NotSameBar – French and European Cuisine
NotSameBar is an intimate little neighbourhood bar and restaurant which only opened its doors in January 2021. Located in upmarket Sathorn on the corner of Naradhiwas Rajanagrindra 2 Alley, NotSameBar is serving up some delightful authentic French and European cuisine.
As we pulled up in our taxi, we step out into the cozy courtyard with a nice coffee come cocktail bar in one corner and ample seating. The trees and hanging plants give this warm garden feel and with a retractable roof to keep you dry on the wetter Bangkok nights we are surely only a few short weeks away from. The interior is just as cozy with its minimal décor and soft lighting giving NotSameBar the intimate atmosphere you might expect in a Parisian Bistro. There is also a lovely covered rooftop and private aircon room upstairs.
NotSameBar – A Bistronomic Experience
We spoke Thai actor and one of the people behind the restaurant, Sandy Ploy or Ploy Paphasawan Phisitkun about the concept of the restaurant. Ploy explains how the name ‘NotSameBar’ came about. “We chose the name because we wanted to proclaim that we are different” says Ploy. Ploy and Paris born business partner Sam Lam decided to go for a Bistronomic style of restaurant-bar focusing on a casual fine dining French and European style cuisine as they both have a passion for French food and felt that Bangkok is sorely lacking in this style of restaurant.
Serrano Ham and Burrata Salad
Whenever I see burrata on the menu I just have to order it. So, you can imagine my excitement when I saw it on the menu at NotSameBar. The plate was beautifully presented, the fresh ball of burrata cheese with its little topknot is nestled on a flavourful bed of pesto served with twirls of dry cured serrano ham then decorated with vibrant cherry tomatoes, punchy arugula leaves and a drizzle of rich extra virgin olive oil.
Burrata is an Italian cheese made from fresh cow’s milk, mozzarella and cream. The cheese is spun by hand to create the soft curd shell and is then filled with mozzarella strands and cream giving the cheese contrasting textures. As you cut into the cheese’s soft shell it reveals that rich creamy interior of that gently seeps from the centre like rich cream.
The cheese is fresh, mild, smooth with a buttery consistency, this works well with the salty cured serrano ham. The creaminess of the burrata really balances the saltiness of the ham the arugula gives a nice the peppery kick. The pesto with its basil, crunchy pine nuts, and olive oil also contributes its own rich, herbal flavours alongside the sweet cherry tomato that give the dish a little umami flavour. A perfect starter with a chilled glass of white wine or the house sangria which is a refreshing mix of red and white wine with slices of orange, strawberry and lemon.
Baked Camembert by NotSameBar
For our next course we decided to stay with cheese. This time we went for the classic ‘camembert’ a cheese dating back to the late 18th Century from Normandy in the northwest of France and still just as loved. The baked camembert at NotSameBar is served with a thyme salad and slices of toasted country-style bread. This is another example of simple food, done extremely well, the soft gooey camembert has a lovey creamy taste with a mushroom and slightly nutty flavours while the white rind of the cheese gives some rather ripe funky flavours of its own.
Taking a slice of toast and smothering it in melted, gooey camembert to this I added some of the fresh salad leaves with its thyme and balsamic vinegar dressing is a perfect combination of fat, salt and acid. The rich, funky and creamy camembert, the herbaceous salad with their punchy pepper notes all work together and complement each other with the crisp bite of the toast making a delightful bite of food.
Foie-Gras With Confit Onion
No trip to a French Bistro would be complete with out a dich of Foie Gras and NotSameBar is no exception to that rule. They have a couple of foie gras dishes available either the pan seared gras or the Pâté, we opted for the latter. Another beautifully presented plate, a generous slice of the foie gras pâté, the sweet confit onion, a vibrant smear of red berry sauce (which is made from raspberries, blueberries and strawberries) and a sprinkle of Himalayan pink salt, served again with some of that warm, toasted country-style bread.
Spreading the still warm toast with a lavish amount of the buttery foie gras and a smear of that fruity, tart red berry sauce as well as the sweet jam-like confit onions (slow cooked in duck fat) and a sprinkle of the pink salt. This is an explosion of flavours, the custardy, buttery foie gras is rich and luxurious and pairs perfectly with the jam-like sweet onion. The tart fruity berry sauce cuts through both the sweetness of the onion and the unctuousness of the pâté whilst the salt lift the whole dish.
Steak Tartare by NotSameBar
This is a dish I have always shied away from in the past, but given that NotSameBar is a French style bistro and steak tartare is synonymous with French cooking I just had to give it a try, and I am so pleased I did. This classic French dish is made with raw finely chopped (minced) tenderloin of beef with onions, capers, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper and then pressed into a shape of a patty, on top of which is placed a single raw egg (chicken) yolk. The plate was then garnished with cherry tomatoes, fresh water cress, green onions and a sprinkling of parsley. This was served with a healthy side portion of some of the thinnest, crispiest home-made French fries I’ve ever had.
Taking a fork and breaking open the fresh egg yolk with its beautiful, deep yellow colour before mixing it into the beef, combining this with the onions, capers, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and other herbs and spices they all help give the beef a rich and savory umami flavours whilst the egg yolk gives you an almost creamy mouthfeel. The cress, green onion and capers lend an herbal freshness, a splash colour and bite to the dish. The home-made fries were so good I would go and order the tartare again just so I could have the fries they were that good real potato cut very thin and fried to a deep golden brown, crispy and well-seasoned.
Grilled Pork Rib With Roasted Vegetables
Our final savoury dish of the evening we went for the show stopper, the grilled pork rib chop. I’m a massive fan of pork and the Thais really know how to cook pork well, from succulent braised pork dishes to the crispy pork belly. Proving my point is the pork chop at NotSameBar. It is a great dish that’s defiantly made for sharing. The rib chop was grilled to perfection, cooked on the bone and sliced a placed on a serving board, there was a nice char on the pork from the grill with the fat having rendered and caramelised adding flavour to the succulent meat.
Accompanying the chop there was a nice selection of roast vegetable with onion, courgetti (zucchini), green, red and yellow bell peppers and a bulb of roast garlic. Everything was well-seasoned with herbs de Provence, then to add a touch of luxury to dish a foie gras sauce. This is a classic amalgamation of flavours. You have the moist and savoury grilled pork, with the sweet roasted vegetables with their aromatic herbs and charred, caramelised skins finished off with the rich creamy foie gras sauce these flavours complement one another sensationally.
Mango and Coconut Panna Cotta
For the penultimate course of our night at NotSameBar, we opted for an Italian classic the ‘Panna Cotta’. Panna cotta literally translates as ‘cooked cream’ in Italian and is typically made with very few ingredients. The sweet custardy panna cotta is topped with a tart, semi-sweet mango jelly with chucks of the juicy mango flesh that adds a little more texture to the custard-like consistency of the dessert.
There is a lovely flavour of coconut throughout which pairs wonderfully with the creamy, panna cotta but doesn’t overpower the dessert. The jelly with the juicy mango pieces and the tart, semi-sweetness cuts through the creamy panna cotta and is a perfect, light dessert after a heavy meal.
Molten Chocolate Lava Cake
The Chocolate Lava Cake is one of the worlds quintessential chocolate desserts and our last dish of the evening. Said to have been invented in 1987 in New York City by the American based Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Since then, it has come in and out of vogue serval times but still remains a timeless classic and a must for chocolate lovers.
The molten chocolate lava cake at NotSameBar is made with 100% Belgian Chocolate to give that satisfying rich and fudgy chocolate flavour. A molten chocolate lava cake combines the elements of a chocolate cake and a soufflé, with the sponge-like denser outer pastry of the cake to the molten chocolate ganache centre.
When the cake arrives, still warm on the table it is nicely presented on the plate with a good dustings of dark coco powder and powdered sugar. As we cut into the cake the soft molten ganache centre slowly seeps out, inviting you to delve right in the bitter-sweet chocolatey goodness. Rich dark chocolate coats the mouth and is a perfect balance of bitter-sweet making this very moreish cake and a member of the clean plate club.
I found this to be a great little find in Sathorn, great food, a good selection of drinks both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages at reasonable prices. At the time of writing NotSameBar were giving a free welcome drink of their signature Sangria as well as 30% of food all night long on Friday nights. So, if you’re looking for quality European cuisine and affordable price check out NotSameBar.