Marriage of East and West

Marriage of East and West

Set in historical Old Town, Ìm En Ville offers four dining styles

Marriage of East and West

Ìm En Ville, pronounced "ihm ong ville", is a four-month-old project of passionate young entrepreneur Dittaphand Chirathivat.

The establishment takes pride in its historical building, unique location in Bangkok Old Town, and the diversity of gastronomic experiences it has on offer.

Under the umbrella of Ìm En Ville -- a bilingual concoction between ihm (Thai for full) and en ville (French for in the city) -- are an amalgamation of four eateries.

An artisanal coffeehouse, a bakery & dessert bar, a Western restaurant and a Thai food corner are set in a century-old industrial space once home to a printing house.

A product of two years of development, the photogenic venue seeks to become a living community where people can relax and indulge while embracing the historic beauty of the site. Topping off the architectural glory is the view of Wat Ratchabophit, located just a few steps away.

I went for lunch at Ìm En Ville a few days ago.

On the 2nd floor of the premises is 59 Ìm Modern Bistro.

Its menu lists approximately 80 items under categories such as salads, small plates, pasta, steak, seafood, all-day brunch and breakfast specials on Saturday and Sunday.

My lunch started off nicely with lobster toast (239 baht). It featured two pieces of butter-toasted brioche with a tasty topping made with chopped lobster meat and juicy sweet pear.

The tomato salad (310 baht), which followed, is guaranteed to delight even those not fans of the fruit.

The multicoloured dish was a refreshing and pleasing unification of fresh heirloom tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, dollops of creamy soft stracciatella cheese and drizzles of Italian basil oil. A garnish of garlic croutons lent a crumbly finish.

The weekend breakfast croissant with scrambled egg, bacon and Paris mushrooms.

The bistro revels in its fish dishes, like pan-seared sea bass, crispy-skin salmon and fish and chips.

I was impressed with grilled halibut with ratatouille and gremolata (499 baht), which married the fish with the rich-flavoured Provençal vegetable stew and zesty parsley sauce.

For the main meat course, kurobuta pork chop with mashed potato (519 baht) is not to be missed.

A sizeable bone-in chop, perfectly cooked to retain its tender texture and succulent quality, was enhanced by a delicious five-spiced apple jam and peppercorn gravy.

Other interesting options include dry-aged Wagyu rib-eye steak, Black Angus flank steak, duck leg confit and beef cheek bourguignon.

There are more than a dozen choices of pasta.

The lobster toast snack.

I waived the best-selling pappardelle with lamb ragout and Pomodoro spaghetti, and instead settled for seafood risotto with lobster bisque and pickled ginger (529 baht).

The Italian Arborio rice was cooked in brandy-seethed lobster stock with prawns, squid and mussels, and served with a buttery bisque froth.

I also got to sample, from the weekend special menu, a breakfast croissant with creamy scrambled egg, bacon and Paris mushrooms (279 baht) and was pleased with the flaky buttery housemade Viennoiserie and its scrumptious stuffing.

The sweet end of the meal came from Maison Ìm's dessert bar, located on the same floor.

The choices include Bomb Alaska Black Forest, churros with caramel, chocolate sauce and sticky toffee pudding.

I went for deconstructed banoffee pie with chocolate crumble and panna cotta (199 baht) and mixed fruit pavlova with passion fruit ice cream (189 baht). The two creations proved heavenly as much to the taste buds as they did to the eyes.

Ìm En Ville is an eight-minute walk from Sam Yot MRT station. For those who drive, parking is available at J Park which is a four-minute walk. Street parking along Fueang Nakhon Road is allowed in the evening, however, I recommend you check the restrictions and time.

The grilled halibut with ratatouille and gremolata.

The kurobuta pork chop with mashed potato.

The mixed fruit pavlova.

The heirloom tomato salad with stracciatella cheese and basil oil.

  • Ìm En Ville
  • Fueang Nakhon Road, Phra Nakhon district
  • Call 065-612-6688
  • Open 9am-9pm, Thursday to Tuesday
  • Park at J Park or along the street
  • Most credit cards accepted
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