At the infamous Le Du, located in Thailand’s capital, nature and seasonality lead the way whilst skill and creativity send the environmental message.
A Bangkok Michelin-star
Graduating from the Culinary Institute of America top of his class, Chef Thitid ‘Ton’ Tassanakajohn went on to work for some impressive venues in New York. Returning to Thailand to continue his culinary journey, Chef Ton today serves up magnificent dishes to diners at his Bangkok restaurant, Le Du. Showing off the best of Thai cuisine with a sprinkle of European influence, Chef Ton and business partner Rungroj ‘Tao’ Ingudananda – General Manager – conjure up a fantastically unique culinary experience in the heart of bustling Bangkok. Find Le Du tucked away around a corner just besides the hustle and bustle of Silom district.
Upon entering Le Du, floor to ceiling glass windows allow in a flood of light and brightly coloured floral arrangements increase the vibrancy. Warm tones, dark woods, bare bricks and filament light bulbs add a kind of industrial feel to the setting. A wine bar sat at the entrance, boasts a striking library of wine labels from all over the world, and a sheet of glass allowing diners to peek into the restaurant creates a behind-the-scenes experience.
The word ‘Le Du’ – directly translating from Thai to mean ‘season’ – truly encompasses the essence of everything, at this most environment-conscious of all restaurants in Bangkok. The menu here is crafted seasonally and features the best of local and sustainable produce chosen carefully from across the whole of Thailand. International influences, combined with local tastes and abundant Asian flavours make for modern, contemporary dishes. The menu is ever-changing thanks to the heavy reliance on seasonality and availability of produce. With the insightful combination of environmental awareness, agricultural seasonality, and talented, creative chefs, has come Le Du’s first Michelin-Star.
Thai green curry and ant larvae
Food at Le Du will satisfy your cravings but also keep you on your toes. Conventional Thai dishes are created with a twist; for example the traditional dessert mango sticky rice, becomes Mango Panna Cotta with sticky rice and smoked coconut. On the other hand, some parts of the menu will totally surprise you and will experiment with your tastebuds.
Local and traditional Thai and Asian ingredients are celebrated and prepared with a modern flare and contemporary methods. The Ant Larvae served with potato and fish broth will initially find you curious but leave you fascinated. Commonly eaten in Northeast Thailand, ant larvae brings with it a sweet yet fatty element to the dish. Other indulgent and gorgeously presented dishes can include Sustainable Squid and wild mushroom salad with salted duck egg as well as River Prawn with pork belly jam, shrimp paste and organic rice. On top of a carefully crafted menu packed with unique fusion flavours, an impressive wine list comprised of old-world wines is another feature to this Bangkok restaurant. Wine pairings are available and absolutely encouraged.
Sustainability and seasonality
Menus at Le Du are designed to move with the seasons and indeed they seamlessly glide through them. At this Bangkok restaurant, chefs believe that Thai ingredients are today somewhat under-appreciated. Rich with produce in all its corners, Thailand is a country blessed with the finest of ingredients. Le Du certainly takes advantage of this. Sourcing purely local ingredients, the chefs offer dishes comprised of all regions of Thailand, showcasing the potential of typically Thai produce. Modern cooking techniques add a whole new layer of excitement and celebration to the mix. Quite boldly, the restaurant chooses to limit its red meat options to a maximum of two dishes in a move to reduce its carbon footprint as much as possible. Seafood and plant-based dishes therefore make up a great deal of the restaurant’s dishes and are a focus for Chef Ton.
Sustainable Ocean Fish, a dish with roasted pumpkin puree and fermented fish stomach, is made with cobia, a sustainably sourced fish with its origins in the South of Thailand. In fact, Chef Ton works closely with fishermen and mostly small scale farmers, regularly heading to rural parts of Thailand to meet with suppliers and supporting them in their endeavours as ethical and environmentally friendly producers. Meanwhile, when it comes to rice, the chef uses organic rice from his own farm.
A pioneer of contemporary Asian – and somewhat fusion – cuisine, Le Du is also a frontrunner in conscious dining in Bangkok. Not only is this one of the most famous restaurants in Bangkok, but Chef Ton and his team have managed to craft an establishment which celebrates Thai food, with an emphasis on all things local and sustainable. No restaurant is environmentally perfect. However, by allowing nature to lead the way and sculpt menus with her changing seasons, Le Du certainly does a whole lot to ensure that diners take with them some environmental motivation.
Address: 399/3 Silom 7 Alley, Silom, Bang Rak