Flames shoot from pans at Tables like sideshows at a Victorian circus. Flambé is a big deal here, all of it executed in the restaurant itself, at striking copper-topped tables dotted around the room. The theme is based on the tableside preparation seen in many traditional French restaurants and the menu takes full advantage of the theatre.
The large, open space is stylishly segmented by rattan screens and display cases of booze bottles topped with valve-like lights that would look good emitting sparks in a Frankenstein movie. There are wooden floors, potted plants, oxidised mirrors and, high on the walls, larger-than-life cartoonish figures of waiters that lighten the formality.
And, despite being a mezzanine restaurant overlooking the colossal pillars in the Erawan’s classically themed lobby, the only overspill of noise is the pleasant bubbling of water from fountains and a jazz trio playing on the landing.
The menu is billed as pan-European and starts with items like meaty and sweet sautéed scallops (B750) balanced by chorizo and the sharp bite of wholegrain mustard and olives. The Caesar salad (B490) is wisely light on dressing so it doesn’t overwhelm the crispy leaves, grown at the Hyatt’s organic farm in Korat.
Other classic dishes are the Boston lobster bisque (B850), which is perhaps a little too creamy, and the steak au poivre (B1300), cooked in the oven but finished in full view, flambéed in cognac and served under a beautiful rich sauce. With chef Michel Eschmann hailing from Switzerland, the excellent roesti is no surprise, the potatoes delicately crisp on the outside, airily light within.
A popular way to sample several dishes during one sitting is the Signature Dinner of three canapés, four appetisers and a choice of main, all for B2200.
Supapong Mekprasart, runner-up in the recent Thailand Best Sommelier Award, is on hand to help with his comprehensive list, which goes from B1900-B157,000 a bottle and has stops in regions such as Portugal and Austria along with the usual stars of Old and New World. He also has a Sommelier Selection by the bottle that changes every month, and six each of white and red by the glass, including dessert wine (from B420), refreshed every two months.
If you head to Tables for a refreshing taste of mainly French tradition, in a Bangkok dining scene which otherwise tends to skew toward modernity, you won’t be disappointed.
By Howard Richardson
Grand Hyatt Erawan, 494 Ratchadamri Rd | 02-254-1234
bangkok.grand.hyatt.com | Noon-2.30pm, 6.30pm-11pm