Simply perfection

Simply perfection

Blue by Alain Ducasse serves up contemporary French with an haute foundation

Simply perfection
The Mediterranean puff bread with tuna and red pepper jelly.

Living up to the culinary eminence of its creator, Blue by Alain Ducasse was awarded a Michelin star within a year of opening in Bangkok in 2019.

That added to the trophy showcase of Ducasse, the holder of the most Michelin stars in the world with a total of 21 across 34 dining establishments in nine countries.

The restaurant, a 240-million-baht joint venture between the world-acclaimed chef and Thailand's retail property developer Siam Piwat, has since continued to retain its glory and garner even more accolades.

Recently, after winning one star from the Michelin Guide Thailand for a second year, it also ranked No.25 on Asia's 50 Best Restaurants list and was recognised among the winners of Le French Design 100, an award by France's Ministry of Culture, for its strikingly aesthetic interior.

Blue's kitchen is steered by French executive chef Wilfrid Hocquet, a keen alumni of several of Ducasse's high-calibre restaurants.

The award-winning interior.

The 59-seater, with two private dining rooms, serves a contemporary French menu with an haute foundation.

Creating the menu, Hocquet, whose career profile includes prestigious Le Louis XV in Monte Carlo, La Bastide de Moustiers in Saint Marie and Benoit in Paris, pairs premium French produce with local ingredients, following mainly seasonal cues and using both classical and modern French techniques.

My dinner at Blue last week marked my second visit to the restaurant in three years.

Meals are offered through a 15-item a la carte selection as well as a multi-course tasting menu. Prices for a la carte dishes start from 450 baht for a dessert to 1,150 baht for a chicken pithiviers starter and 3,450 baht for a main course of Brittany blue lobster. Thus, a full-scale signature dinner, a showcase of bestselling items (4,250 baht for seven courses and 5,950 baht for nine courses) sounds like an excellent deal.

And no matter which style of menu you choose, a gastronomic affair at Blue always begins in a sublimely generous manner with an almost nonstop parade of welcome drinks, seasonal canapes, amuse bouche and an assortment of housemade bread. These items, six in total (or more -- I may have lost track), are complementary offerings and not counted as an official part of the tasting menu.

That evening, the menu included a crispy Mediterranean puff bread with tuna stuffing and red pepper jelly topping; a tangy carrot taco with lemon, parsley and ginger; a celeriac remoulade with wholegrain mustard, mayonnaise and dried egg yolk; a home-smoked salmon tart with cream cheese, ikura and kaffir lime; and foie gras mousse with fig and crunchy quinoa.

Absolutely well-curated and delicious, the sneak peek enlivened my tastebuds through a development of flavours, texture and density, and ended with a duo of piping-hot morel mushroom consommé and a warm English muffin stuffed with morels cooked in yellow wine.

Then it was time for the first course.

Lightly smoked Spanish carabineros prawns with fresh pomelo salad and gold caviar.

A savoury sorbet made with green pea and asparagus topped with crème fraiche pearls introduced my palate to the next chapter of the culinary journey with a frosty, pop-in-the-mouth sensation.

A refreshing salad of lightly smoked Spanish carabineros prawns with fresh pomelo pulps and gold caviar in coconut lime dressing came next.

It was followed by a slice of chicken pithiviers. The golden crust French pie features mixed meat of free-range chicken, pork and duck, baked in puff pastry and finished with a chicken cooking jus and chicory salad.

The fourth course is represented by a cookpot, Alain Ducasse's well-loved signature casserole. Riceberry from the north of Thailand, local firefly squid and French white asparagus were chosen as key features of the dish. The blackish-purple rice was baked in saffron-shellfish jus with mussels, squids, chicken oysters and lots of white asparagus to offer a homestyle French culinary comfort.

Brittany gilt-head bream, a king of sea bream, starred in the next course.

The butter-seared Brittany gilt-head bream with purple artichoke and a barigoule-style sauce.

The fish was aged on the bone before being seared in brown butter. Accompanying the firm and supple filet of the fish were purple artichoke slow-cooked in white wine and a barigoule-style sauce with kumquat, parsley and basil.

There are two choices of main courses: the Khao Yai Challans duck and the Margaret River Wagyu. Of the poultry dish, which my dining companion had, a neat fillet of duck breast, rubbed with honey and peppercorns, showcased a glossy crispy skin and perfectly-cooked meat complemented by miniature rolls of turnip and red wine-cherry cooking jus.

My beef option was equally impressive with a neat slice of the Australian Wagyu charcoal-grilled over smoked applewood and served with a tart stuffed with polenta and sweetcorn. A small serving of slow-cooked oxtail with a sweetcorn emulsion is offered on the side.

The cheese course for the evening was represented by a six-month aged Comte with slow-cooked fig and blackcurrant.

Khao Yai Challans duck breast with turnip and red wine-cherry cooking jus.

A soft meringue on a stewed rhubarb with tarragon cream and candied rhubarb granite serves as a perfect pre-dessert treat.

The dinner wrapped up with a rich baked chocolate tart, made from Alain Ducasse Manufacture in France, topped with toasted cocoa nibs.

To complement the dinner, wine pairing costs 2,950 baht for five glasses and 4,250 baht for seven glasses.

Lunch is offered through a 5-course seasonal menu, priced at 2,550 baht. A drink package with two mocktails, water and a choice of coffee or tea costs 650 baht; and two glasses of pairing wine cost 1,150 baht.

On the Monday evening that I visited, the place was almost at full capacity and the service was impeccable.

  • Blue by Alain Ducasse
  • Iconsiam, 1st floor
  • Charoen Nakhon Road
  • Call 02-005-9412 and 065-731-2346
  • Opens for lunch and dinner, Thursday to Monday
  • Most credit cards accepted

The charcoal-grilled Margaret River Wagyu beef with polenta and sweetcorn.

A complimentary array of carrot taco, celeriac remoulade, smoked salmon tart with ikura and foie gras mousse with crunchy quinoa.

The cookpot with Thai riceberrry, firefly squid and French white asaparagus.

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