For starters

For starters


Our monthly pick of hot new restaurants.

Chop Chop Cook Shop

The bright and easy-going Chop Chop Cook Shop is Michelin-starred chef David Thompson's first-ever non-Thai restaurant.

His intent behind the concept is straightforward: "We aim to please."

Thus, the place which boasts "neon lights, bold bites and good vibes" is where satisfaction and comfort are guaranteed.

Set in a heritage Art Deco shophouse building on the corner of Yaowarat and Mangkon streets in Chinatown, the pop-art restaurant serves up a much-loved cuisine of the old days (1930s-1970s) -- cookshop cuisine.

The cooking has provenance, a blend of Hainanese, Teochew, Thai and Western fares. Yet it comes with Thompson's distinguished craft.

Among the recommended starters are a jelly of pork trotters with five spices and sand ginger; a radish and parsley salad; madcap curried sausages; and a crab cocktail with Marie Rose sauce, the latter a local Teochew speciality.

The selection of main entrees includes breaded pork chop; braised ox tongue; sweet and sour fish; fried rice with BBQ pork, prawns and peas; and steak with Gentleman's Relish on toast.

The likes of ginger milk curd; durian custard tarts; pink pineapple fluff; and Thai tea creme caramels grace the dessert list.

"It also contains more than a whiff of an American diner and hamburger joint too," Thompson noted.

Chop Chop Cook Shop opens daily for dinner. Lunch service is available only on weekends.

Bistrot de La Mer

The latest addition to Sindhorn Kempinski's repertoire of F&B outlets, Bistrot de La Mer offers a casual culinary comfort that's guaranteed to transport guests to France's southern coast.

Blessed with a panoramic view of Lumphini Park, the 80-seat restaurant located on the 19th floor of the hotel serves up a seafood-centric French Mediterranean cuisine that draws from the impressive career profile of chef de cuisine Slawomir Kowalik.

The chef's extensive experience includes renowned establishments in Europe and Asia including The Savoy in London, the French Brasserie at the Mandarin Oriental, Taipei and the two Michelin-starred Bürgenstock in Lucerne, Switzerland.

Bistro classics such as yellowtail tuna salad Nicoise (490 baht); French onion soup with comte cheese (350 baht); and escargot Provencal with Parma ham and roasted garlic-parsley butter (490 baht) are among the best-selling starters.

At the heart of the menu is the Fruit de Mer seafood tower (3,900 baht), exhibiting the likes of Gillardeau and Tsarskaya oysters, Maine lobster, tiger prawns, scallop ceviche and marinated razor clam, accompanied by mignonette, cocktail sauce, roasted garlic aioli, chilli sauce and fresh lemon wedges.

Lobster thermidor with a rich cognac sauce (1,450 baht); Marseille-styled fish Bouillabaisse (1,600 baht); and baked turbot on the bone with brown butter Bearnaise (2,900 baht) represent the popular main dishes.

Giving the meal a perfect end is apple tarte tatin with Calvados ice cream and caramel sauce (390 baht); and crepe Suzette with orange butter sauce and vanilla ice cream (390 baht).

Bistrot de La Mer opens daily, noon to 3pm and 5-10pm.

WaQ Yakiniku at Asiatique

The latest outlet of the 12-year-old yakiniku brand was launched last week at the open-air mall to offer diners a tabletop BBQ sensation by the Chao Phraya River.

As the word wa means Japan and gyu means cow, WaQ is known for serving prime-quality Japanese beef.

The restaurant is popular for its all-you-can-order offerings with a wide range of pricing options to cater to different budgets.

However, there's also a la carte menu for buffet-shy diners. The a la carte selection is also a special showcase of pure-blood Japanese beef including Hitachi A5 Wagyu from Ibaraki Prefecture.

The buffet menu, meanwhile, boasts red meat from Australia, USA and New Zealand, such as Maruta Wagyu brisket cubes; Wagyu saikoro; tsubo square ribs; karubi short rib; Black Angus rib-eye; premium beef tongue; and bone-in lamb rib.

Adding an oceanic touch to the grilling fun is a selection of seafood including large river prawns, salmon, scallops and mussels.

Prices for the buffet range from 499 baht, 699 baht and 899 baht to 1,299 baht per person. The prices include unlimited servings of all types of meat and seafood in the selected package as well as rice, vegetables, soup, dipping sauces, condiments and ice cream.

WaQ Yakiniku opens daily, 10am- 9pm.

Shabu Nashi

Opened last month on the lower-ground floor of Erawan Bangkok is the city's newest upscale nabemono restaurant, Shabu Nashi.

The 36-seater, a venture by some of Thailand's beef-loving gastronomes, showcases Japan's top-tier Wagyu beef through a "swish-and-dip" hotpot experience.

Guests are seated at the dining counter surrounding the centre kitchen while meals are offered in an individual set.

Each set includes a duo of appetisers, a 150g portion of beef or pork, assorted fresh vegetables, Japanese rice or udon noodles and a dessert.

The collection of meat is selected by an in-house beef master upon the season's best produce. The current choices range from the rarely-available, highly-marbled Sendai A5 Wagyu (2,050 baht) and Furano A5 Wagyu (1,650 baht) from Hokkaido to Kuroge F1 Wagyu, a half-half blend of Wagyu and Black Angus (1,250 baht) from Iwate.

Also on offer are local rib-eye beef (850 baht) and, for those who don't eat beef, kurobuta pork (650 baht) from premium farms in Thailand.

To ensure visual grace and heavenly palatability, the meats are served in extraordinarily expansive slices. House-concocted soup and dipping sauces provide the meat with a great complement.

Shabu Nashi opens Tuesday to Sunday, 11.30am-2pm and 5-9pm.

Do you like the content of this article?