A union of beef lovers
Diners at The Table by Chef Pam place their trust in their host's capable hands
A few Wednesday evenings ago, I, for the first time in my life, dined at The Table by Chef Pam upon an invitation from Meat & Livestock Australia.
The restaurant owner, chef Pichaya "Pam" Utharntham, is widely known as one of the Thailand's young generation of celebrity chefs and a judge for Top Chef Thailand.
The Table by Chef Pam, which opened in 2016, is the first dining establishment in her collection of four ventures including Smoked, Restaurant Potong and Opium Bar.
Offering an exclusive gastronomic experience -- a private meal in the chef's own residence, the dining room is next to chef Pam's kitchen.
And even though the space, nicely decked out to blend a fine dining flair with a homely feel, can comfortably seat up to 20 diners, it only opens to a single group of guests at a time.
The meal here is offered in the style of omakase (Japanese for "trust in me"), a multi-course degustation menu curated by the chef upon the day's best ingredients.
There are basically two options: a beef-centric or a seasonal option, both celebrate charcoal-grilling and wood smoking, one of chef Pam's cooking expertises.
The beef omakase menu, which has been very popular since it was launched a couple years ago, reflects her obsession with red meat and also her long-honed butchering craft.
Our dinner was starred by various cuts of premium Australian beef, from ribs to oyster blade to tenderloin.
Thanks to the chef, who acted as a sweet host and well-versed educator, dishes were presented with tips on buying, prepping and cooking the beef.
The beef sando featuring tenderloin enveloped in a pillowy buttery brioche.
And as usual, guests were welcome to have an up-close view of the chef's techniques at all times.
The first course that night was represented by smoked beef tallow and beef broth, a duo serving of a French butter brioche leavened with smoked beef fat accompanied by an aromatic and intensely flavourful amber-hued consomme.
Beef chuck, one of the most economical cuts, was made into a delicious beef jam for the next course. The savoury sweet and oniony beef ragout was spread over a spongy grilled sourdough bread topped with tender slices of charcoal-grilled beef heart. Giving a bracing tangy finish to the open-faced beef sandwich was a housemade pickle.
Beef fans who are as zealous about truffle may cry tears of joy over Pam's beef ribs and truffle rice.
Of the dish, the ribs were smoked with tamarind and litchi woods for 14 hours and served on the rice flavoured with roasted beef sauce and capped with finely-grated black truffle. According to Pam, low heat helps keep the beef moist and sweeten the beef fat.
One of the dishes that got the most memorable praising that night was beef sando, a Japanese-style sandwich that showcased Australian beef tenderloin pan-seared to a pinkish red perfection enveloped in a pillowy buttery brioche.
Beef jam on grilled sourdough bread topped with slices of charcoal-grilled beef heart.
The thick sandwich, pan-toasted to develop a crusty brown exterior, was complemented by guinea-pepper sauce and a sweet and sour slice of pickled shallots on the side.
Dry-aged beef rib-eye was chosen as the focal point for the next dish, fry aged beef mantao.
Mantao, or Chinese steamed bun, was served in a fried version, looking like a mini burger bun with layers of cheese, jalapeno peppers and a thick and flavourful patty made with a coarsely-chopped 45-day aged rib-eye.
The steak course was represented by Pam's favourite beef cut: oyster blade, aka flat iron.
Australian Wagyu oyster blade steak was cooked to a medium-rare perfection over a charcoal flame scented with butter.
Although I had known that oyster blade is the next most tender cut after tenderloin, I was still amazed by the extraordinarily supple texture, so soft that I could cut it with a spoon.
An accompaniment of black garlic puree provided a sweet and creamy taste to complement the intense beef taste.
Australian Wagyu oyster blade steak.
The dinner was wrapped up in a delightful note with a pre-dessert of black sesame bao mousse and a main dessert of corn husk ice cream with caramelised meringue.
The beef omakase is currently priced at 5,000 baht per person for a six-course dinner and 9,000 baht per person for a 12-course.
Throughout the evening our party of 10 diners was professionally attended to by an ever-smiling team of English-speaking service staff. The restaurant operates only upon advance booking. A minimum of six dining guests is required.
Smoked beef tallow brioche and beef broth.
Beef ribs and truffle rice.
- The Table by Chef Pam
- 80 Sukhumvit 33
- Call 096-130-5716
- Opens for dinner on Wednesday only upon reservation
- Park on the premises