BANGKOK RESTAURANT

Islero

A former chef de cuisine from El Bulli helped compose the defiantly Spanish menu at this swish new Wireless Rd. restaurant. 

3
Average: 3 (1 vote)
Straddling both sides of the Spanish food divide, this bistro-like eatery on the ground floor of a busy office building offers both cutting-edge culinary techniques—spherical olives, foam cheese—and the hearty peasant food of traditional Spain. Former El Bulli chef de cuisine Eduard Bosch’s menu is ably executed by chef-couple Emiliano Alvarellos and Iliana Karagkiozi in a well-appointed dining room that feels comfortable without teetering into pretension.
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
This review took place in March 2017 and is based on a visit to the restaurant without the restaurant's knowledge. For more on BK's review policy, click here.
 
Venue Details
Address: Islero, Athenee Tower, 63 Wireless Rd., Bangkok, Thailand
Phone: 02-168-8100
Website: www.facebook.com/IsleroBangkok
Area: Ploenchit
Cuisine: Spanish
Price Range: BBB
Open since: February, 2016
Opening hours: daily 5-10pm
Parking available
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