Replacing the spot previously housed the acclaimed French restaurant ‘Reflexions’, The Allium is a new greatly admired European haute cuisine restaurant at The Athenee Bangkok, led by chef de cuisine Roxanne Lange (who from 2016 to 2018 also headed The Reflexions). With her current emphasis on sustainability, Chef Roxanne selects only world’s finest ingredients and match them with local organic produces as well as freshly picked botanicals from her terraced garden outside the restaurant where she grows herbs and flowers.
During my visit in February, I was welcomed by Maaike Breij, the brilliant venue manager who introduced me to different set menus and poured me with stories about Chef Roxanne and her passion for cooking, travel, and nature.
The name “Allium” is taken from the genus of flowering plant that encompasses many species, including the onion, garlic, scallion, shallot, leak, and chives.
So, I’ve learnt that Chef Roxanne is a Dutch national previously worked for the Michelin superstar Chef Henk Salverberg both in Holland and Bangkok. But at the Allium, she has extended her classic French cooking technique to recreate modern European cuisine with a focus on vegetables and flowers.
“The seasonal menus are inspired by Roxanne’s memories, experiences, and her love of travel,” Maaike explained while presented me enticing set menus including one plant-based, one 8-courses, and one 10-courses. Each of them comes with three amuse bouche and a palate cleanser.
For an all-out experience, I chose to go with the Memories; a 10-course celebration inspired by the chef’s gastronomic memories in her childhood home.
I genuinely think my 3.5 hours multi-course dinner that night was beyond perfect. Each dishes was served with Maaike’s attentiveness, and stories well told. Chef Roxanne’s cooking is equally impressive tastewise and stylewise. At the end of my feast, Maaike made sure Chef Roxanne sat down with me for a bit, so I got to ask her questions as I wished.
KP: What is your culinary focus in 2020?
RL: Well, I prefer my kitchen to be more vegetable-focused. And I want to create a lighter and healthier menu for my guests. That’s why I started the little herbs garden just outside this restaurant. At this hour you won’t see a thing because it’s too dark. But if you come at lunchtime you will.
Any trends are you noticing regarding the food scene in Thailand?
RL: I think organic and sustainable cuisine has gained popularity worldwide. Plant-based recipes, homegrown organic produce, these things are becoming phenomenal due to our needs for sustainability.
And I genuinely think it’s a chef’s responsibility to be aware and take care of the environment as well as the wellness of people. Chefs can do so much to make this world a better place…it is a long way to go, but it’s the right way.
Finally, what do you think makes your food pleasantly different?
RL: Perhaps it’s because I brought my own memories and experiences into my creative process. People can apply similar techniques but not similar stories. My cooking is my storytelling.
The Allium Bangkok opens Tuesdays to Sundays (closed on Mondays)
Lunch 12:00 P.M. – 02:30 P.M. (last order 02:00 P.M.)
Dinner 06:00 P.M. – 10:30 P.M. (last order 10:00 P.M.)
Dress Code: Smart casual, no shorts or slippers allowed.
For more information or reservations, call 02 650 8800.
Photo: courtesy of The Allium Bangkok