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Jun 24, 2007 08:59 AM

Bangkok Rec - Le Lys

Have been in BKK for 2.5 weeks and have had some very good eating experiences, will do some kind of report in due course.

Wanted to put in a strong word for Le Lys ( where I had lunch today upon the recommendation of a local friend.

Lovely setting (quietish side street, old house, garden, terrace, petanque "court" in the back), charming people (owners are a French/Thai couple hence the petanque and I was served by the wife's sister) and the food was great (lemongrass salad using the inner layers of the lemongrass served with fried peanuts + shallots + dressing; tom kha gai, what a difference galangal makes with its mellow rhizome flavour; sticky rice + mango). Washed down with a pineapple "shake" and an espresso. Cost = 480 baht.

On my way out I came across their DVD collection and was allowed to borrow three titles gratis on a trust basis which I liked a lot.


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  1. Nice writeup. I'll try Le Lys soon.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Simon

      Thanks, please let me know what you make of it. I've just left BKK after 2 months there and other favourite Thai places included Chote Chitr, Naj and especially Erawan Tea Room and Coffee Bean by Dao which very much became "go-to" places. Both places definitely a little "Hiso" but exceptional food in stylish settings and for normal prices.

      And my Japanese food discoveries got better and better. In addition to Maru, Tensui and Shintaro, I strongly recommend Tsu in the JW Marriott (Sukhumvit), Samurai and Shunbo.

      And I have to mention my friends' restaurant/photograph gallery Tamarind Cafe on Sukhumvit Soi 20 which offers excellent international vegetarian cuisine in a great setting with some very promising exhibitions that change on a monthly basis.

      One other impressive recent experience - Thaipaz off Soi Sala Daeng (Silom), Thai style tapas, really tasty and inventive, make sure to try the sea bass with spicy lemon dressing.

      Overall a great eating city (I don't detect any glaring omissions apart maybe from Mexican/Latin American) and a very good quality of life, I may head back later in the year possibly even with a view to basing myself there.

      1. re: oonth

        Cool. I shall check them all out. I've been to Tamarind Cafe, but not to eat: for a photo show about a year and a half ago. Nice place.

        1. re: Simon

          Glad you like the look/feel of Tamarind Cafe. I have to say nice things about it as I am going out with one of the two co-owners and she will kill me if I say anything negative! But I have genuinely enjoyed everything I've eaten there (especially the mushroom lasagna) and they also do good desserts, cocktails and juices and have decent wines. Plus brunch menu on the weekends. A good and zen place to escape the mayhem of Sukhumvit. Worth knowing that they also have a concession in MBK food court 5th Floor and they serve some non-veg items on that menu including a very tasty chicken katsu sandwich.

          Not sure if you've ever made it to Cy'an in the Metropolitan Hotel but you should check that place out for a very tasty upmarket option, a particularly nice place to go to with an other half.

          1. re: oonth

            Yes, places that serve decent wine are in short supply in Tamarind owned by Thais or farangs?

            At MBK i usually go straight for the somtam place on the 4th (?) floor older low-tech food court.

            i'll add Cy'an to my list.

            1. re: Simon

              There are two female owners both farang. The girl I am seeing is Taiwanese and her business partner is French, they opened their first restaurant in Hanoi which is where I first met them back in 2001. And my girlfriend knows her food and the BKK restaurant scene which has been a godsend for me. She mentioned a quality Taiwanese restaurant in Sukhumvit which I wanted to try out (with her doing the ordering) but never made it to. To plagiarise the great Arnie, "I'll be back"!

              I'll make a note of the 4th floor MBK som tam place, thanks for that.

              In case you're interested, here's the link to the website for Tamarind Cafe:


              1. re: oonth

                Coffee Bean by Dao is excellent i like that place a lot.
                Some other good spots are Pla Dib
                1/1 areesamphan Soi 7
                Phaholyothin, Phaya Thai
                Eat Me
                2/f, 1/6 Piphat Soi 2
                Thanon Convent

                The Papaya
                Soi Saladaeng 2 off Silon Road

                Sky High
                Rajdamnoen Klang

                some street food i really like is:
                Sukhumvit 38 the beginning of the street...opposite sukhumvit 55 (Thonglor)

                and for satay: Convent st opposite Soi 4 (Silom)

                and Eat Me.

                1. re: Hot Chocolate

                  Thanks for these additional tips. Are Pla Dib, Papaya and Sky High all Thai food places?

                  I wasn't blown away by the food at Eat Me (real mish mash world style menu) but it's a great all round place in terms of decor, setting, artistry etc and I'm told that the Aussie owner is a great guy.

                  Sticky rice + mango vendor on Sukhumvit 38 is legendary and top notch.

                  1. re: oonth

                    Si Senor....papaya and sky high both great thai food.

                    i hear there is a lot of good street food i chinatown

                    1. re: Hot Chocolate

                      great place on Soi 19 Sukhumvit ... near the Lisa's Massage place just off the main road (thanon Sukhumvit)....Pad Thai and oyster omelette...further up on Soi 19 there's a divine papaya salad that almost killed me due to the heat but regardless i couldn't stop eating. had to take some breaks though ...

    2. Just went to Le Lys ... fantastic meal
      Scallops with lime
      Eggplant salad (loved this one)
      Penang curry with duck breast
      fried rice in penang curry with chix and salted egg
      khao soy curry or something...

      fantastic meal ... already missing it.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Hot Chocolate

        Glad you enjoyed it, I hope to report back equally glowingly when I check out your BKK recs later in the year.

        Out of interest, are you working in the region or just on some kind of extended vacation/stay?

        1. re: oonth

          i live in singapore.

          so thus i travel almost every weekend. i'm heading back to BKK sep 14-16 and am looking forward to hitting up Soi 38 ....

          The Penang curry with duck breast was fantastic. the fried rice with salted egg? the fried rice wasn't soaking in curry, it was fairly dry (of sauce) but very tasty and complemented the curry very well. the salted egg was unbelieveably good. it looked more like a funnel cake. it appeard they had maybe poached the salted egg or something and then deep fried it in a breading. it went very well with the rice as well. the khao san curry or something was a specialty from the chiang mai region. it was a light egg noodle cooked nicely and came with a sort of yellow chicken curry which was very flavorful. I enjoyed it as I have not been to chiang mai yet and it was something different.

          the scallops with lime were heavy on the garlic which i didn't mind and came with a hot dipping sauce that will sear itself into your memory. it comes on a bed of shredded cabbage which will replace your tongue incase it burns off. i enjoyed the dish but i can eat pretty damn hot food. the eggplant salad to me was more mediterranean enhanced with thai flavors ... this is probaby where the french influence comes in a bit .... perfect example of successful fusion cooking.

          1. re: Hot Chocolate

            Thanks for the details. I will revisit for sure when I'm next in BKK.

            Interesting about the eggplant dish. I had a similar dish at a dinner party in BKK cooked by an American chef friend. I commented that it was like a Sicilian style caponata. Turns out that it is actually a regional Thai dish as well so no fusion/crossover involved. Delicious for sure especially when prepared with pieces of smoked fish in it.