lebua Bangkok

100 Stories: One of the World’s great dining destinations

“One of the World’s great dining destinations, Mezzaluna just gets better and better. The exemplary European culinary creations of chef Ryuki Kawasaki continue to amaze, as do the restaurant’s brilliant wine list...

... and the immaculate service of the staff. Then there are those breath taking views.” The Judges, Thailand Tatler Best Restaurant Award 

Chef Ryuki Kawasaki and his passionate team at the 2-star Michelin Mezzaluna recently won Thailand Tatler’s number ONE spot in the Top 20 restaurant awards. We are very proud of him and the team. We asked him a few questions about what it take to be at the top.

Q: How did you feel when Mezzaluna was awarded Thailand’s best restaurant award by Thailand Tatler?
A: “I am proud of my team and grateful for the opportunity at lebua to have creative culinary license! There is nothing better than being rewarded for doing what you love and doing it how you love it.”

Q: I have to ask! How about the two Michelin stars!? How did that happen and how did it make you feel?
A: “I worked for more than seventeen years with Michelin Star chefs, so I know what the standards and levels of cooking are that are needed. So, to be honest, with our standards I was quietly confident.In fact, my wife may have heard me say: “If I can’t get the Michelin Star, nobody can get the Michelin Star” (laughs). I am very proud of what I’m doing and what my team are doing.I was not expecting to get two Michelin stars though. That was a surprise. But again, I do know the standards of two Michelin and three Michelin, because I have worked at that level. So, I’m extremely appreciative of how Michelin judged us. So now I’m working for another star!”

Q: So hopefully three Michelin stars?
A: “We are going to try! For me three Michelin stars has to be something special… if people can find the same thing in Tokyo or France or Hong Kong - this is not a three Michelin star worthy place. It has to be a very unique food experience. A three Michelin star restaurant needs to have character. Maybe it's the chef or restaurants character, maybe its the servings –or the way they serve it. All aspects need to have something unique. So we are trying to create truly unique dining experiences.”

Q: What would you say is your unique point?
A: “I think if you go to Japan, many people are already using French cooking with Japanese products. If you go to France, maybe they use French products with Japanese cooking… or Japanese products with French cooking as well. Either way; somebody is already doing it. I’m not in France or Japan so I’m going for a middle point. I guess it's very different to what they are doing in Japan, or what they are doing in France. So, this is why people need to come to Bangkok.”

Q: What’s one ingredient you can't live without?
A: This is difficult, maybe too difficult. Can I instead say what my favourite thing is to use?Shellfish. I was going to say seafood, but I think that's too broad. I like to use clams, it’s like natural umami (tasty flavour). Real umami is when you eat things that take over your tongue. So this is why I like to use things like, chorizo, shellfish and cured pork has a lot of umami too.”