Tuesday February 27th, 2024
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How Dusit Thani’s The Bake Bar Made Me Realise I Can’t Cook

It’s a week on, and the sentiments still stand.

Farida El Shafie

There are leather-bound menus at Dusit Thani’s ‘The Bake Bar’.

You know, the ones that willfully encourage a pinky-raise upon Margherita sipping and politely urge consumers away from browsing them for too long lest they stain the page with hunger? A sigh of relief erupted from my famished body at the first sight of the eating accoutrements laid out. One fork and one knife - this space is clear of cutlery-induced confusion. Jazz music wasn’t blaring through their speakers, only the soft pitter patters of oncomers roaming the hotel’s premises and the crackling of ice echoing through custom cocktail shakers.

“Still or sparkling?”

“Still please.”

The scintillating scent of freshly baked bread wafted through the brunch-based eatery, diluting the ever so aromatic scent of my freshly sprayed Kilian perfume. I caved, swiftly rummaging through the menu to find the source - and possible antidote - responsible for the cravings crawling their way through my stomach. Could the lustful scent be erupting from the smoked salmon eggs benedict? Are the propagators of said investigation the buns holding the truffle burger intact? Is it the waffle-bed carrying the hefty weight of freshly-fried chicken? Or perhaps, most daringly so, can the answers to the questions beaming across my brain be in the ricotta, honey and fresh fruit toast?

Let there be bread.

Plates of many golden hues waltzed in, bearing the brunt of my famished demands. Whilst it was around 4:30 PM on a Monday afternoon, a hefty plateful of smoked salmon eggs benedict surpassed its breakfast deadline and is now an active witness in this investigation. Armed with a silver cutlery, I dove, fork and knife first into the Hollandaise sauce brimming plate. A long sigh erupted from my lips, the softly baked buns quenched, perhaps unbeknownst to my 22 year-old-soul, a longing for eggs benedict.

Only two minutes had realistically passed before I had cleared the plate (garnish included), feeling the edge of my jean button falter. Farida, my lovely hostess for the evening, came back to my table, providing a fresh set of tableware to accommodate for the coming dishes. Awaiting me, and sprawled across the table dear readers, were platefuls of truffle mac ‘n cheese, ricotta toast, and a hefty-sized truffle burger. At that point in time, the graceful trouser wearer that I am wished - upon plenty of shooting stars - that an easy breezy dress of sorts had accompanied me on my culinary endeavours.

I began skillfully, and diligently, dividing the plates into one person portions - falsely pretending that I was not about to inhale every crumb and morsel of the dishes at hand. The truffle mac ‘n cheese single-handedly erased memories of troubled nights abroad laced with “I can definitely make this myself” ideology. I was proven right once more, I cannot physically replicate the care that goes into ensuring fettucini is ‘al dente’, nor can Tesco's branded cheese ever match wits with the ones I eagerly wolfed down. My aperitifs of choice did not fail me, but the investigation had to continue, and I needed to find out if the truffle burger can help mend years spent mincing meat and tearfully chopping onions.

Since I am a graceful princess at heart, I forked a single French fry into my mouth before tackling the star of the show. A glance to the left of my plate unveiled a steak knife, to which I took as a sign to cut the meaty concoction in half. Like clockwork (more like Audemars-style clockwork) the burger slowly slipped from sight, warming my cold soul with every bite ingested.

Cutting up vegetables is an art form. You can either butcher tomato slices, dicing them and draining them of their flavour, or you can do what The Bake Bar did and hand-craft them - our at times lacking - with maternal care and love. The bed of lettuce lining the burger was definitely iced prior to consumption, preserving the crunch that would've otherwise gone unnoticed in the heat of the moment. Sauteed mushrooms further solidified the budding affair I was forging with cheeseburger, forcing me to realise that I need to pause on the feverish devouring to catch the breath I’ve been withholding for the past four minutes and fifteen seconds (death by burger asphyxiation was not in the books for me that evening).

During the late hours of the night, when all hope is lost beneath the weighted burden of daily tasks, a question that tickles its way into my thoughts is one that is always waffle-flavoured. Can we, as a fiendish food community, dismantle the harrowing Nutella-jar shaped archetypes that cling onto the dough-ey breakfast staple and re-build structures that enable fried chicken and maple syrup to unionise in harmony? Is it possible to allow non-athletes to embark on the same protein-riddled treacherous journeys as their gym-obsessed counterparts and inaugurate their day with freshly fried chicken breasts? The thesis I proposed, dear readers, met its peer-reviewed match at Dusit Thani’s The Bake Bar. Jstor would scoff at the findings, as the revelation plated in front of me bore critical news; maple drizzled chicken and waffles slay.

The denouement came in the form of fruit-topped ricotta toast. Not the one you find squashed at the bottom of your book bag subsequent to a hastily packed mum catastrophe on a Monday morning, au contraire, this ricotta toast has seen better days (and proper plates). The fruit-topped and honey-glazed menu item did not shy away from intermingling oranges and apples, it didn’t merely introduce grapes into the mixture, dub it as Parisienne and dip, it’s a dish that invites consumers to challenge the stagnating beliefs that fruit sandwiches cannot single-handedly satiate early morning hunger pangs.

Parting ways with The Bake Bar left a waffle-sized hole in my pink sapphire encrusted heart. I had to wobble my way home, roughly calculating how many cups of green tea I’ll need to ingest before I return to my skinny gorl form. The results were by no means exhaustive, nor were they factually accurate, for they did not bear the foresight required to predict my recurring trips to the hotel hotspot.

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