Haute cuisine does not have to mean high prices. Maybe in Paris or New York, but not in Bangkok. Especially when The Water Library, a leader in bringing stand-alone gourmet fare to the city, is now forging a path to broaden its appeal.
From December 15 – January 15, in celebration of the New Year, the uniquely round restaurant at Chamchurri Square, known for its centrepiece of bottled aqua rising to the sky, is offering a four-course meal with outstanding wine pairings for what others might charge for the wine alone (B1650).
It’s the Library’s way of thanking loyal customers and drawing new ones who may have been intimated in the past by elaborately European menus.
But that does not mean German-born Chef Mirco Keller, one of the most underrated amongst Bangkok’s recently-arrived masters, is stinting on ingredients or dumbing anything down.
In fact, his only “problem,” if you can call it one, is that Keller just can’t help adding layers of complexity to whatever he creates.
The first course here is an homage to both his Teutonic roots and Asian influences, combining raw tuna and thin-sliced cucumber with béchamel-filled croquettes where duck meat subtly comes through, all mounted on a smear of sauerkraut cream.
Then come Canadian scallops, teamed with local white asparagus, a square hunk of beef cheeks softened into a prime cut by six hours of steaming, or salmon chunks with the rare addition of Jerusalem artichokes.
Dessert is the high point: luscious kumquat slices and kumquat ice cream teamed with soft sticks of white chocolate and the perfect sombre note of sesame paste.
A Romanian prosecco and a very fragrant New Zealand sauvignon blanc start the sipping proceedings. In honour of the season, Chef Mirco even adds a homemade white mullet wine, transformed with cinnamon and other spices but served cold in this case to adapt to the tropics.
With all that, toast to 2016. With this wonderful offering, there’s the chance for everyone, of all incomes, to know what true European taste is all about.
The Water Library
2F, Chamchuri Square | 061 852 5411 | Lunch 11.30am – 2.30pm, Dinner 6pm – 10pm.