The buzz: Origin made so much of a stir when it was announced that the soft opening was quickly fully booked. Twenty-three-year-old chef Marcus Townsend, formerly of Chicago’s three-Michelin-star restaurant Alinea, presents tasting menus of 5-13 courses with labor intensive preparation.
The decor: The small, one-and-a-half-story restaurant combines plenty of black, white and wood for a fun but refined look. There’s also a geometric thing going on, with triangles on the ceiling, walls and chair legs, while the tabletops are made from cool white marble. A sleek, white staircase leads to a mezzanine where you’ll find the open kitchen and a chef’s table.
The food: Chef Marcus’s philosophy is simple: people only taste their food in the first few bites and then carry on eating just to finish the plate. That’s why each course on his tasting menu is little more than bite-sized. Currently there are two options: five courses at B1,800 and 13 courses at B3,600. The plates may be small, but expect plenty of creativity with each one. The crab dish, for example, features crab meat, leak, strawberry, crab foam and stock, leak paste and job’s tears. Other highlights include the sous-vide cantaloupe with Sichuan pepper chips and the grilled pigeon breast with mint jelly, bourbon jelly, banana vinegar and black sesame paste. Some dishes are also available in larger, a la carte portions.
The drinks: Only wines, water and sparkling. Wine pairing menus are offered at B1,600 and B3,000. Wine by the glass starts at B380, by the bottle at B2,000 and Champagne by the glass at B900. San Pellegrino is B120/500ml while Acqua Panna B100/500ml.
The crowd: Cashed-up businessmen and young people willing to splurge on new gastronomic experiences.