OUR favourite international restaurants in Bangkok are always the ones that create the most convincing illusion that we’re dining in a country other than Thailand – the venues that successfully transport our senses from the raucous, frenetic streets of Bangkok to the national home of whatever cuisine they happen to serve.
And so it is with Chez Papé French Bistro.
From a Parisian-style outdoor terrace and archetypical black and white floor tiles, to the French artifacts and photographs of French icons that hang on its walls, Chez Papé is as authentic as it gets – right down to the regular crowd of French expats that frequent the restaurant and prop up the bar most nights of the week.
Chez Papé’s owner, Pierre Loïc Brun, a Lyon native, opened the bistro four years ago with the aim of providing authentic, home-style food from every French region and cooked just like his grandmother used to make. And with Chef Laurent Scire in charge of the kitchen, who counts Michelin-starred restaurants among his former workplaces, the rustic, hearty food on offer meets these aims and then some; it’s lipsmackingly delicious.
Two large chalkboards hanging on adjacent walls are scrawled with weekly specials (one written in French, one in English) made using seasonal ingredients. While on the table you’ll find a carefully considered two page menu loaded with French comfort food classics.
From signature dishes such as Warm Saint Marcellin French cheese with salad, and Eggplant caviar and smoked salmon wrap, to Café Gourmand (a classic French combination of espresso and three dessert bites), Braised lamb shank, and Roasted Camembert, all dishes are made with the finest ingredients available, and arrive at the table well-presented and, when needed, piping hot.
On our last visit we tucked into Duck liver foie gras terrine, served with toasted bread, mango and passion fruit (B395++), Seared tuna fillet with pepper and served with sweet potatoes (670++), and Pan-fried pork tenderloin in a French mustard seed sauce, served with sautéed potatoes (B390++). We followed this up with a classic Chocolate mousse (B160++), and left suitably impressed indeed.
Chez Papé opens daily for lunch and dinner. Don’t miss its two-course lunch menu, featuring a choice of starter and main course, for only B390++ per person.
Chez Papé French Bistro, Sukhumvit Soi 11 (a short walk from Nana BTS station) Tel: 02 255 2492 www.chezpape.com