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Dusit Thani Bangkok

Dusit Thani Bangkok

Categories: Accommodation > Hotel

Address: 946, Rama 4 Rd., Si Lom, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500 Thailand See map

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A touch of Michelin magic

  • Writer: Bangkok Post Editorial
  • Published: December 19, 2013 at 9:54 am

Fine dining just got finer at Dusit Thani

Who are the heavyweights of cooking right now: Heston Blumenthal and his avant-garde creations? Bellowing TV bully Gordon Ramsey? The woman who wrote 'Cooking with Poo'? Yes and no. Yes, they get plenty of column inches and television moments, but the real powerhouses of cooking are Michelin magnets like Ferran Adria, Alain Ducasse and, for Thai cuisine, David Thompson.

But here's the bad news: Adria shut down what many believe was the world's best restaurant elBulli in 2011, and the flagship restaurants of Ducasse and Thompson are thousands of miles away in London. So we're left in Bangkok cooking with Poo.

Or perhaps not. Dusit Thani is giving you the best culinary Christmas present this year. Each of their restaurants have prepared a special seasonal menu and the 2 newest chefs on their roster come sprinkled with a dusting of Michelin magic.

Holiday Time has already written of Morten Bjstrup Nielsen, a chef who trained under David Thompson in Copenhagen and London, and his renovation of the classic Royal Thai cuisine of Benjarong. But Dusit Thani has another ace up its sleeve: the new chef de cuisine at D'Sens restaurant is Wilfred Hocquet, a young and dynamic chef who studied under the tutorage of Alain Ducasse for 7 years. Ducasse pulled off a culinary coup: the first chef to have restaurants carrying three Michelin Stars in three cities, and racked up an incredible 21 stars in his career.

'With Ducasse I learned to respect the product,' says Wilfred, 'don't cut it too small, don't show people the technique on the plate. The visual is big in Asia, of course, but taste is the most important thing.' And for their festive menu the tastes are classic seasonal French. 'We try to use the best product from Thailand and also import from France. We just finished the white truffle and we'll start with black truffle. Now you can import fresh vegetables from anywhere in the world but we try to follow the French seasons.' Which means it's autumnal game in the kitchen: wild duck, deer, boar and pheasant.

Christmas, however, means a sharing menu, as is traditional in Wilfred's region of southern France. One highlight of a menu packed with the best fish and Pyrenees' lamb is the Brittany scallop carpaccio. It arrives on a slate tile, an artistic canvas, the scallop accented with vivid anis flavoured beetroot mousseline, complemented with impressionist brush strokes of carrot and jasmine juice.

'I do love to explore,' says Wilfred, 'but the spirit of D'Sens is modern but not too modern: no molecular gastronomy, just fine dining with a twist.' So while the dishes are classically comforting Christmas fare, designed to transport your taste buds to family feasts of your childhood, the quality and presentation are strictly contemporary and upscale. All that's needed is for you to gaze out across the greenery of Lumpini Park and imagine drifts of snow piled around the lake.

While D'Sens transports you back to your childhood, Hamilton's Steak House goes back even further, with de{aac}cor suggestive of Prohibition-era New York. Framed sepia photos line the walls but the dishes are definitely technicolor, and luckily no foods or beverages are prohibited this season. Their usual meaty menu is augmented by special dishes including the delicious roasted halibut and Thai river prawn. It comes stacked on a bed of creamy spinach with white truffle, orange glaze salsify, and quinoa with fresh thyme.

An important part of Christmas is the festive frenzy to find gifts for all the family, and this year Dusit Thani can help transform you from stressed last-minute relative to benign Santa (reindeer not included). They've built their own grotto in the hotel, presumably from Lapland blueprints, where even the most hapless shopper cannot fail to fulfil their shopping needs. Pick one of the various sizes of hamper and fill it merrily from the shelves of gourmet gifts. From savoury to sweet, all preferences are catered for, with Dusit Thani's own oils and sauces, candy canes and jams, and fine wines. Play Santa for a while before you reward yourself (because you deserve a present too) with the afternoon tea set.

'Festive afternoon tea is not a meal', explains executive pastry chef Slawek Golaszewski, 'It's an occasion.' An occasion to meet old friends, to catch up on gossip, to while away an afternoon in the elegant Lobby Lounge. The tiers of treats on their tea set tick every luxurious festive box, starting with sliced cold turkey on toast with truffle slices, duck liver terrine and pumpkin chutney, and Ossetra caviar. Sweeter teeth will delight in the muffins, mousses, cookies and mango, and if you're not drooling over that list, you're on a diet and weeping over it. But diets, as Garfield noted, begin tomorrow, so head to Dusit Thani today for your festive treat.

Dusit Thani Bankok 946 Rama IV Road. Tel. 02 200 9000

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