A very special lunch: The Verandah, Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok

Oh my lordy! I have waited a long time to write about this- one of the most original iterations of tuna I’ve ever been served. (Singapore’s Shangri-La High Tea also does an amazing tuna salad- but I shall save that for another time when I close my eyes and wish I were back in an Asian country…)

But first, let’s set the scene…

The Verandah Café is situated alongside Bangkok’s Chao Phraya River. You can arrive at the front of the hotel by taxi, or by a shuttle boat from round the back that runs from Saphan Tak Sin BTS station- this boat is rather beautifully decorated. Dark carved wood swirls to a peak, emblazoned with the the Mandarin Oriental’s stamp, it’s like a floating pagoda…

Once you float down to the little dock, you walk through the hotel’s gardens and arrive at the Verandah Café. It’s a popular spot for lunches- they have a fair amount of deli-style lunch options as well as Thai a là carte dishes (oh this has to be saved another post). For special occasions and casual weekend lunch dates, it serves very well conceived food at a surprisingly reasonable price.

DSC_1746

This beautiful fish((dish)- I decided to retain the typographical error for a witty embellishment) is a pistachio crusted, seared tuna steak with sautéed asparagus, “jewelled “bulgur wheat and quinoa and a red wine, tomato and caper sauce. I love seared tuna- so me and this fish got on like a house on fire. The slices of tuna were succulent and contrasted beautifully with the crunchy pistachio crust. The fresh flavour of the fish was enhanced by the asparagus which was so subtly rounded with a bit of butter. The sauce was well balanced- it complemented the rich slices of tuna with its gentle acidity with exciting little spritzes of intense flavour from the small pieces of tomato and capers. Clean, fresh palate – Definitely my kind of food!

Two biscuits marbled in dark pink and beige, bolstered by pillows of a light pink crème chantilly filling, and garnished with a raspberry, a rose petal and a Jackson Pollock-esque chocolate star, I saw it across the room and had to get a closer look… with all five senses. It was a treat day, so I ordered none other than a rather beautifully crafted Raspberry Chantilly Macaron from their dessert chiller. It came on a slick white plate adorned with a flourish of coulis and looked like this….

A rather delicious Raspberry Chantilly Macaron

Words cannot explain how good it was, but I shall try. Raspberry – is a go to flavour as you know from my previous post on PAUL’s Macarons but this one takes it to a whole new level. The filling was light and yet loaded with the flavour of raspberries. It was far from overpowering and far from synthetically introduced… I don’t know what kind of gastronomical alchemy was involved in gaining the intensity of the raspberries in the cream (which, in most cases is too heavy and buttery and, generally bland..) but my tastebuds certainly appreciated it. The biscuit was deliciously chewy and was complemented by the coulis- I went on to mop up the coulis with the biscuit using a few deft wrist movements and it was absolutely worth it. The interspersion of raspberry and what tasted like vanilla custard gained a louder voice when combined with the biscuit, and my tongue was more than happy to listen.

Let’s leave it at that and let you drool over these pictures… until next time 🙂

The Ratings

Taste- 5/5

Vistas- 5/5

Innovation-6/5

Locking eyes across the room and experiencing “love at first bite” – 5/5

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