[Bangkok] “Turkish food is not just about doner and kebab. I want people to know that. I want to introduce the cuisine internationally.”
The Dining Room is the signature restaurant of The House on Sathorn (next to W Hotel), specialising in modern Turkish influenced cuisine created by Director of Culinary, Chef Fatih Tutak.
He is a Turkey native who grew up in Istanbul, known to combine his homeland’s wide and unique range of ingredients and cooking methods to create his own version of Turkish cuisine.
With experiences in Copenhagen’s NOMA, Tokyo’s Nihonryori Ryugin and Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands as Executive Sous Chef, Chef Fatih was known to present a complete sensory experience.
I came expecting the unexpected.
Chef Fatih’s mission is to create a new culinary language for Turkish cuisine, so it can speak internationally.
He shared that while you can easily find modern French, Japanese and Chinese cuisine overseas, the same cannot be said for Turkish food. But he hoped that would change one day.
The House on Sathorn is an old colonial mansion built in 1889, a Thai national heritage home in the heart of Bangkok. It used to be a hotel and the Russian embassy.
Today, it is an innovative dining destination offering different venues for gastronomy. Quite a charming building, I must say.
Despite being relatively new, The Dining Room is already listed in
Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017, and is hopefully to get a Michelin star or two (or three?) when the guide arrives in Bangkok.
The Dining Room has a real vintage and timeless atmosphere.
Intricately designed columns and wood-carved moulding, green louvered doors, wooden parquet flooring, Thai-inspired handcraft tapestries with an eclectic mix of custom-made sequins, are some elements you would see here.
There is an open kitchen against the long wooden counter. Here, diners could comfortably sit and interact with the chefs in a relaxed manner.
Only set menus are available at The Dining Room, where it blends technique, culinary sensibility and a sense of humour.
Choose from a selection of Tasting Menus by Chef Fatih. There’s the Signature Journey (3800 baht, SGD$156.21), Voyage (2800 baht, SGD$115.10), or Trip (2000 baht, SGD$90.44).
I had the Signature Journey set, which was first presented with a selection of Mezzes (appetizers), of which the most memorable ones were an impressive start of Sea Urchin with Oscietra Caviar; a Bosphorous Black Mussel on edible shell – inspired by what Chef saw at the Istanbul markets; and Jerusalem Artichoke with Free-Range Egg.
The other creatively-named dishes include Childhood Summers (tomato, basil, goat cheese, and salca), Vikings Discovered Istanbul (scallops, Mediterranean black olive, sea fennel), Sultan’s Message (pigeon, antep pistachio, cherry, and leek), The Black Sea (corn meal, kashkaval cheese, and kale), Agean Fish Auction (golden eye snapper, bugulama, potato and parsley), Kuzu Kebab (milk fed lamb ribs, eggplant, protienella, cemen), desserts like Hallucination of Winter (grapes, yoghurt and atsina) and tarte (chestnut/Turkish coffee).
Every dish in the menu is theatrical and tells a story.
One of them is the Sultan’s Message, a plate of pigeon seemingly lying on a pool of blood – which was actually cherry sauce.
What was interesting was the way it was presented, as though to represent a Homing pigeon with an envelope tied to an end with an actual message inside.
On the flipside, I was half-disturbed as the presentation looked just too real.
My favourite dish was the Vikings Discovered Istanbul, of Nordic Scallop cooked in the shell, covered with a thin savoury slight bitter layer that was Mediterranean black olive.
Fresh, succulent, with layered taste.
The dessert dish called Hallucination Of Winter, was inspired by Chef’s actual dream.
Within a carved ice bowl was fluffy yoghurt powder made to look like snow, with a fruit that looked and tasted like a grape on top. What was equally amazing was its fantasy presentation, complete with lights below the ice.
I have tried a good number of restaurants on Asia’s 50 Best, and must say The Dining Room still manages to excite because the food was nothing like what I experienced before.
A large handful, if not all the dishes were innovative, yet you do not feel it is going over-board. (Some restaurants get overly theatrical and try-to-hard, which can be off-putting.) You get the sense that Chef Fatih is not a one-trick pony, and you continue to look forward to the next dish.
However, a large part why the meal was so enjoyable was the interactivity and how Chef told his story. I suspect that might not be as persuasive if he was not there.
Reservation is recommended. For dress code, smart casual for all guests. Gentlemen are requested to avoid wearing shorts or sleeveless shirts. Both ladies and gentlemen are requested to refrain from wearing slippers, flip flops, or beach sandals.
Private dining options available in either Upstairs or Hospitality suites. Chef’s Private Dining is available for parties of 10-12.
The Dining Room at The House on Sathorn
106 North Sathorn Road, Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500
Tel: +66 2 344 4025
Opening Hours: 6:00pm-10:30pm (Daily) Last order at 9:30pm
Google Maps – The Dining Room at The House on Sathorn