Igniv Is Cocooned In Culinary Comfort
Holding two Michelin stars at its St Moritz and Bad Ragaz addresses, the Igniv brand is the brainchild of chef Andreas Caminada, who also heads the kitchen at his three-Michelin-starred Schloss Schauenstein. Igniv Bangkok is his first eatery outside of his native Switzerland and the kitchen is helmed by head chef David Hartwig—formerly one of Caminada’s most trusted lieutenants at Schloss Schauenstein—and sous and pastry chef Arne Riehn.
The word igniv means nest in Caminada’s mother tongue, Romansh, and his restaurants appropriately reflect the chef-founder’s personal take on modern European cuisine: a unique sharing concept that offers guests a fine dining experience in which they connect with the food and each other. This conceptualisation extends to its décor, which was conceived by Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola using elegant fabric boiseries with vibrant pops of colour.
Sustainability is in Caminada’s DNA and Igniv Bangkok utilises as much as 80 per cent local produce, including vegetables grown in small batches in Chiang Mai exclusively for the restaurant. The menus here are seasonal and light. Dishes are prepared with traditional French cooking techniques with influences from all over the world, then finished off with a whimsical, modern touch.
We start the Igniv experience with bite-sized small appetisers. Layers comprising a macaron shell, piquant fresh mackerel, wasabi mousse and mixed herbs pack a gorgeous punch. A savoury banana and shrimp tartelette is brightened by a yoghurt foam and lime zest. The pick, however, is the chef’s signature liver almonds, roasted nuts covered in a smooth coating of foie gras and beetroot powder.
Starters showcase a dynamic culinary lineup, with favourite choices being a combination of the season’s specials and Igniv’s classics to share. A beautiful platter of seabass ceviche comes garnished with radish, dill, calamansi gel and avocado cream, presenting a lovely tang and an explosion of flavours. Also indulgent is the duck liver platter, which is light and velvety and topped with Mandarin orange gel and yoghurt foam—the mashup perfect with buttery brioche. A tasty beef tartare arrives garnished with slivers of sunchoke and grated hazelnut and is paired with Igniv’s meticulously prepared signature potato chips. The most photogenic dish of the bunch is the smoked hamachi, which is served on a hot stone grill with celery and calamansi gel. Each bite is well-complemented by the accompanying wasabi mayonnaise.
Moving on to the mains, one of the stand-out offerings is a dish of pork neck glazed in barbecue sauce, which provides wonderfully smoky bites that are divine with a savoury plum sauce and slices of pickled plum. We also enjoy a scrumptious platter of crisp yet chewy truffle-glazed cauliflower served in a frothy pool of brown butter sauce with fresh black truffle. The absolute gem, however, is a dish of grilled butternut squash. Sweet and creamy, it is topped with a smooth brown butter puree, black garlic sauce and hollandaise espuma.
Do leave room for chef Riehn’s decadent desserts. His Igniv sundae stands out with lush layers of shaved caramel milk ice cream, milk custard, caramelised cashew nuts, caramel gel and milk foam meringue. Other sweet treats include a perfectly airy and rich chocolate soufflé, a pick-me-up basil sorbet with white chocolate crumbles and a sinful chocolate tart with mango puree. And you’re not done yet because a visit to the Candy Store on the way out is a must. Here guests are gifted delicious house-made souvenirs such as fruit jellies, macarons, canalés and chocolate. It is a classy ending to a very classy meal and a great way to cement a lasting impression.
St Regis Bangkok, 159 Rajadamri Road
Open Wed-Sun, lunch: noon-3pm, dinner: 6pm-11pm
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