The cuisine prepared by Italian Chef Christian Martena at Sensi is all about intense flavours based on imported fresh produce complimented by sophisticated reductions and emulsions. Seated at the long wooden chef’s table where he can keep an eye on his team in the open kitchen, the much-travelled native of Pulia says “I like to have a main protagonist in a dish with other ingredients providing a flavour twist.”
This ethos is perfectly illustrated in his degustation menu (B1790++ – B2690++ depending on the number of courses). While it changes frequently (based on the chef’s mood and the availability of seasonal produce) it is always characterised by a cavalcade of flavours from the heart of Italy and the sun-kissed shores of the Mediterranean.
The repast begins with intriguing Carabineros, large red shrimp smoked with cherry wood and served with rocket, fennel and orange in a sealed glass storage jar that releases a puff of smoke when opened. This is followed by beautifully creamy Stracciatela cheese served with heirloom tomato mousse, basil emulsion and reduced balsamic spheres that look just like black caviar. The sharpness of the tomato mousse provides a wonderfully tart off-set to the cheese. Hokkaido scallop on truffle sand (made by drying out and grinding truffle to a fine powder, thereby intensifying the flavour) is also served with shavings of fresh black truffle, which provide an earthy note to the succulent sweetness of the scallop. Truffle is also the keynote of a very moreish risotto. It is served with Parmesan, truffle foam and an egg yolk injected with truffle mousse.
Perhaps the dish that best captures Chef Christian’s culinary heritage is Sicilian seabass served with zucchini mash, ratatouille, red martini emulsion, and orange and lime reductions. It is rich in flavour and yet light thanks to the citrus zest of the reductions. It seems hard to surpass but baby New Zealand Lamb chop served with red grapes, a tangy red wine sauce and sautéed spinach comes very close. Beautifully grilled to a tender mediumrare, it is deeply satisfying and a great prelude to the final dish, a decadent Zabaione of strawberry mousse and fresh strawberries served in a crystal sugar sphere.
Narathiwat Soi 17 (Yeak 5) | 0 2117 1618
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