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“Memorable first visit”
Review of D'Sens - CLOSED

D'Sens
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Reservations
Neighborhood: Silom
Reviewed December 27, 2012

This was my first visit to D'Sens and looks like I will come back again, even though its painful on my wallet and a bit stingy on portion (French food). My wife and I had the business lunch set (not similar to the one on the website) and a big glass of Cafe Fondente (coffee with chocolate), which was pretty good.

We started off with a choice of bread - I had a roll with olives (if I am not mistaken) and butter. The roll was good. The other bit to the bread was this mixture of orange and green paste in the small glass (I think green was avocado) which was quite delicious. This was then followed by a cream cappuccino soup, which I think was avocado or broccoli cream soup, served in a small small bowl. Delicious as well.

My next starter was the foir gras - delicious. It didn't leave the funny after taste in my mouth like most other foir gras. My main course was this white fish in yellow sauce (sorry I can't remember the names), which I felt was not so tasty. Dessert was this lovely deconstructed black forest cake, which was interesting!

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3  Thank SipsTea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (69)
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19 - 23 of 69 reviews

Reviewed November 22, 2012

I had been to this restaurant four times, the first visit being perhaps 3 or 4 years ago and the fourth visit perhaps at least a year ago. I should clarify that I had always attended for dinner. The place is painfully expensive, but the food has always been very good and a place I can count on.

My visit today (November 2012) was for lunch, and we ordered off the set lunch menu. So I'm not sure if there are different standards at lunchtime or if things have changed overall. Nothing was SO BAD as to be inedible, but my low rating is relative... as I expect much more from a restaurant of this caliber and in this price range.

Good points: The bread was really good, especially the mini baguettes. There was a tiny amuse bouche served (vegetable and tomato puree), followed by a salmon tar tar... which really was like a free extra course. This was a nice surprise and the tar tar was quite good... although of course it is not cooked - it is good due to the fish and the creative use of some sort of olive oil foam/emulsion. After my bread, butter, and tar tar things looked promising.

I had looked up the menu on the restaurant/hotel website (as I usually do for D'Sens) and had already in my mind selected the dishes we would order. Yes, this is Thailand where more often then not, things happen late (or not at all), change in nature, or get completely messed up... and it appears that most local people don't seem to mind (or they don't show it if they do mind). So, for the menu to not have been up to date on the website might be expected here... but I did not expect it from a hotel of this quality (and pretension). The new menu I had to chose from was less interesting.

On to first courses: At first taste, I thought my girlfriend's frog's legs were OKAY... but really it's just because we always like frog's legs themselves. I didn't like that they were fried (or at least had some sort of batter on them). I was expecting them to me more provencale style. The breading/coating obscured the subtle flavor of the meat. The meat was not all that tender, juicy, or flavorful. So here we have a cooking issues (surprising at this restaurant).

The frogs legs were served atop a lentil puree. I felt that the consistency was much too thick, under seasoned as far as salt (although there was some sort of interesting aromatic spicing present). I don't know if the lentils were cooked too much or what the issue was, but they just didn't taste very good. Any cheap bowl of addas soup or lentil stew at an Arabic restaurant has a much more pleasing flavor and texture... and it's a very easy dish to make. This is the second time we have big cooking issues.

With this frog legs dish there was nothing to pull the ingredients together... and I didn't feel they complemented each other at all. Indeed we ate the frogs legs separately from the lentil mush. In retrospect, I find it strange that the combinations were neither classic/traditional nor were they all that innovative/creative (like the old D'Sens).

It was the same situation with my fois gras. I mean, fois gras is ALWAYS good... even if you just cook it on a pan and do nothing to it. It's always rich, decadent, full of flavor. However, this fois gras was much more bland and quite a disappointment. I don't have an explanation for why that is. I like it to have a golden exterior and be soft in the middle (and this is how I make it at home when I can get a hold of some). The fois gras at the restaurant lacked any golden charred exterior and in my opinion was cooked on too low of a heat. I could be wrong about the details of what happened in the preparation, but again it just did not taste all that good. This is the third big cooking issue.

The menu stated some sort of sweet wine in the preparation of the fois gras... muscat or something... the taste of which was not evident in the dish. The white asparagus was OKAY, but again I just like white asparagus. It's another ingredient that always tastes good... even just boiled or steamed with some salt and butter or with some hollendaise sauce. I felt that this ingredient was brought down rather than up by the cooking. And what about all the amazing aspic/fat that comes out of the fois gras when it is cooked?? Wouldn't this be a perfect opportunity to finish the white asparagus in it? Just like the lentils in the other dish, even if we set aside my disagreements with the creativity/planning of the dish, the alarming problem is another (fourth) cooking issue.

We both had the beef main course. When asked how we would like it prepared I said "rare or medium rare... whatever the chef recommends". Our waitress said "I think medium". I don't think she understood that I did not want HER opinion on how well done to cook the meat. This might be a appropriate recommendation for some other cut of meat, but I was not about to overcook a tenderloin / filet mignon. I said, "NO, not medium. Not cooked too much. It can be rare" and she said "Okay, medium rare". I will say that the kitchen then cooked out tenderloins exactly medium rare... beautiful pink but not bloody, and this was quite satisfactory.

However, the meat was absolutely severely under seasoned (I really wonder if it was at all). I think this is the first time I have ever used salt and pepper shakers at a fine dining establishment. In fact I have always found salt and pepper shakers unnecessary in this sort of restaurant and annoyed that diners are not respecting the intent of a serious chef, who generally knows better. So this is the fifth big cooking error.

The menu described some sort of bone marrow, which should really add some nice dimension to the sauce. However, it was not evident in ANY form on the plate. The sauce was very subtle... now granted it SHOULD not mask the taste of the meat, so I can't complain too much... but this sauce really had very little flavor. Normally it would incorporate the brown carmelized bits from the pan that the beef was seared in... but our beef had no seared exterior. I believe this may be why the beef had less flavor than it should and the sauce was so bland. Again this could result from insufficient heat on the pan. Cooking error number six.

The accompaniment was some sort of vegetable layered with cheese. I originally thought the vegetable was undercooked potato. Quite surprisingly, the cheese did not taste of high quality. At this point I am really wondering WHAT is going on. Even a simple potato gratin with a common gruyere cheese or something similar can be delicious. Is this D'Sens, the fancy french restaurant??? What kind of cheese are they giving me??

So with this piece of tenderloin not seared on the outside and with little to no seasoning, my vegetable (or it it improperly cooked potato?) with poor quality cheese, there is some plain spinach again under seasoned (perhaps not at all... cooking error number seven) and a strip of "crispy bacon". Where is the innovation and creativity previously exhibited at D'Sens??? Not here. Okay, I often like simple French food, but I expect (and have in the past received) so much more from this restaurant.

In addition to my concerns with the cheese, the absolute kicker is this BACON which has no flavor... is not smoky or salty at all. First of all, why they have not chosen some good German speck or Italian panceta or something, I don't know. Even cheap low grade American bacon... everybody knows that you throw it in a pan, it cooks in its own fat, and it always tastes pretty good. This tasted like the Thai bacon you get inside at Pizza Company spaghetti with bacon.... or perhaps worse. Thailand has a lot of great products, but bacon AIN'T one of them. I am absolutely dumbfounded as to how someone could screw this up. Is it poor ingredient or poor cooking technique? Either way it is unacceptable.

I remember having absolutely amazing desserts at D'Sens. Today, the pear with some sort of vanilla cream and some sort of chocolate sauce really was not very good and neither my girlfriend nor I wanted to finish it after tasting a couple bites. The other dessert was based around a macaroon and the macaroon was really the only good component of any of the desserts.

My cup of coffee was bitter, astringent and awful. I remember having very enjoyable coffee here in the past.

Oh, and I can't forget about wine. Of the four glasses we had, only one was any good. It was a white Cote de Rhone. Not spectacular, but decent. It's all quite surprising because I had always had very good wine here in the past, and had been happy that good wine was available by the glass, allowing me to have different selections with different courses. The other white wine that we ordered was a French sauvinion blanc (not the New Zealand one). This was extremely bland. I originally thought I had just chosen an uninteresting wine... although I now think it may have been old wine, after my subsequent experience with the reds. The white wine that I did enjoy came from a fresh bottle.

A drop of red wine that I ordered (by the glass) was poured for my tasting and approval... and it really seemed off. I'm not sure if he was the maitre'd or sommalier... or what... he was a nice Thai guy serving me... and asked, "what do you think of the wine?". I think he must have sensed the dissatisfaction on my face. It is almost never that I reject a wine at a restaurant. I mean, after all, it is now extremely rare to get a bad bottle of wine (one turned to vinegar) these days. I said that the wine tasted off and asked if perhaps the wine was old. He said "not more than three days", which was alarming to me that 1) They keep it that long to serve and 2) That they could not sell off a bottle quicker than that especially with only a few wines available by the glass (number of wines is not a complaint... I prefer a few good wines over a long list of bad ones to choose from). Anyway, I switched to a glass of red cote de Rhone this time which was not so good but drinkable.

The red wine my girlfriend ordered was served simultaneously by the waitress. My girlfriend said she accepted it despite not liking it, because she assumed that the problem was that she was simply not used to this type of wine and felt it inappropriate to reject it on that basis. However, I felt that in fact this wine was 'off' and not at all enjoyable... not fresh. I really should have called the restaurant's attention to it, because I'm sure they would have given her a fresh one or given her something else, and it is our fault for not saying something.

As far as service, it is a bit uncomfortable that they stare most of the time, although I realize it is their intent to provide attentive service. They also say "excuse me" constantly anytime they approach the table to do anything, like put an item down, or pick one up. This can be very annoying. They are also fairly intrusive. I really hate to complain too much, because the staff are all very nice and very sweet and certainly have good intentions. It is just different than western style service (and different from the way D'Sens was in my past experiences). I suspect that they have not been instructed/trained in the way to provide service in a western formal dining setting.

I should mention that quite some time ago I called for a lunch reservation and was not accommodated because they were "full". However, today we were the only table at lunch.

All of the plates today had good presentation... and were actually beautiful. However, I have a serious concern about the quality of ingredients. There were serious flaws in the cooking. My latest experience was nowhere near a Michelin Star level. What is going on here? Has anyone else noticed a change? Is the problem only at lunch?

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2  Thank NarakMakMak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 28, 2012

I had visited D'Sens before but never really appreciated it until a recent invitation to the restaurant. This time around, I could not have been happier. The dinner was extraordinary - probably the best I have had this year. Service was brilliant all around. And the view still remained to die for in Bangkok.

Due to the introduction of many recent high-rise restaurants in the city, D'Sens would not be your first choice when you want dining with a view. Situated on the top floor of the very old Dusit Thani Hotel, it overlooks busy Silom intersection and Lumpini Park. But it would be a shame to exclude it from the list of fine dining in the city simply because of the "low" view. D'Sens main magnet would definitely have to be the food and the wine it offers. I had a marvelous duck liver pate, accompanied by first-class wine pairings throughout the dinner. Every single dish was spot on.

Service was friendly and prompt. The staff could give highly useful recommendations. Another big group nearby was enjoying the evening. You could hear the table laughing all night. A great sign for a restaurant.

As far as fine French dining in the capital goes, this is as good as it gets. Give D'Sens a try if you are running out of dinner ideas. Romantic and classy without breaking the bank.

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1  Thank Chattan_k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2012

I went to the restaurant Sept 8, 2012. It is a fine French restaurant in Bangkok on the last floor of a hotel. Nice view, good service, French food with a taste of Thailand. A bit pricey for Bangkok but it is the best French restaurant I tired in Bangkok.

Last but not least, the restaurant was nearly empty. A bit sad...especially on a Saturday night.

BR,
Franck

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Thank FranckJa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2012

I went here on several occasions lunch and dinner. I remember having a good time, but always stayed on this impression that something was missing.... Pourcel brothers are very famous in France, the restaurant here is not to the level back there. don t get me wrong, I recommend to fin gourmet to give it a try, they will enjoy it... But something missing,mike salt in the soup.....

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Thank Kallian H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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