We are skeptics by nature. In fact, we walk around most days with an internal dialogue that hinges on analysis, criticism and valuation of the daily happenings in Bangkok. This high-level scrutiny combined with low levels of journalistic standards may have been the underlying catalyst for staring this kickass website. That and we just wanted another excuse to party. Anyhow, with our hypercritical persona being put to the test by the bait and switch techniques implemented by many prosperous BKK restaurants we have been conditioned to expect the worst from any favorite eatery of the elusive Thai high society. This includes Aubergine.
Aubergine’s vaunted yet unchecked reputation includes being a long-time tenant of the prestigious Miele Guide as well as the unprestigious Thailand Tatler’s Best Restaurants. And Bangkok has been known from time to time to celebrate mediocrity by making a restaurant creditable just because it’s popular. Yes, we just called Wine I Love You the Olive Garden of Thailand. Zing.
So it was a revelation when we entered Aubergine and everything from the atmosphere to the service to the food to the wine was what you’d expect from a posh French eatery. Set inside a colonial home and bathed in cream colors, Aubergine opts for dim lighting and a pleasant airiness that puts you at ease. The chaos of BKK instantly fades away.
Hundreds of wine glasses hanging above the bar reflect tiny neon tracking lights, making the drink distributor the main focus of the room (as he should be). There’s also a walk-in wine cellar where you can dine in privacy, as well as ample seating outside for those who like to puff on cancer sticks.
A pâté amuse bouche piqued our appetite for an Australian beef carpaccio that melted in our mouths and paired well with a salty parmesan. After an orange sorbet palate cleanser, we dove into a lamb stew so tender it fell off the bone, complete with white beans, veggies and sausage, this stew was so good we used the crusty bread to sop up the excess. A lemon tart with sorbet finished off the meal and we were ready to be wheeled home.
None of the above was complicated food—just quality ingredients prepared honestly. The wait staff here is also smart enough to figure out if you’re visiting Aubergine for a quick bite, a business meal or a prolonged affair, and brings dishes out accordingly. We salute Aubergine management for understanding how time is such a crucial variable in the dining formula.
Yes, Aubergine is pricy, but this one is worth treating yourself and is highly recommended for a romantic evening. Wine is 280 per glass so you’re better off to get a bottle. Those on a budget note there’s a three-course dinner set for 1,200++ baht and a three-course lunch set for 390++.
Location: 71/1 Sala Daeng Soi 1/1, about 100 meters up the soi on the left-hand side. It is closer to Sathorn than Silom.
Mass transit: Sala Daeng BTS or Lumpini MRT
Hours: 11:30 am-2:30 pm and 6 pm-10:30 pm daily