Le Du Restaurant and Wine Bar in Bangkok
A New Hidden Star in Silom, Bangkok
Le Du Restaurant is a new rising star on the culinary scene of Bangkok and you better go there now before the word is out and seats become hard to get. Despite a French sounding name, Le Du is not a French restaurant at all… Le Du means 'Season' in Thai and categorizing its cuisine is a bit difficult. It could be defined as Young Creative Cuisine with Thai Roots with touches from many international origins. And here ‘Young’ doesn’t mean amateur - both head chefs at Le Du have a surprising culinary background.
For the historical background, Le Du restaurant is the result of an old school friends partnership between manager Khun Tao, Chef Ton and Chef Tae who both worked for many years in several Michelin stars restaurants in USA.
Chef Ton grew up in Thailand but graduated from The Culinary Institute of America with the highest scores in his class then worked in several highly renowned Michelin starred restaurants in New York City: Eleven Madison Park, The Modern, and Jean Georges. Chef Tae, also from Bangkok, graduated from the same Culinary Institute of America and worked at WD-50, a Michelin-starred restaurant in NYC under chef Wylie Dufresne, then at the Red Medicine of Chef Jordan Kahn in Los Angeles.
Le Du restaurant is definitely hard to find, tucked in a very narrow soi between Silom and Sathorn road. The place is brand new and tastefully decorated with a calculated sobriety to make yourself feel comfortable as soon as you step in. The crew and chefs are very bright and friendly, speaking perfect English, which helps when your curiosity about the dishes grabs you.
One thing to remember is that Le Du is a completely different restaurant at lunchtime and dinnertime, and while all dishes are delicious, both offer very different menus. Go for lunch to eat great food but go for dinner to experience high-level cuisine. In both cases the prices are not very high considering who the chefs are.
While we were studying the menu, we enjoyed some excellent wine from their impressive cellar selected by a Chef Ton who is also a certified sommelier.
Looking at the dinner menu, things started to become really interesting. As we were reading the content of this short but intriguing list, we mentally did what most people do: each name or ingredient described was calling images or recollections of tastes based on past experiences… We often tended to classify things as 'I like this' or 'I don't like that'… mixed with some 'what can this possibly be?’. But once at Le Du, leave your preconceptions at the door because nothing is as you imagine it.
We decided to go with the most logical choice to get the best of what the chefs have to offer and selected the 4 courses for 990 baht - a bargain. Dishes were served smoothly without delay and right from the first course we went from surprise to surprise… all were absolutely delicious which is rather exceptional: being 5 guests ordering the 4 courses option, we actually ended up picking everything on the menu at least once! Think about it, when was the last time you went to a restaurant where every single dish on the menu is faultless?
Most noticeable dishes were the cold 'Allium' soup served with charred leeks and sunflower seeds, a surprising combination of creamy soup with a slightly lemony taste with a faint smoky flavor to it (160 baht). The Conpoy Congee was surprising too... forget everything you know about congee, this dish consists of yolk, ginger emulsion, mushroom chips, and Yunnan ham that you need to mix together to obtain a creamy consistency with a delicate taste (200 baht). We could go on and on and try to describe each plate, but it would never make justice to each of these elaborate recipes.
Then came the desserts which closed the dinner perfectly: try the surprising banana cake ice cream; but here again, don't picture banana cakes the way you know them, this is light with a touch of crispy caramel (270 baht). The 4-course dinner is 990 baht and the 7-course dinner is 1,590, both options can be served with wine pairing for additional 990 and 1,590 baht respectively.
The wines are wisely selected and even those served by the glass are really above average, making it a great value if you feel like sampling several crus.
Once we realized what the background of these two bright and friendly chefs is… the amazing dinner we just had suddenly made perfect sense. With such talented and enthusiastic team, Le Du restaurant is a new shining star of Bangkok, bringing a new creative cuisine that was definitely missing in town.
Le Du Restaurant
- Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 18:00 - 23:00 (Closed on Sundays) - Last order 22:00
- Location: 399/3 Silom Soi 7
- BTS: Chong Nonsi exit 4
- Tel: (083) 073-6860 and (081) 562-6464
- How to get there: The restaurant is hidden but very close to Chon Nonsi BTS. Take exit 4 and walk few meters to the 7-11. Enter the small street and walk 20 m.