PARIBATRA was our venue for the fifth time in the 14-year history of the Bangkok Chapter. The views from the 37th floor remain spectacular and the décor (modelled after an airport lounge) seemingly almost unchanged since our last visit in 2009. A very polished service team of servers, eight strong, was there right from the start and, as on previous occasions, proved to be extremely well drilled and happy to attend to any needs. Thomas Boedinger, our eclectic sommelier, had chosen two rosé wines to start proceedings: Weingut Herbert Zillinger Rosé 2013 (Austria) and Stéphane Tissot Cremant Rosé Brut 2014 (Côtes de Jura, France). I tried them both and really enjoyed the Zillinger. Wine spokesman and newly appointed President Tom Whitcraft liked the ‘golden bubbles’ to be found in the Rosé Brut.
The first course, Pepper Macarons with Petuna Smoked Salmon Trout, came as a surprise to many of us; the macarons were unexpectedly sweet and the trout filling a little bland. It was certainly different! Moving on, next came an attractive presentation of Pan Seared Scallops with Cauliflower, Horseradish and Apple Puree topped with Apple Cris and food spokesman Harald Sauer finally got into his stride. This was less controversial and the scallops adjudged by Harald to be the best dish of the day, tasty, especially with modest dashes of that horseradish. Domain Chiroulet Terres Blanches 2014 (Côtes de Gascogne, France) accompanied the scallops and though Tom confessed to not being a big fan of white wine, we were left in no doubt that he is a big man!
'Wild and Tame' Mushroom Soup with Essence of Truffles and Crispy Shallots on a slice of toast found favour with nearly all the diners (especially the shallots) though possibly there should have been a little more seasoning for the soup. The choice of Calera Central Coast Pinot Noir 2012 (California, USA) pleased American Tom (and others), who deemed it a good example of Californian Pinot although it still seems a little young.
The main course comprised Sous Vide and Slow Roasted Leek Ash Crusted Angus Tenderloin with Crispy Truffle Risotto, Celeriac Mash, and other accoutrements. The beef was good, perhaps a little too large a portion, though I missed the Jus mentioned in the menu. The wine of the lunch was Zenato Amarone 2010 (Veneto, Italy), a hearty 16.5% ABV, and fully matched our expectations, even those of guest Grahame Fox. Robert Parker wrote, “The 2010 Amarone delle Valpolicella Classico impresses for its harmony, staying power and elegance. Wines made from air-dried grapes like Amarone can sometimes feel overdone and overtly jammy. But this wine, made from a balanced vintage, allows the quality of fruit to rise above all the rest.”
The beef was followed by a generous Selection of Burgundy Cheese with Chutneys and with it came with a really nice selection of bread, as mentioned by Harald. Tom had special words of praise for Thomas for the choice of an Australian Shiraz, Keeyma Vineyard Reserve Shiraz 2013
I am not sure that everyone could stand the pace as there still remained Chocolate Creamy Bar, Crispy Praline, and Cherry Sorbet to finish off a great meal (a 1000 calories dish according to Harald) but those who could found Dr Loosen Riesling (Mosel, Germany) a very nice dessert wine at their elbow. Those who did not find the Riesling to their taste instead found a single malt whisky. For whisky buffs who like trivia, Dalwhinnie is one of almost two dozen malt whisky distilleries that were founded over a century ago during the ‘whisky boom’ of the late 19th century and which have managed to survive until this day. In 1905 the Dalwhinnie distillery was bought by an American company for the friendly price of 1,250Great British Pound; Cook & Bernheimer from New York were the very first foreign owners of a Scottish whisky distillery.
Proceedings came to a formal end with the presentation of tokens of our gratitude to the team, led by Sebastian, a very recent addition to the team at the Peninsula. Throughout, we were made to feel like honoured guests of the hotel and our thanks are due to the management and to all those in the F&B team for arranging the visit for us. As someone said at the conclusion, just the view itself was worth at least B500 per person.
Peninsula Hotel, 333 Charoennakorn Road.
02 020 2888. bangkok.peninsula.com