A celebration of wood, fire, smoke and—of course—meat
Carnivores, who can attest to the primal allure of meat on a barbecue, are advised to follow the smoke wafting from Le Cochon Blanc, a new eatery on Sukhumvit Soi 31. Though the name translates to “the white pig”, the restaurant is decorated with a black interior, bisected at the entrance by a large open barbecue pit. Guests will likely see the sweat dripping off the brow of Chef Chandler Schultz upon entry, as he toils away in this fiery furnace. In the eating areas, flamingo wallpaper and flying pigs feature in one dining room while plush magenta upholstery takes pride of place in the other.
Adit Vansoh, part of the Issaya Siamese Club team that manages the eatery, says it opts for simplicity in the food and beverage menus. The concept is dishes diners are familiar with, but prepared with ingredients and in a way that will wow them.
Le Cochon Blanc is a celebration of smoke—even the romaine leaves in the salad with homemade bacon (B320) are grilled. Meanwhile, the Beef tartare (B690 for large) provides an ideal foil to play with the homemade Sriracha sauce, adjusting things to your chosen heat level.
The hand-cut Homemade sausages (B490) from French artisan Emmanuel Chavassieux were so subtly herbed they could make a whole meal by themselves. One of the three sausage options available is made with hand-picked wild herbes de Provence, including a variety of thyme and calamant, a member of the mint family.
The grain-fed Black angus hangar steak (B1,000) is barbecued to a bloody pink, so tender it requires no accompaniment other than salt and pepper. The dish is a perfect example of the restaurant’s philosophy of simple items expertly prepared.
But the star of the show was the Black angus short rib (B1,250), which is rubbed with molasses and salt, barbecued, then cooked sous vide for two days! The result is a soft, velvety, fatty, smoky masterpiece that will have the drool dripping down your chin.
The Mashed potatoes (B190) best represent the eatery’s attitude toward butter. These are made with Bordier butter, with an almost one-to-one ratio of butter to potatoes, and are hand-pressed through sieves to enhance their creaminess. The grilled corn (B190) also helps complement the meat, with coriander, chili powder, lime juice, butter, and fish sauce adding smoke and heat to the meal.
Save room for dessert, as the crème caramel (B290), a custard speckled with vanilla bean and a salted caramel sauce, has a supple consistency and continues the emphasis on salt.
All this meat deserved a full-bodied wine, and the 2014 Sileni Estates Pinot Noir Hawke’s Bay (B2,250) did the trick, even offering a slight metallic finish that left the palate hungering for more.
By Robin Banks
Le Cochon Blanc
26, Sukhumvit Soi 31 | Tel: 02 662 3814
Open daily: 6pm-midnight | www.lecochonblanc.com