Mediterranean marvels

Siam Kempinski's Alati offers the best of each country's cuisine

Alati boasts a high level of service and hygiene while complying with the national guidelines on social distancing.

Two weeks after Alati first opened its door at Siam Kempinski Bangkok, the countrywide dine-in restaurant scene went to deep freeze.

The beginning thus seemed like the end. But that didn't keep this new establishment, which aims to offer to the city a wider range of Mediterranean fare, from coming up with even more au courant content.

To mark its reopening after the mandated shutdown, the restaurant now welcomes diners back with an additional special menu designed for takeouts.

Alati, the Greek word for salt, takes over a space once housing Brasserie Europa.

The two-month-old restaurant boasts a signature cuisine that reflects the diverse culinary traditions of countries that border the Mediterranean Sea, namely France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Morocco, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey.

For that, the hotel's Italian executive chef Carlo Valenziano relies on the region's best ingredients and flavours to build up a signature collection of new dishes.

Guests will find the savoury menu featuring the likes of hummus, moutabel and muhammara dips, gyros sandwich, pasta, tajine stew and grilled meat. While the sweet side is represented by rice pudding, knafeh cake, tiramisu and Turkish coffee.

To comply with national guidelines on sanitation and social distancing, the restaurant ensures high levels of hygiene and guest comfort.

Dining tables, each accommodating two to six persons, are separated by a minimum of 1.5m. Tableware is set only when all guests are seated, and hand sanitiser is provided. All employees interacting with guests wear white gloves and face masks. The kitchen crew also follow health and safety measures.

From a dine-in menu, Alati's rendering of muhammara (390 baht) began my lunch in a healthy vegetarian style.

Grilled chicken gyros with tzatziki cucumber sauce.

Arrived with a side serving of flatbread, the spicy dip revealed a tasty mixture of walnut and roasted capsicum compote on which sat a plump piece of burrata cheese drizzled with olive oil and pomegranate.

More options of fresh-from-the-oven flatbread feature toppings such as spinach and feta cheese; cheese and zaatar; spiced lamb and pistachio; and mozzarella and black truffle. The latter one (480 baht) was my favourite.

A dish of potato gnocchi with black truffle tapenade and aged Parmesan cream (480 baht) delighted me with the softness of the pasta dumplings and the luxurious scent of the freshly-grated truffle and Parmesan cream.

Main course selection lists the likes of steak entrecôte with Cafe de Paris sauce; duck leg confit; steamed halibut with Sicilian caponata; and mackerel guazzetto with tomato stew.

Of it, I was very satisfied with lamb cutlets (1,250 baht), cooked the classic French way and served with roasted garlic, chilli butter and Italian gremolata dressing.

While cauliflower tajine (450 baht) proved a not-to-be-missed especially if you're a fan of Moroccan cuisine. Cauliflower quarters came steam-baked with saffron, apricot, shallots, almond and orange underneath the conical lid of a clay pot and exhibited a very tender texture and naturally flavourful and juicy taste.

Cavatelli pasta with Bolognese ragout.

Lebanese rice pudding dressed with honey syrup and a cube of hazelnut cake gave the meal a perfect sweet ending.

Alati's wine list was said to include many certified natural and biodynamic labels as well as some "hidden gems".

Unfortunately alcohol consumption in restaurants is currently not allowed, so our lunch was complemented instead by hot beverages such as Moroccan mint tea, Karak tea and Turkish coffee.

The meal had proved so nice that I decided to also give Alati's takeout and delivery service a try.

Available daily from noon to 7.30pm, and with a 10% discount when ordered directly from the restaurant, the takeaway menu focuses more on sandwiches, pasta and appetiser.

My order of pumpkin hummus (230 baht), eggplant cannellini (210 baht), truffle chicken liver pate (320 baht), ultimate prawn roll (320 baht), grilled chicken gyros (350 baht) and homemade Cavatelli pasta Bolognese (370 baht), all in neat packages, were promptly delivered to my house in a hotel van by a well-mannered chauffeur in white uniform.

Eggplant cannelloni with labneh and zhoug.

The hummus, made with Japanese pumpkin and tahini topped with pea sprouts and roasted pine nuts, revealed a silkily smooth, naturally sweet and addictive mouthfeel.

The cannellini-shaped eggplant was stuffed with labneh (soft cheese made with strained yoghurt) and to be enjoyed with zhoug (a pepper, garlic and coriander sauce) provided on the side. The liver pâté, accompanied by hazelnut bread toast, was garnished with black truffle shavings and pickled shallots.

Represented by neatly-diced, prime-quality shrimp drenched with spicy mayo, the prawn roll proved generously portioned and delectable.

The gyros featured spiced grilled chicken breast on a flame-grilled flatbread with delicious tzatziki sauce. While the pasta came tossed with pot-braised wagyu beef ragout in San Marzano tomato sauce dressed with aged Parmesan cheese.

A minimum order of 800 baht will get you free delivery within the Bangkok metropolitan area.

French-cooked lamb cutlet with gremolata dressing.

Rice pudding with hazelnut cake and honey syrup.

Potato gnocchi with truffle and aged Parmesan cream.

Roasted capsicum muhammara with burrata. photo: photographer

  • Alati
  • Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok
  • Rama I road
  • Call 02-162-9000
  • Open daily noon to 8pm
  • Most credit cards accepted