Go ahead and label us as weird, but we think basements are intriguing places. They can invoke fear as common settings in horror movies, happiness as house parties tend to congregate in the lower levels of a home and relaxation as they offer respite from street level chaos and congestion. In the case of the new Boutique Hotel, Muse, the basement plays host to an enjoyable dining experience. Italian restaurant Medici Kitchen & Bar is striving to transform your previous notions of what a basement can offer by playing off the coziness and intimacy that can only be found 20 feet underground. With so many ‘sky lounges’ and roof top bars popping up over Bangkok its nice to see Medici Kitchen & Bar taking a new approach.
Beautifully designed, Medici Kitchen & Bar is one giant open room with elaborately stenciled partitions for privacy depending on where you sit. Huge columns act as wine racks with wrought iron steel arches complimenting the industrial zeal of the layout. Stained wooden tables and husky black leather chairs add a dose of poise while the distinct bar, with its illuminated shelving, provides a thin layer of opulence. Somehow the creators of Medici Kitchen & Bar tweaked and manipulated several unique interior design concepts effectively producing a remarkable under current for your dining pleasure.
If only the kitchen was capable of matching the ingenuity of the restaurants design. The food at Medici Kitchen & Bar is satisfactory but not exceptional. Italian raised Francesco Lenzi has ventured from his original post as the head chef of Opus to headline this new and exciting restaurant, but he has somehow managed to lose a lot of what makes his predecessor so good – unique and creative dishes interwoven with traditional cooking methods. There is little on the menu at Medici Kitchen & Bar that will jump out as inventive and despite Francesco having an unyielding passion for cooking, he manages to keep most dishes safe if not predictable. The white truffle linguine was creamy and appeased the tastebuds, but the portion size was laughable. The Australian Grain-Fed beef flank steak was perfectly seared and came with a subtle yet complimenting garlic wine sauce. Yummy. The ‘seafood plattter’ consisting of the common oysters, clams and tuna tarter was poke and prodded by our guests, but certainly wasn’t devoured as the mix of flavors was a little uninspiring. Medici Kitchen & Bar is certainly expected to have a few hits and misses as they have only been open for two weeks, but we were certainly hoping for more consistency and inventiveness based on our past dining experiences at Opus. Time will tell.
The service was impeccable. Granted the ratio of wait staff to patron was 1:1 as the restaurant still isn’t very busy, but the professionalism and sincerity presented at Medici Kitchen & Bar was fantastic.
Langsuan was once the ‘it’ spot to open a restaurant or bar. With Thong Lor, Ari and other up and coming areas in Bangkok its nice to see Hotel Muse and its associated restaurant Medici Kitchen and Bar attempt to revive Langsuan neighborhood. We recommend giving Medici Kitchen & Bar a try, perhaps for a special occasion, but waiting a few months as the kitchen works through its kinks and finds its identity is advisable.
Oh, and Hotel Muse is getting rave reviews.
Medici Kitchen & Bar
Location: Basement of Hotel Muse. 55/555 Langsuan Rd.
Mass Transit: BTS Chit Lom
Hours: Lunch: Noon – 2:30 p.m. Dinner: 6:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. Drinks: 6:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.