Crafted by Chefs “Top” Russell and Michelle Goh, the menu also has vegan and vegetarian versions.
By Aiden Jewelle Gonzales
Although I’d had the pleasure of dining at Mia before, it’s always a thrill to walk into the lavish restaurant and rediscover its series of distinctive rooms spread out over two floors, each designed with its own unique point of view. The Dark Room, a sumptuous and intimate space with blue velvet furnishings, atmospheric lighting, and geometric patterned wallpaper in shades of grey, is where guests can sample Mia’s dinner tasting menu, and was where we were hosted.
Mia is the brainchild of Chefs “Top” Russell and Michelle Goh, a celebrated duo who both have extensive experience working at Michelin-starred restaurants worldwide, and have won numerous accolades over the years. Although the restaurant started life with an à la carte menu that married European cooking techniques with Asian ingredients, Chefs Top and Michelle reveal to us that the runaway success of the tasting menu they introduced was unexpected. Because of this, they decided to solely focus on their fine dining experience, with seasonal tasting menus that take advantage of the fresh, premium ingredients available at the time. “Our menus will offer what I like to call ‘French food with an Asian soul,’” Chef Michelle tells us with a smile. “They’re familiar flavours inspired by comfort food, but elevated,” Chef Top adds on.
Food and Drink
Their Taste of Mia winter tasting menu (THB 2,850++ for five courses; THB 3,550++ for seven courses), which will run until the end of the year, not only takes full advantage of seasonal premium ingredients, such as white truffle and black fig, but also features festive elements to celebrate the season. If you enjoy wine with your food, I would definitely recommend shelling out for the wine pairings (THB 990++ for three glasses; THB 1,890++ for five glasses), which are specially-curated to enhance the flavours of each course.
We began our meal with a beautifully-plated concoction of Ostra regal oysters and chilled red cabbage, served on a bed of pebbles and smoking dry ice to best effect. The cabbage, which we learned was the same variety used in gazpacho, was frozen twice over, and was a refreshing and surprising complement to the briny flavour of the oyster and the kick of chilli in the dish. Next, we a had quartet of bite-sized snacks to whet the palate, starting with a rich and indulgent Duxelle tartlet with their homemade hollandaise recipe and truffle notes, a unanimous favourite of the night; a Chickpea puff stuffed with their version of a tuna niçoise salad that included Sriracha made from scratch and fermented over 28 days; a melt-in-your-mouth morsel of Beef tartare on a crispy rice cake, which can be replaced with a salmon option for those who don’t eat beef; and a festive and intriguing Foie gras bite, coated in a mulled wine and ginger jelly. The latter, especially, was a combination that I would never have conceptualised but was indicative of the rest of the meal – unpredictable, delicious, and a feast for the eyes.
Before we moved on to the next course, we had an ‘intermission’ in the form of a sourdough brioche – delightfully soft on the inside after you break through its perfectly baked crust – paired with another group winner, their shallot butter with a thin coating of onion ash on top to add a touch of smoked flavour. Although the brioche can be paired with the next course as well, I’m not loathe to admit that we went through the incredibly moreish loaf in a few minutes.
Next, we had the Hokkaido scallop which was paired with an emerald green apple and dill sorbet on top and yoghurt dressing poured tableside, a very eye-catching dish that was refreshing in the extreme and had a lot of intense flavours. You have the option of opting for supplementary caviar (THB 690++ for 6g), which I would recommend having on the side if you want to best enjoy its distinctive taste. The Cured hamachi with tomato dashi and ricotta was one of the more festive dishes of the night, an architectural concoction served with edible flowers, and sprinkled with wasabi ‘snow’ tableside, which added a delightful kick to a textural and light plate.
Next, we sampled the Crab chawanmushi, which was personally one of my favourites of the night, and which Chef Top aptly called “a hug in the middle of the meal.” The first warm dish of the menu, it was served with crustacean oil, artichoke, and pearl onions, and was made with dashi stock and crab fat, a delicacy that added a sybaritic touch to what felt like homemade comfort food. For an extra luxe experience, opt for their supplementary uni (THB 890++ for 9g) whose distinctive taste I felt elevated the dish even further. The Confit cod, served on a bed of greens and edible flowers, with gambas mousseline and mussels, was extremely herbaceous, and a textural and light plate before we moved on to the mains. The wine pairing with the seafood dishes was also my favourite of the night, with an extremely aromatic bouquet and citrus and mango notes that offset the briny flavours of the seafood.
For the mains, you have a choice of Pork 4 ways, served with winter kale and parsnip; or Hokkaido kamui gyu A4 wagyu chateaubriand, served with celeriac, a mushroom emulsion, and pomme soufflé. I went for the steak, which was tender and cooked to perfection, and a generous heaping of the supplementary white truffle (THB 690++ for 3g) which is currently in season, and added even more indulgence to an already-lavish dish. We were served a piping hot portion of the dish’s respective stock in a glass on the side; an unusual but somehow apropos drinks after such a rich main.
Next we had what Chef Michelle called a ‘pre-dessert dessert’; poached pear sorbet with – the biggest surprise of the night – rocket salad and a drizzle of spicy olive oil from Lake Garda. The whole affair was covered with a peach gel and sprinkled with rosemary, and served as a palate cleanser before moving on to the actual sweet treats. Although unusual, it worked quite well for a guilt-free and innovative approach to dessert.
We were then served a brioche slice with lashings of cream and black fig slices, pistachios, and a scoop of fig leaf ice cream on the side. This dessert, we were told, was created to highlight this season’s bumper crop of black figs, usually a rare delicacy, which had a dark, earthy flavour undercut by the ice cream. The ice cream was concocted out of fig leaves as a way to achieve “as little waste as possible,” according to Chef Michelle.
Finally, we ended our meal with a smorgasbord of mini desserts, the Petit fours, which comprised of a peppermint macaron, a knot of sesame marshmallow, and a delectable chocolate truffle morsel; the ultimate ending to a meal that was, from start to finish, truly ‘A Taste of Mia.’