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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
Tel.: 02.714.2112

Open daily: 11am - 10 pm (lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner)
Pay (food only for two): expect THB 7,000


Stella said...

French Food is surprisingly good at BKK.
So this is French style private "See Fong Choi" then.

Thailand Club said...

sad that Bonjour is not a "c-fong-choi" private kitchen, just that night is empty (poor business), we r the only guests for the 20 tables dining hall

in the sea said...

Is it quite inside soi 2 Suk.? OK, let's give them some support!

Thailand Club said...

no la, it is between Suk. Soi 59 - 61, on 1217/2 Sukhumvit Road

Anonymous said...

Seems this restaurant is a high price without high quality one!

Yai said...

No wonder magazine and newspaper food critics not pay too much attention on this restaurant.

I also see the floor is wooden, so if the place filled with more customers it must be very noisy. At this point how can we enjoy 'fine dining'?

Michael said...

sorry nong Yai, the floor is not even parquet (wooden) but it is cheap tile; yes tile floor in this proclaimed fine dining restaurant of which she really not ashame to charge diner fine dining price, but deliver cheap decoration and service to us!

in the sea said...

har... plastic wood-pattern floor mat... and for fine dining at Normandie dinner's price? I need to draw back what i said earlier. Excuse me.

Anonymous said...


Cheap quality for expensive price?

It is a ripoff.

That's why TC you are the only customer that night. It tells how bad this restaurant is!

from Zack

Thailand Club said...

thanks for your input

story is like if u satisfy to pay a 5-star hotel rate but found out ur room is only on 3-star standard!

frankly Bonjour has better potential, if and only if it provides service with real fine dining standard: e.g where in Bangkok a fine dining restaurant doesn't handle ur reservations in EN and couldn't repeat a simple EN name? and, on our visiting evening (7 - 10 pm) we r the only customers, but the manager and waiters (suppose they hv) hide in the office!! sending out only inexperience junior waitress and a busboy to entertain us, although the business was terribly slow that night, but did we pay the fine dining price as usual? if so, we deserve decent fine dining service don't we? worse is the sommelier was not at service as well and the chef didn't bother if our dish was fine or not

the decor, my own opinion, too low-cost for a fine dining venue, they even put pvc floor tile instead of thick carpet where most fine dining restaurants will do (not only looks more luxury but to absorb noise), so we can easily hear that the waitperson is walking toward us; lighting is of cheap budget; so this is the ambiance people expect for fine dining?

the food itself is not too bad although chefs have room to improve; the mushroom soup is overpriced; the most expensive dish (pigeon) we paid that night happened to be the best shot

so people don't mind how much to pay, but we mind what we pay for!

but sad Bonjour seems only interested in price to be fine dining but not on details

that's why we always praise Normandie and Vertigo in Bangkok the bargain duo for fine dining, simply they (always) deliver more than they charge

Anonymous said...

So this is no other Spoon.


in the sea said...

Really interesting.. If the owner wants to entertain himself, it's not right for him to do that in a toy factory. If the owner wants to attracts tourist, this location is not convenient, what's for running a fine dining and they just scare customers away. They thought they are Jim Thompson for people to look around but then dining at a 5-star hotel French restaurant. TC, this is the most insane place. Make sure you didn't miss a sign on the door "asylum". :)

Michael said...

i plan to bring u two to lunch here :) hahahaha

Fillet-O Fish said...

This restaurant is very new world French. I mean the way they do business.

in the sea said...

Haha... maybe another renaissance starts from here.. :)

Stella said...

For French food in BKK, I still like Philippe, Lenote lunch, Normandie lunch, and the one in red light zone for dinner.

Fillet-O Fish said...

Stella, you shall try the press duck at Le Banyan. TC brought me there once, duck so French, price so third world.

Tommy Leung said...

PVC flooring in a fine dining venue? Yes, Asian now has strong spending power, but we pay for those worth the price tag only.

From the photo in the post, I also notice the very cheap ceiling.

Anonymous said...

Did they buy those lights and some furniture from Suan Lum Night Bazaar and JJ Weekend market? ZACK