Mezzaluna – Dining with Stars
While it’s no easy thing to get awarded a Michelin star, getting awarded two stars is next to impossible. There are more than 3,000 restaurants in the world with a Michelin star, but only some 400 with two stars, and a minute 126 with the ultimate three stars. While some stellar cooking techniques and wildly delicious cuisine might land you a star, you really have to up the ante to move up into the two- or three-star galaxy, and the Lebua’s Mezzaluna has done just that, receiving two stars for the second year running from the Michelin Guide Bangkok, showcasing Japanese chef Ryuki Kawasaki’s amazing talents and pairing them alongside of the best view and service you’ll find in Bangkok.
The Lebua has long been noted for its sky-high restaurants and bars, all of them offering stupendous views of the Bangkok skyline and the Chao Phraya River. The views from Mezzaluna go on for eternity, and in some ways, on my last visit here, I almost found myself not wanting to gaze out at the scenery, or feel that I was having the most romantic dinner of my life, as all I wanted to do was to close my eyes and succumb to Chef Kawasaki’s tantalizing dishes.
Kawasaki grew up in his grandmother’s kitchen in his native Japan and followed his culinary passions by enrolling in the prestigious Tsuji Culinary Institute in Tokyo. He has spent over 20 years working at some of the world’s top Michelin-warded restaurants in France, the United States, and Japan. Kawasaki received the Chef of the Year award from the Escoffier Society while working at Twist by Pierre Gagnaire in Las Vegas, and is noted for his innovative and visually stunning gourmet presentations.
Kawasaki took over the helm at Mezzaluna in 2015 and has combined his superlative French cooking techniques with some of the most exclusively sourced ingredients and fresh seasonal produce to be found in Asia. Take the Niigata Murakami Wagyu beef for example, which Kawasaki brings exclusively to Thailand from Japan. The beef comes from a small breed of carefully selected, high-quality calves from Niigata Prefecture in Japan, which are raised on rice straw, hay and premium compound feed, giving the beef a silky texture and absolute melt-in-the-mouth taste.
While most Michelin-starred restaurants in Bangkok offer degustation or chef’s tasting menus, Mezzaluna offers one with a slight twist, in that you get to choose between several dishes on the majority of the presentations. Opt between a Magaki oyster confit or braised veal, or a Madara Pacific cod or red snapper. While the undoubted highlight of the meal is the Niigata Murakami Wagyu beef with black truffle that is grilled over charcoal, even here it’s hard to choose, as you can instead go for blackcurrant-crusted deer that is bold and gamey, paired with a lively red wine that bursts onto the palate with a flavor-filled punch.
Everything about a meal at Mezzaluna is over the top and done to perfection. A bevy of international staff hover around your table, never failing to notice whether you need more bread or water, constantly bringing palate refreshers before dishes, and giving detailed explanations of all the captivating creations that are appearing in front of you.
The sommelier knows his stuff, coming out to explain each wine pairing not only giving the origins of each bottle, but complimenting its highlights and flavor profiles. The cellar here is one of the finest and deepest in all of Bangkok, with several of the wines served being exclusive to Mezzaluna.
Each dish coming with the tasting menu is a work of art. A Madara Pacific cod is served marinated in sake and custard, accented with a slight bit of chorizo and accompanied by a green sauce of bok choy. Portions are small, but each bite is meant to be savored, just bursting with taste and a combo of ingredients that appear to be master-crafted.
The menu at Mezzaluna is seasonal, changing every three months, although dishes like the Wagyu beef are always featured. The end of the dining experience here is just as spectacular as the rest, with Kawasaki creating a Koshihikari rice (Japan’s most premium rice) ice cream as well as a MarkRin 80% dark chocolate nougatine, ice cream and ganache.
This is an entire dining experience at its finest, from chef to server to table to ambience. At this point, the sky (and possibly even a coveted third star) is the limit for Mezzaluna and its all-star chef.
Lebua at State Tower, 1055 Silom Rd.
Tel. 02 624 9555
Open 6 pm-1 am Tuesday-Sunday