Chez Papé serves big portions of delicious French food in a traditional bistro style setting on Sukhumvit Soi 11. This is a restaurant to visit with an empty stomach as you’ll want to have enough room for dessert. The relaxed and friendly atmosphere makes it great for laid-back suppers with a group of friends, or if you happen to be in the neighbourhood at noon, they serve a tasty selection of set lunches as well.
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The nearest BTS to Chez Papé is Nana. From here, it is only a five minute walk along the soi, turning left onto the lane near Cheap Charlie’s bar. Over the past few years this tiny road has become a focus for a varied range of international cuisine, from Spanish Tapas to New Zealand fish and chips. Chez Papé can be found at the end, just before you get to Suk 11 hostel. From outside it looks like it should be opening out onto a boulevard in Paris, with a logo inspired by France’s famous blue and white street signs and a cherry red awning shadowing the chairs and tables that line the front of the restaurant. The view from here is sadly not as attractive as Paris would be, as you look out onto the backs of building.
Inside the quirky decor more than makes up for it; imagine a movie set from a French cafe scene and Chez Papé have recreated it. The staff wear stripy sailor tops and berets, greeting you with a “bonjour” rather than “sawasdee”. The mustard yellow walls are decorated with pictures of famous Frenchmen and women; amongst the ones I recognised were Zinedine Zidane and Brigitte Bardot. It might feel a little kitsch but the atmosphere is so warm and the staff make you feel so welcome that it is easy to embrace it. We start off, as a good meal should, with an aperitif. I order a Kir and, unlike many in Bangkok, it is perfectly blended, the cassis not overshadowing the wine but complimenting it. My companion has a Pastis and we order a bottle of Orangina, to me there is nothing that tastes more like summer in France than this. There is also a great selection of wine.
When it comes to the menu, it’s a purely French affair and all the French classics are here, including foie gras, cassoulet and even beef tartare. We start with a salad of goat’s cheese in filo pastry and mixed cold pork cuts with onion jam. Bread is served, but it is slightly dry, so we wait for our appetisers which when they arrive are easily enough to for four rather than two. The salad and dressing is perfect, but the goat’s cheese wrapped in pastry, although delicious, is too heavy as an accompaniment, whereas the meat platter is a perfect starter to share, with plenty of tasty meat including cured ham and coarse paté. For mains we try the duck confit with crispy bacon potatoes and Chateaubriand. Both dishes are perfectly cooked, and whilst the beef is perfect for one, we don’t manage to finish the duck as well. With no room for dessert, we give up the chance to try the classic crème brulée and tarte tatin.
Dinner is served at a leisurely pace, allowing for a relaxing evening, and the service is efficient but unobtrusive. Although it can get busy at the weekend, there is usually no need to book ahead, sealing Chez Pape’s position as one of the best casual dining spots on Sukhumvit soi 11.
Chez Pape Restaurant
- Opening Hours: From 17:00 until late, Also for lunch Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 - 14.30
- Location: Sukhumvit soi 11
- Tel: +66 (0)2 255 2492