Review: Haoma brings sustainable fine dining to Bangkok

Farm-to-table is now a well-established dining trend in Asia, but in Bangkok’s Haoma, the tables have been brought to the farm. Haoma diners visit a serene Bangkok house surrounded by lush vegetable plots, and even a mini fish farm. Chef and patron Deepanker Khosla takes inspiration from the freshest produce available and blends culinary styles to deliver a range of striking contemporary dishes. Khosla has crafted the restaurant’s own mini ecosystem; recycling water, food waste, and growing 31 different vegetables, fruits, and two varieties of fish. The experience is somewhere between contemporary Thai, Japanese Zen and Khosla’s own Indian roots. With a deep knowledge, passion for sustainability, a sound design sense, and consummate culinary knowledge, Khosla has created a unique, stimulating, multi-sensory dining experience in Haoma.

Post image Related: 7 new Bangkok restaurants to try this April

haoma

Ambience

Haoma is located in a very quiet corner of Sukhumvit Soi 31. The relative remoteness and a long driveway with archways of edible butterpea flowers, give the restaurant the ambience of a homey backyard. Some tables are set outside among raised pots of herbs and walls of vegetation while the seating inside the house is intimate and stylish without feeling crowded.

The entrance courtyard of the restaurant is Japanese Zen-inspired with a reclaimed wood pergola and a large coy carp pond extending beneath the building to keep it cool. In the garden, raised beds of Mexican coriander, Italian basil, bell peppers, Swiss mint, mizuna and wasabi rocket, Indian Borage, and German dill are all fed with a sophisticated aquaponics that recycle water from the kitchen. A raised outside lounge area is crafted from old railway sleepers centered around a 35-year-old mango tree. By night, the garden is illuminated with twinkling fairy lights.

Haoma’s inside is equally charming with large windows to make the most of the outside verdant verdure. There’s lots of beautiful dark wood, black metal and jazzy geometric fabrics, giving it a cosmopolitan, urban, homey vibe. The different sized and shaped tables give the feel of an open-plan house.

Food

haoma

Khosla’s dishes are strikingly beautiful and balance simple, fresh, hyper-local ingredients with sophisticated modern cooking techniques. Khosla designs his dishes from the produce; he scours the garden, local farms and markets then crafts dishes where each element has a strong defined taste.

One of Haoma’s signature salads is Buratta and bubbles — Khosla’s take on a caprese, with ultra-fresh and juicy tomatoes, a creamy homemade burrata, beautiful chimichurri of home-grown mint, dill, and basil. Khosla added a welcome Thai-inspired surprise of candied job’s tears and tapioca pearls to give extra textures.

In Stick to the roots, root vegetables stand dramatically up out of the plate, as if you were viewing them from below the soil. It was easily the most instagrammable dish of the night and the beetroot gel shaped in the restaurant’s logo — inspired by the flower of life — was a pleasing touch. The presentation set the expectation high with pickled lotus root, heirloom carrots, confit turnip and beetroot crisp tasted delicious and fresh, while the mini carrot-macaron was an exciting (but fleeting) addition. While the feta meringue may have elevated the dish, but it goes unnoticed among the root vegetables.

haoma

In Textures of Asparagus, classic fresh, local asparagus were matched with a deliciously tart parmesan foam, a sweet and tangy pickled star fruit, and soft frangipani leaf. Deep sea diving featured chewy yet tender beetroot-cured baby octopus and a spectacular Thai scallop. Edamame lovers are in for a treat as chef Khosla serves them in two textures: whole and pureed.

For mains, Hungarian goulash featured a beautiful black angus beef with a brilliantly rich glaze infused with black cumin (inspired by Khosla’s Indian roots) and crunchy pearl onions and sunchoke. The Secret of the woods is a truffle lover’s dream. A medley of fresh succulent mushrooms was served on the side of giant fresh fagottini, filled with a consumé of eight different types of tree mushrooms. It bursts in your mouth like a succulent xiao long bao, but their large size made them a little unwieldy.

haoma

For dessert, Eggs as we see them, with two panna cotta of lanzan nut, vetiver root and a scoop of ice cream were reassuringly tasty. Khosla surprised by adding a black stone flower — a staple of northern Indian cuisine and a delicious bite from a black pepper glaze.

Drink

haoma

Khosla and his bar team have crafted a succinct list of signature delicious cocktails, which are loosely based on classics but with intriguing, enchanting innovations. They are named and centered on the flavors and ingredients rather than the base liquors. Bell pepper is incredibly refreshing with spicy hits from pink pepper and good as a palate cleanser. Coconut bears resemblance to an old fashioned but with natural, subtle coconut flavors. For those of you pretending to be detoxing, try Kale. It’s got all the goodness of a classic green juice — avocado, kale, apple, celery — with a cheeky hit of gin. Olive, Haoma’s take on a martini surprises with a white chocolate hint and ends with a bit of molecular magic — an ‘olive sphere’ that tastes just like a whole dirty martini in itself. Strawberry is a little like a cosmopolitan but with a full fresh strawberry punch. The sweet, chewy strawberry ‘leather’ hanging off the side makes it the perfect drink to end the night with.

haoma

Verdict

Haoma is a chance to escape the humdrum of Bangkok dining and immersive yourself in a natural, nurtured dining experience. Get there before sunset if you can, and try to grab Khosla out of the kitchen to explain the ins and outs of his micro farm. The quality of ingredients and care are discernible, and the multisensory experience is clearly a project of passion for Khosla and his team. The garden is set to make the perfect location for Khosla’s fresh take on a Bangkok boozy weekend brunch: A Haoma house party with a do-it-yourself barbecue, pick-your-own greens and clever troughs in the middle of the tables to keep your fizz ice-cold.

Haoma, 231/3 Sukhumvit Soi 31 Bangkok, +662 258 4744

Opening Hours: Tue–Sun, 6-11pm
Recommended Dishes: Secret of the woods
Price: THB 1,500–2,000 if you were to have three courses and no drinks.
Noise Level: Quiet, befitting the surroundings.
Service: Top-notch professionalism. Servers are attentive and eager to answer questions, and even ready for a humorous quip.

1 LOCATION

1 LOCATION

Haoma

Haoma

231/3 Sukhumvit Soi 31, Bangkok

+662 258 4744

5:30 pm - 11:00 pm