New “kid” on the block adds to Soi Suan Phlu’s gastro scene
Trendy Soi Suan Phlu recently welcomed a friendly newcomer into the bosom of its ever expanding fine dining scene. This new entry is, coincidentally, named after the newest entry to owner Marc Legault’s family—his infant daughter Loulou—which is how Loulou Forks & Glasses got its amusing moniker.
Visitors to this stylish Gallic-themed wine bar and bistro will be instantly taken in by the restaurant’s casual chic charm. The seating—which can accommodate about 110 persons—offers diners indoor and outdoor options, however it’s hard not to be lured by the relaxing open-air back garden, where the city’s noise mercifully vanishes.
Chef Xavier Fauvel, hailing from Nice, in France, has created a succinct, yet deliciously varied menu, but gives diners even more choice with a constantly changing selection of daily specials—all of which are based on what’s fresh at the market that particular morning. Oysters are bound to be on the list most days—B390 for six Fine de Cancale No.4, the night we visited—but if the Ravioli ricotta et coppa with pumpkin cream (B480) makes an appearance, be sure to sample this superb savoury selection.
From the main menu a nice dish to share is the Mixed selection of cold cuts and cheeses (B550), in which small mountains of thinly sliced Parma ham, Italian Coppa and tender Parisian ham arrive alongside a selection of hard-to-pronounce but easy-to-eat gourmet cheeses (a few of which come direct from local fine food supplier Vivin).
The menu also strays from predictability by offering inventive dishes such as the Poireaux vinaigrette façon “Loulou” (B290), in which blanched leek is cut into thin strips and served with greens, dried fruits, and a zesty mustard sauce, or the Quinoa and pomelo salad (B320), which is served with fresh herbs, lemon olive oil, and fried tofu. Meanwhile the artfully displayed Tartine de chèvre chaud (B350) combines roasted goat cheese on toast with mango slices, grapes, thyme, and honey. You won’t see items like these on too many menus.
We wound things down with another excellent dish for sharing, the Gravlax salmon (B380) served with a homemade wasabi and lemon cream. This beautifully cured, melt-on-your-tongue salmon is also seasoned with Chef Xavier’s amazing five spice medley—an almost citrus-like blend of exotic freshly-ground Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian spices. Afterwards, dessert arrived in the form of a Moelleux au chocolat (B250), which is essentially the newest contender for best chocolate lava cake in town.
It’s also worth noting that the wine menu here is very good and very affordable. The 2015 Rosé Gris Blanc Gerard Betrand (B200/B990) in particular stood out, as it is more like a dry white than a traditional rosé—it’s not even pink—but goes splendidly with many of the starters. Another notable potable among the reds is the 2015 Belleruche Côtes-du-Rhône M. Chapoutier (B260/B1,500), an excellent, easy drinking meal accompaniment.
Loulou Forks & Glasses
459/61, Suan Phlu Soi 8 | Open daily: 5pm-1am
Tel: 083 041 4351 | www.louloubangkok.com