The buzz: After closing his one-Michelin-star restaurant at The Hague, Holland’s seat of government, Dutch chef Henk Savelberg has moved his eponymous brand to Bangkok. Each of Savelberg’s last four restaurant ventures was awarded a Michelin star but now, he says, all his efforts are on Bangkok.
The décor: Incredibly bright thanks to its East-facing location and huge glass windows, but also somewhat sparse with a dark stone floor and brilliant white walls. Splashes of Holland’s national color, orange, do liven things up, along with sculptural, geometric fixtures, from the upstairs lamps to the open-plan kitchen’s vast extractor fans. There are two private rooms on the second floor, as well as a lounge in one corner for people who just want a drink. All the tableware is imported from top European brands including Robert Welch.
The food: Modern, immaculately styled and with strong French influences. The oyster and caviar (B550/piece, B2,800/six pieces) topped with saffron foam is simple but beautiful, while the Angus beef steak tartar (B1,250) is presented like a little garden, with capers, piccalilli, caramelized onion and egg yolk providing splashes of color atop a patty of minced beef. As well as plenty of fine imported ingredients, they also make a point of using local produce, from Royal Projects cherry tomatoes to Maison Jean Philippe bread. It’s also worth noting that, for the time being, Henk Savelberg is actually controlling the kitchen himself. Obvious comparisons will be made with J’aime, the newly opened French restaurant of three-starred chef Jean-Michel Lorain. While some might consider Savelberg’s dainty food more refined, it is also notably more expensive. The seven-course “Savelberg Experience” menu, for example, costs B4,900, while J’aime’s nine-course menu is B3,850.
The drinks: The wine menu is based on the old Savelberg in the Netherlands, and contains a strong list of wines by the glass (B350-550) with New World, Old World and even a few Thai varietals. To go with dessert, the Ronnefeldt tea starts from B230, and the Parisian coffee from B230.
The crowd: Plenty of residents from the adjoining luxury condominium, as well as Ratchadamri’s default crowd of important-looking business people, both foreign and Thai.