Having enjoyed a stellar Sunday brunch at Voila we enquired of the French expat Maitre D, Remi, as to what other food experiences he’d recommend. After ascertaining we didn’t mean only Thai food, he put forward his ‘go-to’ place – like every other French expat in Bangkok, when he needed comfort food, he’d head to Indigo.

When Greedy Girl and gluttonous husband travel they do seek out the local cuisine but such is the Foodie World, cuisine is a global phenomenon where borders are often very blurry. European chefs are found everywhere in Asia and, often, their dishes reflect a fusion of both heritage and location. Likewise, Asian chefs and ingredients are influencing cuisine in Europe, America and Australia.

So, the idea of eating French food in Bangkok was not at all strange. Remi secured us a booking for Indigo, a small bistro off Silom Road. Apparently the expat French owner imports ingredients on a weekly basis and prepares a wide selection of classic dishes. It sounded magnifique, so off we went the next day to have lunch.

Indigo is nominally in Convent Street or ‘Soi Convent’ but the reality is it’s down at the end of a small laneway off the main street. There’s almost zero chance, if one was out walking, of discovering it.

The area is home to a lot of global firms so it’s hardly surprising that Indigo does a strong trade for lunch. The patrons are a mix of local business types, expats and visitors. There are three menus to choose from – a standard a la carte, and two offers, both priced at 380 baht. One of those features the dishes offered all the time, while the other reflects the week’s imports, or items in season. From those two menus, diners can choose a starter and a main, or a main and the dessert of the day. Greedy Girl and gluttonous husband took the first option, ordered a glass of Bordeaux and a French rose and sat back to take in the surroundings.

There is a leafy courtyard, crammed with tables, but these were deserted on a very hot day. Inside, the main room is dominated by a long bar (see the picture at the top of this post) where a group of French men congregated for pre-lunch drinks. We were shown to a table in a small mezzanine, executed in almost a colonial style. The chairs were comfortable, the space was relaxing and the air-conditioning worked a treat. All good.

Greedy Girl started with an unusual dish given the heat and her predilection for having eggs at breakfast each day when she’s travelling – oeufs en cocotte. This was a baked egg with cream, cheese, a light and delectable ham and mushrooms. The egg was perfectly cooked, with a lovely runny yolk adding to the moisture. A true comfort food dish.

French food Bangkok

Oeufs en cocotte

Gluttonous husband took the pate de campagne. This was an excellent pork terrine, served simply with a yellow tomato and some cornichons. The flavours were vibrant and the terrine had both texture and softness. Gluttonous husband was a very happy individual.
French food Bangkok

Pate de campagne

For mains, Greedy Girl chose one of her favourite sausages – a lamb Merguez sausage spiced with Harissa. These were just grilled and served with a small salad and pile of golden frites. Everything was prepared perfectly but the dish was a little dry – it could have used a bit more salad. Still, it’s not often Greedy Girl sees Merguez on a menu and she was happy to partake.
French food Bangkok

Merguez sausages

Gluttonous husband took the duck confit and smiled at the plate put before him. It was a large duck leg, served with a pile of sautéed potatoes and confit shallots. One of the all-time French classics, this was perfect and the combination of the confit shallots with the potatoes absolutely delicious. Greedy Girl kept trying to sneak forkfuls.
French food Bangkok

Duck confit

And we were done. Greedy Girl looked at the menu pricing and concluded the offer was a great deal. When she consulted her currency converter she realised just how good the deal was – 380 baht on current rates is around A$14. It’s an amazing price for two courses of quality French cooking. Admittedly the plates aren’t fancy but there’s nothing to quibble about in terms of the comfort factor of the food.

Adding some water, a glass of wine each and then putting the service charge and tax on top does bring up the cost a bit but it’s still a fraction of the price of comparable French dining anywhere in the Western world. We’ll be back.

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