In the world of fine-dining, sommeliers, garcons, chefs and restaurant owners alike have learned that the subtleties of customer service differentiates good from great, success from failure, “Likes” from silence and praise from harangue.
Sadly, we can count on one hand the number of times a dining experience in Bangkok was truly redefined and enhanced by the subtle, yet sophisticated and palpable craftsmanship of customer service. So it was with great pleasure to meet Nicolas Reynard of 39 Bistro Bar and Reynard Restaurant, a dining establishment on Sukhumvit 39 that launched just a few months back who’s impeccable service left us convinced this place is here to stay.
At this point, you’re probably saying to yourself…
“KohSpot, get with it. We know you’re known to say some crazy things, but really – you’re in the Land of Smiles homie…renowned hospitality. You’ve gone too far this time. Are you really going to call out Thailand’s customer service? For realz?”
And we’d respond in the affirmative. Call it bold, arrogant or conceded, but for us, the type of customer service we always come across in Bangkok feels robotic and scripted. Yes, the efforts always there, but it lacks character and liberalization.
At 39 Bistro and Reynard you can expect to chat with the chef, recommending certain dishes, sometimes insisting certain dishes, explaining where the food is coming from, how its prepared or simply partaking in honest dialogue about the nature of running a business in Bangkok. Its similar to what you’d experience at Opus Wine Bar with Alex, their fantastic sommelier and owner. In fact, Nicolas and Alex should meet. And then after they meet, they should figure out a way to spread their powers of customer service to other restaurateurs.
39 Bistro Bar’s focus is more on tapas and drinks while Reynard, its upstairs companion, is full-on french gastronomy in proper restaurant form that also boasts a private salon where diners can smoke. The casual atmosphere throughout is bathed in cream and wood tones and accented by soft lighting. Just cross your fingers that their Norah Jones album doesn’t pop into the rotation.
Impress your date by ordering frog legs provencal (320 baht) which are prominently featured on the menu and accompanied with a little heat to remind you that you’re in Thailand. The Navarin lamb stew (450 baht) was slow-cooked with wine and tomatoes that paired swimmingly with the creamy mashed potatoes (pictured). Oven-baked Tasmanian mussels with garlic and butter (250 baht) is a fun dish to share and even the simple mushroom truffle soup (300 baht) was complex in taste. The chocolate fondant with rum raising ice cream (250 baht) was spectacularly rich and loaded with real cocoa.
The restaurant is going super-aggressive with their promotions. They just completed one where people who ”Like” 39 Bistro on Facebook receive wine by the glass for 39 baht from Monday – Thursday. They are sure to have more promotions so be sure to check out this page to know what’s up and stay boozey on the cheap. Oh yea, and the second Tuesday of every month Nicolas expects to have a cocktail or wine special for friends of the eatery so don’t forget to extend the same friendliness that Nicolas and crew will surely extend to you. (We promise to change the entire tone of this review should we not be invited, Mr. Reynard).
39 Bistro Bar and Reynard Restaurant
Location: 32/1 The Manor Complex Sukhumvit Soi 39, about 700 meters down the soi on the right-hand side.
Mass transit: BTS Phrom Pong
Hours: 10 am-midnight daily