We decided to spend Christmas and New Year’s in Thailand this year. It was time to totally chill out and honestly I have yet to find a better place than Thailand for complete relaxation. But we still wanted to do something special for New Year’s Eve in Bangkok and when we heard Amantee was having one of their seasonal celebratory event dinners, ourselves and some friends immediately booked a table.
Our friend Jeremie Sebag is the Executive Chef at Amantee. We have been to visit him at Le Café at Amantee before, but being based in Singapore, we seemed to always miss the epic dinner events at Amantee that our Bangkok friends raved about. We have also had the pleasure of also dining in his home a few times and I will say that based on these experiences plus our experience at Le Cafe, anytime a meal prepared by Jeremie is on offer when we are in Bangkok, we are there!
Amantee is more than a restaurant, it is a series of joined traditional Thai teak houses that features a gallery and store of Oriental and Tibetan antiques as well as Le Café that Jeremie runs. They often host special dinners, wine tastings and exhibitions at their serene location in Chaeng Wattana, a short taxi ride from downtown Bangkok.
This particular dinner was a special New Year’s Eve Jazz event. We arrived and were greeted with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on the charming teak terrace – replete with Thai silk covered cushions and lit by candlelight. Paul particularly liked the Lemon Flavoured Mousseline and Gravlax Salmon Verrine, while I was drawn in by the Pan-fried Gamba Tail Wrapped in Pancetta with Rouille.
But the real event was the 6-course meal with paired wines we were about to enjoy.
Oyster tartare with passion fruit, snowfish skewer in herb crust
Chanterelle cream vanilla – cappuccino style
Wine for courses 1 & 2: Macon Village Grand Elevage Maison Verget, 2006
Foie gras creme brulee with green apple emulsion
Oven baked scallops with creamy champagne sauce
Wine for courses 1 & 2: Chablis Terroirs de Chablis Maison Verget, 2006
Caramelized calves’ sweetbread on a sweet potato puree with cocoa and sautéed water chesnuts
Wine for course 5: Saint-Estephe Chateau de Pez, 2005
Dessert, composition around 3 chocolates
Wine for 6th course: champagne, optional
Jeremie had done it again – actually he is quite consistent, so I am not surprised 😉 The meal was flawless. Jeremie is masterful at modern French cuisine as represented this evening as well – the presentation of each dish was quietly elegant while the food itself utilized delicate layers of flavours that built into classic, yet fresh flavour profiles.
We also enjoyed the music of Jerry Byrd, a famous American Jazz guitarist who is the long time guitarist for the legendary pianist/vocalist Freddy Cole, brother of Nat King Cole. He has also played with jazz greats such as Roland Kirk, Jack McDuff, Sonny Stitt, Dizzy Gillespie, Lonnie Smith, “Slide” Hampton, and Frank Foster, among others.(You can sometimes see him playing at the Sheraton Grande Sukhhumvit).
Between the good company, great food, perfectly paired wines and soulful jazz, I can think of no better way to have said goodbye to 2009 and to have rung in 2010. If you are ever in Bangkok, do check out Amantee and Le Café…if you are lucky perhaps they will have a special dinner event in the offing.
131/3 Chaeng Wattana 13, Laksi,
Bangkok 10210 Thailand
Telephone: +66 (0) 2 9828 6945