In the US, Dean & Deluca is synonymous with overpriced deli and kitchen wares, fierce brand loyalty and overly aggressive soccer moms demanding their grande soy lattes. A scary sight indeed, so you’ll forgive KohSpot if we were a bit skeptical when we first heard that the Dean & Deluca Bangkok were trying out a bistro and wine lounge concept.
But we were pleasantly surprised to see that Dean & Deluca’s flagship SE Asia store (they are also located in Tokyo and Seoul) kept it simple and successfully avoided any major culinary fusion blunders by opting for gastro favorites with quality ingredients. The wines are not cheap, but even the house wines had a full body and could accompany many of the dozen dishes on the menu. Dean & Deluca is like Wine Republic, but good.
The Food. There are six appetizers and six mains, with pan-seared Alaskan scallops with micro greens in a chardonnay and raspberry sauce (395 baht) catching KohSpot’s eye. The sauce was wisely kept separate so one could enjoy the hint of sweetness all fresh American scallops burst with. And what could go better with wine than a platter of European cheeses with nuts and blueberries (295 baht)? Indulgence never looked so good. It’s not the champagne induced geisha massages we typically participate in on Tuesday afternoons, but it’ll do.
Lamb shank braised in Rogue hazelnut beer over a bed of mashed taters (495 baht) was a table favorite, while the maple-glazed pork belly (B395) uses a proprietary maple syrup.
The Store. Many of you illustrious KohSpot readers are probably already familiar with the Bangkok branch of Dean & Deluca, as it’s been here about a year, offering breakfast and lunch and imported goodies. Although pricey, most of the kitchen items offered at Dean & Deluca are hard to find anywhere else in Thailand, so the premium price is understandable from an economic perspective. In particular, KohSpot’s obsession with microbrews was piqued when we saw D&D Bangkok carrying both Rogue and Anderson Valley breweries – we ended up buying all of them, sorry. Perhaps this will prompt Brew to step up its game and finally start carrying India Pale Ales.
The current store is known for impossibly high ceilings and mixing the pantry items in with the tables, creating an open busy space. Just around the corner is a stage for bands with more relaxed lounge seating. The Christmas tree and yuletide music was a bit much for KohSpot, but we know they were just following corporate dictates. Dean & Deluca plans to open six more branches in Bangkok by the end of the year, and a gourmet grocery store, all separate from the current facility. Quite ambitious, and as the city grows more affluent, we’ll be eager to see if the project takes off or not.
D&D is treating this evening bistro service as a dry run for right now to make sure the service and cuisine are up to snuff, so call ahead just to make sure they’re serving.
Dean & Deluca Bangkok
Location: 92 Narathiwas Road, right at the foot of the Chong Nonsi BTS on the western side
Mass transit: BTS Chong Nonsi
Hours: 6 pm-11pm daily for dinner