Bangkok Food Guide: Aston Dining Room & Bar
Aston Dining Room & Bar by head chef Zra Jiraratana, is situated at 68 Sukhumvit Soi 31. The easiest way to get here is to take a BTS to Phrom Phong and then take a taxi to the location (to avoid the Bangkok heavy traffic). You can actually walk there but for such a fancy place, one would be dressed to kill and you don’t really want to walk 15-20 minutes to a place from the BTS Station.
I was delighted to be invited to experience Chef Zra’s combination of molecular gastronomy meets Thai cuisine. After reading about his credentials, I arrive with high expectations.
The menu certainly looks good – I had basically everything except for the Anjou Pigeon, which was changed with high quality Jamon Iberico pork.
Aston offers an open kitchen concept where you can watch the chefs in action as they prepare the courses for you. They only take a very limited number of guests per day – about 19 if I am not wrong – so they can offer their best attention to your food.
If you had watched the recent movie Spy starring Melissa McCarthy, you would notice the scene where they pour water to a tablet and it expands like a yummy looking marshmallow… and she actually ate it ~~ well – they have it here too so if you bring a friend, do tell them that it’s a yummy amuse bouche and watch in delight as they describe how chewy it is ~~ this is actually a hand towel! LOL
We begin with the two real amuse bouche, small one bite appetizers to begin our meal. Two very beautiful sophisticated light bites that are so instagram worthy and very good start to the meal.
The oyster is quite a unique creation – with a Japanese influence – using the ponzu jelly to add some umami flavours to the refreshing oyster, with a very interesting sea grape and sliced cucumbers to add some texture. This is on par with one of my favourite oyster appetizer in Ezard, Melbourne. I could easily have 15 of these if this was served at a salsa bar ~~
French Butter with English Sea Salt ~~ oooh la la ~~
Buttered toast ~~~ *swoons* Is this only the beginning? More more more please ~~
This is where you see the molecular gastronomy action – on the left is the plate of yummy seasonal vegetables that you will be served, and then they will add some liquid nitrogen freeze dried cold vegetable purees onto your plate – it’s an entertaining spectacle~~
Not a salad person? You will gobble this up happily! That’s why it’s called I Love Salad in the menu
The next appetizer is a simple cold angel hair pesto dish, served with sakura ebi prawns to add some saltiness and crunch with the addition of the sea grape to balance.
The scallop dish is served with a brush of XO sauce, Iberico ham, crispy pork crackling on the side and a flavoursome sea foam. This is sooo yummy and I wish there was more ~~ but that’s how fine dining is ~~~ on to the next course
This is my favourite course of the night! A very unique fusion of Thai flavours to pair with a popular French ingredient: Foie Gras. The Chiang Mai edible flower not only adds colour to the presentation but actually offers a unique taste to the dish. The pineapple adds some tang, the beetroot sauce and coconut creamy mousse offers a variety of richness and balance while the crushed gingerbread snaps adds a delicious peppery crunch to the soft melt in your mouth goose liver. Orgasmic! *claps claps*
As I was indulging in my food orgasms, my ears hear a distinct sizzling sound from the open kitchen. I saw their sous chef was bathing some fish with oil instead of deep frying them, literally scooping hot boiling oil and bathing them ~~ Oooooh what a sight! Can’t wait to see what’s in stall?! Part of the fun while dining here ~ you wonder what’s coming next!
This is their King Snapper, which crispy scales from oil bath ~~ served in a Thai style smoked fish broth. Beside it is a special tomatoes wrapped by a special flavour packed jelly ~~ mmm ~~ a good showcase of the proud strong flavours of Thai cuisine! The only bad luck this dish has – is to come after the foie gras dish, which clearly was sooo good – it made this dish felt ordinary.
A palette cleanser to prepare us for the delicious pork that was about to be served. Refreshing!
One of the most delicious pork in the world – Jamon Iberico – cooked to medium rare and served with a side of potato (forgot it’s name but it’s really delicious with many layers)
Look at the layers of that potato side dish ~ really a showcase of cooking technique ~~ the pork was really yummy ~~ oooh Oinks!
Before dessert, they will offer you a selection of French cheeses ~~~ my natural answer to that is ~ everything please! LOL
One thing you gotta know about this foodie is that HE LOVES CHEESE! HELL YEAH! BRING IT ON!
They will slice the cheeses for you, beautifully presented with their in house crackers and special jam which matches the cheeses very well! One thing to note is that some of these cheeses are really pungent and not for the faint hearted. While I enjoyed and savoured every bite – my brother couldn’t stomach it – and stopped after a bite or two – no problem ~~ MORE FOR MEEEEEEEEEEEEEE~~~~
w00 h00! Here comes the dessert! wait ~~ why is there corn? Why are there leaves? Is this a salad?! That was my initial reaction when I see the dish – but well – there’s ice cream .. and some string like thingy there – it has to be dessert ~~ This is actually grilled sweet corn, with white chocolate pannacotta (shaped into strips) served with popcorn and burnt butter. I certainly enjoyed the contrast in flavours and textures of this dessert! A humble looking one but a satisfying end to the meal!
I have to say that – the style of cuisine that Chef Zra has to offer is actually very international but their wine pairings are really a journey around the world ~~ We begin with a yummy Prosecco from Zonin France, Sauvignon Blanc from Stone Bay, New Zealand, Riesling from Rocky Gully, Frank Land, South Australia, Pinot Gris, Domain Bott- Gray, AOC Alsace, France, Riesling X Silvaner Jurg Saxer Nobler Weisser, Switzerland, Parallele 45’ Cote Du Rhone, France and lastly a sweet Moscato Castello del Piggo, Asti, Italy. An amazing international pairing with the food! Bravo! *raise glass*
The real ending of the night – although I didn’t really want it to end ~~ the petit fours ~~ or called Mignardises. A sweet sweet happy ending ~~
Chef Zra wasn’t available tonight but their chefs did manage to give me an exciting dining experience. Aston Dining Room & Bar gets a thumbs up from this foodie! Forgive my red face ~~ that happens when there’s delicious bubbly hanging around ~~ Overall I feel Aston should be one of the top new restaurants in Bangkok and will probably enter the regional or world restaurant rankings in the next few years.
Thanks Ken for entertaining and patiently explaining the great dishes we have tonight! I look forward to dining here again in my future Bangkok trips!