Go West, with a twist of the East

Hokkaido scallops with cauliflower purée and toasted hazelnuts.

Refined craftsmanship seems effortless at the two-month-old Park Hyatt Bangkok. Whether it be architectural finesse, the visual scheme or hospitable service, the oh-so luxury hotel never fails to impress.

When it comes to the cuisine, it chooses to offer gastronomic elegance, however, through heartfelt culinary simplicity.

Executive chef Franck Detrait.

The hotel’s main dining venue, the Embassy Room, serves up comforting Western recipes that come with zesty Asian twists.

The kitchen, which is under the helm of French executive chef Franck Detrait, centres around home-style seafood prepared with fresh, prime-grade produce from around the world.

The menu, small but comprehensive, is listed on a single page and is a selection of 17 dishes, five desserts and French cheeses.

A platter of Australian kingfish ceviche (420 baht for a regular portion) provided our dinner with a sumptuously refreshing start. Slices of the raw, supple fish were seasoned with lime juice, herbs and spices. Fresh coriander lent a nice hint of Thai flavour as pomegranate pulp added a sweet fruity crunch.

Another dish which scrumptiously emphasised the fresh quality of the seafaring produce was the yellow fin tuna tartare (390 baht). Showcased in a pool of sweet tangy passion fruit sauce was a jumble of neatly-diced, sashimi-grade tuna, semi-ripe mango, cucumber and mizuna.

Equally impressive was the baby squid with chorizo, grilled spring onion and pickled ginger (400 baht). The gummy soft and naturally flavoursome squid was roasted in a wood-fire oven to absorb a smoky charred scent and was served with thin strips of spicy Spanish sausage in a delicious red pepper sauce.

Alaskan black cod with brandade, zucchini, scallion and lemongrass emulsion.

Pan-seared Hokkaido scallops (450 baht) pleased diners at my table with its plump consistency and naturally sweet taste. The scallops were complemented impeccably by creamy cauliflower purée, crunchy morsels of pickled cauliflower, broccoli, toasted hazelnut crumbs and dollops of whole-grain mustard.

Organic salmon from a sustainable farm in Scotland was filleted and sous-vided (600 baht or 1,500 baht for a sharing portion). Served with sautéed spinach, salmon roe, pak choy and miso-infused beurre blanc sauce, the dish was delightful.

Chef Franck’s Gran Ma fish soup (400 baht) was another highlight. It’s a soothing unification of housemade ravioli, a generous portion of mud crab and home-style fish stock. Upon arriving at the table, the piping-hot, bisque-like, caramel-coloured stock was poured onto a bed of ravioli and fine slices of fennel. Adding a lemony scent to the soup was fresh dill, tarragon and Kaffir lime oil.

I was also impressed by wild French monkfish osso bucco (760 baht). Firm and meaty fillets of the ice-water fish with its centre bone intact was slow-cooked before being pan-browned and served on creamy polenta, accompanied by grilled jalapeño and a pungent sauce.

The last fish dish on the menu was the Atlantic cod with brandade, zucchini strips, scallion and lemongrass emulsion (610 baht).

On the night that we visited, the cod was replaced by something more special, Alaskan black cod. The black cod is known to have a higher fat content than normal cod. Surprisingly, though the fish tasted good, it didn’t exhibit the velvety sweet and fatty mouthfeel I had expected.

Instead it had a firm and lean texture like that of a snapper.

The fillet was oven-roasted and pan-fried on the skin to give it a crisp dash. Enhancing the mild-flavoured fish was creamy lemongrass sauce and salted cod-infused potato mash.

Roasted baby squid with chorizo, grilled spring onion and pickled ginger.

Probably to compensate for the scarcity of meat on the menu, the kitchen offers top-notch beef and pork.

Its perfectly-cooked Black Angus beef tenderloin (950 baht) came in succulent slices with crushed potatoes, fresh herbs and a green peppercorn sauce.

Also excellent was Chiang Rai poached and grilled pork belly (580 baht), boasting thick cuts of juicy pork belly from Slone’s farm in the northern province, with caramelised pineapple, confit red onion, sage and fine morsels of pork crackling. The pork went well with a pumpkin mash.

Dishes are enjoyed alongside Bangkok’s best artisan sourdough bread, which is complimentary and served with the world’s best French butter.

Delightfully wrapping up the dinner were a meringue lemon tart (320 baht) and a Valhrona chocolate bavarois with red chilli and strawberry sorbet (335 baht).

The restaurant also has a private dining chamber seating up to 10 guests, a semi-private room for eight and an al fresco dining terrace blessed with a panoramic view.

Embassy Room

Park Hyatt Bangkok, level 9 Phloen Chit Road Call 02- 012-1234 Open daily, noon – 2pm and 6 – 10pm Park at the hotel’s car park Most credit cards accepted

The Embassy Room, blessed with an open kitchen and wood-fired grill, serves up comforting Western recipes and zesty Asian touches.

Yellow fin tuna tartare with mango, mizuna, passion fruit and cucumber.

 Black Angus tenderloin with green peppercorn sauce.

Scottish salmon with sautéed spinach in miso beurre blanc sauce.

Poached and grilled pork belly with caramelised pineapple and pumpkin mash.

Gran Ma fish soup with ravioli and mud crab.