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Eating out

Flavours of love

A new French-style bistro in a popular three-star hotel off Phaholyothin Soi 3 offers great eats at reasonable prices



Tucked away down Phaholyothin Soi 3, not far from Sanam Pao BTS station, is the Vic3, a popular family-run three-star hotel that has been receiving rave reviews on traveller websites.

The hotel is also home to the Love Eat Bistro, run by veteran entrepreneur Nichaya "Nan" Phahusutr, a member of the family who owns the hotel, and the lady behind the popular Japanese premium ice cream brand B Naturale Soft Cream Bar Tokyo at Siam Paragon and Tate eatery in Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Nichanan took over the hotel coffeeshop a while back and transformed the dining area into a cosy space with a French bistro ambience offering breakfast, lunch and dinner - and everything in between - to 100 guests at any time of day.

There's a comfortable bar with outside seating as well as a Sweet Treat corner to feast on pasties and ice cream.

"We didn't have a very big budget when we were renovating so we used old tables and chairs and recovered the seats with new textiles. It's given the space a very cosy look, which I think works well," says Nichanan.

Dishes are healthy and home-made with a focus on Thai, Asian and European recipes. Nichanan's presentation is modern but the flavours are strictly traditional and the ingredients are prime quality. Her pork comes from the black Berkshire pigs (kurobuta) raised in Japan, her beef from Australia and her fish from the local Thai market.

"Most of the Thai dishes are based on my family's southern recipes. We use freshly grated coconut and we make curry from scratch ourselves to keep the traditional flavours. Our Phuket spring rolls are filled with yam-bean instead of bean vermicelli and served with sweet red sauce while our Japanese curry is made with smoked bacon and minced pork for more aroma and a better taste," Nichanan explains. "We focus on innovative presentation too. For example, we serve food with wooden tableware like cutting board, spoons and tongs."

For dinner, I try Pesto-Mozzarella cheesy rolls, filled with Italian pesto sauce, shrimp and mozzarella cheese, served with tomato salsa for Bt245 and spicy home-made, southern-style yellow crab curry for Bt450.

My companion is tempted by the double boiled beef stew in green curry and Thai herbs (Bt205) but settles for a tender Kurobuta pork chop that's served with caper & rosemary cream sauce, rocket salad and sauteed herbed potatoes for Bt440. We'd both like to try the six-inches BBQ pork spareribs but instead opt for dessert - a waffle tower that's crispy on the outside and soft on the inside soaked in maple syrup and served with Madagascar vanilla ice cream and strawberry compote for Bt225.

The counter bar offers a range of interesting cocktails including the "Love Eat All Around", which is served in a small carafe and kept well chilled in an ice bucket. Priced at Bt280 and best sipped slowly, it's is a blend of rum, vodka, kahlua, triple sec, lime juice, syrup, cranberry juice and grenadine. My choice, "Served with Pride" (Bt230) is refreshing though with a definite spicy kick fro the red and green chillies that garnish the light rum, lemon grass, kaffir lime leaf and lime juice mix.

Wines from France, Chile, New Zealand, Australia and Italy are available both by the glass and bottle along with coffee by Illy and matcha green tea.

GO HUNGRY

Love Eat Bistro is situated on the ground floor of Vic3 Bangkok Hotel on Phaholyothin Soi 3. It's open daily from 6am to 11pm. Call (02) 618 9888, (090) 994 1030 or visit www.LoveEatBistro.com.


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