The Aston Martins and Bentleys parked outside are a clue as to the pedigree of clientele this ritzy restau- rant attracts. It seems high society has a new hotspot at Maison de la Truffe, a French-inspired fine dining experience that leverages the holy grail of all gourmet ingredients — the truffle.
Enter and you’ll find, enshrined in glass, championed specimens of white and black truffles that flavor the majority of the restaurant’s signature dishes and inspire cocktails, desserts and even the decor.
Black truffle infused oil served with a warm bread basket sets the tone for a one-of-a-kind dining experience. The inventive chef masterfully crafts each dish by pairing flavors and ingredients that complement the main attraction, so that you can experience course after course of truffles in just about every way imaginable.
For a scent-sational flavor feast foodies will love, the truffles are served up as shavings. This presentation allows the truffle aroma to emit strong signals of taste before they touch your tongue.The subtle and succulent tones of truffles incorporated into each dish will leave you fascinated by the versatility of these exquisite mushrooms.
The jury is still out on the black truffle infused vanilla ice cream, which per- haps only the most ardent enthusiast can truly appreciate, but the fondant chocolate cake is to die for.
The restaurant — opened just a few months ago — is in the heart of the up- scale Thonglor district, and there is a second location at Siam Paragon.
Offering a set lunch menu, Maison de la Truffe is ideal for an executive lunch by day and a romantic rendezvous by night. Perfect for anniversaries, Valentine’s dates and special occasions, you can count on the finest service and an elaborate menu but expect to shell out a small fortune to cover costs of a dining experience superior to most date-night destinations.
So Sofitel’s Red Oven Restaurant offers one of the most extensive and lavish weekend brunch locales in the city, one where tables encircle its signature Molteni (red oven) and guests revel in panoramic views of green Lumpini Park.
The sights themselves are enough to feast on, but the focal point of the Red Oven is an abundant buffet, with a spread varied enough to satisfy palates from the hard-to-please-child all the way to the true gourmet. The restaurant also takes a modern twist on traditional street food by boasting nine live-cooking stations.
Start your brunch with fresh veggies, cold cuts, imported cheeses, olives, hummus and French breads at the organic salad bar, then move on to the sushi and sashimi counter or indulge in oysters, prawns, and Alaskan King crab from the succulent seafood spread.
For hot entrees, visit the carving station for beef and lamb shank, or help yourself to pastas, quiche, pizza, stews and soups, as well as rice dishes, steamed vegetables and grilled fish.
More traditional breakfast fare is available in the form of waffles and crepes. Load up on the accoutrements: syrups, honey, jams, chocolate spreads and the like.
Just be sure to save some space for sweets, because the star of the show is undoubtedly Red Oven’s dessert bar. Here, the chocolate fountain mesmerizes children, while miniature desserts tempt the more sophisticated adult palates. Recommend are the tiramisu, lemon meringue tarts, panna cotta and rich bites of dark chocolate brownie. The portions are so small (and irresistible) that you’ll definitely enjoy more than one.
The homemade ice cream counter is another crowd-pleaser, showcasing berry sorbets and rich, creamy concoctions. Guests can even handcraft frozen treats by tossing mix-ins onto their ice creams on a cold-stone slab.
A kids’ club gives the littlest luncheon attendees an outlet for the energy gained after dipping marshmallows in the chocolate fountain. Once the kids are occupied, adults can finish off their afternoons in peace and quiet over one of many gourmet teas or coffees.
Saturday and Sunday brunches start at noon. Free-flow wine catered by The Wine Connection allows guests to have their pick of red, white or sparkling wine.
So Sofitel will host various holiday-themed celebration dinners, brunches and parties for Christmas and New Year, giving expats who live far from home a wonderful way to create lasting memories this holiday season.
Brunch is 1,950 ++ per person, including juices and hot teas.
Upgrade to 2,350 ++ for soft drinks and free flow wine.
Children ages 5-12 years are half price, and kids under five eat for free.
(published first in Wanderlust: Expat Life & Style Magazine)
by Mandy Smith
My girls know me well – I was born in the wrong century. With a taste for the finer things in life, Id be very content to live the “Downton” existence with afternoon tea time and garden parties and evening wear and dance cards. And with that in mind, they treated me for my birthday to an indulgent afternoon with all the pomp & circumstance you’d imagine royalty enjoyed on a daily basis in the Victorian era. Teatime at The Chocolate Buffet Sukhothai Hotel!!
Here my girls and I (and our dapper little escort) partook of afternoon high tea in style. Two adjacent rooms with parallel buffets, one sweet and one savory, are laden with the the choicest of culinary delights. Delicate tea sandwiches, crispy spring rolls, salmon croissants, seared tuna bites, fresh sushi, giant prawns, seasonal fruits, exotic olives and nuts are amongst the savory selections and kept our palate balanced so we could frequent the other table; an extensive selection of all things seductively sweet! The name says it all, “The Chocolate Buffet” does not disappoint with every conceivable truffle and trifle. Eclairs, cakes, pastries, fondue, macaroons, creme brûlée, fruit tarts and even an assortment or sherbets and ice creams tantalize the insatiable craving for just a bite more of something sweet. And it just wouldn’t be high tea without scones and clotted cream, of which we partook more than our share!
But the real highlight of the whole experience is the trolly manned by Swiss pastry chef Laurent who hand crafts custom hot chocolates for guests from a wide assortment of cocoas from around the world. He will educate you in the varying flavors of chocolate from the robust to mild, acidic to earthy, bitter to sweet and then concoct according to your preferred taste, a demitasse cup of the richest hot chocolate you’ve ever experienced. Top with cream or a dollop of hazelnut or swirl of caramel or sprinkle of chili or dusting of sea salt for a blend unique specifically to you. (Swiss Miss will forever be ruined in your list of guilty pleasures!)
And as our afternoon drew to a close and we felt that we could not bear to look at one more chocolate chip (for our lack of self control,) the courteous staff, knowing it was my birthday, presented me with a lovely chocolate cake in celebration of the occasion. We blew out the candles and boxed it up to take home to the littles who were feeling very left out that we’d spend the entire afternoon in the likes of “Willy Wonkas Chocolate Factory” without them.
I do feel I should have been born in a century where afternoon high tea was a daily pleasure, but how in the world did those ladies live in corsets? We were grateful for the “breathing room” of our loose fitting dresses as we made our departure after 3 hours of chocolate indulgence! Ill be coming back for special occasions, but my figure would suffer greatly if I had this little luxury every day! Recommending this at the top of my list of “things to do in Bangkok”!