A few months ago, I came across an advert on a website for ‘Paris Bangkok’. A new concept restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand, Paris Bangkok paired French cuisine from an award-winning chef with a stunning restaurant designed around a Bangkok theme. After looking at the gorgeous photographs and agreeing the food was reasonably priced, a Thai friend and I decided we must check this place out.
Needless to say, being the gluttons we are, less than a week went by before we were sitting in Paris Bangkok and, if I have any say in the matter, I’ll be sitting there again soon. It really is that good.
Location of Paris Bangkok – Situated on the popular Soi Saladaeng in the Silom area of Bangkok, it’s easy to get to Paris Bangkok from both the Lumphini (underground) and Sala Daeng (sky train) train stations. Not being absolutely sure where it was, we took a taxi from the Lumphini underground station. In reality, we could have walked, as it’s not far.
Atmosphere at Paris Bangkok – For us, what made Paris Bangkok a little less than perfect was the atmosphere which, if you’ve read the ad, you’re quite surprised by when you arrive. Located in a converted old Thai house, it’s not exactly the lush tropical jungle foliage-type place we’d been led to believe from the advertising (well it does look like it’s packed with palm fronds and old Thai Buddhist statues). It’s actually much more open and, dare I say, a bit too ‘Hollywood-stylized’.
There’s lots of dark moody lighting, sure, and some posters on the walls and Thai artwork…..but it’s big, sort of warehouse-barn-like, and not all cozy and 1920s-Thailand-jungle-meets-exotic-French-explorer, like I’d expected. In fact, it reminded me of a darker T.G.I. Fridays – that kind of atmosphere, and more than a little bit fake.
But…..it does have a large tree in the middle of the restaurant with a pretty garden around it, (they’ve built part of Paris Bangkok in what used to be the garden of the house and added a roof, but built everything around a tree that once stood in the garden. An interesting touch).
However, what Paris Bangkok lacks in atmosphere and design, it makes up for with the impeccable service, the lovely staff and, of course, the food.
Food at Paris Bangkok – Selling themselves as an affordable French restaurant and, heaven knows, Bangkok doesn’t have many of those, Paris Bangkok hits the spot and hits it well here.
The menu is quite large with a varied selection of dishes. Lobster features prominently but we bi-passed that section and continued on down. They also specialize in oysters flown in from France, which I’ll be trying the next time I visit, and have many of the usual French-style appetizers – foie gras, lobster bisque, snails in garlic – you get the idea.
We both ordered lobster bisque, and I followed it with duck breast with rosemary sauteed potatoes. My friend had the parrot fish in bread crumbs with zucchini. Both of us were thrilled when our food was served and it was beautifully presented and tasted even better. The lobster bisque was one of the creamiest and richest I’ve ever eaten and the duck breast was moist and soft and practically melted in my mouth. The potatoes too were a nice crispy addition.
My friend, who had never tried parrot fish before, loves fish and this to her was a stunning new find. She pronounced it “perfectly cooked and perfectly sized” (Paris Bangkok serves smaller portions than a typical Thai restaurant but, apparently, the perfect amount for my friend), and proceeded to eat every mouthful.
Of course, as portions are quite small, the good news is there’s room for dessert. Paris Bangkok serves only a few desserts but what they do serve they make to perfection.
For me, when creme brulee appears on any menu anywhere, it’s always my first choice. That the one at Paris Bangkok had an infusion of star anise poured on it (star anise is that small dried spicy star-shaped flowered herb you get in many Asian dishes nowadays) added to my delight and, when it arrived, it was as delicious as I’d expected. The creme brulee was perfectly cooked but what was simply divine was the lovely liquorishy-taste from the star anise. Gorgeous.
Paris Bangkok is a lovely addition to Bangkok’s French restaurants. Relatively inexpensive (our entire meal came to just over 2,000 baht ($66) and with its charming staff and good food, this restaurant should be around for the long term.
If you’d like to try Paris Bangkok but don’t want to spend the higher evening meal price, they also serve a set lunch menu with several options – one dish is 180 baht ($6), two dishes is 360 baht ($12) and two dishes plus dessert 460 baht ($15).
You’ll find Paris Bangkok at 120 Soi Saladaeng 1/1, Silom in Bangkok. Tel: 02-233-1990.
Website – Paris Bangkok – check out their menu, it’s awesome