Feb 23, 2019
IN THE NEW WALDORF ASTORIA BANGKOK, past an orderly open kitchen, is an airy atrium whose floor-to-high-ceiling windows face fairy-lit greenery. It is a most apropos place to go on a continent-hopping culinary perambulation with spritely and spirited chef Rungthiwa “Fae” Chummongkhon.
Don’t let the “Nordic-Thai” theme throw you. It merely means she applies Scandinavian cooking methods—smoking, curing, fermenting—to mostly Thai ingredients. The upshot is that, despite the rarefied setting, Fae is super on-trend now. The plating is as bright as her personality, the flavors as clean as a fjord, the evocations as melting-pot as the influences from her mom’s Thai home-cooking to her dozen years’ training in Denmark.
On her launch menu, paper-thin slices of sea bass are smoked and jigsawed together like a terrine, with coconut, broccoli, guava, green apple, kaffir lime and rosemary. I swoon. Raised in Chiang Rai is a chicken wing reconstituted as a sausage then reconstructed into a wing; with its black rice puree, it feels like a homey Sunday roast. This being Scandi-fusion, salmon is required, and the Atlantic Laks, with carrot, bitter orange and rice mayo, is a springtime sojourn in Europe, without the flight.
waldorfastoria3.hilton.com; mains Bt650 –1,200, set menus from 2,700.