The banter is invariably good-natured, entertaining and sometimes involves other groups of diners. Then there’s the menu – pre-selected so you know what you’re getting in advance, and what you’ll be paying. It adds up to a different kind of restaurant experience - show time with food - and it’s proving extremely popular.
An outstanding example of this new generation of private dining venues is Table X run by Chef-Owner Cheiepvut Kupsirikul, better known as Chef Moo, a charismatic 50-year-old Thai hailing from Ubon Ratchathani in northeast Thailand.
Chef Moo makes no secret of the fact that he is a self-taught cook. Indeed, he is proud of his background. And that’s because of his many years’ culinary experience working in some of the country’s best restaurants as well as being a personal chef for a number of wealthy individuals. He also claims to have a special knack of merely casting his eyes over a certain dish, not one of his own, to figure out what makes it so enticing, be it French, Japanese, Italian or even a complicated Chinese preparation. Then he creates his own version of the dish.
He set up the original Table X in Bangkok’s Phaholyothin Road a few years back, then switched venues to Soi Ekamai on Sukhumvit a little over a year ago. Located down a small soi (Bourbon Street Bar is on the corner), the restaurant’s premises are a stunning all-black box of a building that Chef Moo had built in Lampang, northern Thailand, and transported to the capital. It’s a real work of art, comfortably seating 30 guests.
Open for dinner only, though one-off lunches can be accepted, Table X serves a 12-course stellar dinner featuring fresh vegetables, duck and seafood, plus generous servings of fine imported products like wagyu beef, foie gras and truffles. Chef Moo also sources the rarest Beluga caviar, pure breed from Italy and co-branded with the Golden Sterlet, which is the golden caviar from the albino sturgeon. He recently became the Brand ambassador of Caviar Giaveri for Thailand.
Even when focused on his cooking, Chef Moo never forgets his audience, chatting, joking and entertaining his guests.