BANGKOK RESTAURANT

Comptoir Eiffel

A new name but similar focus on French classics with occasional twists. 

In early May, Le Petit Zinc Sukhumvit changed management and turned into Comptoir Eiffel.

With a casual yet romantic ambience, this Paris-style bistro serves up French classics with occasional twists.

Start off with the salmon tartar and avocado (B290), followed by grilled salmon with mango sauce and mixed vegetables (B490) or a heartier dish like the herb-crusted rack of lamb with spinach and mashed potatoes (B660).

Lunch sets are available at B350, with a main and a choice of starter or dessert. 


There’s clearly a French Revolution afoot on the streets of Bangkok. An obvious return to the basics that have led to innumerable bistros serving simple French favorites (with varying degrees of authenticity) that the masses can just about afford. Le Petit Zinc certainly scores high on the authentic front, with its veritable French ownership—you are greeted with a bonsoir—and some suitably traditional recipes. The pleasant space also manages to capture the right mood for bistro-dining, light and airy but with just enough little details, like the art deco glass mezzanine, to ensure it doesn’t lose its warmth. Service is also warm, if a little haphazard sometimes, especially when they get busy on the weekend. The food is pretty classic French and in many ways this can be both its strength and weakness. If you’re already a fan of French food then you’ll have pretty fixed views of what a terrine campagnarde with duck and green pepper (B190) should taste like. And while the Le Petit Zinc is nice and coarse, we just prefer ours more moist. In the same way, the magret de carnard (B390) while pink and juicy, is never going to be able to compete with a version enjoyed in a village square in Provence (but hey, it is cheap). The other weakness with French cooking in Bangkok is how it can potentially seem a little bland, certainly for those with a taste for spices. The tartiflette (potatoes with lots cheese and bacon B390) we had as a special on our last visit was, again, well executed, but is never going to set the pulse racing. Desserts are also a mixed bag, with the tarte tartin and vanilla ice cream (B160) a real disappointment, the ice cream too solid with the actual apple tart stodgy and slightly burned. The crème brule (B160) is better, though, nice and creamy with a good crisp topping, although it’s also clear from its cool temperature that the sugar is not been freshly browned. It’s a shame because we applaud the attitude and ambition of the owners; and we genuinely like the space itself, and the free digestif at the end of the meal. It’s certainly a place we would return to, with the decent prices and nice wine selection making it a solid bistro option—just not one we’d want to head across town for.

The buzz: In early May, Le Petit Zinc Sukhumvit changed management and turned into Comptoir Eiffel after one of the business partners, Michel Maziere, bought it out and decided he wanted to take the restaurant in a more refined direction. Despite the change of name, you can still expect to find French classics with occasional twists.
 
The décor: This 40-seat French affair resembles an intimate, family-friendly restaurant in the day time; however at night, it becomes a cozy, sexy and intimate venue for couples to go on a romantic date. The scene is set by dark wooden furniture, black and maroon wallpaper, big blackboards bearing the lengthy wine list and daily specials, and dim candlelight.
 
The food: Still sticking to its Parisian bistro concept, Comptoir Eiffel offers classics such as French onion soup (B190) and the homemade confit de canard (duck confit with roasted potatoes and green beans, B510). Innovative touches can be found in starters like the panseared bloc and port-flavored terrine of foie gras (B390), and tartar of fresh salmon with avocado (B290). For the main course, we recommend the hearty rack of lamb with herb crust, spinach and mashed potatoes (B660) or you can go light and clean with the freshgrilled salmon and warm mango dressing with mixed vegetables (B480). Desserts, too, range from the heavy to the light, such as the popular chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream (B250) or the Parisian cheese cake with seasonal fruits and whipped cream (B230). End you meal with the cheese plate, consisting of native French cheeses like camembert, Saint Nectaire and reblochon, starting at B310. Lunch sets are also available starting at B350 with a main and a choice of starter or dessert.
 
The drinks: Quality yet affordable wines, mostly French, that rarely go over B1,000 per bottle. By the glass, try the Cotes du Rhone Delas Saint Espirit (B200/glass), a medium- bodied red wine.
 
The crowd: Beyond the French expats, you can expect a smattering of Japanese housewives.
Venue Details
Address: Comptoir Eiffel, 110/1 Sukhumvit Soi 23, Bangkok, Thailand
Phone: 02-259-3033
Website: www.comptoireiffel.com
Area: Phrom Phong
Cuisine: French
Price Range: BBB
Opening hours: daily 11:30am-3pm, 6-11pm
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