Islero takes on the traditional end of Spanish cuisine and presents it in a contemporary style.
This goes for the decor—warm and bistro-referencing yet sophisticated—and the menu, which does hearty classics alongside some El Bulli-worthy tweaks. The connection to the defunct restaurant, for many years considered the world’s best one, is real. Eduard Bosch, a former chef de cuisine there, consulted on Islero’s menu: hence the “spherical olives” (a burst of olive flavor that explodes in your mouth, B80) and idiazobal foam cheese (B220).
The overall tone though is much less esoteric: Iberico ham croquettes (B480), grilled octopus tentacles (B460) served with beans in Castilian stew, baked fish fillet with potatoes and almonds (B680) and the highlight Josper-grilled, Segovian-style, crispy-skinned suckling pig (B3,990 for a half pig).
Execution is consistently excellent. The shrimp carpaccio (B480) may boggle the mind (it’s not the easiest critter to turn into razor thin slices), but the flavors are bright and clear, the avocado vinaigrette bringing a Mexican touch. The tomato salad (B320) sees a handful of ripe, flavorful varieties diced and plated under a cloud of cumin foam, with an olive juice (yes, juice) dressing to die for.
Service, however friendly, leads to way too much waving, cluelessness and unavailable wines (despite a lovely menu). We could live with that if the cheapest “from the land” main weren’t B650, the others B1,150-1,300. Those prices also contribute to the expectation that Islero is out to reinvent fine dining in Bangkok. It isn’t. Instead, it is a highly competent bistro with real personality. Corkage B600