Naphalai’s Diary January 28-February 3
The things I do for my job...
Last week I had four dinner events plus another three lunches. That means a dinner almost every day with lunch as well on most of those days. And I am talking about full five-, six-course meals and more. I don't even dare step on the scales—not that I need to as the tighter skirts say it all. It just means I am going to have to spend more time exercising if I don’t want to end up a big, round ball.
Tribe Kick-Off Dinner
The most important dinner I attended was the Tribe kick-off, bringing together the Thailand members of this panel to help Thailand Tatler select the Generation T names for 2019. In its third year, Generation T will present honourees from all eight Asian countries together, making it a pan-Asian initiative. Our 14-member Tribe of industry leaders in 14 sectors join over 100 other luminaries across Asia to lend their expertise in their areas. The dinner turned out to be a fun, casual get-together with Lee Wiliamson, Generation T regional editor, and Mika Apichatsakol, digital editor, providing information on the direction in which it is heading. You can read more about the dinner here and watch a video recap of the evening below:
Joel Robuchon Tribute Dinner
Another dinner that was special was the introduction of the Joel Robuchon tribute menu featuring the late chef’s best-known signature dishes at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon. The holder of the highest record of 32 Michelin stars, Robuchon was a chef who was ahead of his time. The Legacy of Joel Robuchon degustation menu consists of seven and five courses including favourites such as Sologne Imperial caviar in lobster jelly, sea urchin and sea bream carpaccio with citrus and black truffle tart with confit onions and bacon. According to executive chef Olivier Limousin, who worked with Robuchon for over 16 years, the menus are available for the next few months.
Gosset Champange Dinner At The Reflexions
Then there was a dinner to introduce Gosset champagnes at The Reflexions of The Athenee Bangkok. Gosset is the oldest wine house in Champagne, established in 1584. Each of the six courses was paired with a champagne, including the house’s most expensive, the Celebris Vintage Extra Brut 2007. A treat indeed for lovers of bubbly.
Johnnie Walker Blue Label CNY Dinner
With Chinese New Year just around the corner there was also a dinner by Johnnie Walker Blue Label to present its limited edition bottle with the Year of the Pig design. Hosting the evening held at Lin-Fa restaurant at The Sukosol were Alberto Ibeas, managing director of Diageo Moet Hennessy Thailand and Alexander Carroll, head of reserve brands. Joining in the meal which paired Johnnie Walker whiskies with each dish was hotel owner Krissada Sukosol Clapp.
Auspicious Dinner At Summer Palace
Then there was an auspicious menu presented by Summer Palace of InterContinental Bangkok. Hosted by marcom director Natthapha Chaithirasakul and expert on all things Chinese Chitra Konuntakiet, the dinner started off with Yu sheng (also known as Yee sang, Lo hei or Prosperity Toss), a ritual where condiments and ingredients for a raw fish salad are tossed in the air by participants to bring luck and prosperity before eating.
More Prosperity At Pagoda Chinese Restaurant
That was my third Prosperity Toss—does it mean I am going to be triple blessed this year?—with the first at the Peranakan lunch held at the Sub-Zero and Wolf House two weeks earlier. The second was at a lunch at Pagoda Chinese restaurant of Marriott Marquis, hosted by Variya Lulitanond, communications director. In addition to the raw salmon and other ingredients, this version also featured crispy salmon skin, which gave it a very nice touch.The restaurant has also been offering three Chinese New Year set menus and Yu sheng with abalone and salmon.
Red Oven Lunch
The final lunch for me last week was at Red Oven of So Sofitel, hosted by Scot Toon, managing director for Asia of The Pavilions Hotels and Resorts, to introduce the group. This is a young collection of hotels and residences founded by Hong Kong-based entrepreneur Gordon Oldham, with his first property in Phuket. Since then it has expanded to 12 in Asia and Europe, including an equestrian and wilderness retreat in Mongolia featuring accommodation in gers, or tents.
Lunar New Year Events
Two other Lunar New Year events I attended included the Chinatown exhibition at the Contemporary Art Space of River City. The display features the works of Yvan Cohen, a British photographer who has lived in Bangkok for more than three decades. On show are pictures taken over many years presenting the “extraordinary side of ordinary people” who live here. Sponsored by Hua Seng Heng, the exhibition is on until March 31.
Chinese New Year is the time for all the big shopping malls to organise spectacular performances by dancers and acrobats from China as well as lion and dragon dances. I was able to join in only one, held at Parc Paragon jointly put on by the three Siam Piwat malls under One Siam. The show included an acrobatic troupe from Shandong, dance by 63 lions and a 50-metre LED dragon.
Two Openings At IconSiam
There were two events across the river at IconSiam, both to celebrate the official opening of their stores. One was Gems Pavilion, which also took the opportunity to unveil its new collection, Sparkles. Founding siblings Janitha, Pranisa, Piya and Worawut Ahchariyasripong welcomed a steady stream of guests who turned up.
The other was Prada, which was showing off its flagship store. Executives from the regional office in Singapore were on hand to introduce the new opening to guests ranging from superstars to socialites and the media. It was good to see Kris Manoonsirikul, who was the PR and communications director for Thailand but is now based in Singapore.
(Previously: Naphalai's Diary: January 21-27)