L’APPART – INTRODUCING CHEF NICOLAS BASSET
Bangkok Foodies Review – Introducing Chef Nicolas Basset
I’ve always loved L’appart Restaurant, the incredible view, the intimate spaces, the luscious French home-decor yet I found the concept “L’appart” (Apartment in French), didn’t particularly make me want to sit and relax for hours as if in my own or a friend’s home. A little too ‘cold’? A little too pricey? A little too uptight maybe?
But it matters a lot less now that things are changing up, starting with the new and bright young rising chef, Nicolas Basset, whom I recall as Grand Hyatt Erawan’s previous Sous chef of 3 years. Now Nicolas has secured the title of Executive Sous Chef of Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit and Chef of L’Appart.
With a new chef, comes a new menu and new possibilities. The one page menu now offers sharing dishes and tapas at more affordable prices, along with traditional French fare. The layout at L’appart has also been re-arranged to encourage a more sociable atmosphere which seems to be working to their advantage.
We start our menu journey with the Bon Bon Oxtail, which was excellent! Just what the doctor ordered. The Oxtail tender and bursting with deep meaty flavour, and the crumbed shell was executed to that light and crispy perfection. The Tuna Tartare with Lemongrass and Vinaigrette (390THB) was a pleasant hint of fusion, although I wished there were much more of it.
The Coco Scallop (590THB) presented beautifully, with fat toasted Scallops immersed in a half coconut. This French take on our beloved Tom Kha Kung will have you scraping out any left-over goodies along with the fresh coconut meat.
We were let down a little with the Smoked Atlantic Octopus (690THB), which was cooked delightfully but found the Black Garlic Aioli was too bitter and earthy in contrast. Something more in-line with the produce, like black-ink paste may have been a better alternative. Also the Soya Glazed Pork Belly (790THB) was quite salty, but beside the over-seasoning, the taste and texture of pork was sensational.
Lastly, the Phuket Pineapple with Tahini Vanilla (for 2) which they flambe was da absolute bomb!
Rich, smoky, aromatic, sour and sweet but not too sweet. If you’re a fresh fruit dessert lover you need to come by just for this. This special treat for only 380THB, considering the size and quality, is unbeatable.
We left L’appart feeling highly content. But what I’d love to see is more ‘pop’ of colour, as the menu palette was mostly brown, white and muted tones.
I’m also eager to try Nicolas’s contemporary French cuisine. The Tasmanian Lamb with Quinoa, Smoked Aubergine and Pine Nut and the Rossini Tenderloin with Truffle Jus, was sitting on the pass (for someone else), tormenting me with all its decadent deliciousness.
The new role that Nicolas has stepped in is a fairly big one, so there’s understandably some teething period to consider. What I truly appreciate is that you can taste his acute send of the multicultural palate, such as the Coco Scallop and Flambe Pineapple. I believe with more fine tuning and focus on what makes diners ‘tick’, I have no doubt that Chef Nicolas will bring the whole new, fresh and exciting perspective we’ve long been waiting for.