It is perhaps already far too entrenched in the past for most of us to recreate the poetic yet tumultuous setting of early 20th century Paris. Us, a society which blessed with the advent of technology have grown so accustomed to it, that we take it for granted. It is perhaps also difficult to portray the uniqueness and the significance that food had back in the day, when mass production and distribution didn’t bring every type of cuisine to everyone’s reach. But in the beauty of its irony, a brasserie at the heart of Bangkok’s nightlife street has recreated this feeling.
Walking into the Brasserie Cordonnier is stepping into a time capsule to the past, where food, philosophy, poetry and architecture mesh to make dining an unforgettable experience. The HOT Magazine team had the pleasure to spend an evening at this restaurant, where we were treated to a fantastic culinary experience.
We started off with drinks, which would set the standard for the remainder of the evening. First came With Love from Monet. Not your regular kind of drink. But then again, none at this stylish place are.
Served in a hip flask next to a tub of lime-based jelly and a thin paintbrush, this whisky-based negroni represented the folly of artists back in the day, who gathered in these rustic bistros to drink, chat and let their imagination fly before putting thoughts to canvas. The idea resides in painting your cocktail, by dipping the brush in the lime solution and decorating the edge of the glass. Smokey and bearing a strong punch, it embodied discrete hints of liquorice complemented by the lime.
Lumière was the next cocktail. Tangy and refreshing, it was served within the confines of a hollowed-out lightbulb, with the tradition being that whoever drinks it is to be photographed with an instant camera, a portrait later added to the wall behind the bar if the client doesn’t want it.
Soon came the food, which started with the Terrine de Foie Gras façon Cordonnier. This delicate appetiser consisted of home-mage foie gras and toasted brioche with grape chutney topped by grape slices. The creamy texture of the fresh foie gras was fantastically coupled with contrast from the grapes, which very beautifully combined with the brioche to bring a perfect balance.
Next would come the Soupe à l’Oignon Gratinée, an impeccable French onion soup which was definitely the highlight of the entrees. Served with baguette and home-made chicken stock, it was creamy, well balanced and soft to the palate, with the gratin emmental cheese stringing off the top and adding a deep smoky flavour.
We’d then move on the Poitrine de Poc Confite, exquisite and tender pieces of pork belly, a house recipe which contained onions and baby potatoes and combined to perfection with the taste of the contrasting red apple.
The Boeuf Bourguignon was the next dish, an incredibly rich and well-prepared beef stew which combined with perfection with the glazed carrots. The permeating taste of the bacon was the perfect companion to the mushroom and the red wine gravy. A truly classic trio.
Then would come the Magret de Canard Poêlé, an incredible delicacy of cherry duck breast seared with mashed potatoes and brown jus. The freshness of the duck combined perfectly with the surprise topping: pan-seared foie gras which provided the perfect balance to the contrasting jus.
The desserts were worth a celebration. First came the incredibly rich Mousse au Chocolat, which along with the chocolate crumble and Chantilly gave it a deep flavour full of character.
Then came the Nougat Glacé Sauce Fruits Rouges, a fantastically crafted dessert containing iced nougat, dried apricots, raspberries, strawberries and grand marnier, all topped with a red berry sauce. The perfect combination of soft and striking flavours made the dish incredibly special, with the citric touches of the fruit doing the beautiful texture of the nougat justice.
But the highlight was without a doubt the Crème Brûlée à la Pistache: an incredible pistachio crème brûlée with beautiful texture, with a caramelised top breaking on the strike of the spoon to reveal a perfectly cooked soft centre. The aroma of this dessert permeated the palate as the creamy flavours of the pistachio base combined with the striking sweetness of the caramel, creating an incredible culinary experience.
The Brassiere Cordonnier is definitely a restaurant worth visiting if one appreciated quality French food. There’s no revolving door, but it was made clear as Camus ones said, that great works are most certainly born within its Parisian confines.
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33/29, 33/30 Sukhumvit Rd. Soi 11 (Chaiyos)