By : JOHN GRANVILLE
15 February 2019
About: Savelberg retained its star in the latest Michelin Guide and proves that in a town where trends come and go very quickly, there is still plenty of room for contemporary European fine dining. Before arriving in Bangkok a handful of years ago, Henk Savelberg had enjoyed a long and highly successful career as a Michelin-starred chef in his home country of the Netherlands, having been awarded a star in four different restaurants, his first having been gained in 1982.
Decor: Savelberg (the restaurant) is a stand-alone structure to the front of Oriental Residence, facing directly and prominently onto the street. The interior is high ceilinged, with a ground floor dining room, and two private rooms and a wine lounge on the mezzanine floor. The kitchen is partially open to one side of the room. The interior decor features stone flooring, cool white and grey colours for the walls, and strong highlights of tangerine orange to add a warm glow to the ambience. Crisp linen tablecloths and fine glassware decorate the tables, as in a European fine dining restaurant, but the atmosphere is cheerfully informal.
Menu: Henk has brought his Michelin-star style directly to Bangkok, with a menu of Modern French cuisine and a Dutch touch, and with much of the produce imported by himself. This is especially so with the fish and shellfish, most of which is from the North Sea and is directly imported by Henk from the Netherlands. Other produce is locally sourced, some of the fruit and vegetables coming from the Royal Projects. He and chef de cuisine Patrick Smoor present a lunchtime menu, an a la carte, and tasting menus of a varied number of courses, priced between 2,800 baht and 5,000 baht. Royal Oscientra Caviar is on the a la carte at 2,700 baht for 30 grams. A Fine de Claire oyster with sea asparagus and a gin and tonic sauce is 350 baht, or 1,750 baht for six. The North Sea sole (2,400 baht) is grilled and served with broccoli and cauliflower, and a tangy vinaigrette of Parmesan and lemon. Monkfish (2,100 baht) is also from the North Sea, and is prepared with black garlic. Pan-seared lobster is served with red curry and foie gras (2,400 baht), a daring combination of tastes, and veal tenderloin also comes with a foie gras (1,700 baht) accompaniment. The classic French dish of Anjou pigeon (2,400 baht) is served whole with carrots and almonds. Desserts feature interesting combinations, such as pear and apple with star anise and toffee (600 baht), and ginger with passion fruit (625 baht). Most of the wines are from France, and the selection is dazzling. There are five wines by the glass, plus a Taittinger Prestige Brut at 850 baht per glass and a Kir Royal at 900 baht.
Evaluation: Savelberg delivers a world class dining experience; treating every guest to the very best in ingredients, technical wizardry, and artfully plated dishes accompanied by first class service that does justice to the brand Chef Henk has worked so diligently to create.