I consider myself a sensible gourmand who doesn’t follow trends. I don’t revel in restaurants because they are endeared by media and I hardly get thrilled by any establishment for their stars or difficulty to get a table. And, of course, I don’t value chefs for their extravagant character or narratives.
Other than my own guts and taste buds, I, however, do trust friends — wise souls in the gastronomic circle.
Lately, such friends once again spoke good words about Albricias, a Mediterranean restaurant at Chatrium Residence Sathon.
Monkfish and Iberico with smoked vichyssoise.
Albricias is not a brand-new establishment. It was first launched three years ago under Spanish executive chef Joan Tanya Dot, whose culinary talent I have been familiar with since 2015.
Yet, due to Covid, I did not get to check the restaurant. Then, Tanya Dot moved to start a new chapter and a new chef arrived who I heard was also brilliant.
So, I decided to have a lunch visit there last week.
Aptly resonating its name (Albricias is Spanish for good news), the experience turned out worthwhile.
Dessi De Vries is Chatrium Sathon’s new executive chef since November and is also in charge of the Mediterranean restaurant.
Multi-structured heirloom tomato platter.
A native of the Netherlands, De Vries was trained in classic French cooking but has experience in Mediterranean cuisine and molecular gastronomy from working at top restaurants in many countries including Curaçao, Egypt, India, Maldives, Thailand, Venezuela and Vietnam. He has also served the Royal Dutch family and heads of state.
For his stint at Albricias, he blends his impeccable culinary technique and worldly approach with an imaginative twist to take diners on an awesome journey of the senses.
Albricias sees itself as a fine dining restaurant. The restaurant occupies a comfortable space next to a lush courtyard, which gives the cosmopolitan premise a super casual and breezy resort feel. At noon on a Friday, the dining room was allowed plenty of natural light as well as a cheery view of the oasis-like surroundings.
Despite the laidback setting, Albricias offerings remain true to fine dining core. The current menu offers 25 options of haute cuisine dishes, each prepared with prime-grade produce, local and imported.
Wild forest mushroom tortellini with smoked potato espuma.
There are seasonal new dishes — four appetisers, four mains and three desserts — on offer alongside some of the restaurant’s all-time favourites. The selection is revamped depending on the season.
A dish titled Heirloom (850 baht) acted as a sublime curtain raiser to our meal. Not only did it brilliantly enliven our palates, but was a great promise upon other dishes that were to follow.
The multi-shade dish was a delicious play of one main ingredient — heirloom tomato.
Tomatoes have recently become a super popular ingredient in fine restaurants across the city, yet only a few cooking masters can turn the fruit into a delicious treat.
De Vries presents the tomatoes through various styles and structures — poached, tartare, crisp and consomme, and pairs them with mozzarella espuma, basil, garlic provincial herb crouton and Arbequina EVO. Every element in the dish nicely complemented the umami-ness of one another.
Executive chef Dessi De Vries.
Next up was king crab and pomegranate (875 baht), an artistic showcase of colours, textures and flavours.
The lime butter-poached king crab leg meat was presented in a gummy red shell made from jellified pomegranate and served on a bed of Granny Smith apple salad. Enhacing the taste were spicy guacamole espuma, dollops of curry mayonnaise, pomegranate foam and fresh pomegranate pulps.
I got to try one of the restaurant’s all-time bestseller, torched Japanese hamachi (620 baht) and it proved to live up to its fame.
Of the plate were sashimi-style slices of yellowtail amberjack that had been cured and flash-torched to develop a smoky charred hint. The fish came dressed with a trios of relish including Peruvian aji verde green sauce, guacamole and yuzu gel, and capped with olive oil caviar and nori seaweed powder.
Each of the three sauces have a very distinct taste pleasant by itself, yet complement one another when devoured at the same time.
The Fall in the Forest dessert.
The meal smoothly proceeded to the main course represented by three dishes. Two were chef De Vries’ seasonal offerings and the other was an all-time popular dish from the continual menu.
There’s a wild forest mushroom tortellini (995 baht); monkfish and Iberico with smoked vichyssoise (1,350 baht); and Hokkaidi scallop a la plancha with Joselito Iberico ham (1,120 baht).
All three were delicious, but If I were to pick only one as my favourite, it would be the tortellini.
The plump dumplings revealed a crunchy and flavoursome chanterelles-truffle filling encased in fine pasta skin. They arrived on a creamy bed of smoked potato espuma topped with pan-roasted asparagus, mushroom and Parmesan foam. Wild mushroom sauce reduction helped add a more pungent depth of flavour to the dish.
If a springy white meat fish is your preference of protein, then do not miss the monkfish.
Medallions of the fish were crusted with Joselito crumbs before being grilled and served with hand-shaved Paletta Iberico ham, smoked potage Parmentier, red port veal jus, roasted baby carrots and mini potato croutons.
The third main dish, the griddle-grilled Hokkaido scallops, which were naturally supple in texture and delicately sweet in taste, were presented with sauteed Pyrenees wild mushroom and cauliflower under a frothy blanket of sweet corn milk sauce and a generous helping of fresh-sliced Joselito Iberico ham. The dish was delicious and memorable.
Our lunch wrapped up beautifully with awe insipring desserts. Fall in the Forest (395 baht) and Limon (395 baht).
The first depicts the chef’s childhood in Europe during autumn when he would go with his grandmother to pick chestnuts in the forest.
It’s a multi-layered exhibition — delightful to the eyes and the palate — of chestnut-vanilla panna cotta, caramelised hazelnuts, tonka bean ice cream, white chocolate sponge, beetroot gels and Bourbon tuille (portraying fallen leaves and dry twigs) on a dark chocolate mint soil.
The latter was a photogenic plattter of zestly lemon-coconut mousse, cookie crumble, coconut-vanilla Anglaise and crispy yoghurt.
Matching Albricias’ fine dining was its service, which blended 5-star efficiency with neighbourliness.
The restaurant is flocked by international clientele in the neighbourhood and foodies from across town. Reservations are recommended.
- Chatrium Residence Sathon
- Soi Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra 24
- Call 02-672-0200
- Open daily, 11.30am - 10.30pm
- Park at the hotel’s car park
- Most credit cards accepted