Being partial to fondue, and to the meticulous Swiss restaurateurs in this town, we expected Café Swiss to be an efficient and comforting, if not exactly gourmet, dining experience. It isn’t either of those things. It does have that vague polish—the maroon tablecloths, the bread baskets, the uniformed staff—but the fact is the food is cutting way too many corners.
The “classic Lausanne-style” (yeah, right) Neufchatel fondue (B945) is horribly milky, the Gruyere and Emmental seemingly replaced or watered down by some other dairy product of unknown origin. It’s served with fries on top of some half-decent bread, which is almost a pleasant surprise given how bad the stuff in the aforementioned bread basket is. The asparagus soup, too, disappoints. Bland and watery, it does at least seem to be homemade.
In fact, we’d argue Café Swiss is actually trying—it just ends up being terrible despite its very best efforts. Staff, who routinely disappear completely, or loiter about in the most inaccessible corners, are smiling and caring when you do get lucky enough to encounter them. And produce does look reasonably fresh, such as in the fairly decent rack of lamb (B690) and its sautéed seasonal vegetables (a partially grilled tomato).
Where Café Swiss seems to have gone horribly wrong is through excessive cost-cutting. We pictured the Emmental salad (B190) with hearty chunks of nutty, flavorful Swiss cheese. Instead, a sparse sprinkling of grated cheese is dusted lightly onto some bland greens. The glass of house wine (B200) really stretches the definition of what we’d consider wine. And while we haven’t explored the lengthy Thai selection (why would anyone come here for Thai food?), we do have some experience with the pasta, at least in its lunch buffet form (B259), and it too is as pedestrian as it gets.
Come to think of it Café Swiss reminds us a bit of Took Lae Dee. But while Took Lae Dee serves dirt-cheap international dishes for those looking for a vague, semi-convincing Western fix at Thai prices, the plus plus bill at Café Swiss adds up very differently. As such, and in a neighborhood like this blessed with dining venues, we find it hard to see why anyone would ever want to eat here.
|Address:||Café Swiss, Silom Soi Convent, Bangkok, Thailand|
|Price Range:||BB - BBB|
|Opening hours:||daily 6am-midnight|
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