Chef Sainisa ‘Jay’ Sangsingkeaw is the mastermind behind this new French and global-inspired restaurant.
Most gourmands recognise that without the fundamental influence of French cuisine, there is no such thing as fine dining. However, it is the ostentatious ingenuity and the sheer force of youthful creativity that are often responsible for taking cooking to the next level. Nowhere is this more apparent than at Stage pronounced ‘Sa-Targe’ which means apprentice. A hundred per cent Thai owned and operated, it’s one of the most intriguing new restaurants to hit the Bangkok dining scene by breaking down barriers in more than a few ways. With a food concept that can best be described as “global-inspired" French, Chef-owner Sainisa Sangsingkeaw; or Chef “Jay" as she likes to be called, is rejecting the labels and opting to go her own way. “This is not typical French food. We are not afraid to try something new," she shared.
While Chef Jay may be a bit ambitious to take on such an endeavour, she is no novice in the food world. Boasting an impressive pedigree working for acclaimed celebrity Chef Joel Robuchon at his 2 Michelin-star restaurant in Paris, she joined him as part of the opening team at the 1 Michelin-star L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Bangkok before they shuttered their doors in April 2019.
Never one to back away from a challenge, she successfully recruited Patiphan Sookmark as Head Chef, Thanaporn Phanthanaprathet as Executive Sous Chef, Rekha Limpichart as Pastry Chef, and Pattarapol Ponraritt (aka Louis) as Restaurant Manager & Sommelier; all of whom she had previously worked with at L’Atelier. “It great to all be back again," shared Louis, “Everyone works well together, knows what their job is and we have this feeling like being a family".
The interiors of Stage reflect the same easy-going refinement and approachability of Chef Jay and her crew. The venue pays homage to the glitz and glam of Paris while tempering the space with the clean lines and minimalist aesthetics more often associated with Asia. The harmonious colour palette is awash in warm hues of royal blue, soft beige, and crisp white accented by blonde coloured wood tables, brass ornaments, and black and white marble countertops. There is also an impressive mirrored lattice ceiling situated above the elegant chef’s table in the centre of the room and adjacent to the immaculate “peek-a-boo" kitchen.
The seasonal menu changes every few months and is inspired by what is at its peak of freshness in Europe as well as locally. They offer three set dinner menus where you can choose from either a 4, 6 or 10-course “STAGE Experience"; with or without wine pairing. They pride themselves on highlighting luxury ingredients such as caviar, Carabineros (red prawns from Spain), and abalone. On my visit Black Truffles where in season, and they were dramatically presented tableside in a stylish wooden box before being shaved and added to several dishes during my meal. I highly recommend opting for the wine pairing or splurging on a bottle of bubbly such as the Champagne Louis Roederer x Phillippe Starck, Brut Nature to go with your meal. The 10-course experience also comes with Chef Rekha’s tableside ‘Dessert Trolley’ which is an indulgent pleasure showcasing some amazing bite-size confections and thought-provoking pastries such as her innovative “cherries" which you have to taste to believe.
Notable dishes include the delectable White Tuna Belly, Trout, Mackerel & White Asparagus Horseradish Ice cream with its various pickled fish, and the delicate Sea Urchin with Brown Crab, Milk Corn & Vanilla. The addition of truffles to Chef Jay’s avant-garde version of Meat Loaf with Peach and the butter loaded signature Mashed Potatoes that Joel Robuchon made famous was another winner. Chef Rekha additionally “knocked it out of the park", with her Granny Smith & Bee Pollen dessert. Light and refreshing, it was a celebration of apple in all its incarnations and was expertly paired with an unforgettable apple cider made from 18 different apples called Eric Bordelet “Argelette", Grand Cru Cyder from Argentina.
There is a lot to love about Stage, and they may want to consider changing their name as they morph from apprentice to master. The good news is there is no need to wait to try their cuisine as they recently introduced a delivery menu for Bangkok residents who may be sheltering at home. You can enjoy gourmet dishes like the Truffle Hot Dog or the Capellini Abalone which is one of the spectacular dishes I tried on my visit. They will even deliver one of their premium bottles of old-world wine to go with your meal, to ensure that you have an exceptional dining experience no matter where you are.