By Tom McLean
Back open for business, Mia is once again turning heads with its innovative and luxurious culinary creations. A relatively new contender to the Bangkok fine dining scene, Mia first opened its chic doors less than a year ago, pairing the seasoned gastronomic talents of Chefs Pongcharn ‘Top’ Russell and Michelle Goh. Established in conjunction with former Michelin star chef and veteran entrepreneur Julien Imbert, the restaurant serves up novel flavour pairings made from expertly prepared, premium ingredients.
From the outside, the restaurant was styled like a retro-modern townhouse. Colourful and welcoming, the aesthetic of the exterior harkened back to Mia’s primary objective: to create a dining experience that’s both electrifying yet informal.
Inside, the bespoke elegance was ramped up even further. A variety of styles of dining area were available, with each offering different menus. We dined upstairs, relaxing into a room straight out of a 1960s Euro-flick. Pastel-pink wallpaper was adorned with orb-shaped wall lamps, providing mellow lighting, while flowers and large green plants hung from the ceilings, tying the room together with a charmingly rustic edge.
The tables were topped with white marble and the seating was soft and comfy. Imbued with a slight touch of art-deco, the space screamed of retro-chic and tantalised with the promise of refined indulgences. It’s hard not to get a bit excited when you feel like Don Draper in a particularly laidback episode of Mad Men.
FOOD AND DRINK
In order to fully immerse ourselves in Mia’s creative culinary ethos, we elected for both the regular and vegetarian versions of their Rooms tasting menu, complete with wine pairings.
First up, we were presented with a cavalcade of mouth-watering curiosities, as part of the Snacks appetiser course, including a vegetarian and non-vegetarian Chickpea pillow; a sweet Pea tartlette with smoked curd and finger lime; Corn custard with cornet and burnt corn; Tomato water with guava, green chilli and lime; Foie gras with dark chocolate and piquillo pepper; and Oyster with guava, green chilli, and lime. These bite-size nibbles served as the perfect introduction to the restaurant’s innovative approach to gastronomy and were perfectly complemented by an indulgent glass of Aubert et fils, Champagne Brut NV.
Next up came a freshly baked, individual loaf of Sourdough brioche, served with shallot butter and onion ash, which both settled and excited our appetites, followed by one of the most decadent vegetarian dishes I’ve ever experienced, the Mushroom chawanmushi. This dish was an exploration of mushroom flavour, featuring a truffle reduction, savoury custard, and topped with generous shavings of fresh black truffle. These were paired with a glass of Joseph Drouhin Chablis 2018, which cut through the opulent flavours with subtle acidity.
Moving on to increasingly more inventive fare, we next sampled the Salt baked heirloom beetroot. An exercise in texture, the beetroot was specially cooked to emulate the consistency of al dente pasta, with frozen walnut shaved over the vegetables. The earthy notes of the beetroot were perfectly matched with lashings of smoked yoghurt. Domaine Vacheron Sancerre, Loire Valley 2018 served as the wine accompaniment for this dish, giving the course an extra-zesty edge. This was followed by Slow roasted cauliflower, served with bergamot gel, fermented beans, and a green curry reduction; and Kombu cured hake, with cauliflower cooked three ways, walnuts, and grapes. Both dishes highlighted the chefs’ ingenuity and consummate expertise. Cline Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi Valley California 2017 tied the more complex elements of the dishes together with a smoky tang.
In main course territory, we tried the 48HR slow cooked short rib. The meat was a melt-in-the-mouth, carnivorous delight served with an aromatic, chlorophyll-infused risotto and accompanied by a beef consommé, which served as a savoury palate cleanser. Then came the Butternut barley risotto, with pickled butternut and curry butter. This dish married satisfying chewy textures with a creamy palate, alongside a sweet pomegranate reduction which brought balance to the buttery elements of the dish. Tenuta San Guido “Le Difese”, Tuscany 2016 added another level of richness to these hearty flavours.
To finish, we indulged in the Black sesame ice cream, with white chocolate panna cotta and cherries. The nuttiness of the sesame acted as the perfect counterpoint to the sweet white chocolate. This was followed by the Petit four, a medley of sweets consisting of Choux bursting with banana and salted caramel; White chocolate truffle topped with coconut; and Dark chocolate bon bon filled with Baileys. Served alongside was the Robertson Winery “Special late Harvest” Gewurztraminer 2018, an expertly matched dessert wine.
The Fennel & lychee sorbet. Acting as a bridge between the savoury courses and dessert, this weird and wonderful creation brought together lemon, dill, and confit shallot. Although bound to raise a few eyebrows with its peculiar combination of ingredients, the dish was ultimately transcendent and exemplifies everything that Mia stands for: confident, natural, and shrewdly sculpted delights.
Mia Restaurant Bangkok
30 Attha Kawi 1 Alley, Khlong Tan,
Khlong Toey, Bangkok 10110
Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 6pm to midnight
Tel: 098 862 9659
Price: THB 2,550++ for the eight-course tasting menu; THB 2,150++ for vegetarian eight-course tasting menu; additional THB 1,650++ for a four-glass wine pairing; THB 2,300++ for six-glass wine pairing
Facebook and Instagram: @miarestaurantthailand