Bangkok Post reviews
A pleasure as ever
- Writer: Bangkok Post Editorial
- Published: October 14, 2011 at 10:49 am
Boqueria's shift from European to contemporary French-Italian cuisine has not gone unnoticed
Presenting a cheerful play of bright colours, the newly renovated of Boqueria interior is warm and comfy.
I first reviewed Boqueria in January 2009. Since then I have returned to this Mediterranean-named restaurant a few times and, whether it was for buffet lunch or an a la carte dinner, every visit has been a true pleasure.
Lately, the restaurant has gone through a major renovation. Its familiar brownish interiors has been replaced by a cheerful play of bright colours and more comfortable furniture, while the modern European cuisine it used to serve has transformed to "contemporary French-Italian".
As a bar, Boqueria features an extensive drink list, a cosmopolitan compilation of cocktails, wines, champagnes, coffees and various non-alcoholic choices. As a fine restaurant, its a la carte menu offers more than 50 items of appetisers, pastas, main entrees and desserts prepared with top-notch imported ingredients.
Pan-seared Hokkaido scallop with Belgian endive, green apple and champagne sauce is a luscious marriage between orchard harvests and fruit of the ocean.
The selection of appetisers alone was impressive. with a nice diversity of greens, aquatic produce, poultry and red meat. Of it, the first to arrive was pan-seared Hokkaido scallop with Belgian endive, green apple and champagne sauce (650 baht). Like a beautiful display of modern culinary art, three pieces of the giant scallops, with its partially browned skin, were set on a bed of multi-coloured fruit puree and encircled by voluptuous orchard harvests and delicate microgreens.
Palatability speaking, the dish introduced a perfect marriage between fruit and seafood. The scallop's juicy and naturally sweet character was complemented wonderfully by the aromatic creamy puree, bitter-sweet poached endive, crunchy apple wedges and citrusy relishes.
Though not as visually stunning, the duck foie gras truffle terrine (850 baht), that followed, was equally delicious. On a plate was decent portion of homemade terrine _ subtly rich in taste and velvety smooth in texture _ accompanied by brioch bread, port wine jelly, black truffle flakes, balsamic pearls and tiny serving of fresh leafy salad.
If you're a fan of foie gras and the terrine alone wouldn't fulfill your appetite enough, there are choices like pan-fried duck liver and foie gras soup.
Boqueria’s all-time best selling slow-cooked beef short rib.
I sampled the soup (350 baht), which was infused with truffle oil, and found it sumptuous in flavour but pleasantly light in texture.
From a dozen options of pasta and risotto, we were recommended spaghetti aglio with Italian sausage, garlic and olive oil (320 baht) and were pleased with the charming balance of saltiness and spiciness it had on offer.
Boqueria has 20 choices of meat and seafood courses, and all of them sounded interesting. We passed the likes of roasted Atlantic cod, Boston lobster thermidor, grilled pork chop and a sophisticated collection of Australian, Japanese and American beef steaks. Instead, we settled on orders of turbot, short rib and duck.
The turbot (1,150 baht) presented generous fillet of the fish braised in muscadet wine cream sauce and served with early vegetables. An evidence of prime quality of the ingredients and culinary dexterity of the chef, the supple fish meat was seasoned by the fragrant creamy sauce and sweet garden produces to give a delicate yet truly delightful flavour profile.
Meanwhile, the slow-cooked beef short rib (850 baht), Boqueria's all-time best seller, didn't fail to impress our palates. Served in a gigantic portion with its own reduced juice and mashed truffle potato, the rib was cooked in sous vide style for two days until the meat is very tender before being browned to get a delicious bitter tang and distinctive burnt aroma. The flavourful meat was so tender and fell of the bone very easily, while its gravy lent a pungent touch with a slight hint of sweetness.
Braised turbot with muscadet wine cream sauce and early vegetables.
Ending the parade of main courses in style was the whole duck confit with orange sauce (3,500 baht). The bird, large enough to be a singular entree shared among two hungry diners, were served in two styles _ both proved very scrumptious.
First, in a traditional form of duck l'orange, it featured sliced duck breast with the chewily soft, golden brown skin and succulent meat to be enjoyed with the sweet and tangy orange sauce and pan-roasted potatoes. The second style, which followed approximately 10 minutes later, presented the crispy, double-cooked duck legs with balsamic dressing.
To match with Boqueria's refined selection of savoury dishes was a repertoir of sophisticated sweets. The chocolate mousse connelloni (230 baht), presented soft, homemade chocolate pasta rolled around fine chocolate mousse and served with roasted almond flakes and fresh strawberry on vanilla cream sauce, proved to our eyes and palates the work of a sheer pastry genuis.
Though Boqueria's setting and menu have been revamped, the operation style remains the same.
On weekdays, the restaurant serves an Italian-French buffet for lunch (380 baht per person). An a la carte menu is available only for dinner and on weekends.
Duck foie gras truffle terrine with brioch bread and port wine jelly.
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