Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Cafe Parisien: Same French Classics in a Different Setting

I was shocked when I got to know of Le Beaulieu's abrupt closure. Even though I personally felt a change in energy (same price for smaller portion etc.) towards the end of their tenure, the place still held too many of my precious memories for me to accept its disappearace.

It took me a while to visit Chef Hervé Frerard's new brainchild Cafe Parisien, located at Sindhorn Tower right in the vicinity of the old Le Beaulieu, but I have since dined there twice in a hurry(both times their set lunch) , so I am ready to share my thoughts.



Bright and warm
If the 1st Le Beaulieu at Asoke represented a homey European restaurant giving the hidden jewel feel, and the 2nd Le Beaulieu at Athenee Tower exuded class but felt a little cold and distant, Cafe Parisien feels like a combination of both. Set in a glass house outside the magnificent Sindhorn Tower, Cafe Parisien is small, cosy, delightfully-illuminated by natural light while not lacking class in every part of its interior decoration.

Cafe Parisien's set lunch come with 2 choices of starters (usually a salad and a soup), 3 choices of main course and a fixed dessert.

Starters:

The starters I tasted were solid while not leaving a deep impression. The world-best baguette was still available, hip hip hooray!



Nicoise Salad, , tasty but wee bit overdressed according to my dining companion


Marinated Scottish Salmon Salad, crisp and fresh


Shitake mushroom soup, a solid choice to start the meal

Mains: 


Here's where the excitement starts. Each of the 4 mains I encountered was cooked to varying degrees of excellence. However, where Le Beaulieu excelled in both taste and quantity, Cafe Parisien might disappoint in terms of serving size for some of the mains if you are very hungry.



Really delicious Lamb Shoulder Blanquette, I still miss it today


Grilled Flank Steak, I wouldn't mind this main too!


Grilled Organic Pork Chop with Apple Calvados Sauce, Noah and I loved this hearty dish


Plancha of Sea Bass with Saffron Beurre Blanc Sauce. Nice fish with an amazing sauce, but portion quite small, so avoid this if you are very hungry


Dessert:


I would have liked a choice with the dessert, but so far the ones I had were pretty well done, with a pleasant serving size as well.



Apple Tart with Home-made Vanilla Ice Cream, will the tart feel sad if I say I liked the ice cream more?


White Chocolate Charlotte cake with Strawberry Ice Cream, nicely thought out, though perhaps too many different elements for my liking

Verdict:


I went to Cafe Parisien expecting similar solid French dishes from my favourite chef, and while I was not wowed both times, I was not disappointed too. There could be some misses among the many dishes to choose from (menu changes monthly), but I am pretty sure there will be many more hits.


Furthermore, at the price of 690++THB per set and no sneakily-expensive French Spring Water to stun you when you finally see the bill, this is definitely one of the best set lunches you can get in Bangkok at its price range.



And may I add, they have kids cutlery but no baby chair yet


PS. Chef Herve has left Cafe Parisien after setting up the team and stabiising the boat during the opening period. It's still a great place to dine!

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