Bangkok is a city with the choice luxury indulgences those that tote Chanel purses, wear Louis Vuitton shoes, and cloud themselves in Dior perfumes can appreciate. Expensive taste in Bangkok can mean either you’re a glutton for brand name materials, or that you have taste buds that only respond to the crème de la crème of food. With the latter group in mind, there are three fine eateries that any person with a sophisticated palate must take their stomach for a visit. To boot, all three recommendations are located under one roof, namely in Siam Paragon; the Galeries Lafayette of Thailand if you will.
Ladurée, the Parisian-based luxury bakery gone global, is said to be the inventor of macarons that we know and enjoy today. Their macarons have made appearances in films; most notably in Sofia Coppola’s 2006 film “Marie Antoinette.” Ladurée’s shop in Bangkok is not located in the food zone of Siam Paragon, it should be noted; for that would be far too common. Indeed, Ladurée at Siam Paragon shares its walls with French jeweller Cartier, and is opposite to Italian lapidary Bvlgari; thus putting it in the gems zone of the floor plan. The store itself is decorated in pastel chic, resembling a whimsical boudoir sprayed with Prada Candy.
The macarons are shipped from Paree, no less, and the must try flavours are rose petal (pink-glorious), pistachio (redolent-nutty), and chocolate (gold-leafed). The macarons here are softer and more fragrant than those baked elsewhere it should be pointed out. Simply put, they are deliciously expensive. To be sure, one does not bite but nibbles on a Ladurée macaron. Aside from the signature offerings, Ladurée also offers other lofty desserts qualified for high praise. The dish to choose from the menu is a bowl of their famous chestnut ice-cream served with marron glacés (candied chestnuts); a favourite of yours truly. The ice-cream is creamy and flavoursome, and the chestnuts are sweet and chewy; edible divinities in other words.
The Mandarin Oriental Shop
Located on the restaurant avenue on the ground floor of Siam Paragon, The Mandarin Oriental Shop cannot be missed; for it is a very vogue boutique, deserving visitations from the likes of Anna Wintour. The interior is dark brown sophistication. There is a kiosk kitchen at the center of the room: a square island enclosed by a passageway where customers can walk around to see the bakers implement their doughy skills from every angle.
Recommended desserts here include the house’s famous blueberry cheesecake. This cheesecake has no base; i.e. no crushed graham crackers underneath that gives the cheesecake its typical characteristic two-tone texture. Breaking into this cheesecake therefore, is like dipping a spoon into super thick Greek yogurt; pure decadence where no biting is required, as the contents melt in your mouth like a pat of butter on a hot plate. The jam of blueberries laying languorously on top is sweet and compliments the cheesecake perfectly. Suffice it to say here, the laudations awarded for this unique dainty by the critics at large is well earned. Finish your small meal with artisanal chocolates; choose the raspberry praline for an exquisite sweet and sour experience.
Harrods Tea Room
The Tea Room by legendary British department store Harrods is located opposite The Mandarin Oriental Shop. The décor is modern colonial in cream white and soft green. The establishment evokes the feeling of being at a highly respected restaurant awarded Michelin stars: fine dining furniture, polished silverware, quality china, and first class service. The store also has a mezzanine floor whereon private customers can dine in greater intimacy.
The food at Harrods Tea Room is good, but it’s the desserts that merit a further elaboration. The cookies and cream cheesecake in particular, is orgasmic; the most decadent, classic style cheesecake available in Bangkok for sure. The red velvet cupcake is another classic piece done above and beyond nice; moist cake iced with a melt in your mouth buttercream deliciousness. And then there are the famous English scones too, offered here in several flavours besides plain; choose the ultra rich chocolate scone, or enjoy an original scone with Harrods signature jam and imported clotted cream for a more traditional experience.
So there you have it, three chichi places to satisfy your worldly appetite and lighten your Hermès change purse at the same time; that is, after a good bout of luxury shopping in and out of international boutiques in Siam Paragon. Indeed, refuel energy levels with quality calories. But seriously now, if you are a dessert connoisseur with a little disposable income to spare, do consider including these three restaurant salons in your sweet tooth extravaganza travel agenda; for they are guaranteed to pizzazzerize your gastronomical journey by tenfold.