Posts Tagged ‘Michelin stars’

Manuel Martinez, Pullman Hotel, Déjà Vu Restaurant – Bangkok

Friday, May 9th, 2008

Wine Storage at the Bar8 Rangnam Road, Ratchathewi, Thanon-Phayathai, Bangkok, Thailand 10400
Tel. +66 (0)2 680 9999 – Fax. +66 (0)2 680 9998

I attended a promotion tonight at the Pullman Hotel at Déjà Vu Restaurant featuring the cuisine of Chef Manuel Martinez who was the head chef at La Tour d’Argent in its three-Michelin star days. After a disagreement with owner Claude Terrail regarding a modernization of the menu, he left and opened his own restaurant, Relais Louis XIII that has now attained two-star Michelin status, while La Tour D’Argent has dropped to only one-star, however it should be mentioned that Claude Terrail is no longer in charge, as he passed away two years ago.

Lamb ChopAs far as the dinner is concerned there is not much point in going into great detail, as things on the service side did not go well from the onset. For example, one of the bartenders in the bar next door when asked where the Sauvignon Blanc was produced, he answered, “Russia”. I knew that was not possible and it turned out to be South Africa. The waiter took so long to bring the wine, which had to be requisitioned from this same bar, I could not help but mentioned to my friend who was dining with me that I was certain the first course would arrive before the wine. When, indeed this happened, I told the waitress to send it back to the kitchen, although just at this moment the wine appeared. The Chef, who is a very personable fellow, performed as well as could be expected using products from a foreign country; I understand that the food products were obtained from local or Australian/New Zealand sources and as I heard, he did not bring many products from France with him.

Quenelle soufflé de brochet, pike dumpling and mushroom mousse with champagne sauce came off well (I have not had this dish for many years) as did the Côte d’Agneau, lamb chops, spring onion ragout, garlic bulb and potato confit (photo on left).

The prices of the set menus were reasonable as were the French wines on the hotel’s wine list and it would be worth the effort to go to the hotel, located near Victory Monument, for that reason alone. The explanation why some wines were priced so well is most likely due to the ownership of one of the partners, KIng Power (for those who are unfamiliar, King Power has the monopoly on duty free goods at the airports and shops throughout Thailand. Directly next to the Pullman Hotel they have constructed a huge complex where buses bring thousands of tourists every day to buy duty free goods).

Global or Bust – British Restaurant Expansion

Monday, March 31st, 2008

The other day an English friend of mine mentioned that he read an article outlining plans of certain high-profile British chefs to expand their operations overseas, and I had to grin, as this is definitely a big switch. It will be interesting to see what the French think about it.

Gordon Ramsay, the three-star Michelin chef is one of the most prominent of those who have already opened ventures overseas, and is now in the process of opening another series of restaurants destined for foreign capitals. In his case, the Los Angeles restaurant is under construction and poised to open March 2008 in the London Hotel called, not surprisingly, Gordon Ramsay.

It was not hard to understand that most of these new ventures are targeting the Middle East in cities such as Dubai, Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates; as there are a plethora of investors ready to take the plunge and even more well-heeled customers anxious to make a booking.

Expanding globally is not without its risks, as it is difficult enough to open another branch across the city, not to mention halfway around the globe.

Mr. Ramsay will have his work cut out for him to convince the French that a Brit can succeed in Michelin-starred turf when he opens this spring in Versailles, a short distance from Paris, at the Trianon Palace.