One of the delightful things about dining in a French bistro is that you already can expect what the menu will contain without even having to look. Dishes such as “Burgundy beef stew poached foie gras”, “Crème Brule”, “Eggs and foie gras casserole” and “crisp-skinned fall apart confit duck” have helped propel French cuisine to its position as a worldwide favorite. However this time nice surprises were waiting for me.
However that doesn’t mean bistro classics have to stay museum pieces coated in aspic! Romain Aletru has proved to me that he has one of the best French restaurants in Hua Hin. From the moment it opened “Le Bistro” has felt like a place that’s been there forever in its location. The owner Romain and partners Peter and Andreas have created a restaurant with a great ambience. “Le Bistro” is the product of lots of energy, clear vision and ambition. The influence of Peter Kirketerp from “Mondo Vino” and Andreas from “La Grappa” is also evident.
Dinner starts with complimentary bread rolls and softly salted butter from France and gets better from there. The white asparagus with black truffle oil were bites of perfection. Although not a complicated recipe but all so delicious. As Romain described “…with great products like this, you don’t need to do too many things. Just a little bit butter, some garlic, rosemary, olive oil and at the end we put the black truffle oil on top.” Not difficult to make, but where can you find these imported products except with the French?
Case in point – the Onion tart might just be one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. It not only tasted yum but also the story behind it is quite interesting. Romain told me “the onion tart is something special to me. When I came to Thailand I used to go to French restaurants and always see onion soup. I got tired of that. Cooking with Onions is part of French culture. But I decided to make something different slightly different. Onion tart is a pie and usually in pies we start with the pastry then we put the ingredients on top. Here we do the opposite. We caramelize the onions and use juniper making the dish, a mix of sweet and bitter taste. I am proud for this recipe. Basically this recipe came from my Grandma but I changed it a little ”.
Last but not least we tasted the “Duck leg confit”. The duck was amazing, slightly salty because before it was cooked it was poached in its own fat for hours. That makes the meat soft. The crispy on the outside duck is served with fresh mashed potato. All these different flavors together make an unforgettable taste.
I enjoyed the white wine with a fine selection of French cheese, grapes, walnut and honey to end the dinner. I promised Romain that I will go again to taste the “French toast” that he described with so much love. He told us that he doesn’t like patisserie very much but this recipe is from his Grandma and he loves it.
What I liked most of Le Bistro , is that while we tasted the delicious dishes Romain was talking about his story and his passion for cooking and thus made us appreciate the attention to detail that surrounds the restaurant and food. Pictures all around the restaurant were taken by him, the music and every single detail were chosen by him. Romain has succeeded in achieving exactly what he wanted, a pleasing environment where people can enjoy high level cuisine. However the main reason that I want to go again, is that all of the ingredients are carefully selected and therefore makes the dishes even more amazing.
I am definitely going back because although we were not in France, the spirit of France has arrived with Le Bistro in town!