Grottino—the “little grotto”—has a façade that’s actually made to look like you’re entering a Swiss mountain, albeit a very small one made of grayish papier-mâché. Inside, the décor is fittingly cavernous, with big round tables and enough wood to build a small chalet. The menu makes forays into Italy (and even Thailand) but sticks mostly to Confoederatio Helvetica favorites: cheese and meats. It’s not the lightest food, and the kitchen’s hand isn’t particularly deft, but the specialties where the produce does all the heavy lifting are true to form. The beef goulash (B340), for example, comes with slightly dry pieces of meat, chewy dumplings and an uninspired sauce. The veal sausage with roesti (a kind of hash brown, B310) is similarly tedious, and its onion sauce also fails to lift the spirits. But, hey, will you ever bother to explore the depths of Grottino’s menu? Because when it comes to vats of cheese and deep-fried beef, the restaurant is one of the top places in town. The moitie-moitie Fribourgeoise cheese fondue (B1,450 for 800g/3-4 persons), which is half-Gruyere and half-Vacherin cheese, makes for creamy, gooey goodness and comes with very decent bread (Grottino has its own bakery, a bit like German restaurant Bei Otto; and rooms, too, in case you’ve had too much Swiss wine—Fendant, B1,680.) The fondue Bourguignone (another Swiss classic despite the name, B1,680 for two) is similarly satisfying. You get a plate piled with chunks of excellent Aussie beef that look like plump sushi, dip them into hot oil, and if the cooking isn’t perfect, you only have yourself to blame. The raclette has to be ordered as individual plates (B360 for 150g), making it an expensive addiction, but it, too, is quite possibly the best in town. For dessert, you can skip the menu’s offerings and order straight from the bakery, where they competently execute such pastry classics as millefeuille (the “Grottino vanilla slice,” B50). If solid food isn’t your only concern, Grottino’s décor does make Swiss rival Chesa’s standalone house look like a veritable palace in comparison. But service is pretty polished, a la Suisse, and the owner is often present to make sure it all runs like clockwork. Corkage B200.
|Address:||Grottino, 19/9-10 Sukhumvit Soi 19, Bangkok, Thailand|
|Opening hours:||daily 6am-10pm|
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