Harvest brings a Mediterranean menu and a rustic setting to one of Bangkok’s fastest-growing dining quarters.By Thomas Sturrock
Even by Bangkok’s standards, Sukhumvit Soi 31’s dining options have expanded at an impressive rate. Appia has quickly emerged as a staple, while Siam Wisdom is another of the city’s stand-out modern Thai places. Last year, Peppina and Bao & Buns popped up, adding to the sense that this may be the capital’s most varied and attractive dining strip.
The latest arrival is Harvest (Chapter 31, 24/1 Sukhumvit Soi 31; 02-262-0762) the new venture from Nattawadee and Bancha Vijitratanakitthe: the brother-and-sister team who ran Bouchot on Sukhumvit Soi 24. Indeed, they considered simply relocating Bouchot, but instead decided to change tack. If early indications are anything to go by, it will pay off.
There’s a rustic interior that, thankfully, eschews the black wrought iron and dark wood that now seem to show up in every second downtown eatery – that said, there’s still plenty of exposed brick. But the overall effect is one of low-key comfort. Although Harvest is currently only open for dinner, hopefully these hours will be extended to include lunch, because Harvest is even more welcoming when bathed in natural light.
The menu could broadly be characterized as modern Mediterranean, with all the versatility that it implies. There’s a marked emphasis on seafood and some stand-out dishes with unmistakable Spanish flavors. But there are also some surprises, such as the roasted leg of rabbit (THB 820), marinated in yoghurt and served with a creamy brandy mustard sauce. It’s something that might appear on the menu of an upscale English country hotel – that’s not a criticism, merely a sign that the menu borrows bits and pieces where appropriate, rather than being locked down too tightly.
The seafood emphasis is served well by certain dishes. Try, for example, the chargrilled octopus with warm fennel and chorizo (THB 420), where the mild octopus flavor is nicely complemented by the spicier chorizo.
One of the signature dishes at Harvest is the grilled Iberico pork secreto (THB 980), neck cuts served medium-rare, seasoned with apple and paprika. On a menu that offers plenty of hearty comfort food, this dish has some real complexity, with different flavors working their way to the surface with each mouthful.
If you’ve got room left after all that, be sure to try the ricotta gnocchi with pheasant ragu (THB 360), another dish that uses game as a counterpoint to the other seafood staples. The gnocchi’s texture is spot on and the tender pheasant comes apart in pieces at the merest prodding. Ideal for an evening meal with a glass of red wine. And, really, that’s true of the place in general. Another worthy addition to this booming dining district.