As The Rib Room is under extensive renovation our team assembled in the Executive Lounge which still sports those extensive views of Bangkok - the hallmark of the hotel.
Dining started from the opening bell with a tasty selection of canapés, comprising Chorizo and crumble nacho, smoked potato espuma, Teriyaki Chicken Wing Lollypop, Skagen on Pumpernickel and a Mini Reuben on Rye.
Whilst all of the canapés were very good, food spokesman Brendon Winter’s pick was the mini Rueben. Simple and tasty. It came with gallons of Domaine Pinon Vouvray Brut NV (Loire, France).
However, wine spokesman Tom Whitcraft (appointed by David Dean in absentia) claimed not to be a person who knows a lot about wines - our President speaks, of course, in jest.
“The sparkling wine was OK, ” said Tom, “I am not a sparkling wine kind of guy but I guess for people who like sparkling wines, they probably would have liked it”. But he confirmed he did like it.
Made by traditional method from a plot of very old Chenin Blanc vines, François' Brut NV is kept on the lees for 18 months before being disgorged and bottled. It has pretty apple, pear, floral and toasty flavours with good acidity balancing the fruit.
There were two appetizers: Beef tartar on marrow bone, air bread (very rich with the air bread moderating the richness thereof) and followed by RR&B Baked sea scallop with Porcini duxelle, a pleasant contrast to the richness of the previous appetizer.
We don’t find too many soups on our menus but Executive Chef Philippe Gaudal introduced a Leek soup dressed with foie gras, beef croquette and spinach which was tasty and innovative. It was served with Weingut Ziereisen Pinot Noir Talrain 2015 (Baden, Germany).
The grapes of this wine are hand selected and ferment spontaneously before spending close to two years in a mix of barrique and large wooden barrels, 20% of which are new oak. The winemaker claimed to have found savoury herbs and raspberry on the nose, with a palate that has a beautiful dark minerality and length, with earthy, meaty, dark-fruited tones and deftly-integrated oak. Wine spokesman Tom begged to differ somewhat.
The lemon sherbet/lemon caviar/Limoncello which followed was a great preparation for the main course. Chef Philippe has a new dish for the new Rib Room and we were among the first to sample it: Beef tenderloin and cheek Wellington, gratin Lyonnais, orange and cumin glazed carrot. Artfully presented and served medium rare, it attracted universal praise.
It came with Roche Audran Châteauneuf du Pape 2015 (Rhone, France) and Parker awarded 94 points for it. Rich and stylish but not a classic CdP, it offered a mouthful of berried fruits laced with herbs, spice and purple flowers, notes of liquorice, minerals and layers of complexity. 2015 was a bombastic fruity vintage and less herbal and bitter tannins overall than usual and as noted by Tom the wine is still relatively young.
The cheese selection to complete the degustation was mild Morbier cheese, the black line through the centre being vegetable ash topping the initial curd, then further curd added over the top the next day but the accompanying Stilton in a pot and fruit bread was Brendon’s favourite
It was birthday time again for Danny Arn and he once more rose to the occasion bringing a delicious malt whisky to the table, Glenmorangie, a favourite for many. His reward for the generosity: the opportunity to thank the Rib Room team and Chef Philippe for their professionalism and hard work. A great meal and wonderful service.