The Hue Beauty Of Blue By Alain Ducasse
Conceived by one of the world’s most decorated culinary figures, when Blue opened in late 2019 it rounded off an exciting year for Bangkok’s dining scene. The contemporary French restaurant adds to the famous chef’s impressive roster of global culinary ventures. Outfitted by Jouin Manku, the same design studio behind Ducasse’s three-Michelin-starred restaurants in Paris and London, interiors are a mix of luxurious royal blue and rich cream with wooden finishes, while floor-to-ceiling windows offer sweeping vistas of the Chao Phraya River.
Although Ducasse himself no longer operates in the kitchen, he remains highly sought-after as a mentor by the likes of Blue’s executive chef Wilfrid Hocquet, who joined the Ducasse Paris enterprise in his early 20s and says, “I learned from Alain that the most important thing in one’s career is to know where you want to be in 10 or 20 years’ time. The trick is to find somebody to teach you everything you need to know to get there.”
Ducasse is also a muse for many an epicurean, a status reflected in the cuisines showcased at his restaurants worldwide. He believes in paying homage to the authentic tastes of products and being mindful of preserving natural resources. “It is also about finding the best ingredients to put on the table,” Hocquet says. “At Blue we try to strike a good balance between imported ingredients and using Thailand’s exceptional supply of fresh produce.”
A meal at Blue starts with palate-awakening bites that nicely introduce Ducasse’s cooking philosophy and attention to detail. Petite rolls of daikon radish and asparagus with a sorrel condiment are followed by a rich and multi-textured amuse bouche of creamy pumpkin royale with roasted pumpkin and toasted pumpkin seeds. Next a selection of artisanal breads—buttery croissant rolls, Scottish buns and classic sourdough slices—arrives in time to be enjoyed with a starter of akami tuna. Marinated in lemon zest, salt, pink peppercorns and olive oil before being lightly smoked with applewood, thin slices of the fish are alternated with barbecued beetroot. Slivers of Asian pear and a tangy beetroot vinaigrette brighten the dish further. Also from the sea is a beautiful platter of octopus. Perfectly char-grilled, it is served with a warm salad of cauliflower, pomelo and lemon caviar and superbly completed with a smoky sauce of piquillo peppers and grapefruit.
Moving on to the main course, a platter of samagerai (a type of Japanese sole) continues to impress. Pan-seared in foaming butter for a luscious finish, it goes brilliantly with Paris mushrooms stuffed with a flavoursome mix of Swiss chard, pine nuts, basil and olives. Meat lovers will also enjoy saddle of lamb cooked sous-vide to a perfect pink blush then given a quick searing to lock in the flavour. Juicy and tender, it is served with crisp yet buttery pommes anna, a piquant Chinese chive condiment, sesame picada and a drizzle of lamb jus.
Ebullient executive pastry chef Maxou Boonthanakit, who is more American than Thai having grown up there, helms the sweet side of the kitchen at Blue. For a vibrant finish try his citrus vacherin, which is creamy saffron ice cream topped with mandarin orange served three ways—fresh, marmalade and confit. It comes with a refreshing side of orange and vanilla granita. But the star of the dessert menu, alongside a famous rum savarin, is the chocolate tarte. A must-try, it features a decadent mix of premium cocoa butter from Ducasse’s own chocolatier in Paris topped with caramelised cocoa nibs and a scoop of cocoa nib ice cream. It is a sybaritic end to a relaxed fine dining experience that is pleasingly free of pretence.
Blue by Alain Ducasse
IconSiam, 299 Charoennakorn Road
Open daily noon-2pm, 6-9pm
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