By Aiden Jewelle Gonzales
The core of the newly-opened SIRI HOUSE on Soi Somkid, Quince is piping hot with its innovative use of Mediterranean flavours that truly hit home.
Nestled in the heart of the urbane Ploenchit district, SIRI HOUSE at Soi Somkid is Sansiri’s latest gift to Bangkok’s busy denizens. A cultural and lifestyle hub, SIRI HOUSE has been carefully curated to be a tranquil escape while still capturing the essence of Bangkok’s cosmopolitan lifestyle. Ensconced in lush verdure, the house is a beautiful marriage of contradictions: its mid-century style is elevated by local architectural touches, and traditional techniques are used to create cutting-edge flavours and designs. You can while away the whole day at this almost fairy-tale grotto, from brunch at Luka; to browsing through vinyl records, one-of-a-kind book titles, and unusual blossoms at The Shop at Siri House; to the limpid waters of Binimi, an enticing pool and garden that’ll fill your heart with serenity.
However, while home is where the heart is, it’s also where the hearth is, and the fire at Quince’s wood-fired oven and grill is roaring. Encapsulating the spirit of a home kitchen, the restaurant invites you in with warm, slate-grey walls and comfortable furnishings. The open plan kitchen allows guests to viscerally experience the creation of their meal: as Chef Charlie Jones says, “we’re cooking over bare fire, and it’s not something you can control.” Dim lighting, wooden floors and details such as the fresh flowers on every table surround you in comforts that immediately transport you to a cosy homestead in the Mediterranean.
While Quince channels the tastes of the Mediterranean and uses authentic cooking styles from the region, it steps up its game through its innovative infusion of flavours from around the world. Using mostly locally-sourced ingredients, their menu has a rotation of dishes that change depending on what’s in season. The core of the restaurant is its traditional wood-fired oven and grill, and almost every element of your meal has been touched by wood-burnt flavours, whether it’s through smoking, charring or grilling.
We started off with the Hummus & Merguez (B250) appetiser, sans the merguez sausage for a vegetarian twist. The hummus is perfectly concocted, but when paired with the pickled chilli and dukkah — an Egyptian mix of herbs, nuts and spices — it is a revelation. Instead of the traditional pita bread, it is served with naan; an inspired choice as the latter’s robust flavours are elevated by the creaminess of the hummus. Another delightful starter is the Burnt Beetroot Carpaccio (B290), each thinly sliced flake is the perfect melt-in your- mouth size. The smoked yoghurt is the ideal foil to the bitterness of the beetroot and the pickled chilli and za’atar – herbs from the Middle East — once again bring the rest of the world to your palate.
For our mains we tried the Wood-roasted Prosun Farm Coquelet (B810), a tender chicken dish where you can taste every subtle flavour of the herbs with each toothsome bite. Roasted on the illustrious wood-fired oven and grill, which burns wood from local coffee trees, the dish is infused with an aromatic punch of coffee flavour for that extra smoky indulgence. The Spiced Lamb Rack (B990) uses the lamb’s naturally gamey flavour to best effect, with each morsel falling off the bone and enhanced by the mix of burnt broccolini, Israeli spice, tahini and pickled chilli; another ingenious infusion of flavours from around the world.
For dessert, you must try the Blueberry Clafouti (B240), a traditional French dessert of baked blueberries, where every mouthful is a tart treat offset by the buttered flan. The Tahiti vanilla ice cream is the perfect full stop to the meal; a bright palate cleanser to all the intense flavours. With their mix of the traditional and innovative, and the perfect grasp of flavours from around the world, I wouldn’t be surprised if Quince gets the coveted Michelin star before the end of the year.
The drinks are created in the well-appointed bar upstairs, Jaqueline, named after former US first lady and style icon, Jackie O. Just like its namesake, the bar’s cocktails ooze sophistication and a hint of playful glamour. Allow the cocktail Aviation (B350) to take you to new heights with its luminous colour and kick of gin, with the fresh lemon and maraschino liqueur battling for dominance to create an invigorating zesty finish. Meanwhile, the Bijou (B400) cocktail sparkles in your mouth like the jewel it’s named after, the sweet vermouth a great counterpoint to the orange bitters. Other options abound, including a curated list of wines and liquors for the perfect denouement to your evening.
QUINCE AT SIRI HOUSE
No. 14/2 Soi Somkid, Phloen Chit Road, Bangkok
SIRI HOUSE: Open daily from 8am to 12am
Quince: Open daily from 6pm to 12am
Tel: 094 868 2639
Facebook and Instagram: @quincebangkok, @sirihousebkk