Le Du

ledu - 1Besides the amazing street food, the gastronomic scene of Bangkok is one of the most interesting in Asia, with some of the best restaurants in the world, like Nahm and Gaggan (13th and 17th in the World’s 50 Best Guide of the British magazine Restaurant). This said it is not to be admired the growing number of restaurants and that many chefs come to the city, one of those cases is the young chef Ton, a Thai that moved to the USA, graduated of the CIA (no, he didn’t become a spy, he just studied in the Culinary Institute of America) and made career in some of the best restaurants of New York, like Jean-Georges or the Eleven Madison Park. He returned to Bangkok with the goal of working the eastern ingredients with a New York style, he opened Le Du around a year ago, one of the new sensations in town.

Located in a small alley next to the BTS station of Chong Nonsi, it was not easy to find, but we got there. The space intends to associate the gastronomy to the concept of wine bar, Ton is also sommelier and tries to make the fusion between the wines and his cuisine (which is not an easy task considering the high taxes over the imported wines). In the room, with a city atmosphere and quite cosmopolitan, reigns relaxation, with nicely arranged tables and an excellent view to the kitchen, like in a good theater play.

ledu - 4We started with a toast of Follador, a classic Prosecco without great history that served to cool our bodies and prepare the taste buds to what came next.

ledu - 5
Thai-style pate, rice paper, Chinese plum, galangal, white ginger and Sriracha
A pork pate that is supposed to be almost like a Foie gras tureen, with the due differences of taste and texture. Quite Asian flavors, always with a striking note of ginger and an excellent texture game. Excellent start.

ledu - 6Phu lae” Pineapple, radish, nuts, shrimp & pork powder, mint snow and smoked coconut milk

Visually appealing, this starter represents well the fusion of the eastern ingredients and the western modernity the chef seeks. A fresh dish, full of strong flavors like the dried shrimp and the pork, contrasting perfectly with the pineapple and the snow mint, not to mention the smoked coconut milk, filling the pineapple and connecting all the elements. Delicious and unexpected.
ledu - 7Bass, celery puree, sunchoke, pickled lemon zest, extra fermented soy bean

Another dish elegantly presented, bass cooked perfectly, moist with crispy skin. The puree made with celery stalks gives more vegetable notes in combination with the sunchoke, contrasting with the intense flavor of the fermented soy sauce. Excellent fish dish that combined the east and the west very well.

ledu - 8Wild Mushrooms, free-range egg confit, Acacia pennata, pickled oyster mushrooms, chili, gourd, Thai fermented fish, bacon

A dish that could almost be familiar to us, giving the mix of mushrooms, egg and bacon. However, the remaining elements and their flavors created in the plate resulted in something very different and a bit unexpected, in a good contrast of textures and flavors. I only missed some bread to dive in the bottom of the plate.

ledu - 9Swimming crab and black truffle ravioli, fried garlic, Bok Choy and scallion

Succulent and thin ravioli of a crab well aromatized with the truffle, a delicate and tasty dish. Once again the textures are one of the highlights (something recurrent in Thailand, from the street food to the best restaurants, the care with the texture combinations is impressive).

ledu - 10Dark Soy Chicken, pandan, roasted sesame, cucumber and smoked goat chili gel
Sous vide cooked chicken breast with soy sauce, giving it an apparently dry look, but it revealed to be quite the opposite, moist, humid and soft. The dish combined very well a variety of flavors, some of them were unknown to me, like the pandan in a excellent balance of sweet, savory and acid. A very well accomplished dish and visually attractive.

ledu - 11Ostrich, tamarind, winged bean, sticky rice, chili paste and roasted rice

Less attractive than the previous one, it was to me the least interesting of the dishes, but still with a combination of textures and flavors in the meat’s garnish that had interesting points.

ledu - 16Coconut charcoal cheesecake, lemon tart gel and spiced coconut ice cream

In Europe we’re not used to apply charcoal as a cuisine ingredient, on the contrary of Asia where it is quite used in cakes. Here was used coconut charcoal to create a light cheesecake, with a slightly smoked taste and little sweet, visually different, which result surprised me. Fantastic coconut ice cream as well as the integration of the acidity in the lemon gel.

ledu - 17
Pink Okra sorbet, banana and honey gel, short bread and caramel
A dessert created around the okra sorbet and the banana, with once again a great ice cream and the banana connecting the elements whether as gel and slightly caramelized. Also positive the addition of a Malibu short bread where we could taste a bit of the alcohol and the coconut, giving additional and interesting points to the dessert. Very good.

The Service is relaxed just right, with the correct attention and the well-presented dishes. Being also a wine bar, Le Du also has an increased preoccupation with the wines, which is not easy as I said. Besides the Prosecco, we accompanied our meal with a Weingut Bernhard Ott ‘Am Berg’ 2013, an Austrian wine 100% Grüner Veltliner, which freshness and acidity worked really well with the starting dishes, following a California red, Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon of 2011, a light and easy wine that while not being surprising, let the dishes shine.

ledu - 14             ledu - 13             ledu - 12

Final Remarks
This Le Du, with just a year of existence, is to be congratulated, Chef Ton and his team created an almost perfect balance between the New York style with the bases and ingredients of the traditional Thai cuisine. To us westerns unaccustomed to certain ingredients, every dish brings something new and surprising and to its Thai diners it gives the opportunity of seeing some of their ingredients used as they never saw or thought. The aesthetic care, the quality of the technique, the informal environment and of course, above all, the flavors, make of Le Du one of the best dining rooms in Bangkok.

Le Du Restaurant
399/3 Silom soi7 Silom Bangrak Bangkok
(092) 919 9969

Flavors & Senses in Thailand with the support of Emirates

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