By Khetsirin Pholdhampalit
The Nation Weekend
KNOWN AND LOVED for its tempting European cuisine, 4 Garcons restaurant on Bangkok’s Soi Thonglor has closed its doors after nine successful years. Fortunately for its fans, founder/chef Ayusakorn “Van” Arayangkoon and his partners are back in another incarnation and in another area with the opening of Second Edition on Sukhumvit Soi 31.
The now defunct French brasserie 4 Garcons is reincarnated as Second Edition with a lively and younger look at a new location on Sukhumvit Soi 31.
Situated on the ground floor of the residential property Siamese Exclusive, Second Edition has a lively and playful vibe that’s far removed for the calm and elegant setting of 4 Garcons. The new space, which seats 60 diners, flowed from the pens of local design firm Studio Act of Kindness and boasts the kind of mid-century interior that’s become popular around the world.
“The interior plays with geometric forms and seamless lines and an exploration of different and contrasting materials. Brown and deep orange palettes dominate, with pops of blue, green and gold adding the contrast,” says Van. “We want to offer a completely new look with a new name without any references to our former property. Our aim is to appeal to the new and younger group of diners who live in the nearby condominiums.”
Van and the design team worked together on the collage-like wallpaper, mixing fashion pictures from vintage magazines and posters and redesigning them by adding sketches and changing the colour palettes of the clothes.
“While 4 Garcons was generally perceived as a formal dining venue, Second Edition aims to become a casual place for home-cooking and comfort food. The cooking still follows French tradition though without using the now popular sous-vide technique. Seasonal ingredients from sustainable local sources are used wherever possible and we use less seasoning to bring out the natural tastes. Imported ingredients make up 20 per cent or less,” he continues.
Grilled Fig in Bacon with Mascarpone
In line with the new concept, the menu has completely changed, though a few 4 Garcons favourites can still be found, among them the French Onion Soup (Bt300) and Truffle Cream Soup (Bt350). Grills are also highlighted in a nod to the healthy lifestyle.
Figs from a small and sustainable farm in Ratchaburi province are used for a warm starter – Grilled Fig in Bacon with Mascarpone (Bt280). The sweet and juicy figs are wrapped with bacon before char-grilling. Besides the char-smoked odour, the bacon helps maintain the juiciness of the figs that go well with the creamy taste of the cheese.
Grilled Squid with Thick Bacon and Bell Pepper
Bacon is also used for the next dish – Grilled Squid with Thick Bacon and Bell Pepper (Bt280). Wild-caught squid is wrapped in bacon and char-grilled and served with bell pepper, cherry tomato and thick bacon pieces stir-fried in olive oil in Mediterranean style.
Grilled Whole Sea Bass in Fig Leaves
A whole wild-caught sea bass is lightly seasoned with olive oil and salt and wrapped in fig leaves before char-grilling. Priced at Bt650, the fish goes well with Greek-style lemon oil sauce.
Grilled Chicken Thigh with Porcini Cream Sauce and Rice Pilaf
Another 4 Garcons’ favourite - Grilled Chicken Thigh with Porcini Cream Sauce and Rice Pilaf (Bt480) – also returns. The chicken is grilled to juicy perfection and is served with porcini sauce and rice pilaf cooked in well-seasoned chicken broth and light cream.
Perfect for sharing with family and friends as well as large parties is the Grilled Flatbread with four different toppings from which to choose. The regular portion ranges in price from Bt440 to Bt620 and can be divided into 12 pieces. Enjoy it with cherry tomato, mushroom, caramelised onion, mozzarella and blue cheese toppings or with parma ham, egg and feta cheese, caper, anchovy and black truffle.
Grilled Flatbread with Tomato, Parma Ham, Feta Cheese and Eggs
“The flatbread is like a backyard BBQ for a family party. The wheat flour is thoroughly kneaded into a flat dough and grilled. Health-conscious diners will feel less guilty about eating this than pizza,” he says with a grin.
The main imported ingredients are beef from Argentina, Japan, France, the US and Australia, cod from the UK and salmon from Australia.
Thai Aged Ribeye Wagyu Steak
Van is also promoting Thai wagyu beef from Nakhon Ratchasima. The wagyu beef is aged for 60 days to improve its juicy texture and flavour. The 300-gram Rib-eye Steak (Bt1,920) has a melt-in-the-mouth quality and pairs well with the butter sauce.
For pasta lovers, there’s spaghetti and fettucine with a choice of five sauces. The portions are offered in regular or sharing options.
Spaghetti Seafood with Tomato Sauce
For Spaghetti Seafood with Tomato Sauce (Bt480 for regular and Bt660 for sharing), the tomato sauce is cooked using different types of tomatoes for a great combination of tastes that go well with fresh seafood.
Despite all the goodies on offer, do keep room for the tempting desserts of Grilled Pineapple with Caramel Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream (Bt180) and the seasonal Peach Crumble (also Bt180).
Grilled Pineapple with Caramel Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream
"People today are concerned about eating healthily and we try to use organic ingredients as much as possible. Vegan diets are also becoming increasingly popular and though we don’t yet have a section for vegan food, we can serve what you like,” says Van.
NEW PLACE, NEW TASTES
Second Edition is on the ground of the residential property Siamese Exclusive on Sukhumvit Soi 31, Bangkok.
It’s open daily from 11am to 10pm.
Call (02) 163 4648 or visit “Second Edition BKK” on Facebook.