Monday, October 11, 2010

Full Flavour - Chef's Workshop

We were invited by a friend who wanted to treat three other mutual friends for their belated birthdays (did that make sense?). The friend who was treating us for dinner had a very good experience at a very unique restaurant several weeks before and wanted us to try the place as well.

That very unique restaurant is called Full Flavour - Chef's Workshop. The restaurant was opened by a very young & nice couple. Chef Jade (in the photo above) just came back from studying in San Francisco at the California Culinary Academy. The concept of a personal chef cooking for the guest is not new; from San Francisco, Hong Kong to Buenos Aires, behind nondescript front doors and in family living rooms a host of homespun restaurant are the latest foodie fad. The tricky bit is finding them.

Here in Bangkok; the restaurant is not in the chef's home, but on the second floor of a nondescript apartment building; the former gym of the apartment was turned into a small but cozy open kitchen with a counter to sit the guest. The restaurant is not open all the time. It is only opened when you call the chef and make a reservation atleast week in advance. The reason is this gives the chef time to see what ingredients are in season and time to make up the menu.

The place setting with the menu describing the 5 course meal.

Chef Jade preparing to cook the first dish.

The first dish was Sweet pea soup. The soup had was accompanied with pan seared scallop and white truffle foam. The peas soup was rich, thick and had tons of flavour. The scallop was a nice added texture & taste. The white truffle foam was a lovely touch and the nice thing about it was that it did not overwhelm the taste of the soup. All the ingredients were a good combination.

The second dish was Asparagus salad. The asparagus was topped with aged parmesan, poached eggs and pancetta. The asparagus was fresh and tender. The poached egg was cooked perfectly. A simple but very nice dish. The only issue I had was that the asparagus and poached egg was way too cold.

The third dish was Sea urchin risotto. The risotto was topped with sauteed white prawns and Chinese chives. The rice was cooked perfectly. The risotto was thick, rich and creamy. The urchin taste was amazing. A great dish!

One of the choice for the main course...Pan seared duck breast. The duck was topped with pomegranate sauce and crispy matchstick potatoes. The duck was cooked perfectly (still pink), it was juicy but a bit tough. The sauce was not too sweet (which was a very good thing).

The second choice for the main course...Braised beef short ribs. The ribs was accompanied with polenta cake, sweet carrots and broccolini. The beef was of good quality and was so tender & juicy (it was cooked for hours). The sauce was so so good. A fantastic dish.

The dessert was Lavender crème brûlée. The dessert was accompanied with seasonal mango and strawberry. Everyone agreed that the lavender flavour of this dish was out of this world. A delight.

Overall; a really great experience. Talking to the chef (and his wife, K'Nuk) while he was cooking was interesting and fun. On top of that we learned how to make some of those dishes. The atmosphere was so relaxed and easy-going because it was only our 'gang' and the chef (and his staff) was truly like sitting in someone's kitchen.

There was only one aspect that I would recommend the chef to do...he should open the windows when he cooks onion rings (or do them ahead of time) & searing the duck breast. At the same time; he should invest in a stronger exhaust above the stove. We were all crying and had irritated eyes because chef Jade started making onions rings and our clothes strongly smelled of fried food due to the searing of the duck.

But then again; this in no way ruined our experience at Full Flavour. We thought it was a great concept, great ambiance & great food. At 2,500 baht per person; it is worth all the money. The portions were so generous that we could not move after the dinner (which is not too bad of a thing).

79 soi Paholyotin 5, Paholyotin Rd.
Bangkok, 10400
Tel.: 081-644-3868
BTS: Ari

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