Dinner at Elements, The Okura Prestige Bangkok – Trying the All-New Takumi Menu

On Tuesday 12 November 2019, Elements retains the one-Michelin-star status for the third year in a roll. Here is my review of their food in November 2019.

And the restaurant has just unveiled the all-new Takumi dinner menu where high French culinary techniques collide with seasonal Japanese produce. This is a new delicious excitement for those looking for a new fine-dining perspective with creative dishes to match.

Above: Elements’ Chef de Cuisine Hans Zahner at mis en plate. 

At the Elements’ helm now is Hans Zahner – a veteran French chef whose bright and lively cooking techniques bring new and colourful lights to the ingredients – many of which are being matched innovatively, or prepared differently, some with hidden surprises, for a new kind of enjoyment on the table.

Leaning on fresh seasonal ingredients, the ‘Takumi’ menu is to change every three months. It is also the restaurant’s mission to prioritize their selections from smaller and local producers – locally and internationally. After all, the word ‘Takumi’ means ‘artisanal,’ and all their dishes, either in forms of execution and backstories, reflect the fact.

Above: Buttering the charcoal, Hokkaido-milk bun with the flakiest and butteriest croissant and the buckwheat rolls in the background. 

The ‘Take’ (read Ta-Ke) 6-course dinner is Bt4,000++; the ‘Matsu’ 7-course dinner is Bt4,500++. Should you like to order their special plate which for this debut menu is, for example, the Oyster Blade Japanese Wagyu, it will be an addition of Bt800++ on top of the aforementioned prices.

The wine-pairing is also available at Bt2,700++ for the 6-course and Bt3,200++ for the 7-course. Since the pairing is specific for this season, you might want to check back with the restaurant when they change the menu again every three months. The next menu-changing, a minor one, will be in January 2020.

Elements also offers wines by the glass, with 13 choices in total, starting at Bt390++ per glass (a Prosecco) up to Bt980++ per glass for a Louis Roederer champagne. We ordered their speciality cocktails of ‘Pineapple Sake Cooler’ with Born Ginsen Sake, Absolut Vodka, Pineapple Juice, Lime Juice, and Cucumber Bitters at Bt450++, and ‘Kyushiki — Japanese Old Fashioned’ – the Japanese version of the much-loved American classic with Suntory Hakushi Whiskey, Kuru Sato Black Sugar, Fresh Ginger, and Angostura Bitters at Bt550++.

Above – The amuse-bouches – from right – A chilled kombucha tea; ‘air-balloon’ of choux pastry filled with uni and ume compote; ‘Okonomiyaki’ – or Japanese pizza with seafood; Crispy Charcoal – with wagyu beef, chilli miso, and mint; ‘Nori Shortbread’ with miso tofu and yuzu nitsume. 

Dinner at Elements always starts with their house’s delicious bread and butter – the regular creamily indulgent, and the another with a high oceanic savoury note from the nori infusion. Three types of bread are served – the black one is the charcoal bun made with Hokkaido milk; the flakiest and butteriest croissant, and their signature of the buckwheat rolls. All are so good, it makes self-control super difficult. Recommendation: eat all three and clean up the butter, it is worth it. 😀

Abovethe first course from both 6 and 7-course dinner – Kaviari Kristal Caviar.

We tried both the 6- and 7-course menus – and below are the complete rundown where you can read the captions for details. Both menus feature the same amuse-bouches – all tasty appetisers, the forerunners a real tasty journey, the first glimpse of French and Japanese interfusion. A refreshing house-fermented Kombucha starts it all, followed by a tiny crispy bite of sago, the flavours of chilli miso, and the bright tastes of yuzu nitsume that enhances the creamy base of tofu. This is going to be a really exciting meal. 😀

Seafood also leads the way when it comes to a lengthy degustation menu. In this case, it is a fresh oyster covered with a cucumber jelly (above)—that bright green thing on top—featuring the chef’s personal preference of food matching, a new tasty surprise that works, along with the sharp additions from pickled shallots, cucumber salsa, and ponzu jelly.

Abovethe second course of the 6-course dinner – Thai Heirloom Tomatoes.

While in the 6-course dinner, the second dish is Thai Heirloom Tomatoes, in the 7-course, it is Foie Gras. Bright notes from Japanese ingredients – sesame vinaigrette and wasabi ice cream – smooth out the slight sourness of the tomato. Meanwhile, the creamy texture of foie gras is matched with persimmon that is brightened with Yuzu Kosho, lending a gentle overall result, and also a beautiful Pantone-inspired dish, so to speak.

Abovethe second course of the 7-course dinner – Foie Gras.

Above – the third course of the 7-course dinner – Yasai which is a refreshing mix of taro, shitake, and quinoa puff.

Yasai is ‘vegetables’ in Japanese – and the above dish is a part of the 7-course colourful addition. I love it when a chef can make a vegetable-centric dish so good. In this case, vegetable stock is made into jelly, carrot turned into a puree and red cabbage into a powder. All in all, a light, tasty treat.

In the 6-course, we had the super lovely Carabineros prawn – touted as the world’s best, and for me perhaps the sweetest I had – served on a bed of sweet seared fennel, curry foam and crispy beet tuille on top. So delicious this one.

Abovethe third dish from the 6-course – the very delicious Carabineros.

Above the fourth dish from the 7-course – Big Norway Langoustine.

The fourth dish in the 7-course is perhaps a star of this new Takumi menu — Big Norway Langoustine — all super fresh and super juicy that is served with yuzu cream sauce and parsley puree. A great tasty combination and something bright and green to look at.

Meanwhile in the 6-course, the fourth dish is Ora King Salmon with its pink hue enhanced in both looks and tastes with beet-infused dashi broth, dashi crumble on top and Myoga ginger. A gentle, wholesome deliciousness.

Abovethe fourth dish from the 6-course – Ora King Salmon.

Abovethe fifth dish from the 7-course – Seabass.

The fifth in the 7-course is Seabass – the juicy chunk is served beautifully with red cabbage powder and glazes with the deep savoury flavours coming from teriyaki sauce. A tasty combination between a Japanese staple condiment and the creamy oily texture of the fish.

Miyasaki Pork makes the fifth dish in the 6-course menu. The tenderloin – sous-vided and pan-seared – is super tender and juicy, and served with the aromatically charred broccoli, broccoli puree and orange miso pork jus sauce. Awesome.

Abovethe fifth dish from the 6-course – Miyasaki Pork.

Above – the sixth dish (special dish, Bt800++ extra) from the 7-course – Oyster Blade Japanese Wagyu.

We ordered the special dish—the Oyster Blade Japanese Wagyu—in the 7-course dinner. That’s Bt800++ addition on top of the Bt4,500++ price. Or you can choose the Glazed Pigeon which is on the menu, too. The oyster blade or flat iron steak is slow-cooked for 48 hours and then served with pumpkin puree, two types of beef jus—one readily ladled, another encased in a jello sphere waiting for a cut-open unveiling. 😀 Brightness comes from kumquat jelly, watermelon relish and sansho pepper. This is a dish full of surprise in cooking techniques and combination. A wonderful treat.

Abovethe sweet finale from the 6-course – Miso Ice Cream.

Abovethe dessert from the 7-course – Genmaicha.

The above two are the different desserts from both dinner menus. I liked mine in the six-course and after having a taste from the 7-course, I think the dessert can be something a sweet tooth person will find makes it harder to choose between the two. Again, compositions of tastes, arranging the brightness and aligning them with the creaminess is what makes the two sweet awesome. I particularly love the miso ice cream served with the chocolate mousse and almond. A perfect super delish ending to a very pleasant meal.

AboveOkashi – Japanese influenced sweet bites.

Elements, Tuesday – Saturday: 18.00 – 22.30. For more information and reservations, please contact 02 687 9000, or email elements@okurabangkok.com, or book on their website at www.okurabangkok.com


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