The restaurant's slick new venue takes a wood roasting and barbecuing focus.
When the first Quince opened in 2012, it sparked a new generation of well-heeled but casual Bangkok restaurants where the napkins were made out of sacking and the plates were piled high with bone marrow, local meats and seasonal vegetables.
Now it’s back, only with a sleek new mid-century look of teal, velvet, leather and teak as part of property developer Sansiri’s uber-stylish “Siri House” complex (imagine a Soho House members club but tucked down a posh Bangkok side street and you’re getting there).
Chef Charlie Jones has been with Quince for a while now, and rejoins them at the new branch with an updated menu that relies heavily on the open kitchen’s imposing new wood-fired oven.
Try the deliciously soft barbecue octopus (B310) with Jerusalem artichoke ajo blanco (a Spanish cold soup which in this instance is served almost spreadably thick), followed by the hearty, wood-roasted coquelet (a young chick served whole, B750) or 200g wagyu bavette steak (B910).
Credit: Quince Facebook
On a buzzing Saturday night, Quince is a hi-so hub of well-heeled patrons dressed to impress. Gone are the farmhouse flourishes of the former Sukhumvit Soi 45 branch, replaced with sleek yet somewhat characterless mid-century furnishings, midnight blue walls, burnished golds and warm, dim lighting, plus an open kitchen. The look is borrowed from its popular younger sibling in Saigon, where a nascent fine-dining scene puts it at the top of the game. Yet, in Bangkok’s fiercely competitive climate, spectacular service and flashy interiors aren’t enough to soften the blow of inconsistency; having been swept away by the supremely tender BBQ Baby Octopus (B330) at the Saigon branch, we were disappointed to find it here slightly overcooked and chewy.
Forgiveness can be found in the wonderfully refreshing BBQ Chiang Mai Figs (B360), served on a bed of light and creamy stracciatella with honey, crunchy nut brittle and fresh mint. Another hit, the Roast Cauliflower (B310) offers a deliciously light reinterpretation of cauliflower cheese, served charred and whole with a huge side bowl of mouth-watering cold Comte cheese cream, with added crunch from the herb crumb sprinkled on top.
Hefty portions continue in the Wood Roasted Prosun Farm Coquelet (B830)—a tender whole baby chicken stuffed with smoking hay, which gives off a lovely bonfire scent as it arrives at the table. Though the dish comes with a huge side salad of roasted baby carrots, new potatoes and greens, it was unfortunately soaked in an ungodly amount of dressing—a regular theme with the mains we ordered. Cooked very much on the rarer side of medium rare, (luckily we like it that way) the 400-day grass-fed 200g Stanbroke Wagyu Onglet Steak (B980) was soft and tender, but not particularly stand-out, save for the thoughtful trio of condiments it came with (whiskey mustard, tarragon mustard and nam jim jaew).
With its mix of bitterly dark chocolate sorbet, velvety Vietnamese chocolate mousse, salted caramel hazelnut puree and texture from cocoa “soil,” the Chocolate and Hazelnut (B210) dessert offered a satisfying finish, whereas the slightly-too-eggy Blueberry Clafouti (B240) didn’t quite match up.
Though you can order cocktails from Jacqueline (the bar upstairs), we found them to be uninspiring, easy-drinking affairs—A Day in Newport (B360) mixes lychee, lavender, lime and Prosecco for something refreshing but without finesse. We recommend sticking to the thoughtful but extensive wine list instead—try the 2017 Claude Riffault, Sancere Boucards, Loire (B2,400).
With dishes quite hit and miss, it might take a few visits to Quince before managing to perfect your order, though we’re confident there’s a magic formula in there somewhere—especially if you focus your attention on the sides and starters. We’d certainly give it another shot.
|Quince, Siri House, 14/2 Som Khit, Bangkok, Thailand
|French, International, Mediterranean, Western
|BBB - BBBB
|Reservation recommended, Parking available, Dress requirements: Smart Casual, Late night
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