LeDu – Quintessentially Thai
LeDu - Bangkok Foodies Review
Unlike Gaggan which is always an unforgettable experience, LeDu in Bangkok is something completely different. It’s modern Asian cuisine without the molecular trappings of fire or ice, flames or vapour, and that – for starters – is most refreshing.
You will find Le Du in an unassuming alley off Silom with an equally unassuming facade. A wide windowed room dimly lit with only a faint glow from the signage. Inside is warm and welcoming, minimal yet earthy.
On closer inspection you will notice design details, like the protruding veins in the white podiums, or the textures of each plate which compliment the earthy and modern-rustic decor. Yet essentially it’s all a mute canvas in which to place the star of the show and that is the food!
Our Amuse Bouche of watermelon rind and fish skin was a first-ever experience, who would ever think to eat the rind of a watermelon and with fish skin for that matter, yet bizarrely it was a match.
The menu is further separated into four parts. COLD, FROM THE SEA AND FOREST, FROM THE RANCH and SIN.
Starting with COLD was the Crayfish and Cooked Oyster. Technically stunning; fat, juicy yet firm, supple and creamy all at once.
The Line caught (sushi) Barracuda with green pea, was a taste of Japan. Definitely an umami thing happening there. There were notes of kaffir lime, lemongrass with pickled vegetables. A revisit of our beloved “Tom Kha”.
The Sustainable Ocean Fish with Sour Curry had a lot of depth, but to cut and combine each element is required in order to appreciate the Ocean flavour of the fish which acts as a sponge to retain the sharp, sourness of the curry along with the ‘pop’ of the crispy Thai tempura.
This dish, like the others, bring back memories of Thai Aunt or Pop curries filling the crisp morning street air or wafting through teak houses on humid nights. In this case, it was a revisit to “Geang Som”, which is typically too overpowering and pungent for my taste but Le Du’s version is dreamy on the palate.
Next up the Fresh River Prawn which comes out looking pretty adorable but tastes absolutely sensational. The prawn itself fell easily away from the shell, combine that with the smokiness of seafood, accompanied by deep, rich head-sauce and a side of “koa kluk gapi” rice, equals one damn fine dish.
I will continue to rave about my next experience, the Charcoal Grilled Pork Jowl, Young Jackfruit Curry from THE RANCH menu.
I said it once and I’ll say it again, if there were ever a pork-wagyu equivalent cooked to perfection, this would be it! And the Jackfruit Curry cuts through that divine sweet and rich fattiness with it’s delicate sour, spicy, bitterness.
Now I’m sorry I have to say something negative, it’s our ‘thing’ right? But truly, I was disappointed with the 30 Days Dry-Aged Beef which looked so seductive, yet my companion and I agreed, although the meat was succulent, the sauce was too sweet and the flavour combinations felt off.
Another note to make were the dishes were a lot on the ‘sour’ side, which was cohesive with the theme but an alternate savoury dish with less sour and salt and more of a traditionally sweet or Thai salad ‘freshness’ may have added an extra dimension to the culinary journey.
Thankfully for the final SIN menu item, for delivering us the Coconut Panna Cotta with Thai Melon Ice Cream. Absolutely nothing wrong could be said about this fantastic sweet dish, although the the placing of it on the plate was rather comical.
There’s something to be said about Chef ThiTid Tassanakajohn’s (Chef Ton) acute sense of taste, and this is also evident in the wine pairing, the quality of pairing elevates the experience to dizzying heights (yes, you’ll be good and tipsy by the end).
Chef Ton is a certified Sommelier and pairing Thai food is always a challenge. We could only give major props for the wine selection. Excellent wine pairing should not be underestimated at finer establishments in Bangkok, so many get it wrong, like very wrong. Generally places which forgo or overlook the services of good Sommeliers.
Chef Ton creates his own “molecular” version of dishes; the science in extracting concentration in flavours, the artistry in layering and presentation, and the social aspect by use of local produce and seasonal ingredients.
Le Du is “Season” in Thai, but the Thais roll their tongues in order to make the “Reu Duu” pronunciation. So although it appears French, mush like the technique prevalent in Ton’s cookling, but at it’s very core, Le Du is Quintessentially Thai.
3 10500, 399/3 Soi Silom 5, Silom, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500
Opening Hours : 6pm-10.30pm (Sunday Close)