Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Smith, Sukhumvit, Bangkok


Smith (1/8 Sukhumvit Soi 49, Sukhumvit Road, North Klongton, Wattana Bangkok 10110, tel : +66 2 261 0515) is another of those nose to tail dining places headed by a Ian Kittichai, a Thai celebrity chef of apparently impressive resume. Like Georges V in Paris, French Laundry in Napa Valley, El Bulli in Spain and Four Seasons Chinzan-so in Tokyo to name some.

The menu is international, nice label I must learn to use by the way, and features foraging and purchase of ingredients from sustainable sources. Rustic is also the name of the game they play here. Quite similar to Quince and to a certain extent, Linguini Fini. I'm guessing that the root influence is Fergus Henderson?


Some drinks to whittle the time away while waiting for food. This was a beer cocktail of lager, strawberry and cinnamon. I think a little more cinnamon is in order.


I forgot what was this mix, but it came with a stick of grapes and cheese rolled around figs.


Some time was spent also staring at the empty plates occasionally while people watching. And twiddling thumbs.


House bread was served fingers burning hot with garlic butter. Pretty good bread.


Amuse bouche. I don't know what this is. It had cheese, some fruit jam and dried meat. Couldn't understand the waitress neither. It looked interesting, but didn't taste like so much.


First starter was tuna, bits of braised pig tails and a foie gras torchon. And a scattering of florets of some vegetable/greens. This tasted like how it looked, which meant that it was pretty okay.


While this was called a mini spicy haggis, it didn't quite look like any haggis I've seen nor did it exactly taste like what I had expected. This tasted like a spiced up gamey, livery sausage. Which would have been okay if they had called it just that. The little square at the bottom was the sweet potato puree which was almost insignificant in portion when it was actually pretty tasty and there wasn't the least hint of whiskey. This would probably be a contender to be Chopped.


Timing at the kitchen needs plenty of work. We waited so long after the starters that I decided to order another cocktail to help pass the time ingesting something. This honestly sounded very interesting on the menu. Something about lush and aromatic forests and raspberry vodka and cognac and fresh grapes and figs and rosemary and citruses being shaded with sparkling wine. Hell, it even looked pretty in a sylvan way. 

It tasted of almost nothing the menu described. Just cheap vodka and ice. Not even a tiny bit of rosemary. I had to console myself by eating the thinly sliced sheets of grape in the lousy drink.


Smith's Black Label Burger has nothing at all to do with Pat LaFrieda. It's a black label obviously because of the squid ink brioche. The gimmicky Australian wagyu patty was not very good at all. The texture was nothing to talk about and the meat wasn't as flavourfully juicy as I was hoping for. Should have forgone wagyu and opted for regular aged beef with a nice fat to meat ratio which would have seriously elevated the burger experience. So would getting rid of that nasty salad that served no purpose but mess up the palate which they had neglected to mention, comes in the burger.

Cheese and meat and perhaps some onions/pickles would have sufficed. This here looks to me like doing too much and ruining a good thing without even trying hard to do too much.

A small upside was that the fries were actually darn good. Dry crisp exterior and hot moist insides.


The name of the steak just sounded cool. In fact, everything about this was pretty good except for the kiwi marinade that they used, which kinda killed it for me. It added a dimension of onto the hanger steak that I personally would have preferred without. It was otherwise, a nice piece of meat and pretty hefty one too sitting atop some cheesy polenta. As a beef lover (I shall avoid the word purist), I condemn the marinade.


Just some Brussels sprouts and Parmesan shavings here.


All in all, I thought it was a pity. I thought that I would have liked the food. Idiosyncrasies and personal preferences aside, this menu tried to be adventurous with flavours and not being successful with those attempts while blotching certain fundamentals. The hobbit cocktail, burger and haggis wannabe especially so.  It certainly made me feel that the exercise here is gearing towards style than substance.

And the lamb of rack across at the next table looked and smelled so darned good. 

2 comments:

N Hence said...

Hi Liquid Shadow,

Nice post, the food looks yummy.

Just wondering, how much did you spend in THB for those food?

Thanks

Chubbybotakkoala.com

LiquidShaDow said...

Hi,

I can't remember. Their website however has the prices.