Farang Ses Restaurant

A recent cool evening found the Dining Out team at Farang Ses Restaurant at the beautiful Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi Resort in Chiang Mai. While many guests took advantage of the weather and dined outside on the terrace, the Dining Out team was seated at a very special table in front of an enormous portrait of a Thai woman in traditional clothing with Thailand’s famous flowers piled high in her hair. The plush dining room is filled with carved wood, enormous support pillars and original art. The traditional Thai ceiling soars skyward. The room is rich in dark wood, but soft butternut yellow calfskin covers the formal, contemporary chairs and lightens its appearance. The tables were laid with simply finished heavy linen in pale neutral colors, and crystal candelabra filled with glowing candles illuminated ours.

We began our meal with an ‘amuse bouche’, a small delightful creative bite of beetroot terrine accompanied by a tiny cup of hot beetroot juice. Not on the menu, it was a surprise and I found I quite liked the beetroot juice. Then followed an appetizer of fabulous pan seared foie gras served with tiny salad leaves and topped with a black peppered sweet cherry sauce. The sweet cherries superbly complimented the foie gras, which was perfectly prepared. Appetizers at Farang Ses include such creative dishes as marinated rainbow trout with crispy fennel chips at 580 baht and range up to a carpaccio of Brittany lobster with green peas and green pea sherbet at 1,950 baht. Caviar at market price is also offered. This restaurant is obviously a place for special celebrations.

Soup followed the appetizer, a lobster bisque flavored with white port wine and star anis. The presentation was superb. Each plate was garnished with boiled crab and anise, and the bisque was presented in individual pots and poured in our bowls at the table. The bisque was creamy and smooth, and filled with pieces of anise. This bisque is priced at 620 baht per serving, and is one of three similarly priced soups listed on the เ la carte menu. We did not explore the fish offerings, although the roasted salmon with wild mushrooms and aged Balsamic vinegar at 880 baht per serving and the pan fried turbot with white bean pure at 1,650 baht both peaked our interest.

It was here in our dining that we took a brief break and enjoyed a granit้ with fresh Doi Kham strawberries. Served in enormous bowls with an indention in the bottom that held exactly one scoop of frozen delicacy, the presentation was again a delight. Our servers arrived simultaneously with the meat dishes, Navarin of lamb with pan saut้ed red and yellow peppers in Nyons olive sauce. The clear plates were quite large, and the lamb was served in a classic French canning jar. Skewered roasted potato puffs and baby carrots accompanied it. The diners were divided on the use of the canning jars, some considered it quite creative, some not. But the lamb was tender and delicious, and the French olives were exceptional. We used our spoons to handle any stray bits of sauce, and ample, delicious breads to simply sop it up. Meat dishes at Farang Ses vary from braised oxtail with truffles, roasted pigeon breast with bitter chocolate sauce to noisette of roebuck with walnut gnocchi. Prices begin at 1,150 baht and range upwards to 1,950 baht.

Dessert following this lovely meal was a white chocolate mousse accompanied by a raspberry gel้e and granit้, a fitting end. The dessert offerings are delightfully creative with ice creams and sherbets blended with liqueurs and fruit. They are priced at 450 to 550 baht. Petits fours and coffee followed our meal, and we commended Chef Simon Larese for his fine work.

It goes without saying that Farang Ses has a fine wine list, and that the wine is stored in a beautiful walk in cooler and served at the perfect temperature. And the service is
choreographed perfection, thanks to manager Andreas Nagele. Enjoy your special evening there.

Farang Ses at the Mandarin Oriental Dhara Dhevi, 51/4 Chiang Mai San Kamphaeng Road. Reservations required. Telephone 053-888-888; facsimile 053-888-999. Open daily for dinner, 7 – 10 p.m.