“Fun dining” at a French-inspired apartment
Picture a successful Parisian businessman who has settled in Bangkok, but is travelling abroad for work. Before he left, he entrusted his apartment keys to his decadent nephew. No sooner had the uncle left, the nephew invited his friends over to share in some of the best things in life: modern French cuisine and ‘tapas’, wines from around the world and creative cocktails, plus hip lounge music. That apartment in question is none other than the L’Appart—short for l’appartment—rooftop restaurant and bar located on the 32nd floor of the Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit hotel.
Walking around the “apartment”—which features a private dining room, living room, open plan kitchen with chef’s table, and an outdoor terrace that boasts magnificent views of downtown Bangkok—references to France can be found in its every detail; from the art deco strewn walls, to the books and magazines scattered on every table. Stylish and classy but cozy and comfy, we were ready to pack our bags and move in.
Helming the kitchen, and our host for the night, is France-born Executive Sous Chef Nicolas Basset. His menu offers French-inspired cuisine with an Asian twist, and a focus on “fun dining” where sharing is encouraged. French tapas including Truffled Camembert (B350), Oxtail Bon-Bon with Tartare Sauce (B380), and Tuna Tartare with Lemongrass Vinaigrette (B390), are served from 5pm to midnight.
For mains, Smoked Atlantic Octopus, Ratte Potatoes, and Black Garlic Aioli (B690 for a single portion, or B1,200 for sharing-sized) came highly recommended, and upon arrival it was evident why. Cameras in hand, we were advised to switch to Slow-Mo mode to capture the smoke slowly whirl through the air to reveal a beautifully cooked dish. The octopus was incredibly soft and tender and finished with a drizzle of lemon for a refreshing mouthful of flavour.
Next, the Canadian Lobster served with Spaghetti, Dry Aged Ham, Garlic and Fresh Herbs (B790 for a single portion, and B1,580 for a sharing-sized portion) was a clear reminder to enjoy the finer things in life. The Soya Glazed Pork Belly (B790), however, was a showstopper. Inspired by a trip to Japan, hints of orange lingered long after the buttery soft meat melted in your mouth. A light celeriac purée also accompanied the dish to cut the richness of the pork belly.
For something sweet, the Phuket Pineapple (B380) flambéed in rum and served with Tahiti vanilla ice cream provided a boozy finish to the evening. This portion is suited for two persons. A dry 2016 Gerard Bertrand Gris Blanc Rosé perfectly balanced the sweetness of the dish—and gave it an extra touch of decadence, just as the nephew likes it.
While dinner is served from 7pm to 10:30pm, the bar opens at 5pm and keeps the soirée going until 1am.
By Kelly Harvey
32F, Sofitel Sukumvit Bangkok
189 Sukhumvit Rd.
Tel: 02 126 9999
Open daily: 5pm-1am