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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Chez Pape, French Bistro - Sukhumvit 11, Bangkok (English)

Chez Pape French Bistro - Sukhumvit 11, Bangkok 

Overall Score  9/10
Taste   5/5
Ambiance  4/5
Service  4/5
Value   4/5

Chez Pape - French Bistro on BumRes.com

Chez Pape is a French Restaurant resided in a back alley of Sukhumvit Soi 11.  This area was a great founding because there were almost ten restaurants of different nationalities.  Take BTS to Nana station and walk about a hundred meters into Soi 11, and you will find an alley to your left.  Chez Pape is further into the alley, the front has a bright pink canvas roof.  This is truly a French eatery, with the homemade attitude.  The owner was the head chef; He came out of the kitchen to greet his customers.  He was French, which was good to know, promising of the authentic French meal.  But, we were already quite impressed with all of the dishes so far as he asked us about the food about mid way through the meal.  

To me, when I first heard the name I thought it was an Italian restaurant.  Even when I first saw the front of the shop, I still thought it was Italian until I saw the sign by the name stating, “French Bistrot”.  It was so funny when a friend of mine that was there with me looked at my face and said, “Not another French meal!”  You should have seen the look on his face.  He must be so sick of the bland French food.  His expectation of a French cuisine was like; really lovely decorated plating, really small portion, and really focus on the natural flavors of ingredients.   I am not a picky eater and I always give a chance to all new restaurants on the list.  So, I was there with an open-minded.  On the other hand, my friend’s attitude was different but his whole impression on French was about to change completely.  

As we entered into the interior space, we were overwhelmed with numerous counts of aged photograph of movie stars or whoever I didn’t know.  A well defined corner for the alcoholic bar was off to the left.  On the wall was an old school bike hanging and on other sides were aged musical instruments such as French Horn Bass and Saxophone.  The whole atmosphere reminded me of an American Diners in the East Coast of the U.S.  Photos of people from back in the days made me think of the European mobs and Mafia (perhaps I am wrong, please don’t mind me).   Well overall, the retrospect concept was interesting.  The high ceiling made the place feel very spacious and comfortable.  

Chez Pape’s menu was inclusive of the French Cuisine, I supposed.  I don’t have much knowledge about them.  This menu was divided into Soups, Entrees, Main from the sea, Main from the country side, and homemade sweets and cheeses.  French chef had weekly special on the board for us to choose from as well.  For the party of four, we ordered a total of eight dishes (entrees and mains).  We also had the deal 300 Baht for 600 Baht purchase per person (four deals), so it was pretty much 50% off.   Though the foods were reasonably priced already, without the deals Chez Pape French dinner would still be worthwhile. 

First two in the beginning were appetizers, Salmon Tartare Salad and Mesclun salad.  These were an amazing start of a French journey.  My friend’s attitude began to alter after a bite of the Salmon Tartare; it really was delicious.  The other salad was plain simple; Parmesan sheet over the poached egg in a salad was new to me.  Then the main course, first up was the Saffron Seafood Risotto.  This must be the tastiest risotto I had ever had.  Second was the Cassoulet (Duck Confit) served with stew pork and white beans.  I thought it needed more juice or sauce.   Tender duck was best enjoyed with the soft white beans together in a bite.   

My friend started to love French cuisine on this third main, the Beef Bougagnon, which was also my favorite.  Beef was perfectly prepared, veggies alongside and the dark broth complimented to excellence.  It was definitely the highlight of the night at Chez Pape.  Fourth was my pick, the Beef Flank (rare) with goat cheese Ravioli.  Perfectly grilled thin cut of the beef was charming with the grape sauce; goat cheese ravioli worked a simple side.  Lastly, our fifth main was the Filo Parcel Salmon.  I actually like this one more than everyone else.  The difference with this Salmon was the trick of wrapping thin layer of flour sheets prior to grilling.  Crispiness around the soft salmon matched so well with the crushed potatoes side.   In the end we wanted to add another dish from the special but we mistakenly receive the Asparagus Salad, oh well.  More fresh vegetable couldn’t harm any of us.  Wow! We all had so much great homemade French food.  We also had to finish up with the sweet French treat.  We ordered a couple but I can’t remember the names.  One of the two was a floating white ball; weird texture, I didn’t like it.  Second dessert was chocolate Mousse.  This one was more like me; more firm texture which I liked.  This whole meal was wonderful.  

Honestly, I would go back to Chez Pape again for the Beef Bougignon.  Their location is ideal for a dinner hoping.  With some friends, we could share a dish at Chez Pape, then go to Snappers NZ for a dish or two.  If we had room we could finish off with some spicy Thai salad at Suk 11.  Let me persuade you again about this alley; really there were many attractive restaurants.  Just go by there and I see what you feel like having but don’t miss Chez Pape.  If you did so, come back and tell me which restaurant is your best choice.  

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