Monday, December 28, 2009
Au Revoir to All That
The name Alain Ducasse, a celebrity French chef who is behind over a dozen of award winning haute cuisine restaurants in the world, took me curiosity to (finally) visit the almost one-year-old Bonjour on Sukhumvit Road.
To be precise, Alain Ducasse has nothing to do with Bonjour. It is chef Thierry Enderlin, who is responsible for Bonjour's kitchen, gave interview to local media that he used to cook alongside with the double three-star chef.
Bonjour is a fine dining French restaurant. So it is wise not to do the walk-in.
The receptionist who took my reservations, couldn't handle it in English so I switched to speak my clumsy Thai and spell my name to her letter by letter in English.
The dining area for this proclaimed fine dining venue is bravely paved with PVC tile flooring, with 'matching quality' furniture probably bought from a night bazaar.
The ingredients, claimed the use of quality free range meats and line-caught fish from France happened to be true. Finished products, eatable though we found no shadow of Alain's on any of our orders. The ingredients were satisfying but the food quality (esp. sauce) not on par with other fine dining French restaurants. So we wondered who did the cooking that night!
Unless you open a bottle, the house wine sold here is of very cheap quality. The owner (claimed to be a wine merchant and sommelier) shall stock better house wine for choices. Indeed, who minds to pay a little more if the quality matches the bill.
-amuse bouche and bread
(suppose a chef to show off his culinary skill and enthusiasm on cooking at the begin of a gastronomic journey, our amuse bouche was something without efforts)
-organic green salad Baht 380++
(weird presentation we ever got from any fine dining French restaurant)
-mushroom soup infused with truffle oil Baht 890++
(most pricey soup in BKK, even Reflexions of Plaza Athenee and Normandie of M.O. no soup over Baht 700++; mushroom soup is nice, but no trace of any aromatic from truffle; so we paid $32 for just a bowl of mushroom soup without truffle? crazy!)
Gl. Alexis Merlot
- roasted duck breast with confit of its leg Baht 1,350++
(quality duck, breast nicely prepared, confit of leg & sauce didn't live up to expectations)
- slow cooked Bresse pigeon Baht 1,980++
(Bresse pigeon, good preparation, nicely slow cooked, good flavor, best shot that evening)
- chocolate fondant Baht 290++ vanilla ice cream Baht 180++
(chocolate is of so-so quality; ice cream not Bonjour's home-made)
-petit four (complimentary)
(something anyone can get from the Siam Paragon)
The restaurant, gave us absolute privacy to enjoy our meal, as we were the only table served on a Tuesday (whole) evening. Service (by a junior waitstaff and a busboy; as the waiters and manager maybe busy in the office making calls, and sommelier was not on duty) is sincere and friendly though not professional.
Thanks to Bonjour! Now I may reconfirm that the Normandie is consider a bargain in fine dining, making the rest in Bangkok not comparable. Of course for a bit informal yet romantic choice I always buy Le Banyan, and for home-style cooking that shall be Le Bouchon.
Bonjour French Restaurant ** 1/4
1217/2 Sukhumvit Road
(behind Fullerton Condo)
Wattana, Bangkok 10110
Open daily: 11am - 10 pm (lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner)
Pay (food only for two): expect THB 7,000