Only a stone’s throw from the Chidlom SkyTrain station in Soi Tonson, this restaurant, blends the classic with a touch of art deco. Owner Artur Kluczewski, who is always at hand, has headed three iconic hotel restaurants in Bangkok very successfully before he decided to go solo. “I wanted to do something genuine, a timeless classic restaurant, and in New York, it would be a steakhouse, while in Paris, it is a maison bourgeoisie. It’s like an American in Paris, one that reflects French flair.”
The heavy doors open onto an elegant rectangular dining room dressed in rich red velvet, and complemented by deep hues of brown and black. At one end is the Martini Bar, accessorised with Tamara de Lempicka paintings that add a touch of whimsy. At the end of the room are floor-to-ceiling windows that offer a garden view. Comfy banquettes line the walls on either side of the room, while to one side is a semi-private section. It’s easy to see that much thought has gone into the choice of flatware and stemware as well. The lighting is moody all around, with spots above the tables to highlight the food.
Kick off the evening with a pick from the selection of martinis; the lychee martini comes recommended, crisp and cold with just the right balance between the fruity sweetness and the grain of the alcohol.
Chef Olivier Castella’s experience comes from working in Michelin-starred restaurants, as the chef at the elite Monolith Club in Moscow. He was also a judge on the “Iron Chef” programme and as president for the Bocuse d’Or Thailand competition.
Start off with the oysters. No ordinary shellfish, the Marennes-Oléron Spéciale de Claires Oysters are different from normal fine de claires as they spend the last few weeks of their growth in shallow clay ponds (or claires) that were once ancient salt pans, giving them a remarkable balance of sweetness and brine that perfectly captures the essence of the sea.
It’s hard to ignore the soups on the menu and the velvety lobster bisque with a succulent pan-roasted ragout of the crustacean, is a nice bridge to the next course.
Diners will be spoilt for a choice of mains that include maple and mustard glaze fillet of Scottish salmon, imported whole Dover sole, chicken ballotine stuffed with mushroom duxelle”, and the classic canard a L’Orange carved tableside by Artur himself. In addition there are four different steak cuts and guests can choose from Australian Tajima Kobe Beef and Australian and American Angus beef with a choice of 16 side orders, including, potatoes sautéed with duck fat, creamed spinach with garlic, crisp imported onion rings, or pilaf rice.
Don’t leave without sampling the delicious “Ice Nougat with Passionfruit sauce.