reviewed by : Melissa Richter
28 November 2017
Delightfully rustic and charming, Canvas distinguishes itself by redefining what local food is by creating “Inspirational Bangkokian Cuisine”. Chef Riley Sanders heads up the kitchen, and his simple philosophy of combining progressive modern cooking techniques with 100% locally sourced ingredients from Thailand make for a one of a kind dining experience.
Canvas epitomizes the concept of cuisine that is rooted in a “place and time” and each dish is an autonomous creation inspired by what ingredients are fresh, seasonal, and available at the moment. “ I am obsessed about finding the best ingredients, and I will go to any lengths” shared Chef Riley”, I go to the fresh market just about every night. There is nothing that excites me more than finding an ingredient I have never seen before. I like things that are a bit different and that make me think. Its what I love most about beign a chef”.
The new tasting menu is definitely worth getting excited about, as it is the best way to get into the mind of Chef Riley. He has an unparalleled ability to balance the flavors of each dish while combining a myriad of ingredients in a truly masterful way. His menu has a nice progression from lighter to heavier dishes while remaining tantalizingly cohesive without leaving you feeling overly stuffed after a progression of 9+ courses. Case in point is the Blue Swimmer Crab with Fruit & Green Chili, with a chilled roasted coconut broth served in an edible bowl of fresh baby coconut. The natural sugars in the fruit highlight the inherent sweetness of the crab and the chili rounds out the dish. Another stellar offering is the rich and comforting River Prawn Sticky Rice with Puff Rice and Cha Muang leaves which is reminicient of risotto. The creamy head fat of the prawns is cooked with the rice, the shells are roasted and made into a luxurious prawn oil while the succulent flesh studs the creamy rice evoking the essence of roasted prawns and delivering one of the most pleasurable dishes of the evening. Another highlight of Canvas is that they unequivocally lay to rest the notion that you sacrifice on quality if you don’t import your protiens like beef, lamb or duck. Their Duck Breast witg Roselle & Rose Apple is a prime example of locally produced duck that is aged in-house for eight days and then “C-Vaped” (slow cooked with vapor) and pan-fried for a crispy skin. Served with duck fat rose apple confit and roselle sauce infused with cinnamon and star anise, it is sheer perfection. Thai Wagyu Short Rib with Roased Snake Gourd, Cha Kram & Sour Fruit is another stunning offering. Sous vided for two days then roasted over coconut husk charcoal, the tender flesh simply melts in your mouth. Paired with vibrant and earthy Cha Kram herbs and sour pickled fruits, it is a smokey, sensual and precisely balanced delight. For dessert we particually enjoyed the Kanom Dok Jok with Pumpkin & Karonda Gel which is a super thin and light crispy fried chrysanthemum shaped cookie dusted with powdered sugar and cinnamon sitting atop a light pumkin custard with a thin layer of karonda (lemon like) gel.
Without a doubt, Canvas is breaking down barriers and redefining what local food is. If you are looking for a tasting menu that will challenge your assumptions, stimulate all your senses and open you up to a brand new world of exciting flavor combinations, then this tasting menu should be at the top of your list. Canvas will also be offering a wine pairing with the tasting menu beginning in December 2017 and the menu will change every few weeks according to what is seasonally available so guests can come back and experience this culinary adventure time and time again.