Iode is a standout in the new wave of neo-bistro restaurants, or bistronomy, as it’s becoming known. The neo-bistro movement is reimagined, approachable French dining. Departing from decades of culinary traditionalism marked by rigidity and a narrow Francocentric lens, Iode offers a refreshing and forward-thinking approach to French cuisine.
Iode is headed by Chef Franck Le Bayon, a seasoned professional with a background at Cocotte and a five-year stint in Bangkok. His culinary expertise shines through with highlights such as the dry-aged seabream that has become a social media sensation. The restaurant has been heaving every night and weekend since opening in early March—though not without its critics. It’s been called overrated and idiosyncratic, so BK needed to try.
The restaurant’s dusty blue facade captures the eye at the corner of a quiet alleyway, offering al fresco seating for that real Parisian feel. Inside, the dark wood interior is complemented by brass and steel fixtures and mirrors along the walls that create a warm and inviting atmosphere with a hint of fine dining glamor. The chefs in the open kitchen operate lightning quick and as a well-oiled machine.
We ordered the potato dauphine with bearnaise (B250) for small bites—think latkes meet diner hash browns, with an accent. They’re crispy potato puffs made by mixing mashed potatoes with choux pastry and piped out into a shape similarly to churros. The light crispiness easily breaks apart after every bite.
The bao raclette cheese ‘bordier’ (B350) showcases tennis ball-sized buns pulled apart to reveal a string of melted raclette. The puffed buns are served wait-a-minute hot and are perfectly engineered to go with the creamy, salty, nutty raclette cheese, and the cheese is shaved on top and then torched for a melted cheese crust.
The Iode pasta (B1,300) is presented as a medley of seafood, camaron shrimps, uni, cockles, and salicornia. It fell short of our heightened expectations, with flavors being quite blunt and muted uni flavors. Despite its underwhelming nature compared to other dishes, it showcased the fresh, diverse menu synonymous with neo-bistro cuisine.
The labneh kale was grilled and precisely calibrated with a generous dollop of labneh and nduja oil sprinkled with hazelnuts, an essential side for the dry-aged seabream sashimi that can be shared by two.
The dry aged seabream sashimi (B1350), was the pièce de résistance. The more you eat it with the yuzu kosho, the more refreshing it gets. The marinated sea bream with citrus kept the flavors light and bright. The fresh seabream has been dry aged in a controlled temperature tank for 3-4 days, then sliced to make sashimi pieces. It’s served in the whole-body fish form—which looks a little unusual, but photogenic. It’s enhanced by a yuzu kosho dressing that creates a steadying hodgepodge that teams the flavors of French and Japanese. The dish is clean and direct, and the dry aging technique has made it less fishy, and more melt-in-your-mouth umami.
The mochi-style crepe suzette (B390) is a pleasant hybrid of mochi and crepe. Despite the crepe being a bit thick, the play-on chewy textures and buttery and sweet flavors worked well together, and the caramelized citrus kick you get paired with the flambe helps complete the dream.
Sante to Chef Le Bayon for progressing Bangkok’s perception of high French food beyond boeuf bourguignon and coq au vin. Go for the dry-aged seabream and stay for the raclette baos.
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