The very first luxury hotel I reviewed was the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok, Thailand. That first visit was magical! Over the years, I’ve been able to visit several of their food and beverage outlets. It wasn’t until my latest Bangkok trip that I was able to visit the famous Le Normandie. I was finally able to try Chef Arnaud Dunand Sauthier’s work, and let’s just say I now know why this dining room stays full.
Just being back at the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok put me in a good mood. The grounds of the property took me to a world of luxury and peace. Our window-side table had an unobstructed view of the Chao Phraya River. This is one of those times when you can just sit and enjoy the ambiance.
For our visit, a five course tasting menu was arranged. This was accompanied with a very well-suited wine pairing. To start, we were offered a glass of Louis Roederer Brut and three bites. With each bite my senses were awoken!
The excitement was building as the first course arrived, this was the French green asparagus, green anise and olive oil paired with a 2016 Domaine Vacheron Sancerre, Loire, France. The slightly crunchy outside and juicy inside of this asparagus was truly something special. Well done chef!
To follow-up this perfect asparagus was Sea Urchin and potato foam with a champagne sauce. Underneath the foam is where the sea urchin was hiding. This plate was definitely a home run. The quality of the sea urchin was superb, and balanced with the foam perfectly.
Amazing how fast the wine glasses began to line up, but it was time for another, a glass of 2013 Domaine Louis Michel & Fils Montee de Tonnerre, Chablis Premier Cru, France. This was to accompany the roasted wild caught turbot from Brittany with potato, Paris mushroom and bottarga. These rich and creamy sauces really brought the evening’s dishes together!
It was time for the main event, the roasted pigeon, Japanese melon, rocket and Timut Pepper. This was my first time trying Timut Pepper which are apparently a brother of Sichuan peppercorns, which I love. I must say that this was a very exquisite plate. Once again this was a dish best enjoyed with a small piece of each item. The melon, the pigeon and the sauce worked as a team to create a deliciously unique flavor.
After the main, I felt comfortable, thankfully not too stuffed for dessert. It was time for our pre-dessert, which was heavy on the mint flavor. This was a bit refreshing and helped clear our palates for the main Baba Vodka dessert with rhubarb, strawberry and lemon balm. This dish strongly reminded of strawberry shortcake, which I grew up eating. The rhubarb was a nice sour counter balance to all of the sweet items on the plate.
The evening at Le Normandie led us on a culinary adventure with top-notch service and in an impeccable ambiance. The food was of course lovely as you would obviously expect, and all of the other ducks were in a row. Nowhere in this evening did they miss a beat, everything came together at the highest level and met or exceeded my expectations. My meal at Le Normandie, at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Bangkok, was the best fine dining experience I’ve had in Bangkok!
Go ahead, treat yourself.
48 Oriental Avenue, Bangkok 10500, Thailand
Phone: +66 (2) 659 9000 EXT 7399