23 January 2019

  • reviewer's rating :
summary : Modern French cuisine prepared by Chef Roxanne Lange and served in an elegant setting at the recently refurbished The Athenee Hotel.

The Reflexions has been part of the The Athenee Hotel for years, but when the hotel joined Marriott’s Luxury Collection the entire property was closed for renovation, and when it reopened just over a year ago, The Reflexions remerged in a very different style.

Under Chef Roxanne Lange the cuisine too has taken on a new edge, presenting an interpretation of Modern French cooking that allows her to explore her own background in Michelin-rated restaurants in Europe, and, most recently, with Henk Savelberg’s Bangkok restaurant, a short walk away down Wireless Road. Chef Roxanne, who like Savelberg is a Dutch national, had been the multi-Michelin-master’s sous chef.

The Reflexions is on the third floor of the hotel, and reflects (if we may use the word) the elegance of the hotel under its new brand. Standing on the site of the former Kandhavas Palace, which had been home to Princess Valaya Alongkorn, a daughter of King Rama V, the property now emphasises its royal heritage. 

The restaurant has a warm decor, with a semi-open kitchen, and a small platform equipped with a grand piano. The music too reflects the heritage and the cuisine, as pianist Jean Francois Lienard has toured Europe as a classical pianist and a teacher at musical academies, and also has a distinguished career composing and performing film soundtracks and for music festivals. Before seating himself at The Reflexions piano, Jean Francois visits each table and very charmingly introduces himself.

We had visited specifically to sample the tasting menu that Chef Roxanne has recently introduced. There is a choice of four, six, eight or ten courses, with prices ranging from 2,950 to 4,300 baht, with a wine option adding between 800 and 2,000 baht. If you are vegetarian, there is a choice of three set menus, with four, six and eight courses and starting from 1,300 baht. There is also an a la carte, with tasting-size portions, and a separate lunch menu.

Being just two of us, we chose the six-course menu, at 3,500 baht, with added wine paring at a 1,200 baht supplement.

We began with a David Herve oyster, a plump and juicy one that was served with fennel and a sprinkling of caviar. This was an immediate indicator of Chef Roxanne’s style, because the flavour was intense while remaining true to the briny origins of the oyster. 

Our sea crab was combined with mussel and cucumber, with a colourful sauce of saffron and lime. Gazpacho, based upon an heirloom tomato, had the natural tomato flavour and colour, its veggie-fruity taste offset by the piquant addition of goat’s cheese. Another creative pairing was our turbot, which had been matched with pork belly and had the earthy undertow of truffle. 

Our Wagyu striploin was a colourful presentation of char-brown beef with the sensual red of beetroot, a dash of red cabbage, and a rich pouring of beef jus. We ended with a light citrus dessert of yuzu, pear and almond.

The Reflexions is a restaurant for a special occasion: a romantic date, an anniversary, a get-together with old friends, a relaxed business dinner. Under manager Mack the service purrs with a friendly efficiency. And the piano playing of Jean Francois adds a special touch of magic.