Lunch at Le Du

Lunch at Le Du

at Le Du on 7 May 2024
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Le Du in Bangkok provides a remarkable lunch experience that blends contemporary innovation with Thai culinary tradition. Under the masterful guidance of Chef Thitid "Ton" Tassanakajohn, the tasting menu is a vibrant journey that honors Thailand's rich flavors. As a Culinary Institute of America (CIA) graduate with experience at Michelin-starred restaurants like Eleven Madison Park and The Modern in New York, Chef Ton brings his passion and expertise to create a menu that seamlessly combines Thailand's culinary heritage with innovative global techniques. His dedication to sourcing the best local ingredients and weaving them into dishes that resonate with tradition and creativity is evident throughout the meal.

The first course, Snapper with tomato, fermented beans, and chrysanthemum, sets the tone with its perfectly cooked snapper harmonizing with umami-rich fermented beans and floral chrysanthemum, creating a well-balanced blend of familiar Thai tastes with a creative twist. The second course, Khao Chae—pork and shrimp accompanied by organic jasmine rice—offers a delightful contrast of textures and flavors, with aromatic jasmine rice steeped in floral-scented water providing a refreshing base to the savory pork and shrimp components. This dish embodies the perfect blend of tradition and culinary ingenuity.

The Grouper with atlance and wild mushrooms provides an earthy, slightly smoky profile. The fish is delicately cooked, while the rich, umami-packed mushrooms lend depth to the dish. The addition of fermented atlance adds a layer of complexity that pays homage to Thailand's culinary heritage. Next, the Tiger Prawn with ginger torch blower and vegetables stands out for its exceptional execution, where the prawn is plump and flavorful, infused with the slightly spicy notes of ginger torch. The vegetables are crisp and refreshing, lending balance and variety to the dish.

The Thai Wagyu with tamarind and cha-om is the star of the show, captivating diners with its bold flavors and contrasts. The tender, flavorful beef pairs beautifully with tamarind's sweet and sour undertones, while cha-om (acacia leaves) adds an aromatic, herbaceous note. It's a captivating blend that encapsulates Le Du's innovative approach. Those opting for an add-on should not miss the Signature River Prawn, which is masterfully prepared to highlight the sweet, briny flavors of this local delicacy.

The final course, Mango with sticky rice and dried fish, elevates a Thai dessert classic. The mango is ripe and sweet, complemented by the sticky rice's rich, chewy texture. The addition of dried fish adds a surprising savory crunch, creating a perfect balance of flavors to conclude the meal.

Chef Ton's visionary leadership guides a young, talented team that changes the menu every two months to reflect seasonality. Le Du remains more traditional than Nusara, its sister restaurant, while pushing culinary boundaries. With attentive service and a thoughtfully curated wine pairing, the restaurant offers a dining experience that celebrates Thai cuisine in all its glory, respecting local tastes and the support of its community.

8 / 10