Sipping and supping in style
When it comes to choosing restaurants, there’s a lot to be said for consistency; finding a place you can visit time and time again with nary a bad plate of food served and decent service a given. Bangkok has fine eateries a-plenty, but few that offer great Western plates at a price not to be sneered at.
As a newbie to the Land of Smiles (and overpriced imports) I’d yet to find that balance. But a recent visit to Wine Connection Tapas Bar & Bistro—located on the ground floor of the Rain Hill Project on the corner of Sukhumvit Soi 47—landed me squarely in that sweet spot, delivering a European dining experience with a Thai price tag.
The Bangkok-based wine merchants began life as an importer of fine wines from around the world, eventually becoming the leading wine retail chain in Southeast Asia. Following its successes in the retail trade, the group stepped into the food arena, launching a number of delis, grills, and bistros throughout the city under the ‘Wine Connection’ umbrella.
The food and drink concept proved to be another success for the brand, and the Rain Hill location is amongst their most popular ventures. Indeed, a Friday night at the trendy bar was at full capacity, with patrons either settling down to sample the restaurant’s brand new food menu, or propping up the bar with a glass of wine from the extensive cellar.
The food team, led by French hospitality pro Stephane Carric, launched the new menu in November, and my inaugural visit to the stylish eatery was perfectly timed to test out some of the new additions, which included: an appetizer of Vine ripened tomatoes with fresh burrata cheese (B260), Slow-cooked duck confit with sautéed potatoes (B340), and Banofee pie (B110). As the popular spot buzzed with the sound of guests enjoying their reasonably priced fare, I soon joined the chorus of praise, delighting at the simplicity of my starter, the wholesome comfort of the main, and the smooth, sweet familiarity of the dessert.
But what would all this delicious dining be without the wining? The bistro boasts a spectacular selection of exclusive wines shipped from all over the world from small, independent wineries. Thanks to its roots in importing, there’s no middle man here to take a cut of the profits which means the restaurant can offer their grape juice at prices far cheaper than other restaurants of this ilk.
Bottles start from just B549 and there’s more than your usual choice of wines-by-the-glass available too. My recommendation? A 2015 Paua Bay Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand at B890. Like summer in a glass, the light, crisp white was the perfect accompaniment to a great meal (and came free from a hangover too!).
By Annaliese Watkins
Wine Connection Tapas Bar & Bistro
777 Rain Hill Project, Corner of Sukhumvit Soi 47
Open: Mon-Sat, 11am-1:30am, Sun, 11am-midnight
Tel: 02 261 7217 | www.wineconnection.co.th