If you are a fan of French food; I am sure you have heard of or been to Le Beaulieu. To many foodies in town; it is considered the best French restaurant in town. At the same time Le Beaulieu is the most expensive. We rarely go because it is astronomically expensive. However; we heard that Le Beaulieu had a one starred Michelin guest chef. Of course we needed to try it out.
We were given the table with the best view of the open kitchen. It is always fun to see the action in the kitchen.
There was a special Belgian Dinner menu available; but we decided that we could not eat so many courses, so we decided to order a la carte.
The first starter was North Sea Shrimp Croquettes served on a bed of cressonette and lemon. The croquettes were fried to a deep golden brown and had a nice crispy texture. The North Sea Shrimp filling was more of a purée and had a deep brick red colour and an amazing & intense shrimp flavour. A really nice dish.
The next starter was the Belgian Salad (mâche salad, Abbey cheese, crispy smoked bacon and Belgian beer vinaigrette). I love mâche salad and the only place I could find this salad was at Chesa...so when I do find it I order it right away. The combination of ingredients had nice textures, colours and flavours. The beer vinaigrette was a nice touch and added nice acidity to the salad.
The next starter was Maatjes (young herring marinated at sea). This dish was highly recommended by the chef...so we took his advice. Luckily we did! The herring had nice texture and tasted so so good.
The next starter was Cheese Croquettes (filled with Abbey cheese). the croquettes were deep fried to a light golden brown. Slightly crispy on the outside and soft & gooey on the inside. The Abbey cheese added such lovely flavour to the dish.
The first main dish was Gratinated Belgian Endives rolled in farmer's ham and topped with rich cheese sauce. It is not often that we can get endives in Bangkok, so what a treat this dish was. The texture of the soft endive & ham with the creamy sauce was very nice. The rich and intense flavours coming through every bite.
The next main dish was Steak Tartare. Our friend is addicted to steak tartare; so when he saw this dish on the menu...no surprise, he ordered it. The chopped tenderloin was so fresh and it was perfected herbed & seasoned. A fantastic tasting dish.
The next main dish was Waterzooi à La Gantoise (slow poached chicken breast served with creamed root vegetables). This dish was a rare treat for us in Bangkok...so my friend had to have it. The chicken breast was very tender & juicy and the creamed root vegetables sprinkled dill was an amazing blast of flavours. Very yummy.
The last main dish was Black Mussels cooked with Duvel Beer with Belgian fries and mayonnaise. The mussels were very fresh and tasted very good in the beer sauce. Nothing at all to complain about the mussels. However; the fries that accompanied the mussels were not good at all. The arrived soggy and cold. I really really hate soggy & cold fries. I thought the Belgians were experts at fries. This was disappointing.
The first dessert was Sabayon à La Bière (made with St. Louis Raspberry beer). The desserts for some odd reason were not as good as the starters and main dishes. The sabayon tasted ok but it was not outstanding. We were the last people in the dining room and we ordered the desserts late. Perhaps, they were not happy to make desserts for us; therefore, they turned to be ordinary.
The second dessert was Mousse au Chocolat. The chocolate mousse was also plain and ordinary. We did not finish the dessert.
The dining room of Le Beaulie.
Overall; the food was very very good. Every single dish we had (except the desserts), was executed very well and tasted wonderful. The service was very efficient & professional. The times that we have been able to make it to Le Beaulieu, there is always a buzz because the restaurant is always full of people.
There was ONE BIG SURPRISE to our dinner...we learned later in the evening that there was actually no one starred Michelin chef as a guest chef. Instead, the guest chef was the former chef of the Pan Pacific Hotel in Bangkok who just happened to be Belgian.
Either we heard wrong or someone gave us the wrong information...but, everyone we talked to heard the same story as us...that the guest chef was a one starred Michelin chef.
Anyway; the story about the one starred Michelin guest chef did pack the people into Le Beaulieu.
Sukhumvit Soi 19