Don’t we all love surprises? Especially in dining, the thrill of not knowing what the restaurant will serve just creates pure bursts of excitement. That explains the stardom of Japanese omakase — which literally translates as “I’ll leave it up to you” and it is used to describe a concept in which customers leave it up to the chef to choose what they eat. Yet, going for Japanese Omakase in Bangkok right now might be — due to its recent popularity — a bit of a cliche pick. So have you heard of the Italian version? It’s the new hip thing to do if you’re a true food devotee.

Led by Chef Maurizio Menconi, the former Head Chef of La Scala at The Sukhothai Bangkok, White Lies restaurant is the Italian-born chef’s latest mission to fuse Italian cooking with the Japanese concept of a multi-course, no-choice chef’s menu.
Running on an omakase format, White Lies features dishes in the wake of Chef Maurizio’s roots and Italian flavours. But having lived in Thailand since 2003 and having collaborated with some of the world’s most renowned chefs like Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana, Alain Passard from France and Pascal Barbot of L’Astrance, the food here has also got a fabulous mix of Asian and international cuisines.

With the menu changing almost daily depending on what the chef can get his hands on during the week and also on what’s in season, diners can expect to immerse fully into the Italian picturesque restaurant brimming with an element of theatre filled with spectacle and surprises. We had the chance to try the food recently. Read on for our full review to get a glimpse of what lies behind White Lies.

Ambience


White Lies houses luxurious meals in a cosy yet refined atmosphere. The five-table, 22-seat dining room boasts crystal and marble furniture and decor that exudes fine-dining luxury. The teakwood open kitchen next to the dining area also provides diners a chance to see its chefs in action. With the full use of wood elements and a rose gold shade throughout, the restaurant is accentuated with warmth — making the haute cuisine-focused restaurant approachable and less formal.

Food

Osetra Caviar atop House-made Barley Chips

Putting the full-on spotlight on hyper-seasonal and premium imported ingredients, the omakase menu here is priced at THB 5,000, featuring dishes that usually include foie gras, Kobe beef, lobster, Osetra caviar and anything sourced from both domestic and international suppliers and farmers. Mixing Italian cuisine with ingredients from all over the world, a meal here is like indulging in a blend of everyman’s cuisine.

Tartare-stuffed Edible Seashell

On the day we visited, the chef decided to take us to the shore of his hometown, so we were blessed with an array of seafood-specked dishes like the Tartare-stuffed Edible Seashell, Stir-fried Abalone and Osetra Caviar atop House-made Barley Chips. But as stated above, the menu here changes regularly, depending on whatever produce is on the palms of Chef Maurizio, so diners can expect to always be surprised when dining at White Lies restaurant. And since the omakase menu can get up to 18 courses, each dish will come in one or two-bite portions, just to keep patrons full but not overly stuffed.

Drink


No night is complete without a glass of vino. So White Lies offers an ambitious selection of wine and wine pairing options. Settle for the Wine Lover Tasting (THB 3,400) for a date night or the Classic & Appellation Tasting (THB 8,000) if you love a serious wine-pairing meal. Got a big crowd? Opt for A Great Selection (THB 12,000 for four to six people) or The Stunning Experience (THB 20,000 for four to six people) to elevate the White Lies dining experience to the fullest.

Verdict


Go there for the thrill. If you’re a risk taking kind of a foodie, White Lies can delight — and surprise — your senses with the scrumptious omakase meal made from top-notch ingredients. Brimming with memories, Chef Maurizio’s meal will also welcome you into his childhood, world travels and culinary experiences. Intimate and personal, White Lies is a great example of a restaurant that truly speaks of its creator’s character.

White Lies, The Peninsula Plaza Bangkok, Ratchadamri Rd, Lumphini, Bangkok, +66 65 319 8877, open Monday-Saturday, 6:30-9pm.

Kankanit Wichiantanon
Writer, Bangkok
Kankanit is a writer by day and a baker by night. If there’s one thing you should know about her, it’s that she can wax poetic about food 24/7. Her daily routine is writing, cooking, eating, repeat. They are the things that inspire her from morning 'til night.