March 10, 2022

What makes a restaurant par excellence? A completely original menu, unsurpassed service and victuals that inspire conversation. The spectacular views of the Chao Phraya River and Bangkok’s skyline are an added bonus. Located on the 65th floor of Lebua at State Tower, Mezzaluna, a two-Michelin-starred establishment helmed by chef Ryuki Kawasaki, investigates, challenges and pays homage to Japanese culinary traditions. 

Kawasaki doesn’t need to employ any fanciful or pretentious showmanship here. Instead, he serves every ingredient at the very peak of its flavour and freshness with an easy flair that says sophistication. Presentation-wise, it is omakase-style where each small plate shifts from rich to delicate, nuanced to bold.

Right off the bat, Jean Larnaudie’s foie gras—“sake kasu mousse”—featuring Japanese strawberry and gingerbread makes a solid impression; the velvety texture of the mousse melts seamlessly in your mouth delivering an ambrosial sensation that slowly transcends into a full savoury experience. The dash of spice from the gingerbread crumble adds an unexpected kick to the mix.

Kawasaki starts to crank up the volume. First, it shows in the Ise ebi “bisque,” which comprises hearty chunks of lobster meat in a satiny consommé punctuated by the earthiness of lentils and a generous heap of black truffle shavings. Kombu-marinated longtooth grouper steamed to the texture of wobbly silk is supple and custard-like and finds a perfect counterpoint with the sweet crab meat. The caviar sauce, layered with nanohana, a cruciferous vegetable used commonly in Japanese cuisine, rounds it off nicely with a suitably vibrant balance. 

For mains, the Ezo Shika deer, smoked into tender submission and glazed in walnut miso, is sensational. A smear of velvety mashed Kyoto carrot gives you a lingering kiss of sweetness, while your taste buds light up with the poivrade sauce packed with bright, fresh herbs and juniper berries. But the piece de resistance has to be Niigata Murakami beef grilled over charcoal. A thick, unctuous cut of gorgeously marbled beef (a rare breed of top-quality calves from Kawasaki’s hometown in Niigata Prefecture) straight from the charcoal oven, placed on a bed of quivery egg yolk confit, kabu and shungiku. Fresh with an astringent tang, the lightly cooked shungiku melded perfectly with the richness of the meat, achieving a symphony of flavours.

Dessert is elegantly treated: coffee “tiramisu” served with a quenelle of tamari soy ice cream shows a delicate and beautiful reinterpretation of the traditional classic Italian dessert, while the savouriness from the tamari plays a complementary sidekick to the aromatic and nutty flavour of the sobacha praline. 

What I appreciate about Mezzaluna is the quiet and meticulous care in the preparation of your meal, restraint in allowing natural flavours and textures to shine through and an artifice-free approach. According to Kawasaki, his predilection for artisanal seasonal products creates experiences “that inspire and leave lasting memories for people,” and I left the restaurant thinking: he had already done so.