Stylish new Silom

THE SET-UP

Just when we were positing the strange absence of more higher-end restaurants in the Silom area, Vesper appears on the scene right on queue. Nested among the street food stalls and Silom foot traffic, this European bistro-style eatery takes its name from a drink, a Bond girl and a Latin phrase meaning “evening ritual”, if one reference isn’t enough. The room is shaped like a square, and the low ceiling keeps things cosy (not as low as Eat Me, luckily), particularly towards the back of the room. A similar mood — perhaps a modern take on the tired Zanotti grandeur — can be experienced elsewhere in the city, such as Little Beast in Thong Lor, and we weren’t surprised to hear the co-owning couple at the helm — Choti and Debby — are also involved there. Back here, there’s enough space for 60 diners or so, with some bar stools for the more dedicated drinkers to marvel at the mixology.

Vesper Cocktail Bar & Restaurant

European
10/15 Soi Convent Mon-Fri 11:30am-2pm, Tue-Fri 5:30pm-midnight, Sat-Sun 5:30pm-1am 02-235-2777 www.vesperbar.com

THE MENU

The extensive menu comes courtesy of Chef Luca Appino of Italian staple La Bottega di Luca over in Sukhumvit Soi 49. Generally, it’s a pretty safe spread of familiar Italian classics with some Med departures on the list long enough to reward regular visits. We started with Mini tortillas with burrata & sword fish (B350++), which are (big) bite-sized mouthfuls in which the cheese and fish lose out to the egg. ‘Pulpo galicia’ — roasted octopus (B330) features super-tender marinated octopus bites and a fitting tangy olive and paprika sauce. Pizzetta ‘carbonara’ (B280) is nicely crispy wheat dough and full-throttle topping thanks to the imported lardo strips from Tuscany. Pici with Five Spices Duck Ragu (B340) is served on al dente hand-rolled pasta and would be hard to improve on. Seafood paella (B790 — Medium, B1,290 — Large) is a huge serve of the classic to form. If you have any room left, the classic Churros con chocolate (B290) is a perfect match for a post-meal espresso. Try not to overeat like we did.

Not to be outdone, the drinks are courtesy of London-based consultants taking inspiration from the time the host couple spent in London. They come firmly from the top shelf and ooze class, although are priced accordingly (perhaps the peak of the city). We were particularly taken with the barrel-aged cocktail selection, where the Classic negroni (B380) sits in the wood for six weeks to mellow the bitterness and round things out delicately. Portofino (B420) is cutely served, as is Diplomat’s tea ceremony (B420) — extra points there. The drinks menu then goes onto a mains and desserts sections, edging out the food in terms of interest, but perhaps that’s just us. There’s also a long list of old-world reds on offer (B1,200-B14,200).

INSIDER TIP

As the crowd is mostly Thai which means early sittings, guarantee a table with a later booking. They start taking calls from 3pm every day, so it’s definitely recommended to do so. There are some larger tables too for big groups/families of 10 as well as a high table.

SOCIAL MEDIA MOMENTS

This is old world Europe, not new world everywhere else, so keep your selfies to a minimum. The mood lighting behind the bar, however, would make for a great backdrop as the bartender concocts your potion of choice.

VALUE & VERDICT

While Indigo and Eat Me have held down the eating options on that block for years, some healthy competition is more than welcome, particularly when executed with such style. It’s a little out of our budget to become a regular destination, but will see if the city is willing to pay for what it can now get. The great location in bustling Convent will no doubt ensure plenty of foot traffic for an after-office aperitif, and inevitably more. G

About the author

columnist
Writer: Richard Mcleish
Position: Reporter