Imagine a Parisian apartment: four rooms comprising restaurant, open kitchen, bar and library. The main dining space is 19th century drawing room with old clocks and slender statuettes above a marble fireplace, the neutral tones are offset by woods, velvets and granite in the (rather low) tables and chairs. Occasional tables, lamps and mirrors are scattered around. The soundtrack is funky electro, a mix of soul, jazz, and the cool French that Serge Gainsbourg would have smoked a Gitanes to. He looks down from a photo in the lobby. Bardot is here, too, artily pixellated.
You could sit next door, watching chef Jeremy Tourret cook at the open kitchen, his background with Daniel Boulud and other Michelin stars apparent in a sense of invention. The three section menu breaks down to Fresh from the Market (creative items that change regularly); à la carte (traditional French); and a section of cute, superior tapas (from B100). From the first, the all-sweet luscious textures work well in pan-fried foie gras ravioli with tom kha foam and ginger cracker (B700), although coconut is the only recognisable flavor as tom kha in the foam that hides three pieces of ravioli insidea refined fish bowl.
From à la carte comes Beef Rossini, My Way (B1,400) the foie gras stuffed inside the beef rather than on top. It perhaps loses on presentation, and also means you get hits of foie gras when you find them, rather than when you want them. Finish with a super tart lemon tart topped with soft meringue.
The short wine list (from B1,060/bottle) rolls out the red carpet with six champagnes by the glass. End with a digestif to one of those high balcony views that are now such a familiar part of the Bangkok landscape.
L’Appart is busy. There is early-days curiosity, no doubt, but it’s elegant, has an interesting menu, and is reasonable on the wallet (prices are net). Expect it to remain popular and book ahead.
Fl 32 Hotel Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit, 189 Sukhumvit Road | 02-126-9999
Open daily 7pm-10.30pm (restaurant), 5pm-1am (bar)