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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bouchot Mussel Bar Restaurant Review - Oakwood Residence Sukhumvit 24, Bangkok

Bouchot Mussel Bar and Restaurant - Oakwood Residence - Sukhumvit 24 / BTS Prompong

French Blue Mussels, Fresh Oysters, Canadian Lobsters

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

See Bouchot Mussels Bar on BumRes.com 

About a month ago I got to try the French style Mussels at D’Orsay @ The Portico for the first time.  I was so impressed with the Spanish mussels that were lightly flavored French style.  I believe it was mixed with white wine, butter, and basil.  The experience was different from enjoying Thai mussels with the spicy sauce, though I still loved it very much.  So, I have been seeking for other restaurants with European style mussels in Bangkok.  Then I found the Bouchot Mussels Bar and Restaurant @ Oakwood Residence in the Soi Sukhumvit 24.  Actually I have heard about this Mussel Bar for a while but never had the chance to go.  The Bouchot, which reads Bu – Cho, has been in business for three years and I was told that it was the first Mussel bar in Bangkok.

Walking up to the entrance of the Bouchot Mussels Bar, it was a surprise to see that the place was down below in the basement level of the Oakwood Residence.  The stairs lead down to an outdoor seating area.  To the right is a façade constructed to mimic the English storefronts.  My eyes were direct toward the grand mirror shelf of alcohol straight ahead.  So, that’s the bar.  The actual entry door is to the left next to the kitchen window where the tank full live lobsters is at.  The interior design was very cool.  It felt like I was under the ocean with the rocks and the corals displayed in the metal cage.  It might not feel as spacious with the low ceiling but it did give a nice effect of being touched by the sea and the seafood I was about to have.  This place could be good for a wide range of customers; couples, friends, co-workers, etc.  Even the middle age crowd would love the atmosphere, I am sure. 

In terms of the food, the Bouchot Mussels Bar and Restaurant @ Oakwood Residence mainly serves European cuisine with the focus on seafood.  The emphasis is of course, on the Mussels.  There are two types of mussels to choose from; Blue Mussels and Black Mussels.  The blue one is from France and the Black one is from Australia.  The remark must be the six different sauces to mix with the mussels.  They have white wine like the simple western style and the spicy garlic for the Thai customers.  Bouchot actually refers to a method of growing the mussels by sticking a pole in the ocean and allow the mussels to attach themselves.  In French, mussels on the poles are called "Moules de Bouchot."  The Bouchot is definitely the heaven for mussel lovers.  Available special seafood choices are fresh oyster shooters and the Canadian lobsters.  There are selections of steak and pasta as well.  The amount of selection is reasonable; not too many and not too few.  At lunch time, there is a special lunch set for 300++ also.  If you work near here or in the area at lunch, the Bouchot would be a good pick. 

The first dish to come was the Grilled Salmon Salad (280 baht).  Salmon fillets were good size and its skin was crispy.  Over the fresh salad mixed with creamy dressing, it was a wonderful salad to start off. 

The next two dishes are the mussels; Blue mussels (1/2 kg for 750 baht) in spicy bacon roasted garlic & dried chilies and Black mussels (1/2 kg for 750 baht) in the same sauce.  The blue one is smaller compared to Thai mussels and the black one is a little bit larger than the blue ones.  The sauce was super delicious with the exploding flavors of garlic, chili, and bacon.  About the freshness of the mussels, it was not to be worried because the Bouchot gets deliveries of live seafood twice a week (Tuesday and Friday, I believe).  Both choices were equally tasty with the sauce.  I got my hands dirty on the Blue ones more than the Black.   I filled the shell with the sauce on every single bite.     

For the main course, we had the Juicy BBQ Pork Ribs (580 baht).  This was a full rack smothered in rich Barbeque sauce, which tasted averagely good.  Its tenderness of the meat was fantastic.  For being the meat lover, I ate most of the ribs.  The other main course was the Spaghetti king prawns and tobiko (320 baht), cooked al dante and mixed together in the thick creamy sauce with tobiko and shrimp, this pasta was lip smacking good.    

This fine meal at Bouchot Mussel Bar ended with the recommended Chocolate Cake with some kind of sugar glaze and walnut.  Its ordinary look hid a moist texture that matched the light sweet flavor of the glaze; and contrasted the crispiness of the walnut.   The fact that it was served warm also made it more pleasing.  My friends loved it.    

At Bouchot Mussels Bar and Restaurant @ Oakwood Residence, the bottled beers from Belgium were remarkable.  Since the occasion happened to on the Happy Hour of two free one.  My buddy and I had three rounds of three.  We had eight beers and one cider of eight different brands.  Each came with its own branded glass.  I particularly liked the Blanche De Namur the most; for its rich in flavor yet so smooth.  It had the fine and rich foam.  The beers were great throughout the meal, especially with the mussels.  After we finished the dessert, we were still drinking.  We started looking through a food book in the restaurant and saw the oysters of Bouchot featured in there.  We couldn’t resist the temptation, so we ordered 6 of them (740++ baht).  It was fresh and tasted great with our beers.    

We got a nice buzz by the time we were leaving the place.  Our dinner at Bouchot Mussels Bar and Restaurant turned out to be more satisfying than expected.  We enjoyed the relaxing atmosphere very much.  The food was delicious and reasonably priced.  Food servers were nice and attentive.  I will definitely come back to this Mussel Bar again.  My idea would be to order a bucket of mussels to enjoy with an imported beer.  I am sure you can feel me.  Suit yourself with your favorite pick of the sauce and the beer for your “Bouchot” night.  FIN! 

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