We heard that a new restaurant opened on soi Langsuan. The restaurant is from Chef Gai who used to cook for Le Vendome at All Seasons Place and then she moved to The Deck on the river.
Chef Gai left The Deck to join Alila Hotel in Cha-Am. This is where she met her husband Chef Joel, an Australian who was the head chef of the Alila Group. They married and moved together to Alila Hotel Luang Prabang and worked there for several years. They came back to Bangkok and they just opened...Gai & Joel.
So, we decided to try her new restaurant.
The restaurant is situated where Ember Restaurant used to be. The decor is modern with white & black as the major colours with a hint of gold, blue & purple.
The bread platter with an amuse bouche.
My friend's starter was Soft shell crab. The soft shell crab was deep fried to a dark golden brown. The crab was soft & tender but had loads of flavour.
My starter was Lobster filled ravioli. The three raviolis were nicely made; the skin was not too thick and the lobster stuffing was sufficient. The sauce was thick, rich & creamy. The dish tasted very good but I thought three raviolis were not enough for what the price was for this dish.
(OK, I am sure you are asking what was the price for the raviolis....in my drunken stooper, I forgot to write down the prices of each dish. I totally forgot; I am thinking it was around 450 baht. But, let me confirm that with you very soon. I am checking for the receipt of our bill).
The break between dishes was a Raspberry sorbet.
My starter was Seafood soup. The seafood was very fresh, cooked very nicely and the soup itself was rich in flavour. The soup was a hearty meal.
My friend's starter was Beef tenderloin. The beef was cooked as ordered. The beef was tender and had a good flavour to it.
The complimentary Ice Cream tower. We rarely eat dessert; but Chef Gai was very nice to offer us dessert. The flavours were very creative and the taste of the ingredients were subtle.
Overall; the food was very good. The ingredients were fresh and the dishes were nicely put together. You could tell that the chefs were passionate with the food they are creating and cooking.
Chef Gai and Chef Joel were very friendly and approachable. We asked them lots of questions about the food and they were happy to discuss and explain their food and philosophy of their cooking.
The pricing of the food & wine are on par with most French restaurants in town...a bit on the expensive side. This is due to the import of many of the fresh ingredients. However; (this is just my opinion), there are a lot of very very good ingredients that already exist in Thailand. I am not sure if French restaurants need to always import everything and therefore the prices of the food is out of reach for the majority of people.
I think Gai & Joel as the new restaurant on the block and needs/ wants to attract clientele, I think they might have to adjust some things. For example; give heartier portions so that people can justify the price/ quality ratio. Let them see that they are getting their monies worth. But, then again, what do I know!
The staff needs a bit more training in terms of paying more attention to the customers. For example; the restaurant was empty yet I had to ask for my wine glass to be filled, etc. At the same time, the staff needs to smile just a bit. They were going through the motions but with no emotions.
Finally; the most disturbing aspect of the restaurant was a very foul odor coming from somewhere. At first; we thought it was cheese, but we did not see a cheese cart. Then we thought it was coming from the toilette, but it was not sewer smell. Since the restaurant was just opened a few months; we decided, it might be coming from the floor in terms of a glue they used or whatever treatment of the floor. That is the only guess we could come up with. Whatever it was; it was disturbing and not pleasant. For the sake of the place Gai & Joel notices it and tries to fix it or hopefully it will just disappear.
Address: 99/ 11-12 Langsuan, Balcony Bldg., Bangkok 10330