Marcel, a tapas bar and restaurant on Sathorn Road, brings a taste of Gallic gastronomy and ambience in Bangkok.
by Christopher Scott Dixon.
‘What rain?’ I said to my wife as we entered Marcel Tapas Bar and Restaurant on Sathorn Soi 10, a short walk from BTS Chong Nonsi. The fierce storm outside was already a distant memory as we eased into comfortable chairs in the cozy environment of this new French-themed bistro, set up by a Thai-French couple Arissa (Pom) Nakkerd and Louis Brunissen, who bring with them more than 10 years of experience running a fine-dining restaurant in Paris.
The premises is a shop-house style with inviting glass doors at the front and arched windows on the side. The ground floor where we dined has a really casual feel, with chairs for couples and larger tables for groups. There is also a bar counter in the center. The upstairs eating area has more formal dining tables and a semi-open kitchen, and the subdued lighting adds to the atmosphere. There are lots of dark wood furniture, objets d’art on the shelves above, and a black and white checkered floor.
Guests are greeted quickly and warmly and they are a mix of back packers, expats, business folk, and locals.
We began with two cocktails. One was called Clover from the “Classique” list, which was a zingy fusion of gin, raspberry, lemon and egg white. The other was a feisty Baudelaire-spiced rum, ginger, honey, syrup, and lemon drink that came from the signature line up of French writers, all of whom interestingly succumbed to alcoholism. But don’t let that put you off in sampling the cocktails as well as the small but distinguished wine list, from which we later enjoyed a very respectable E. Guigual red, 2011 Cote du Rhone.
From the “Tapas” menu, we were first presented with melt–in-the-mouth Camembert croquettes, followed by tasty calamari with chorizo and pastis and for a neat twist, not deep-fried but stir-fried. Seafood is sourced from Trat daily, so this means exciting changes to the menu.
Next up were the flavorsome slow-cooked duck confit rilletes. As the restaurant filled up, we filled up too on the mains: tender lamb loin, gnocchi, Parmesan, and a carrot puree’. This was followed by a generous-sized bowl of fresh mussels with a side of crunchy French (well they had to be) fries.
A truly gorgeous “Duo Chocolat” came for dessert, which was a perfect marriage of dark and white chocolate, and cream that finished off a splendid evening.
Marcel Tapas Bar & Restaurant
Sathorn Soi 10, Sathorn, Bangkok
Tel: 02 635 3533