We recently paid a visit to Le Normandie at Mandarin Oriental to see why this place has been one of the most successful French restaurants in Bangkok. With floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the view of the Chao Phraya River, this restaurant automatically earns high marks for ambiance. The golden/yellow tone of the dining area along with the chandelier and the chairs offers a classic French vibe.
Restaurant manager Quentin Arnould and his team were very welcoming and treated us as if we were VIPS. From observing around us, all guest were treated this way. He recommended the Chef’s “Discovery Menu” priced at 2,500 baht++ per person, which is a three course menu. The chef will provide dishes according to our preference but without telling what he will do. Wines (3 glass) can be paired by the sommelier team for additional 1,800 baht++.
“Amuse-bouche” Our host said we should start from the right to the left.
The buttery brioche with salty ham and aromatic sage was nice. The beef tartar with herring roe and salsify was
also a joy to our savory taste buds. Last but not least, tomato, sesame and red currant shot to cleanse our palette.
Our appetizer was pan fried Rougie duck foie gras served with cauliflower mousse, pineapple, coriander jelly and grape sauce. The foie gras was perfectly cooked, silky melted in our mouths.
Khun Banyat the sommelier who just received the title of runner up for best sommelier at the Bangkok Restaurant charity week event. He recommended Chateau Le Thibaut, a sémillon-sauvignon blanc blend 2009 from Bordeaux to match with the foie gras. It had wonderful gold color with balanced acidity and sweetness.
While having dinner, there was a display of eye catching fire works. It seem to be someones birthday and hiring fire works display is a norm for the guest at Mandarin Oriental. I’ve witness something like this many times when I was here.
Our main course was roasted line caught sea bass scented with anis flavored sauce and served with fennel, celeriac mousse and Granny Smith apple dot. The fish was nicely cooked with crisp skin and the other components compliment the fish well.
Domaines Schlumberger, Pinot noir 2009 was a surprise paring with our main courses as it was fish, but it went well together as the pinot noir was light and a nose of berries and peony.
At this point we were not quite ready for dessert we wanted to try something more from the A la carte menu. The first selection was Le Normandie’s classic Atlantic cod with seaweeds and cauliflower and lots of caviar cream sauce (1,300). The creamy and savory caviar sauce over silky cod fish was a perfect combination.
French milk fed lamb loin served beetroot, red berries, and confit eggplant (1,950). A beautiful plate that was almost too pretty to eat. The lamb was very tender that other things in the plate did not really matter.
Khun Banyat again read my mind that I need another wine. M. Chapoutier Crozes-Hermitage Les Meysonniers, Rhone, France. It was a perfect match with the lamb, smokey black berries.
Now for desserts. Raspberry charlotte, with capsicum scented sorbet. Very nice refreshing and light dessert.
Lemon cube, pine nuts and basil served with vanilla ice cream. We liked the different textures and tastes in this
dish: crunchy, creamy, sweet, and tangy.
Melting chocolate parfait was a winner. The rich chocolate flavor beats the colorful decorations.
Kracher number 8 Dessert wine the appealing sweetness and aromas of tea and peach was a nice match with the desserts.
After the dinner, we completely understand why Le Normandie has sustained its reputation for so long. The food was excellent, the service was spot on, the wines were top rated and ambiance with the Chao Phraya River view will always be magnificent.
For more details call: +66 (2) 659 9000