Dinner by candle light inside a whale’s belly might sound like a dreamy evening for two, but Yvonne Liang discovers appearances can be deceptive. Photos by Nick McGrath.
With its wavy, skeleton-like pattern hanging from the high ceilings and the overall bright surroundings, this family friendly restaurant may not be your ideal setting for an uber-romantic date night. However, the Whale’s Belly is running a tight ship with top-notch service and decent European cuisine favouring seafood aficionados.
Expect your glass to be filled discreetly throughout the meal, with both server and manager regularly checking up on your satisfaction with each dish. Another major plus to this fine dining venue is the presence of head chef Apirawit Chaopo-en (Chef Mai) who was once seafood chef of the legendary Le Normandie, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Bangkok.
We started off with a basket of oven fresh bread rolls served with quality pâté and butter. It would have been easy to fill up on those, but we had to save room for the actual food. The pan fried pacific scallop (B550) and seared foie gras de canard (B980) arrived together. While the foie gras and pomelo rocket salad was presented on a piping hot plate, the scallops seemed to have lost their heat on the waiting counter. Still we enjoyed slathering the scallops with the two sauces of cumin scented carrot purée and champagne.
The fiery lobster pasta “rosso” spaghetti with Canadian lobster in arrabbiata sauce (B1,900) is possibly the most expensive plate of pasta we’ve ever come across in Bangkok. Although the dish appeared to fit the bill, the spaghetti was cooked beyond the expected al dente perfection and so was the lobster. Let’s hope this was a one-off occurrence.
A warm dark chocolate fondant (B260) boasting 58 percent dark chocolate served with a scoop of silky vanilla ice cream provided an excellent closure to the meal, as long as we avoided the side of thawed mixed berries that sadly did not match the rest of the dessert in taste or quality.
Whale’s Belly, 39 Boulevard, 41 Sukhumvit Soi 39
Tel: 02 160 0333
Open daily 11.30am to 2.30pm, 6.30pm to 10:30pm
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