the brew-ha-ha over Dean & Deluca
Brand name coffee may not save even the least skilled of bariatas, as my slightly burnt cappuccino could attest Lacking the buzz of a busy New York weekday, my Saturday morning at Bangkok’s Dean & Deluca was uncharacteristically calm. It may not be the appropriate D&D treatment, but the minimalist charm was right up my alley, right down to its cement floors, steel racks and tins of herbs.
Nestled in a swanky skyscraper under construction (the MahaNakhon project), the high-ceiling coffee salon is right across the Chong Nonsi BTS station. Seating is sparse, I would expect, if you came on a weekday. More seating is to be added after the place has officially opened. The space also happens to be temporary, and the café will move to its permanent retail space in the completed MahaNakhon building in three years.
There aren’t many exclusive products – I had to stop myself from buying its rows of mugs, aprons and bags, but I was still wowed senseless by their range of herbs, balsamic vinegars and olive oil. I found ground All Spice and some very fetching salts; not to mention Fleur de Sel and an eclectic variety of rubs. They’re very reasonable, too – I packed away at least 10 different tins. Regular spices and herbs (cumin, pimento, savoury) cost about 100 baht (approx SGD5), and I consider that completely reasonable, for D&D. More exotic ones cost upwards of 400 baht (approx SGD19).
My cappuccino was burnt, yes, but my friend’s iced coffee yielded the wonderful coffee taste that I was yearning for. It’s the kind of coffee you could drink, refreshingly iced, without milk or sugar.
The goat cheese and avocado sandwich called out to me immediately. Portions are excellent when shared, and servings are generous. I believe my sandwich had an entire avocado between creamy, fresh goat cheese and the tastiest multi-grain bread I had the pleasure of sinking teeth into. The Cajun chicken pasta was less than stellar. Chilled pastas are tough to get right, and this one just might’ve tasted better piping hot.
Gastronomically speaking, it’s essentially just a café, and there are better places for chilling or hanging out, with better fare. The café’s employees are still green, though extremely friendly and attentive. It’s an excellent place to pop by for a quick refreshment and to stock up on those much beloved tins.
Dean & Deluca
MahaNakhon Project, 92 Narathiwasrachanakarin Road
Silom, Bangrak (next to Chong Nonsi BTS Station)
Tel. +65 6396 3322