A Superb Culinary Workshop
Located in the trendy On Nut neighbourhood, Cross Vibe Bangkok Sukhumvit continues to delight guests with its choice of luxury accommodation, exceptional cuisine and top-notch facilities that include a salt-water pool and a traditional Japanese-inspired spa that boasts its very own Onsen. But at the heart of the chic city hotel is 4K Café and Bar, a superb culinary workshop that satiates the hunger pangs of its guests from sunrise to sunset.
The maestro orchestrating this epicurean realm is Chef Phikhatham ‘Ocean’ Thaiarsa, an accomplished chef de cuisine who began his odyssey right out of high school. The son of government officials, Chef Ocean opted to cut his own career path rather than follow his parents into the Thai civil service. Starting on the bottom rung of the ladder as a 16-year-old, his steely determination and passion for excellence has seen him rise to the top of his trade.
“My first job after I left school was as a busboy in a restaurant at a four-star hotel. However, each time I went near the kitchen, I couldn’t keep my eyes off the chefs and their amazing skills – it was like watching artists at work! I totally admired the executive chef and his creativity; he was a pure genius. Then it hit me. My passion wasn’t in the front of the house, it was back there in the kitchen where the magic happens,” says Chef Ocean.
“I decided there and then that I wanted to become a professional chef, so I hustled my way into a gig as a kitchen helper and that’s when my culinary adventure began. I worked really hard and soaked up everything I was told as well as what I saw. I was so eager to learn that by my 19th birthday I was promoted to demi-chef at a five-star hotel.
“For me, cooking is not a science, but an art form. It’s all about originality, flexibility, and innovation. I have been fortunate enough to work with some exceptional crews including Michelin-starred chefs and this has given me insightful leadership and creative thinking skills. My work-life balance is sometimes an issue because, like most chefs, I am obsessed with work. Therefore, when things get a little too hot in the kitchen, I use the 10-second rule and take a few deep breaths – it helps a lot!”
When the heat is off and Chef Ocean sets about creating a new menu, he looks at the task like an artist looks at a blank canvas. It’s not simply a matter of matching the variety and quality of ingredients at hand, it also includes the combination of colours, textures, shapes, even the type of dishware. As a perfectionist, his objective is to always create a recipe where flavours intertwine in delicious elegance to give diners that ‘wow’ factor.
“My signature dish at 4K Café right now is the Meaty Cheesy Truffle Burger, a double-stack smash burger that’s crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside. We add sweet and silky caramelised onion and black truffle paste, then top the burger with melted Cheddar cheese and garnish it with freshly picked lettuce from our organic garden,” he adds.
“Today’s food trends are manifold and span urban farming, community produce, sustainable food innovation such as plant-based meat and molecular gastronomy to touch upon just a few developments. I think people are looking for something unique when they dine out. It’s not only the look and taste of what they are eating, it is also the backstory to the dish. Here at 4K Café, we like to work with local suppliers as well as reaping the rewards of our own organic garden to tell our story.
“The inspiration for the garden came about during the Covid-19 pandemic. Originally, it started off with just a couple of vegetable patches for use in the restaurant and staff canteen, but since then it has expanded. Our organic produce now includes cabbage, red and green oak lettuce, kale, pumpkin as well as herbs such as coriander, rosemary, mint and chilies. We also harvest our own limes, papaya, orchids and edible flowers. The freshness of our produce allows us to provide more flavourful dishes,” adds the green-fingered chef.
So, if you are ready to explore the gastronomic creations at 4K Café and Bar at Cross Vibe Bangkok Sukhumvit, Chef Ocean and his team are waiting for you.
For more information and reservations, call +66 (0) 2331 – 9091 or email: email@example.com.
Source: Cross Hotels & Resorts.