This Suan Plu institution still packs in the punters looking for a cheap, but consistently decent, French meal.
Uncle John is a place you want to tell people about but then don’t because you don’t want them spoiling it. The concept is simple but inspiring. A Thai chef who works in the gleaming kitchens of one of the top 5 star hotels in Bangkok but by night comes back to this very simple shophouse (seriously, the trip to the bathroom is like a Thai horror film) and recreates all the dishes he serves during the day using little more than a simple stove and at a fraction of the prices. It’s fine dining without the frills. And if that means we can enjoy a tasty lobster bisque flambé that’s packed with meat for B109, then we can do without the chandeliers and maître d’. It is a surreal experience enjoying yellow fin tuna salad (B329) with melt in the mouth pieces of fish and a delightful balsamic dressing while drinking a bottle of Leo on a rickety wooden stool. To be fair, Uncle John has gone a little upmarket since he first opened, closing off the interior to create an air-con space that seats around 20 and painting the walls a very bright orange. But you can still watch in awe as he stands out front with just a flame stove and small convection oven to whip up dishes like duck with berry and orange sauce (B229). The duck is nicely pink and fatty and the sauce is a combination of tart and sweet, making you wonder how he does it. Pastas like the pasta piccante pork (B129) are equally good, with a fiery sauce coating the al dente pasta and juicy pork loin. Dessert is limited to a crepe suzette with vanilla ice cream (B109) but it’s a delicious balance of thin crepe and a sweet, tart sauce. Uncle John is already a victim of his own success. His restaurant is not the secret it once was, which means it gets very busy almost every night of the week. Service is chaotic as a result and waits can be very, very long as Uncle John cooks everything himself. But we think they’re small prices to pay to enjoy such a unique experience and the chance to enjoy the dishes of a man who is so passionate about cooking.Corkage charge is TB50
|Uncle John, 279/2 Suanphlu Soi 8, Bangkok, Thailand
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