By Gavin Nazareth
Building on the success of their first venture, the guys behind Oskar Bistro on Sukhumvit Soi 11 recently decided to get their hands dirty with another hip venue. Informal and retro-chic, Gossip Eats & Drinks also dishes up their core concept of outstanding quality and great service at a fair price in a fun venue that is guaranteed to make it a crowd puller too.
Tucked away in the heart of the ever-morphing Thonglor bar scene, it is located at the very end of Soi 15, past the hubbub of J Avenue. Sitting over a pond and sheltered by a glass roof, the terrace offers comfy armchair seating; while just behind it the cocktail bar has leather stools and high tables. The dining room upstairs has a cosy feel with its gentleman’s club inspired décor.
Printed on a wooden slat, the menu is short and sweet. The talent behind it, ex-D’Sens chef Julien Lavigne, describes it as “the love child of the Mediterranean Sea and the Thai sun” and the result is a contemporary take on classic, comforting recipes that surprise yet satisfy. Like the cod & anchovy rillettes appetiser that comes out first; tiny shreds of fish are melded together with rosemary, bay leaves and olive oil into a creamy white rustic pate served with warm bread baked in-house for exceedingly moreish mouthfuls. Or, the delightful velvety Duck Bisque accompanied by a foie gras wonton with porcini espuma and truffle croutons.
Karol Ansaldi, formerly of Zuma Bangkok, shakes and stirs behind the bar creating an all-original, tailor-made cocktail list. “Creating cocktails is a work in progress,” he says. “I make many variations till I find the perfect balance.”His “Flowers Fields Spritzer” proves that point. A blend of G. Lavender bitter, rose and elderflower is charged with Cava for a cool, refreshing drink that is perfect for a hot night. Fruity sweetness is tempered by a smooth burn in the “Racyrose” where chilli, lemongrass and vanilla vodkas are shaken with passion fruit, lemon and apple juices, and finished with lychee and rose foam. The wine list also throws up some interesting choices from the Old and New Worlds with all those by the glass being organic. A single mark-up policy ensures basics and premiums have a fair pricing.
Other creative signatures like the Hamachi Ceviche ala Thai that brings together the rocket leaves, lemon, corn, tomatoes and the fish for a balanced blend of bitter, acidic, and sweet; the Squid a la plancha with Chorizo and Rocket Salad, and the inspirational Marshmallow Chocolate Fondant are sure to keep you coming back for more. That and the fact that the menu here changes regularly.