This oversized, crisp white coffee shop inside the Piman 49 complex serves brews so good they’ve made local office and brunch crowds migrate over from Rocket S49. But D’Ark looks upon itself as a whole lot more than a coffee shop. In fact, there’s not much they don’t do.
Want a lazy eggy brunch? They’ve got you covered from 6am-8pm every day. Burgers and comfort food? Kitchen’s open for business at 11am. An elaborate three-course dinner? They’ll whip one of those up too, with an a la carte menu of dainty, small-portioned dishes that speak to the roots of head chef Jeriko Van Der Wolf’s Michelin-star background (he previously worked in an unspecified capacity at the three-starred Regis et Jacques Marcon in south-central France). But in focusing on everything and nothing at all, D’Ark comes undone.
The fine-dining dishes are a particular sore point thanks to an over-fondness for complex, caramelized and fruity flavors. The foie gras with coconut and passion fruit (B390) tastes like a tropical cocktail’s been splashed over the plate, while our lardo-wrapped lukewarm tuna with refrigerator-cold figs (B480) features sickly globs of an unidentified marmalade hiding under a tasteless daikon root foam. Even a combination so tried and tested as duck and orange (B450) is ruined under the weight of a claggy onion sauce. Why it comes with a side order of rice is a mystery known only to the kitchen.
Don’t try looking for solace in the simpler end of the menu either. Our Comte cheeseburger (actually two sliders, B240) is about as inspiring as something you’d find at a convention center buffet line, saved only by the accompanying portion of perfectly crisp, skin-on French fries. (Really, they’re some of the best we’ve tasted in town. Hats off.)
We have tried the coffee before and can confirm that D’Ark does an amazing latte, but don’t go looking for an after-dinner espresso. By the time our last visit ended at 9:45pm, the coffee machine was switched off and none of the consistently uninformed staff members were willing to switch it back on. We took some consolation in the sticky chocolate brownie with coffee ice cream (B160) and the rest of a glass of Gruner Veltliner (B260), but these small pleasures are far from enough to ever recommend D’Ark for a dinner date—mark this one for coffee and croissants only.