This small restaurant takes after New York-style gastro bars, serving New American cuisine and creative cocktails in a 1920s atmosphere.
The story goes that the owners of Little Beast loved the vibe at Hotel Muse so much they hired the same designers, PIA Interior Company, to fit out their own rather smaller two-story shophouse. But while this gastro bar’s décor takes most of its cues from 1920s New York (a trend that has well and truly inundated the city), the moodily lit space, with its burgundy couches, elegant bar and industrial accents, exudes an understated class that transcends any kitsch.
The menu, too, with its nods to nose-to-tail eating (they recently offered up a full lamb), creative cocktails and emphasis on rich, homely French-tinged New American cuisine, manages to tick the boxes of practically all of Bangkok’s dining trends—but, again, they were among the first to do these and they do them all very, very well.
The food, courtesy of a chef trained at the respected Culinary Institute of America, comes in “tapas-style” portions designed for sharing—listed as either “bites” or “small dishes,” though servings are actually quite generous—and regular off-the-menu specials.
For starters, the homemade charcuterie plate (B120-B300) lets you sample from terrine, pate and rillettes, but it’s the fennel and chicken sausage, with its bursts of herby flavor, that sets the bar highest. The roasted pumpkin and goat cheese tart (B280), a delicious coalescing of flavors, with a texture that’s almost flan-like atop a crumbly seven-grain crust, matches these high standards. Likewise, the seared duck breast (B420) gets the balance just right; the crispy saltiness of the duck skin elevated by the accompanying bed of vanilla-infused apple and pickled grapes.
Only in this esteemed company does the 15-hour lamb shoulder (B350) seem a touch underwhelming. Though just as exquisitely prepared and presented, it lacks the depth of the other dishes, with the accompanying ginger carrot coulis, and warm barley and mushroom salad, refreshing rather than remarkable.
Dessert gets things right back on theme, though. The popular homemade ice cream sandwiches (B150 for three), available in chocolate chip, peanut butter and snickerdooodle (cinnamon-sugar cookies), are a fun, more-ish way to roll back the years. Even better is the banana pudding (B150), a mass of banoffee, banana brulee, and caramel rice crispies that manages to feel almost healthy.
With a menu derived from the owners’ favorite dishes when they all lived in New York, attentive service and a kitchen that combines inventiveness with serious know-how, Little Beast takes what’s cool right now and imbues it with a refreshingly personal warmth. Corkage B500 (wines), B1,000 (spirits).
|Address:||Little Beast, 44/9-10 Thonglor Soi 13, Bangkok, Thailand|
|Open since:||June, 2012|
|Opening hours:||Tue-Sat 5:30pm-1am; Sun 11am-3pm|
|Reservation recommended, Parking available, Takeaway available|
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