By Pattarawadee Saengmanee
The Sunday Nation
ITS NAME sounds like a tribute to the acknowledged king of rock ’n’ roll but restaurant Love Me Tender actually takes its name from the top quality sous-vide products Nithas Lertdechachai uses in his preparation of French home-style dishes.
Back in 2014, Nithas, who has supplied dried fruits, herbs, spices and curry pastes to the international culinary market for several years, teamed up with chef Jean-Pierre Guillaud from Cuisine Solutions to open the first branch of Love Me Tender le Bistro at TTN Avenue shopping mall.
The restaurant is decorated in classic red-and-black Paris bistro style with the walls adorned with a collection of Yves-Saint Laurent posters. Using sous-vide techniques and classic French recipes, their dishes quickly became known for their rich flavours and the melt-in-the-mouth texture of the meat.
Before long the pair opened the second branch at Central Chidlom serving a selection of easy-to-eat French dishes in a food loft ambience.
“Five years ago, I discovered the Cuisine Solutions food company in the US, which is famous for premium sous-vide ingredients. Given the number of leading luxury hotel brands and restaurant chains in Thailand, the potential was obvious. We decided to enter into a joint venture by opening the restaurant as a showroom, where diners and other restaurateurs could enjoy traditional French flair and learn more about food cooked using sous-vide methods,” Nithas says.
“Sous-vide is a cooking technique in which food is sealed in a vacuum plastic pouch then frozen at minus 25 to 30 Celsius to maintain nutrients, freshness and moisture. We want to offer premium food that everyone can afford. I’m the sole distributor of Cuisine Solutions in Thailand. We’re setting up a factory in Thailand soon.”
To celebrate its success, the restaurant recently opened a third outlet on Sukhumvit Soi 39 called Love Me Tender a la plancha. Inspired by a typical Provencal seaside town, the ambience brings to mind a fishing village somewhere in the South of France. Paintings of Saint Tropez hang on the walls and for those who prefer to dine alfresco, a small outdoor space is available.
Nicoise de Provence House Salad
Here, patrons can satisfy their appetites with Nicoise de Provence House Salad (Bt290), a healthy mix of French beans, anchovies, tomatoes and tuna with a dressing of vinegar and olive oil.
Priced at Bt290, Lobster Bisque with diced tiger prawns is another recommended starter, for which Guillaud uses New Zealand milk cream rather than butter and cuts it with brandy to make the soup rich but very light.
Bouillabaisse with Rouille
Fish lovers will find it hard to resist the Bouillabaisse with Rouille (Bt750), a delectable stew of shrimps, squids, mussels, clams and fish soaked up with bread topped with creamy garlic rouille.
“In Provence, villagers eat olives, boiled egg, cheese, sun-dried tomato with a trio of dips. Bouillabaisse is a popular local dish but we make it more luxurious with a mixture of seafood. In the villages, it’s cooked with fish’s head. The sauce is clear but aromatic. We use the sous-vide technique in making the soup stock,” Nithas says.
Lamb Shank Portobello
The super-tender Lamb Shank Portobello (Bt790) is marinated with assorted herbs and then slowly cooked for 36 hours to keep the meat juicy. It comes in a full-flavour red wine sauce and is served with smooth mashed potato. Meat lovers will love Surf & Turf (Bt650) made with a super tender US prime beef that is seared 72 hours and accompanied by tiger prawns in rich red wine sauce.
Surf & Turf
Grilled Half Chicken Provencal (Bt420) is fermented with herbs and slowly seared for six hours before being served with classic ratatouille.
Desserts are few in number but what there is pleases. Among them is Creme Brulee (Bt220) made with fresh vanilla cream and topped with burned French sugar to create a caramel aroma and scrumptious Apple Tarte Tatin for Bt260. Ambrosia apple from the US, meanwhile, is sweetened with caramelised sugar until gold and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some sour fresh fruits. All go well with Summer Tea (Bt135), a blend of English breakfast tea, pomegranate juice, honey, lemon and syrup.
Apple Tarte Tatin
Love Me Tender – a la plancha is on Sukhumvit Soi 39. It’s open from 11am to 2.30pm and from 5.30 to 10pm for dinner.
Call (097) 067 6350 or visit the “Love Me Tender Le Bistro” page on Facebook.