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Jun 12, 2006 10:41 AM

Bangkok: Avoid Le Normandie

  • s

We had a truly bland and disappointing dinner at Le Normandie in the Mandarin Oriental, from the tasteless rolls through the inedible dessert. They give women menus without prices and we ended up with a bill of a staggering $1087 for four people. After two e-mails, they reduced the bill, but I'd steer clear of this place, however lovely the view from the window.

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  1. Ack! $1000+ would get a lot of things in Bangkok, but to spend that much for a meal boggles the mind.

    Did you overindulge in wine or some other extravagance? I've had a lot of fine meals there for less than $10 per person, I hope the service/view/amenities were enough to dull your senses long enough to get through the dinner.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Larry

      We had 4 kirs, one glass of white wine and one bottle of a red wine (nothing all that good, I should add). Since I had a menu without prices, I unwittingly ordered a dry lobster for $150 and a tasteless caviar appetizer for over $100. No, there was nothing that distracted me and it's continued to disturb me as we could have paid for another trip to Asia for what they were charging.

      1. re: sybil

        As wonderful as the Oriental Bangkok is, their restaurants are very expensive by Thai standards. Even a full breakfast at their terrace cafe would cost about $20.00. Except for the Normandie, the food at their other restaurants isn't bad. At their outdoor Thai restaurant across the river, Terrace Rim Naam (skip the indoor dinner-dance show), dinner is excellent and not terribly expensive compared to SF, or NYC.

        1. re: PB

          i believe celadon at the sukhothai is a better choice though...

        2. re: sybil

          I suspected as much, I've always felt that when you can't see the prices, it's a major worning signal. I feel for you, I could spend a couple of weeks in Thailand for that. The really said part is that the food was bad.

          1. re: Larry

            So true. And we also joked that the service charge and tax added on to the bill at the Oriental will pay for for a sumptous meal at many good Bangkok restaurants.

      2. I went there for a dinner for two. It was a special occasion as they invited a 3-Micheelin star chef from France. A bottle of red wine with full a la carte courses (at least four courses)took me 500 Us dollars.

        1. La Normandie is possibly the most expensive restaurant in the city - and this is no secret. Why didn't the men in the group alert you to the prices - or why didn't you ask for a menu with prices ???

          1. Another annoying and pretentious thing they do is require men to wear jackets and ties. When we ate at l'Espadon restaurant in the hotel Ritz in Paris in the summer, they just required a jacket, no tie. Considering Bangkok is about 30 times hotter than Paris, it seems like an affectation.

            1 Reply
            1. re: whs

              Yes, but these things are what give restaurants their reputation in this part of the world.

              In Paris, the requirement for ties is rare indeed, but in my experience you feel better having one... You don't look out of place !