We’ll always have Paris
It is the prerogative of restaurateurs to try to maximise their space, to squeeze as many tables in as possible to boost their covers when busy. L’Appart, on the top floor of the Sofitel on Sukhumvit, goes the opposite direction, embracing the aesthetic of a Parisian apartment with such conviction that you could ride a bicycle, balancing a baguette on the handlebars, between some tables.
The result is that L’Appart has one of the most gorgeous, interesting spaces in Bangkok. The cliches of restaurant decor have been thrown overboard – a meal here feels like you’ve been invited for a fabulous dinner party at a successful friend’s immaculately furnished penthouse with amazing views of the skyline. There’s a library and a dining room and one of the snazziest open kitchens around. And, most importantly, the food delivers with bells on.
Chef Jeremy Tourret may be every inch the French master cook but that hasn’t prevented him taking some intriguing chances, adapting a traditional cuisine to create an adventurous and often surprising menu.
The absolute staples are still represented – frog legs with leek and truffle (B480) and a spectacular bouillabaisse (onion soup) with rock fish, puff Japanese pearl and rouille sauce (B550). Tourret has dialled down the salt for the Asian palate, with the added benefit of making room for the more complex flavours he has included.
He takes it to the next step in the mains. His pan-fried snow fish comes with cauliflower mousseline and Madras curry (B1300) – that’s right, curry. In a French restaurant. It seems risky and may outrage traditionalists but it is testament to Tourret’s technique and imagination that it works – the cauliflower balances the curry so the delicate taste of the snow fish – among the best – is never overwhelmed.
And while people might be unexcited by the prospect of roast chicken, it’s a different dish when it comes stuffed with goat cheese, comfit zucchini and organic tomatoes (B900), each mouthful an opportunity to unpick and savour the winning combination.
Stick around for the dessert, particularly the lemon tart with vodka and basil leaves (B380), before indulging in a cheese platter and wandering out to the balcony to wish your place was as nice as L’Appart.
32/F, Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit, 189 Sukhumvit Soi 085-924-1565 | sofitel.com | 7pm-midnight