The buzz: This is the Bangkok branch of the original Den Kushi Flori in Shibuya, Japan, which holds a Michelin star. The restaurant comes by way of two fine-dining maestros: Zaiyu Hasegawa of Den (two Michelin stars) and Hiroyasu Kawate of Florilège (two Michelin stars), both hailing from Tokyo. The pair combined their French-Japanese cooking prowess to launch the original Den Kushi Flori, and now Bangkok gets a taste. The name is a portmanteau of sorts, with “Den” and “Flori” paying homage to the chefs’ Tokyo venues and “Kushi” referencing the signature skewered omakase bites you’ll find here.
The vibe: Found on the lower ground floor of Erawan mall, dark woods and big slabs of stone dominate the interior here—and oozes that sophisticated Michelin-level atmosphere. U-shaped counter seating (room for up to 18 guests) around the open kitchen brings most diners right up close to the kitchen action, but a private six-seater room does offer limited private dining where the cooks will pop in for the occasional bit of dinner theater.
The food: The restaurant is open for a five-course lunch (from B2,800) and a seven-course dinner (from B3,500). The combination of French and Japanese techniques is obvious in dishes like the root celery puree, which is brought to a fluffy cream consistency and finished with a piece of Japanese-style baked tofu and spritz of lime zest. Similarly, skewered eggplant bites get topped with a chilled foie gras mousse and sprinkle of kao kua. Make no mistake, though, meat is the star of the show here. This really shines through with the Kagoshima A5 wagyu skewers, where the meat’s rich and buttery texture is carefully balanced out by young coconut shoots and Phayao-grown taro sauce drizzled on top. The heartier dishes are often juxtaposed with mini-sized treats, like the trifold cake made out of Japanese-style sweet egg. The egg is separated by a thin layer of truffle and served with pickled radish—marinated in vanilla to neutralize the usual salty and acidic flavors. The autumn flavors really shine through in the clay pot rice cooked with French girolles mushrooms, which is topped with bonito flakes and Sukhothai oysters in parsley sauce. The dish is thoughtfully served alongside a favorite amongst locals: green seafood dip. You can cap your meal with one of two options: a caramelized pudding with a coffee-like bitterness, or a sweet tasting cold daifuku mochi paired with meringue.
The drinks: As you would expect for a venue of this magnitude, the menu has an optional wine pairing (with the occasional sake mixed in) for B1,500. Here, you’ll find a solid range of global varietals, from French Champagne and New Zealand whites to reds from Piemonte and Bordeaux.
Why we’d come back: The tasting menu’s revolving set of French-Japanese (and occasionally Thai) dishes will make repeat visits easy. Later in December, in fact, the restaurant will add a winter and Christmas line-up to its already staggering roster of options. The team has spent less than a year in Thailand and the results are already impressive.
LG/F, Erawan Bangkok Building, 02-022-0200. Open Mon 12-2:30pm, 6-10pm; Wed-Sun 12-2:30pm, 6-10pm.