Delish Eats: Le Du, Where Thai Food Shines on the World Stage in Bangkok
August 18, 2023
Restaurant history: Le Du opened in 2013 with a vision of modernising Thai cuisine with a flirting of French techniques and New York-fine dining sensibility. Unique at the central Bang Rak restaurant is a strict adherence to sourcing ingredients direct from Thailand, boasting of the supreme quality from the country’s backyard to create world-class meals.
Chef story: Chef Ton Thitid Tassanakajoh mans the kitchens at Le Du, co-founding and opening the restaurant with partner Tao. The ex-Eleven Madison Park chef is a venerable figure in Bangkok’s fine-dining scene, promoting the power of Thai cuisine in a fine-dining format that has won him Michelin stars and World’s 50 Best mentions.
What’s the vibe and venue like: We dined at Le Du prior to their decade anniversary renovation, but the restaurant boasts an intimate and soothing atmosphere complimentary to the artistic fare served. Movement is chaotic in the glass-covered kitchen, open-air prep station, and servers tracing the restaurant, but dining is jovial and a family affair at Le Du.
How much does it cost: I enjoyed the six-course tasting menu (THB3,990 / US$115) with a friend, sharing the signature river prawn (THB1,200 / US$35) and with an added six-glass wine pairing (THB2,000 / US$58) and six-glass kombucha pairing (THB1,000 / US$29).
What’s the menu about: Seasonal and fresh. We tucked into the summer “Rhythm of Rain” menu, which exposes sharp flavours from the sea and land, with spicy and umami additions in curry and Thai spices.
What did we order: Six-course tasting menu, including amuse-bouche, seabass and northern curry, cod and chilli, ocean catfish with wolf curry, duck with turmeric curry, aged Thai wagyu with liver, coconut and seasonal fruit, and petit fours.
Seabass / Cladophora / Northern curry: Hidden in plain sight with a bed of mint, cladophore and rose, the seabass was delicately cooked with a vibrant seawater-salty coating. The liquefied tomato-basil reduction brought umami into play to beef up each seabass bite.
Cod / Seaweeds / Toasted Chili: Exchanged in consideration of my allergy to prawns, the cod bites in this dish were cooked sou vide to compliment the toasted chilli. The sorbet was a weird addition, only making sense when melted and releasing a cooling fruity juice to the chunks of fish. I would need a revisit to understand this dish.
Ocean catfish / Cauliflower / Wolfia curry: Bold flavours come into play here. The wolfia watercress-base curry is meaty and compliments the fruity bursts of the sweetcorn fritter placed atop the catfish, which is light on texture and playful on the tongue.
Duck / Turmeric curry / Shrimp paste: Bathing in its bloody and salty juices, the seared duck is cooked to perfection with a crispy crust and rich body. Scoop up each cut with the turmeric curry to play with earthy and spicy notes. The shrimp paste froth is good for plating, but not too powerful.
Aged Thai wagyu / Liver / Nam-tok: Great wagyu cuts that shun salty flavours for juicy plum notes in the medium rare insides. Pair the striploin with the liver and tomato reduction for additions of salivating sour and metallic notes.
What we liked: The wolfia and northern curry danced on our tongue with strong spice and salty blends, promoting the great North Thailand. Serving from restaurant manager Fritzie was ever welcoming. She was kind and understanding of my dietary requirements. The duck was seared perfectly with its gamey, salty coating.
What we didn’t like: The restaurant felt less of a fine-dining establishment, with a rush of servers and food ferried across the restaurant. Beyond the seriousness of Le Du’s Michelin stars, I had to curb my expectations for what would have been a quiet evening dining.
What you should order: Six-course tasting menu with six-glass wine pairings. It is the only way to fully appreciate the power of Le Du’s fusing of Thai ingredients and worldly techniques. The signature river prawn is a great addition to the meal, but it will render you stuffed.
Location: Le Du, 399/3 Silom 7 Alley, Silom, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand
Contact details: +66 92 919 9969
This food review is based on a complimentary media tasting provided by Le Du in exchange for a truthful review and no compensation. The opinions expressed within represent the views of the author.
Enjoyed this article? Check out our previous Delish Eats reviews here.
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