Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dean & Deluca

Everyone was talking about the new Dean & Deluca. D&D has brought New York Chic to Bangkok. D&D is famous for their upscale cafés and gourmet food shops. I have never been to the one in New York and I talked to a girl in my office who lived in New York for 10 years and she said that there was nothing special about Dean & Deluca and did not know what all the hype was all about.

But, there are really big fans of D&D. Some of them are in my office; even www.cnngo.com gave D&D 4.5 stars out of 5. This is the place on everyone's mouths. So; I needed to try this place out and see if all the hype was worth it.

The Dean & Deluca is situated in the soon to be built MahaNakhon Project. When we entered D&D; the place was packed with the weekend crowd. The temporary space &architecture of D&D is almost like a modern industrial warehouse. The volume & space of the place is stunning. Due to the enormous windows; the place has this seeming flow of light & space. The main textures are concrete, steel & glass. Nothing like this exist in Bangkok; so I understand why people like it.

There is an outdoor and indoor dinning area.

The concept is a modern deli; you order your salad, sandwich, dessert, coffee, etc. at the counter. You get a number and either your number is called and you pick up your order or someone from the staff delivers your order at the table. I am not sure why there are two systems of service here; but you really need to pay attention because they might be calling your number.

Some of the cupcakes placed strategically at the counter to tempt people.

The first sandwich was the Avocado & Goat Cheese with whole grain bread sandwich. The sandwich was very tasty. The avocado & goat cheese were fresh and had a nice taste. The bread was of good quality as well. The potato chips as a side to accompany the sandwich was a waste of space.

The second sandwich was the Chicken Humus on panini bread. The chicken & humus were dried out. The panini bread was also on the dry side; so put all those dried out ingredients together and what we got was a very dried out sandwich. Oh; did I mention that this sandwich was dried out? I think this sandwich was sitting in the fridge for way tooooo long. On top of that; there was no taste of the chicken or the humus; so not only were the key ingredients dried out, there was absolutely no taste to this sandwich. Very disappointing.

The dessert counter where you can see and choose the dessert you want. When I arrived at the dessert counter; I thought to myself..."why do all these desserts look familiar, especially since I have never been to a D&D?" Anyway; I chose one dessert.

We chose a Mille-feuille to share. The mill-feulle was simply presented. The crust was crispy on top and moist in between. The cream filling was creamy, rich, tasty and not too sweet (which is a good thing).

In the corner of D&D is where there shop is located. Apparently; D&D is famous for selling their own products such as spices, coffee, tea, candy, olive oil, etc. The packaging of D&D products were very nice; simple and elegant. But, I have to say the products are a bit on the expensive side. Since; I do not know much about D&D, I am not sure of the quality of the products D&D source their products from. So, in the end I cannot say if the products are worth the price.

The view of the deli and shop all together. D&D is in this temporary structure until the MahaNakhon will be built. Then D&D will move into their 'true' space. We also heard that D&D will be opening a supermarket as well in the building. So, the fans of D&D will be very happy when all this happens.

Overall; I think D&D is a great concept that has helped the area of Sathorn/ Narathiwas Roads become hip & happening. The area did not really have a 'cool' place for people to hang out. It has given the location a buzz. There is always a vibe when you enter the place because it is always full of people.

But when it comes down to the food; I will have to give D&D a 'B -' in quality. When it comes to value; I will have to give D&D a 'C'. Two sandwiches, one cake, two coffees and two ice teas came to 1,000 baht. That is not cheap! Especially for lunch...I do not see a lot of people doing D&D on a daily basis for lunch.

On top of this; I find out that the 'pastries' that D&D are selling are not even their own. They buy them from Lenôtre; no wonder when I was picking my dessert, the pastries looked so familiar since I often bought my pastries from Lenôtre. I do not care if D&D sells Lenôtre pastries (on the contrary since I like Lenôtre), but they should be honest about it.

Will I go back to D&D? For sure; the place is not bad at all, but it is not my favourite place in town and it for sure is not top of mind.

MahaNakhon Project
92 Narathiwas Road
Chong Nonsi BTS Station
Tel. +662 234 1434


suipan said...

Hi I always enjoy reading your blog. I'm living in Tokyo but regularly visit Bangkok. We have 12 Dean & Deluca here, and I love the shop.

Regarding breads and sweets, D&D here is like a select shop. They sell their home-made stuff, but they also sell products from excellent bakeries and patisseries from all over Japan. Is that something D&D in BKK should think about?

Lek said...

I was about to say that cakes and pastries are from Le Notre, but you knew it already :)

Wii MPC said...

Excellent blog... this is the blog I am looking for :D

srida said...

Hi, I had a chance to visit the store just last week. The deli is very nice great setting but that is about it. Food and service is terribly substandard, which is a shocker. Sandwiches were premade and the salad all look brown, sad and wilted. My question is if subway can make fresh sandwiches why can't Dean & Deluca follow suit. We order a couple of paninis, salad nicoise and salmon salad. The panini came back soggy, wet and cold inside. We asked the staff to reheat on the sandwich grill, it came back toasted but yet again stone cold in the center. The nicoise salad was terribly sad looking with its wilted and brown lettuce. The salmon salad came with an overcooked and dried out salmon.
Service, although self-service managed to get us well travelled diners confused as to how to order where to pay. Poor logistic flow and the service crews are clueless.

les0 said...

I saw the sign and thought I would probably get a decent coffee there. What a mistake! I think they must have forgotten to put the coffee in. Total rubbish.