All-day French flair finds a home on Sukhumvit Soi 11
The path of a chef’s career can often appear serpentine, jutting off in unexpected directions—which one imagines is part of the allure. There is the freedom to create a name for yourself, but it can come at great risk.
Chef Arnaud Drouvillé is taking that chance with Alex Brasserie, a new restaurant that opened back in April on Bangkok’s busy Sukhumvit Soi 11. His pedigree includes stints with Alain Ducasse, El Bulli in Catalonia, and recently the original Iron Chef Morimoto at his eponymously named Bangkok eatery.
Managing a hotel restaurant on a soi that is trying to reinvent its nightlife reputation requires flexing different culinary muscles, but Arnaud enjoys the challenge of operating a kitchen that is open 20 hours a day, and must cater to the whims of hotel guests.
The front half of Alex is quite open, with outdoor seating, a bar dominating the center, and a DJ booth. The back half is more subdued and quiet, with industrial lighting leading back to the kitchen. Jazzy tunes dance in the background amid chatter.
Fine de Claire oysters (B240 for three) provided a salty, silky start to the meal. Part of the restaurant’s strategy is to offer several meal promotions as it rolls out, and oysters feature prominently in that plan.
Next was Beef carpaccio (B300). Meant to mimic a pizza, it’s spread over a wafer-thin tortilla and topped with tomato, red onion, parmesan cheese and Kalamata olives. The tortilla yielded a pleasurable crunch while the olives gave a saline tang. Meanwhile, the Diavola pizza (B270) featured lip-smacking smoked ham, but the crust and sauce were not up to the standard of the better pizzerias in the city.
A dish that the chef brought over from France which takes pride of place on his menu is the Escalope de veau montagnarde (B490), which translates roughly to “veal cutlet mountain”. With veal, ham, Emmental cheese, and razor-thin potato slices all covered in a mushroom cream sauce, it does look like a land mass when presented. This is a hearty, salty, delicious course (it must qualify as comfort food on the Continent).
Last up, a Raspberry financier (B210)—a baked sweet made with egg whites, butter, sugar, almond powder, flour, vanilla, and a fruit—lent a sweet, tart finish to the meal. The cake was moist and nutty with crispy edges, and was sided with raspberry sorbet, a raspberry tuile, and fresh raspberries.
Helping to wash everything down was the house 2016 Sauvignon Blanc from Chile (B200 a glass), a refreshing white with a crisp, clear finish.
By Robin Banks
18, Sukhumvit Soi 11 | Tel: 02 057 3079
Open daily: 6am-2am | www.alexbrasserie.com