Herve Frerard is one of the rare French chefs to have won the hearts of Bangkokians.
Herve Frerard is one of the rare French chefs to have won the hearts of Bangkokians. He doesn't shy from hearty, rustic dishes like the baked morteau sausage served with a rich tomato lentil sauce and terrine de pot au feu alongside bistro classics like bouillabaisse and sole meunière. He also uses many fresh, high-quality ingredients imported directly from France, and makes the most of his involvement with the Royal Projects.
The buzz: Following an agonizing six-month wait, Francophile foodies can celebrate the return of this gastronomic institution and its renowned chef, Herve Frerard. After closing its previous home in Asoke earlier this year, Le Beaulieu finally opens the doors of its new bistro style venue in the swanky lobby of the Athenee Tower office complex. There’s also the added bonus of a soon to open al fresco tapas, cigar and wine bar, for those who don’t want the full-on dining experience but still want to rub shoulders with the city’s movers and shakers.
The decor: Now sat in one corner of an opulent, gleaming lobby, they’ve managed to retain the lofty vibe of the original venue with this double height space. With a design created by local architect Sumeth Sukapanotharam, who’s also a partner, and influenced by a touch of feng shui, the general vibe is intimate but very polished, with lots of dark wood and cream. The space is dominated by a central brown spiral staircase that reaches up to the mezzanine level and two private rooms, featuring long rustic dining tables, while a tall chaotic painting featuring a crowd of caricatures, including Frerard, peers down on all the diners. In one corner, a large stainless steel bar leads to a semi-open kitchen and the final private room containing the chefs table, where you can enjoy a picnic-style dining experience. Outside will eventually feature a high bar serving tapas which should be complete by early December.
The food: Resolutely French and with a bistro vibe it covers classic entrees like chicken liver pate (B480), soups and consommés (such as their famous Boullibase, B490) and then offers mains split between land and sea. There are definitely plenty of hearty, rustic options like the baked morteau sausage served with a rich tomato lentil sauce (B950), terrine de pot au feu (a pot au feu being a big pot of boiled veggies and meat here transformed into a delicate terrine) or the bone marrow on the grill (B450). In short, simple dishes using high quality ingredients imported direct from France or making the most of the chef’s involvement with the Royal Projects in Thailand. They do also plan on creating a set menu for lunch in the not too distant future. For now, there are no desserts, just some baked cheese options like aged camembert and fine calvados (B490) but if you must have a sweet hit, then they do have a small café and patisserie outside where you can pick up a lemon tart (B120) or a ganache.
The crowd: Such understated refinement and taste doesn’t come cheap and the crowd reflects this. Even though it’s a soft opening the downstairs is already filling up with the hi-so crowd and power brokers dropping by for lunch.
|Address:||Le Beaulieu, G/F, Athenee Office Tower, 63 Wireless Rd., Bangkok, 10330 Thailand|
|Open since:||November, 2012|
|Opening hours:||daily 10:30am-2pm, 5:30-10pm|
|Parking available, Dress requirements: Smart Casual|
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