Thursday, February 18, 2010

Diner at La Table de Tee

Because Tee had been working with us for 6 years, we decided with Gerard to help set up his own restaurant. I came to Bangkok in October & November 2009 to help him with the refurb of the restaurant, the search of suppliers, deciding on colours of walls, shape of plates...etc

I had to leave early November and Gerard came for the opening week. Since then, it has been quite busy. La Table de Tee has been reviewed by many newspapers and magazines- they have all been very good. A full page in Bangkok Post was the highlight of our exposure.

The restaurant can only seat 18 and it is a chef's table concept- so no A la Carte- Tasting Menu for everyone. I went to eat, for the first time, with Clive & Aubrey (my son's former teacher when he was at the New Sathorn International School in Bangkok).

First course: A very Thai salad of prawns & green chard with a rice vinegar dressing and some Sesame seed oil. It was cold and refreshing as a first course. Then we had a clear crustacean consommé infused with lemon grass and lime leaves- a little spicy & as always a dash of white pepper. That was quite a dish- I thought that the balance of flavours was perfect- It was very Thai. Delicious! The following course was Potato gnocchi, rolled in brown butter and served with a green "salsa" and some courgettes. Good but not memorable- rather safe- taste and texture were very good but I wasn't blown away by the composition of the dish. That was followed by a perfectly cooked seabream, served with some steamed Thai kind of celery and a fish reduction. It was well executed but a bit boring. Again, no ingredient really came up punching my taste bud. I felt Tee was playing a bit too safe. The main course was a lightly breadcrumb chicken breast; served with broccoli and mange tout- again quite boring despite the meat being well cooked. I didn't see any chicken jus reduction and was quite surprised by that. After spending so many years with us, I would imagine that Tee ahd understood that meat jus & consommé were the basis of any good cuisine. Clearly he forgot this lesson. – A refreshing Yogurt ice cream was served- then came the real let down of the evening= the Tee's chocolate delice. It is meant to be a dacquoise base with pralin & white chocolate & topped with chocolate mousse and covered with glacage Paradis. It wasn't like that at all; Tee changed the recipe and that was a real disaster. The bases was just a dry chocolate genoise topped with a not cold enough chocolate mousse and covered with a not reduced enough glacage paradis. We were then served the petits Fours: Delicious marshmallow despite the fact that they had no taste whatsoever; the pineapple macaroon were embarrassingly too cooked.

Oh! I forgot to mention the bread: delicious with garlic.

White wine was a 2006 Gewürztraminer- a bit too sweet for me. The red was the delicious Unfiltered Thai Syrah from Asoke Valley 2006. This wine is exceptional.

I talked to Tee after the meal. For 750 baht, this meal was probably the best you could buy in Bangkok. I thought that Tee really needed to trust his instinct and be a lot more adventurous with his cooking. He agreed with me.

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