Bangkok Post reviews
Eats crepes and leaves
- Writer: Bangkok Post Editorial
- Published: September 6, 2013 at 9:30 am
Forget brunch _ one bite of the dinner menu at this popular Bangkok restaurant will transport you to the Mediterranean
The Lang Suan branch opened 13 months ago to replace the original Sukhumvit Soi 12 venue, providing the same cherished homely setting and pleasant feel of a gastronomic hideaway in the midst of the bustling metropolis.
Despite its simple name, Crepes & Co. has for the past 17 years been the place where keen food connoisseurs and laid-back diners flock for the hearty piquancy of authentic Mediterranean cuisine.
Since the first restaurant was launched in 1996 in Sukhumvit Soi 12 (closed in July last year), the Crepes & Co. brand has opened four more outlets _ two in Bangkok, one in Hua Hin and another in Shanghai, China. The 13-month-old Lang Suan branch, which we visited last week, was to replace the original Soi 12 venue, providing the same cherished homely setting.
Occupying a lovely two-storey house in a quiet residential alleyway, the new joint has the capacity to seat 100 diners, yet offers the pleasant feel of a gastronomic hideaway in the midst of the bustling metropolis.
The restaurant's main dining area downstairs, softly filled with lounge tunes, was decked out to resemble a cosy living room with an ever-active, bistro-style open kitchen located in a back corner. The upstairs area may be more private should you wish to have a romantic dinner in a quiet study room setting.
I recommend that you begin your journey into the characteristic Mediterranean cuisine here with an order of salad. Of 14 salad options on offer, try the one that's voted the most exotic tasting _ the Moroccan salad (215 baht), which is made with lettuce, couscous, olives and tomatoes mixed with some olive oil dressing.
The Moroccan lamb tagine accompanied by couscous.
Then continue with a scrumptious Greek-style mezze platter (650 baht). This large serving of assorted appetisers is plenty for four to share as it has four kinds of bite-sized treats accompanied by four choices of dip (eggplant, caviar, chickpea and yoghurt), a portion of kalamata pickled olives and pita breads.
Our party of four found true epicurean pleasure in all delicacies presented. The courgette rissoles, or zucchini fritters, made with coarsely chopped zucchini, feta cheese and oregano, were very enjoyable. The tyropita, or feta cheese wrapped in paper-thin filo pastry, offered a characteristically light and flaky golden brown exterior that revealed inside the tasty soft sheep's milk cheese.
Meanwhile, the keftedes, or Greek-styled meatballs made with beef, onion and spice, was praised by a beef-fanatic friend at the table as truly addictive and not to be missed. The dolmades, or vine leaf stuffed with sauteed rice _ well-flavoured with an awesome texture _ was delightful.
At the moment the restaurant is promoting the Greek culinary style, with the above-mentioned appetiser being one of the season's new items. Yet there's a few staple Greek dishes that have already been established and are popular here.
My personal favourite was moussaka, or the eggplant and lamb gratin (385 baht). Though looking frowsty, the lamb exhibited an exceptional taste, hefty texture and pleasing herb finish that's guaranteed to impress.
Another classic from the Greek cuisine list that's well worth having is the chicken souvlaki wrap (245 baht). It featured generous slices of chicken sauteed with capsicums, yoghurt and spices placed inside pita bread.
We sampled two stewed lamb dishes over our visit _ one Greek, one Moroccan _ and both were excellent, yet very distinctive.
The Greek lamb stew (475 baht), made with thyme and kalamata olives, was served with spinach fried rice and offered a slightly sour and salty flavour profile. The Moroccan lamb tagine (475 baht), was made with sauteed onions, raisins and cinnamon to present a salty sweet gravy in which a generous portion of lamb meat sat _ tender yet still with a pleasing chew. The Moroccan stew was accompanied by couscous, which can be substituted with saffron rice, spinach fried rice or Thai jasmine rice.
As its name suggests, we could never afford to miss some of its wide variety of crepes, which are on offer all day (though highly popular particularly at brunch time).
Among 45 international options _ sweet and savoury, meaty, seafood and vegetarian, the all-time bestseller is the crepe supreme (310 baht). Resembling a home-style breakfast, this supple and hearty crepe is made with egg, bacon, ham and mushroom in cream cheese and bechamel sauce, with a touch of Mediterranean herbs.
And you should never miss the crepes framboise (290 baht) for dessert. This sizeable sweet with a straightforward presentation (the warm crepes is stuffed with home-made vanilla ice cream and drenched with flambed raspberry sauce) deserved two thumbs up in terms of quality and palatability.