As busy as Sukhumvit Soi 11 is in the wee hours of a Saturday night, it becomes a remarkably quiet stretch once it turns right at the end – as opposed to going left to Q Bar and Apoteka. In this relatively sedate part of the street, Cellar 11 stands out invitingly, a spacious, stylishly refurbished restaurant split over two floors – three if you count the cellar below, stacked with wines from all over the world.
The menu is essentially European, drawing mostly from French and Italian, neither entirely traditional nor rushing headlong into new-fangled modern techniques for the sake of it. For example, the scallop cappuccino (B580) comes with morel, champignon and porcini mushrooms. There’s a trend to increasingly match scallops with lighter flavours, sometimes sweeter or citrus-based, but the seasoning here is a reassuring return to a warmer, earthier mix. Conversely, the Toulouse foie gras (B620) is dressed with a choice of peach, raspberry or porto sauce.
But it’s even more traditional fare that really impresses – the onion soup (B260) is one of the most familiar staples of any French kitchen but it is elevated here by the addition of chicken stock to add texture and a layer of gruyere cheese to add bite. Belying its simply presentation, the taste is exquisite. Similarly, the angel hair sea urchin pasta (B950) is straightforward enough but the taste of fresh sea urchin is one of the most memorable aspects of the meal.
It’s this low-key attenion to detail that emerges as the hallmark of Cellar 11’s food and it’s evident again in the duck confit (B690) that comes with crushed truffle in a pool of glorious honey thyme sauce. And the rack of Australian lamb (B990) is equally impressive, crusted with herbs and served with dauphinoise and a garlic rosemary sauce that lingers on the tongue.
The desserts are equally satisfying, the soft bitter chocolate cake (B320) coming with vanilla ice cream and mixed berries – no matter how many times this dish appears, it’s still deeply satisfying to watch that chocolate sauce spill forth from inside the pudding once it’s opened up.
Overall, Cellar 11 delivers – the food and the interior and wine are all shot through with good taste and there are some surprising highlights along the way.
Cellar 11 Wine Bar & Bistro
71/1 Sukhumvit Soi 11 | 02-255-5833
cellar11.com | 6pm-midnight