Lady L Garden Bistro is one of two restaurants housed in the Nai Lert Heritage Home, a renovated family compound in downtown Bangkok, Thailand. It serves Western style comfort food; the other, traditional Thai fare. Will it find favour with foodies from Hong Kong?
[Part Two: Lady L Garden Bistro]
Movie buffs might think that Bangkok’s stylish eatery, Lady L Garden Bistro, was named after the eponymous 1965 comedy Lady D, which starred Sophia Loren, Paul Newman, David Niven, and Cecil Parker.
But any similarities between the restaurant and the Hollywood blockbuster, in which Lady Lendale recounts her colourful past to a biographer, are purely coincidental.
Lady L Garden Bistro was actually named in honour of Thanpuying Lursakdi Sampatisiri, who is described as “a lady, a matriarch, and a mother”.
Thai-based international real estate developer Country Group Development invited me and two other Hong Kong-based journalists to Bangkok, Thailand, for a briefing on Chao Phraya Estate.
Scheduled for completion before the end of 2018, the 14.2 acre development occupies a prime site overlooking the Chao Phraya River, which meanders through the heart of Central Bangkok.
The site includes a 72-storey residential high rise called Four Seasons Residences Bangkok at Chao Phaya River and two low-rise hotels: Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok at Chao Phraya River and Capella Bangkok.
During our three day, two night, stay, we were taken on a champagne dinner cruise and Riddle of the River, a mysterious journey through the district, which followed a television reality show format.
We also dined at three of Bangkok's toniest restaurants: Ma Maison, the Namsaah Bottling Trust, and Lady L Garden Bistro.
Our lunch at Lady L Garden Bistro was sort of a farewell party. Following a satisfying meal and some spirited conversation, we all headed our separate ways.
Soups include Crab Bisque, Leek Soup with Mussels and Buttery Bread Ball, and French Onion Soup.
I opted for the French Onion Soup, and I was NOT disappointed. The submerged French bread morphed into velvety glob that was a joy to consume.
The soup was the only course that was served individually. The others we shared.
Talk about yummy salads!
They ran from Australian Beef Tartare with Homemade Potato Chips to Baby Rocket Salad with Fresh Pears, Blue Cheerse, and Lemon Honey Dressing; Parma Ham, Mozzarella, Nectarines, and Figs; White Asparagus with Caviar and Hollandaise Sauce; and the somewhat predictable Caesar Salad.
The table shared the Cobb Salad with Red Wine Vinagrette. Comprising chicken breast, crispy bacon, boiled egg, tomato, avocado, and blue cheese, it was springtime on a plate.
Beautifully presented, the salad was listed as a “signature dish”, and it was perfect for sharing!
If I were to have lunch at the restaurant alone, this would make a very satisfying - and healthful - meal.
There were too many starters to mention. We ordered the Deep Fried Camembert with Cranberry Sauce and the Moules Mariniere, which wasn't on the menu - was it a daily special?
I gave the Moules a pass. They reminded me of clams, and I don't like clams. But everyone else said they were fabulous.
As for the Deep Fried Camembert, it was crunchy on the outside and gooey on the inside: an excellent starter.
There were 12 main courses to choose from, including three signature dishes: Fish and Chips with Tartar Sauce and Malt Vinegar, Whole Roasted Baby Chicken, Sauteed Baby Carrots, and Roasted Potatoes, and Beef Wellington with Red Wine Sauce.
Did anyone order a main course? If so, I forgot to take a picture of it. Perhaps I was too engrossed to conversation to notice.
But I do seem to remember sinking my teeth into a very yummy piece of delicately encrusted fish that was reminiscent of Japanese tempura.
Sandwiches and Pies
In addition to main courses were Chicken Pot Pie and four sandwiches: Pulled Pork Burger with BBQ Sauce, Crayfish and Avocado Brioche Roll, and Tenderloin French Dip Sandwich with Gravy.
I took one look at the Pulled Pork Burger, and I knew what I wanted. Can’t shake off my Oaktown roots!
I shared it with dining companion Perry Yip, and we both loved it. Not only did he say it was his favourite dish of the day, he went so far as to say it was the best hamburger he had ever eaten.
There were three pastas on the menu: Homemade Angel Hair with Truffle Cream Sauce, Homemade Spaghetti Carbonara, and Homemade Spaghetti with Crayfish and Tomato Sauce.
I'm sure somebody at the table ordered one of them, but I was too preoccupied with my Pulled Pork Burger to notice.
Who says breakfasts should only be served in the morning? There were four set breakfasts were on offer: The Londoner, The New Yorker, The Milano, and the Parisian.
The only surprise here was the inclusion of frankfurters on the New York style breakfast. Whoever heard of New Yonkers eating hot dogs for breakfast?
With so many indulgent soups, salads, starters, main courses, sandwiches, pastas, and breakfasts on the menu, could anyone possibly have room for dessert?
We had been forewarned, so I did save room - that's why I offered to share my Pulled Pork Burger. Otherwise I would have happily eaten it all by myself.
There were nine decadent choices on offer, and I shared the Sticky Toffee Pudding with Homemade Salted Caramel Ice Cream. The Red Velvet was also decadence on a plate!
My comment as I tucked in: “This is my idea of a perfect dessert!”
In addition to sit-down service, the restaurant has a take-out counter, with with some truly decadent-looking cakes, pastries, and candies on display.
All I can say is, this is definitely NOT advised for someone counting calories!
Our hosts for lunch at Lady L included Wipada Monthongtian (far left) and Khunpak Issara (centre) of Country Group Development.
Other Hong Kong-based journalists included Dennis Lee (second from left), Managing Editor, Digital and Features, Perspective Limited, and Perry Yip (second from right), Senior Reporter (Business News), Ming Pao Newspapers Limited.
This stylish eatery pushed all the right buttons! The ambiance was superb, the service was professional but relaxed, the food was delicious, and the recommendations were spot on.
I asked our server about the desserts, and she named the house specialties. Then I asked, "Which dessert do YOU like best?" and she said, "The Sticky Toffee Pudding with Homemade Salted Caramel Ice Cream."
I'm not a big fan of desserts, but I followed her advice, and I LOVED it.
Overall, a giant THUMBS UP!! I look forward to revisiting this charming restaurant on my next visit to the Big Mango!
Perry Yip Says
I was impressed by Lady L, where we seemed to be having lunch in a garden, with real trees around us.
The best dish was the Pulled Pork Burger, which we shared, and my fresh coconut.
Dennis Lee Says
Khunpak Issara Says
Firstly, I loved the atmosphere of the restaurant, especially the fact that they incorporated the use of plants and trees with the glass ceiling. It gave the space a very whimsical vibe.
The food was great. I was happy to see the selection included a lot of British classics such as fish and chips and the sticky toffee pudding (which was my fave!).
(I actually returned to have lunch a friend shortly after. It was packed, and no tables were available!)
Overall, service was great, food was delicious, and the company was even better!
Kwanrudee Maneewongwatthana Says
Lady L is an absolutely beautiful bistro with a charming interior and good food. It's a one of a kind bistro that you can go to anytime of the day.
What I liked about Lady L was the delicious range of perfectly mixed cocktails and great coffee menus.
I hope you liked it very much, too!
Lady L Garden Bistro, Nai Lert Park Heritage House, 4 Soi Somkid,m Phloen Chit Road, Bangok, Thailand. Telephone: 02-655-4773.
Nai Lert Park Heritage House Telephone: 66 2 253 0123
The restaurant is within walking distance of the Phloen Chit BTS station.