Surprise and Delight – Issaya Siamese Club Bangkok
Restaurant: Issaya Siamese Club Bangkok
4 Soi Sri Aksorn, Chua Ploeng Road, Sathorn, Bangkok
Chefs: Ian Kittichai
Known for: Farm to table dining, #19 Best Restaurant in Asia (2016)
A lot has been written about Chef Kittichai’s farm to table approach to Thai cuisine, he is a respected chef with plenty of accolades for this creations. It was a hot and humid day in Bangkok (is there any other kind?) when I trekked to Issaya Siamese Club and the sight of a beautiful colonial house with big comfortable lounges, leafy surrounds and cool interior was welcome relief.
This relaxing setting is designed around the style of an ‘old-school members’ club’ that makes you feel like you belong to a secret society of foodies. My senses where heightened with the wide open space of the restaurant overlooking a garden complete with garden boxes and an old bike in the yard. It was serene, cool and inviting.
The lunch menu gave a choice of a ‘Set Menu’ (1500THB = $58AUD) or ‘Chef Kittichai’s Tasting Menu’ (2500THB = $95AUD). The ‘Tasting Menu’ appeared to be the best option for sampling as many delights as possible. This 10 course tasting menu was in four courses – amuse bouche, entree, main, dessert.
The meal started with a beautifully presented amuse bouche and it only got better from there. Absolute highlights were the ‘Sai Klock Talay’ (Housemade seafood sausage with Hua-hin style seafood broth which arrived over flame with a delicious aroma that linger well after the remains left the table. The flavour was distinctly Thai but the method was progressively modern. Next set of dishes arrived with a ‘Steamed whole fresh Maine lobster, lobster curry custard, fresh coconut milk and sweet basil’, the lobster curry custard was surprisingly flavoursome.
In the heat of Bangkok, Issaya Siamese Club was a wonderful oasis that let me escape for a few hours into stunning flavoursome Thai cuisine from the mind of one of Asia’s top chefs.