish and a sprig of fennel provide a good mix of vegetable flavours and a nice crunchy texture.
Even though the restaurant opened only a few weeks ago, the team has hit the ground running, due in large part to three chefs and the manager locating to Bangkok from Holland, all of whom have spent time in the mother restaurant.
On the Experience menu, the lobster is paired with Spring Chenin Blanc, Granmonte 2013 (B350/B1900), which is perhaps a little dull in the mouth and lacking enough character to pair with a Michelin level dish. Otherwise, the wine list (B1700-B32000/bottle) is long, interesting and well balanced, with wines divided by grape rather than region. It offers 13 by the glass (B350-B550), plus three champagnes (B800-B1500).
The main course of grilled turbot (B1900) is a beautiful, meaty piece of fish served with good foils in texture and flavor. These range from wild mushrooms, pea puree, fried green asparagus, onion compote, and sweet and sour onions, to the sweet nuttiness of pistachio crumbles. Wild mushroom sauce is poured tableside. There are lots of combinations here to keep the palate piqued.
The tasting menu ends with a dessert called Citrus (B750), comprising lemon mousse, orange cremeaux, orange gel and lime powder. Spun sugar and meringue give crunch and sweetness against the sours, while a Dutch almond and lemon cookie called kletskop adds bitter notes. There’s a rich white Valrhona chocolate sorbet also on the plate, and lemon posset served in a separate cup.
This could be an awkward location for such an opening, but the food is excellent and, with the Netherlands embassy next door, Savelberg does have friendly neighbours.
Oriental Residence, Ground floor, Wireless Rd | 0 2252 8001
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