The White House Bangkok
This fine-dining restaurant brings a taste of Latvia to Klong Toey.
The buzz: After closing his Thonglor outpost, Latvian chef Aleksandrs “Alex” Nasikailovs has returned to Bangkok’s food scene with his latest fine-dining experience in Klong Toey. At White House Bangkok, cuisines collide: Alex steers from one destination to the next through theatrical presentations stemming from his 15-year culinary journey.
The vibe: Surprisingly casual for fine-dining. Alex took over the two-story building, formerly housing Balee Laos, and transformed it into his own little empire. At the front of the building, you’ll see his dainty cafe where he sells handcrafted pastries; once inside the building, the ex-Salon Du Japonisant bartender Kei Sawada will greet you with his scientifically twisted cocktails. We are told that the second floor will eventually sport a more formal fine-dining experience.
The food: Alex’s 10-course dining experience embodies a culinary travelog. Our journey begins with four starters: a translucent drop of catfish roe arriving on a charcoal, petal-like tartlet; a crispy doughnut stuffed with blue crab and topped with pickled cucumber; a wooden box of beetroot cracker with salmon mousse and roe; and slow-cooked iberico pork rillettes in wheat pillows. More visually pleasing is Tia Marra, served inside a crystal dome of ice. The chef then torches it with fire, revealing a French oyster resting in seaweed. Next is mackerel freshly sourced from Satun province and grilled with smoked mackerel mousse and salmon roe. His sea scallop with burnt butter hollandaise sauce and sturgeon caviar left us aching for more. The duck liver tortellini, however, was our favorite. The plumb-stuffed pasta was on point with a shred of black trumpet mushroom and birch sap syrup, which provides a subtle acidity and strange-but-pleasant sweetness. The two desserts included the refreshing granita Snowball which when cracked reveals fresh dragon fruit and a chocolate treasure trove at the end that had some surprising flavor combinations—think tom kha kai or goose cheese.
The drinks: The only difference from Sawada’s days at Salon Du Japonisant is how he blends cultural uniqueness with science. Here, Sawada uses cut- ting-edge technology like the rotary evaporator (he claims that there are only eight places in Bangkok that use this equipment) to lend unique flavors to his cocktails. For B1,500, you’ll get seven cocktails to pair with all of the food above—imagine blue cheese with mango moscato, macha old-fashioneds, and a Japanese spicy wasabi sour. His cocktails are also available by the glass. The bitter negroni sees the luxe grape liquor Ruby Roman mixed with house-made grapefruit Campari, tonka bean rum, and Earl Grey whiskey with chocolate crumbles.
Why we’d come back: With Alex and Sawada’s endless creativity, we can only imagine what they might come up with next. We might stop by to sample Sawada’s foie gras cocktail.