Martin Blunos brings a taste of Latvia to Thonglor.
The buzz: British celeb chef Martin Blunos now has a permanent outpost in Thonglor. Hand-in-hand with Latvian chef Aleksandrs Nasikailov, Blunos himself guides you through a fantastical “Latvian” menu, transporting you to far-off forests with theatrical presentation and eccentric stories in an almost other-worldly dining experience.
The vibe: Though the food is firmly fine dining, the atmosphere here is fun, friendly and approachable. The two comically polar opposite chefs—Blunos bold, chatty and eccentric, and Aleks quiet and measured—alternate introducing dishes. Natural woods, golden lighting and brown leather combine for a back-to-nature feel, inspired—like many of the dishes—by the wintery paintings of Latvia by Blunos’ uncle Harijs lining the walls. A healthy dose of posed images of Blunos, including a floor to ceiling black and white mural at the entrance, add to the playful and personal vibe.
The food: As Blunos will attest, Latvia doesn’t have a strong cuisine identity—it’s more about the techniques, ingredients and stunningly evocative presentation (gorgeous bespoke pottery, dry ice, edible trees). Fermentation and pickling run throughout the daily-changing “Baltic Crossover” menus (B2,900 six courses/B3,400 eight courses—though it turns out closer to 13), which spotlight hard-to-find ingredients smuggled direct from Latvia—think sustainable Mottra caviar (the first in Thailand); pickled mackerel; birch sap syrup; and chanterelle mushrooms. The “crossover” element makes itself known in locally-inspired creations, like avocado and crab miang kham encased in an ice pearl; ant eggs served with reindeer; and a mini forest of moon flowers with vegan cheese, pickled banana shoot and tom kha. Expect creative yet subtle flavor combinations, like rich creamed sea urchin with white chocolate, pickled samphire and citrusy bergamot bubbles.
The drinks: Wine fanatics should visit over the next few months to take advantage of their opening promotion: every bottle is marked up a flat rate of B500 from cost price—go for the Amarone La Marega della Valpolicella Classico DOCG Le Salette (2013) from Veneto, Italy (B2,790) or the Volnay Comte Armand (2014) from Cote de Beaune, France (B4,000). Wine pairing is also available from B1,800, while quality wines are available by the glass (from B300) thanks to their Coravin preservation system. Don’t drink? Then go for their unique fermented drink pairing (B1,000)—each kombu concoction is made by chef Aleks, charting flavors from coconut to Thai tea in a rainbow of colors.
Why we’d come back: On top of the fun escape from reality Baltic Blunos provides, you’ll rarely get the same thing twice. The menu fluctuates daily according to the availability of produce and the whims of the chef, and if you’ve visited before, they’ll create something new for you.