Dusit Thani is ideally located in the heart of Bangkok’s shopping, business, and entertainment areas and when it comes to dining, Dusit Thani has so many cuisines to choose from, Vietnamese, American, Cantonese, Japanese or Thai. Our culinary journey this evening took us to Benjarong, Dusit Thani’s flagship Thai restaurant, which has recently been revamped. The renovated décor of Benjarong’s dining room still retains some traditional feel but the overall ambience is more comfortable with nice lighting.
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On the culinary side Benjarong brought in Chef Morten Boejstrup, an award-wining Danish Chef who used to be with Nahm restaurant in London and Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin in Bangkok, to introduce a contemporary flair to Benjarong’s Royal Thai cuisine. We were excited to see Chef Morten’s interpretation of Thai cuisine. For the evening we ordered the tasting menu (1,700++ baht) with wine pairing (1,300++ baht) and some items from a la carte.
Complimentary snack: homemade popcorn with spices: crunchy, salty and spicy.
Tasting menu: Appetizer (from left to right): Perfectly fried cuttlefish with a nice scent of turmeric. Spiced scallop mixed with papaya in coconut milk- a very refreshing dish. Tender roasted pork leg meat with smoke chili tomato jam served with crispy pork skin. Overall this was a nice set of snacks that awoke our taste bud: crispy, salty, spicy and sweet.
Paired with Montaudon Reserve Premiere Brut, Champagne, France: a refreshing drink to start a meal.
Tasting menu: Hot and sour soup with prawn and galangal (tom yum koong). The way this dish was served made all the difference. Our server poured the hot tom yum soup over perfectly grilled prawns with shallots and cilantro right in front of us. The aromas from galangal, shallots and cilantro were outstanding. The grill prawns were sweet, while the soup has the right amount of tanginess.
Tasting menu: Crispy catfish salad and green mango with crab meat and tom yum custard.
Our server suggested that we eat crispy catfish salad with the crab meat and tom yum custard. The burst of flavors from the catfish salad was nice. The tender and buttery crab meat with creamy tom yum custard added more complexities to the dish. Very creative dishes that introduced two ways of Thai tom yum. Both were equally good but we gave a slight edge to the dry tom yum only because of its crunchy texture.
Paired with Astrolabe Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand 2012: a nice dry white wine very nice with the tom yum duo.
A la carte: Seared tiger prawn with cauliflower, satay spice and peanuts (480++baht). A nice deconstructed prawn satay served with tasty cauliflower puree. Ajad (อาจาด) a side dish usually served with satay but here it is transformed into jelly form. This gives it a modern look.
Tasting menu: Grilled Wagyu beef salad with dehydrated tomato, sweet melon and yam. This was a nice interpretation of spicy Thai beef salad but far more beautiful than the original version. The beef was tender and juicy while the acidity from the yam pudding was a nice replacement of lime juice in spicy Thai beef salad. The dehydrated watermelon and melon brings sweetness and freshness to each bite.
Paired with Astrolabe Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand 2011: full bodied with a nice hint of oak, a good match with steaks.
A la carte: Pan fried red mullet and winged bean salad (290++ baht). Red mullet had crispy skin with the right amount of saltiness. The winged bean salad’s dressing was flavorful, tangy, spicy and sweet.
Tasting menu: Sous vide cooked duck breast with Aubergine, stir-fried cabbage, Chinese chives and crispy wonton with oyster sauce. Perfectly tender and juicy duck breast served with delicious vegetables and oyster sauce, a very well executed dish. I’m not sure what Thai dish this came from. It does have a unique flavor profile. It could easily be Chinese or even a western dish.
Paired with Cave La Suzienne, Mistralou, Cotes de Rhone, France 2012: a nice dry wine that cuts through the delicious fatty duck skin.
72-hour cooked beef ribs in aromatic curry of green herbs and spices (470++baht). Sous vide bone in beef ribs cooked until very tender with rich and tasty green curry sauce. This was the most tender beef green curry we ever had, simply awesome.
Tasting menu: Basil ice cream with fresh pineapple and salty meringue. A nice refreshing scent from basil was nice. The creamy, sweet and saltiness of this dessert was wonderful.
A la carte: Cake kalamae with fudge ice cream, salty coconut milk and crispy banana (210++ baht). This was a fantastic dessert that again represented Thai’s affection for saltiness in desserts. The chewy and gooey kalamae cake complimented the creamy ice cream.
Paired with Monsoon valley, Muscat, Thailand 2011: A sweet refreshing dessert wine.
Tasting menu: We ended our meal with Benjarong’s signature macarons. Black: Thai black coffee; Pink: lotus flower; Orange and white: Thai ice tea; Green and yellow: lemongrass; White: cinnamon; Orange and yellow: passion fruit. They all tasted awesome but if we had to choose we would go for black coffee, Thai ice tea and passion fruit.
Our latest visit to Dusit Thani Bangkok reminded us why this hotel has consistently been one of Bangkok’s top favorites. Dusit Thani’s elegance, luxury and the attentiveness of the staffs remain its strongest points. Our dining experience at Benjarong assured us that Dusit Thani will keep progressing and improving even on things that are already wonderful.
For more details about Benjarong contact: +66 (0) 2200 9000 ext. 2699