We heard that there was a new French restaurant on Thonglor. What even made it more fascinating was that chef Chalee Kader was the former chef for the French Embassy for several years. With a resume like that…we had to try the place out.
The restaurant is called Surface. The restaurant is in a 1950's house. The house itself has been nicely renovated.
It is actually complicated to find Surface if you are driving. Long story short. The official address of the restaurant is on Sukhumvit soi 53 at the end of the soi. But when you get to the end of the soi, its a dead end…with no sight of the restaurant (you have to walk in further and you will find the restaurant…no cars are allowed). So; you will be asking yourself…'what the hell?' which we did when we first tried to find Surface. What we had to do was find the huge parking lot on Thonglor soi 11 (the parking lot is connected to the back of the restaurant).
When we entered the restaurant from the parking side; we were greeted with a long wooden terrace filled with loungey 1950's inspired chairs & tables. The lighting was nicely placed and they gave a good glow & ambiance to the place.
There is inside and outside dinning and we chose to eat outside. The view from our table was the loungey day beds in the garden…on top of that there is an official 'vegetable garden' with herbs and veggies they are growing to use in their dishes. Very nice touch.
My friend's starter was the Salmon tartare...Scottish salmon with cognac, capers, shallots, herbs and mustard oil (340 baht). The salmon was fresh, the dressing was too creamy for my liking but it was tasty anyhow and it was nicely hand chopped into chunky pieces. The dish had the right balance of acidity & saltiness. A good dish.
My starter was the Calamari farcies…stuffed calamari with black risotto on a bed of ratatouille and spinach (280 baht). The calamari farcies was very good. We liked the idea and it was well executed. The calamari was fresh, soft & tender. The risotto stuffing had a very nice taste and it added extra texture to the dish. But…I was very disappointed in being only served three pieces of calamari….hmmmmm!
My friend's main dish was the Bouillabaise…combination of fresh seafood of the day in a warm fish broth with saffron (420 baht). The seafood was very fresh; soft & tender…all cooked perfection. The broth had a lovely taste to it. But…as a main dish; it was a very small amount. Or do we just eat a lot???
My main dish was the Tongue and Cheek…braised ox tongue and veal cheek in a sauce Bordelaise (350 baht). A very interesting combination and that is why I ordered. The tongue and cheek were cooked perfectly. Both were very tender and the sauce added the perfect touch to the dish. But…one slice of tongue and veal cheek??? Now that is pushing it!
We were still hungry after our starters and main dishes so we decided to share another main dish; the Roast game hen…the game hen was stuffed with chorizo risotto marinated in sage & rosemary (320 baht). The game hen was cooked very nicely; slightly crispy on the outside and soft & tender on the inside. Nothing wrong with this dish…expect that this was a very skin game hen.
For dessert; we shared the Chocolate fondant (190 baht). The chocolate fondant had a very rich chocolate flavor…its a good sign that they are using good chocolate in their desserts. The texture was soft & gooey (a nice thing).
Another view from our table…the front entrance of the restaurant from the dead end soi that I mentioned earlier and the lovely veggie garden.
Another view from our table of the outside dinning area.
Overall; Surface has some very nice aspects about it. The house is very nice…it was renovated with good taste. The decor is simple 1950's inspired and it is done well. The lighting is done so well that anyone looks good. The garden is a good addition with the day beds (though I would never sit in them) and I really like the veggie garden…cute.
The service needs a bit of help. They were not friendly but they were not unfriendly…so I guess no personality what-so-ever. They were never there when we needed them, such as when we needed the menu to order more food or more water. We had to keep asking them to pour our wine; so we finally asked them to leave the bottle of wine on the table so we can serve ourselves. And try asking for the check-bill…hmmmm!
The only fault I can find is that the portions are so damn small. Ok, Ok, I am known to have a big appetite (known as the black hole), but I am not exaggerating here when we had to order more food because the portions are so small. Maybe this is the concept of the restaurant; which is to give small tasting dishes…then I will not complain and just eat before we come back the next time.
The prices are really reasonable…but that might have to do with the concept of serving small portions. I will have to ask the chef one day.
Address: 107 Sukhumvit soi 53