Already awarded a Michelin plate, the Grand Hyatt Erawan’s Tables Grill brings in a top-gun chef for the next level
IN THE inaugural Michelin Guide Bangkok published late last year, Tables Grill at the Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok was among the 76 dining venues awarded Michelin plates in recognition of good cooking with fresh ingredients.
Aiming next for a Michelin star, the European-food restaurant is taking an exciting fine-dining direction under the baton of the new chef de cuisine Hans Zahner.
Hailing from Paris, Zahner previously worked at Les 3 Domes in Lyon and with celebrated chef Alain Ducasse at his eponymous restaurant in Paris.
Bangkok is the second city in Asia where Zahner has headed culinary operations, following nearly three years at the Peninsula Shanghai’s Michelin-star Sir Elly’s.
New chef de cuisine Hans Zahner
“I had a chance to travel to many cities in China, Vietnam and Thailand and I realised that Asian people generally don’t like French food, which they find too heavy and creamy,” says Zahner, who joined Tables Grill in April. “I use traditional French techniques, but I want to give these classic dishes a fresh and healthy spin, using seasonal ingredients.”
As he prepares to revamp the whole menu in August, Zahner is introducing himself to the regulars with a sampling of his capabilities in a six-course degustation menu costing Bt2,900-plus per diner.
“The idea is to sate the appetite but not get too full,” he says. “The weather here is hot, so people can’t eat too much foie gras. Premium sea bream and salmon are better choices for a light and healthy meal.”
The feast begins with breads and truffle butter, followed by an amuse-bouche with a shot of tomato foam and tomato confit served with a shard of mackerel on a radish.
Then comes David Herve Boudeuse Oyster, a small, round variety from the David Herve farm in France that’s admired for its sweet and succulent flesh. Served on a bed of blue rock salt that mimics the sea, the mollusc is lightly tossed with a lemony condiment and lemongrass jelly and capped with two tiny morsels of Granny Smith apple and beetroot puree.
David Herve Boudeuse Oyster
Zahner claims Tables Grill is the only restaurant in Bangkok using premium Brittany royal sea bream for its tartare instead of the usual tuna. The diced fish is dressed with Moulin du Calanquet extra virgin olive oil from France, which the chef likes for its robust yet delicate taste, a good complement to the firm-textured fish.
On top goes Kristal caviar – the roe of Schrencki sturgeon farmed in China. The dark eggs are plump, briny and buttery, with a nice pop and a clean finish.
Brittany Royal Sea Bream Tartare
All this rests on water carrot jelly, a rather complicated creation, says the chef. Carrot juice is slowly heated and stiffened with egg white, forming a fine mesh screen that works like a strainer to produce a clear consomme. The juice is then strained with three layers of fine-mesh fabric and gelatin is added.
Alaskan King Crab with Red Curry
The Alaskan King Crab sees the meat, tomato confit and lime skin beneath curry custard, coriander leaves, curry foam and a galangal emulsion, the effect being slightly spicy, sour and sweet. The foam is also drizzled with red cabbage powder.
Confit Wild Canadian Salmon
Next up is Confit Wild Canadian Salmon, of which Zahner carefully selects only the red flesh, drawing 12 fillets from the whole salmon. These are cooked sous-vide for 20 minutes at 47 degrees Celsius and garnished with Tasmanian black truffle. A zucchini cooked with Hormardine sauce makes a fine companion.
Roasted Australian Lamb
The main course is Roasted Australian Lamb. This is grass-fed tenderloin also prepared sous-vide and then roasted. On the side is carrot mille-feuille – 20 layers of finely sliced and baked carrot beneath carrot foam, all dressed with cumin sauce.
If you’re no fan of lamb, you can ask for beef, pork or chicken instead.
Lemon Cream and Rhubarb Sorbet
The meal ends with a refreshing dessert of Lemon and Rhubarb – rhubarb sorbet, lemon cream, hazelnut crumble and raspberry puree.
Conceived by New York-based designer Tony Chi, the dining room can seat 100 people amid Old World furnishings, vintage tiling and rattan partitions, all made in Thailand under Chi’s supervision. In a playful touch, cartoon chef figurines gaze down from the ceiling’s corners.
Around the room are five cooking stations where dishes like champagne risotto, tomahawk steak and creme brulee are prepared in full view. Away from the crowd are two luxurious private rooms – the 12-seat Chamber and 32-seat Cellar.
Tables Grill is aiming next for a Michelin star, with a new executive chef leading the campaign.
Tables Grill serves dinner daily except Sunday, when there’re a champagne brunch and the special a-la-carte menu including Half Boston Lobster Thermidor, Pan-fried Duck Liver and Poached Egg Penne Gratin. It costs Bt3,999-plus with free-flowing Louis Roederer Champagne, and Bt2,800-plus without.
SAMPLE ALL THAT’S NEW
Dinner is served from 6 to 10pm at Tables Grill at the Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok in the Ratchaprasong intersection.
Make reservations at (02) 254 6250 or www.TablesGrill.com.