Aston: Dining Room & Bar
A chef's table and a casual tapas bar with a focus on top-notch produce.
Sometimes, diners want a show as much as a good meal. Aston offers a bit of both via its large open kitchen, which takes center stage in the dining room, starring alongside stellar ingredients like Irish oysters, French artisanal cheese and locally sourced vegetables. The three-story building itself is also a draw, with its dramatic concrete-and-steel fittings combined with touches of verdant greenery. Especially recommended is the chef’s seven-course table menu, which changes periodically.
The buzz: Zra Jiraratana has proved himself better than just another rich kid who went to Cordon Bleu and opened his own place with his family’s money. Aston’s chef and owner hasn’t been sticking to your usual bistro food, opting for the high-wire act of molecular cuisine instead. And his staying power—Aston Gastro Bar, first opened at the Crystal Design Center in 2010—demonstrates his commitment at the very least. With new digs closer to the city center, and a big, central, open kitchen, this new incarnation of Aston is now playing on the big boys’ turf.
The décor: The three-story building’s facade is a tangle of concrete beams, steel cables and ferns, achieving an effect that manages to be both beautiful and slightly post-apocalyptic. The interior is divided into two zones; the bar, and the open kitchen–dining area. The bar on the ground floor contrasts bare cement, rugged hewn timber and red bricks for a rough, masculine vibe. The dining room, on the second floor, sees a large open kitchen take up the center of the room. You can either sit at the bar running along the kitchen or grab a seat at the surrounding tables. Overall, the place strikes a pleasant balance between modern and natural.
The food: Jiratana’s love affair with molecular tricks seems to be cooling off, with his focus shifting to produce. The imported beef hails from Australia and the quail from France, while the vegetables and suckling pigs are locally sourced. The chef’s table menu (B3,500 for 7 courses) changes regularly with dishes such as egg, bacon and wild mushroom in potato foam, and Yarra Valley lamb, beautifully presented with two pieces of lamb rack in red wine jus, seared with eggplant paste and tomato. There’s more to come with the a la carte menu, featuring dishes like seared Hokkaido scallop with cauliflower puree (B650) and caprese salad, burrata, pinenut pesto, cherry tomato and aged balsamic (B350). There’s also the bar snack menu which is available on the G/F with tapas dishes like jamon serrano ham waffle (B250) and Manchego cheese with quince paste (B250).
The drinks: An impressive list of wines picked from small vineyards from across the globe. There are about 8 selections of wine by the glass ranging from B370-650.
The crowd: Along with loyal customers from Aston’s previous venue, Sukhumvit’s hiso dining crowd can now find out what they’ve been missing out on. Nikhita Bhatia
|Address:||Aston: Dining Room & Bar, 68 Sukhumvit Soi 31, Bangkok, 10110 Thailand|
|Price Range:||BBB - BBBB|
|Opening hours:||daily 5:30-10pm|
|Reservation recommended, Parking available|
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