New Quince chef Wilfrid Hocquet has worked with Alain Ducasse, Daniel Boulud and the Pourcel brothers, while his last gig – the countrified, Michelin-starred La Bastide de Moustiers – chimes with the concept at his new Bangkok home.
He serves straight-ahead food: farmhouse presentation, not too many flavours, focusing on good product and letting it fly. To the delight of traditionalists, this is unmistakably dinner on a plate.
Quince has a commitment to local produce wherever possible, although this means inevitable headaches with quality and reliability of supply for lamb and beef in particular. They have a new supplier near Pattaya for these meats and now work with Bill Marinelli, of the Oyster Bar to bring line-caught fish from Indonesia. Not local, but sustainable. It’s also, by its nature, unpredictable, so you may get coral trout, sea bream, white sea bass, all depending on the catch. It arrives on Thursdays, so good days to visit are Friday to Sunday.
The fish goes on the specials menu, alongside the new a la carte that Wilfrid launches fully this month. Look out for a bunch of fresh salads such as blueberry beetroot with feta cheese and rocket and substantial mains like roast chicken tagine-style with lemon and chickpeas.
Beautiful Kurobuta pork, cooked sous vide and served with its own jus (B1500 for a sharing portion), is sourced in Prachinburi and also used in deliciously moist, slightly peppery pork terrine (B280).
But there’s so much more to Quince than just the food. It has a buzzy, pub-like atmosphere, a generous-sized bar, unvarnished floorboards and chunky wooden tables that feel as conducive to quaffing beers as the arty cocktails developed by ‘mixsultant’ Joseph Boroski. They have 13 gins (all B280), which you can have with old English- style tonic syrup mixed with soda, plus a comprehensive and delightfully adventurous wine list (B1200-B46,000), including too-often-neglected Spanish labels and an impressive range of dessert wines.
Add occasional DJs and live music and Quince hits lots of high notes. Perhaps that’s why it was packed again on the midweek night of our visit.
Photography by Christian Hogue
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Sukhumvit Soi 45 | 02-662-4478 | quincebangkok.com | Daily 11.30am-late