The newest outlet in the nascent restaurant empire that bought us contemporary French-style rotisserie Cocotte, Pesca Mar & Terra Bistro offers diners a culinary journey around the shores of the Mediterranean with a great selection of Spanish, Italian and French dishes, many designed to be shared between two or four people. But while at Cocotte the focus is very much on prime meats, at Pesca seafood is the order of the day.
The restaurant’s décor has a chic seafront bistro vibe, including a covered outdoor section that doubles as a pre- and post-dinner drink spot where patrons can kick back with a glass of wine or a cocktail and chill-out to music played by a resident DJ. This is also a good spot to watch the chefs work the plancha grill station. Pesca’s open kitchen, with its blue and while tiling, live seafood tanks and seafood-on-ice displays, is redolent of Parisian fishmongers and Neptune’s bounty is very much the star here. That said, the land component of the restaurant’s name is well represented with dishes such as slowcooked crispy-soft Iberico pork shoulder, a substantial Australian lamb tomahawk rack and wagyu beef tenderloin, and a simply divine homemade ravioli fois gras.
Conceived with a fresh from market to table concept, Pesca also takes advantage of locally raised grade-A free-range pork and poultry and organically grown fruits and vegetables. These augment almost daily consignments of premium produce from suppliers all over the world, particularly seafood from the coast of Brittany in France and from Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji fish market, and prime beef and lamb from Rangers Valley in Australia. The restaurant also has its own delicatessen stocked with cold cuts from Barcelona’s La Boqueria market and the fabled Rungis Market in Paris, and with artisanal cheeses from French specialist Beillevaire.
This cornucopia forms the backbone of a busy menu overseen by chef Jeriko van der Wolf and his colleague chef Marc Pacetta. Not yet 25, van der Wolf seems impossibly young to have accomplished so much so quickly and yet as an 18-year-old he was named Best French Apprentice and has trained under MOF chefs (recognised for being Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France or one of the best craftsmen in France) at Michelin-starred restaurants such as L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon and Regis & Jacques Marcon. Neapolitan chef Marc is also no stranger to the Michelinstarred restaurant scene, having worked with luminaries such as Guy Savoy, Alain Sanderens, Lucas Carton and Gordon Ramsey. Since arriving in Thailand the 35-year-old has spent time with mentors such as chef Ian Kittichai, who introduced him to Thai cuisine at Issaya Siamese Club.
If you just want to drop in to Pesca for something light and a glass of wine, check out the tapas menu. Recommended is Hokkaido scallops cooked with miso butter, melted leeks and yuzu foam. The meaty scallops have an incredible natural sweetness, which is nicely offset by the slightly tart yuzu foam. Also excellent is egg caviar, creamy egg mousse given a piquant briny lift with anchovies, asparagus and Oscietra caviar and served with fancy crisp bread soldiers. Another starter worth trying is French mussels bouchot, small but succulent shellfish cooked in white wine and served with shallots, parsley and French fries.
Particularly good as a stand-alone dish is a classic bouillabaisse made with three types of fish—Atlantic turbot, monkfish and red snapper. Giving three different texture profiles, the fish is simmered in a creamy, rich homemade soup with saffron potatoes and served with a crisp slice of baguette topped with zesty aioli, which is perfect for soaking up any leftover soup.
From the plancha grill the surf and turf combo of the Mousse platter offers a substantial meal for two. It comprises Maine lobster, Alaskan king grab legs, creamy blood sausage, a seared tuna steak cooked to a beautiful pale pink, tender seared lamb chops, sweet tiger prawns, grilled Australian sirloin and a Chiang Mai sausage. If you manage to finish it and have room for more, try one of the soufflés for dessert with a cup of freshly brewed coffee. Then undo your belt a notch, take a few deep breaths and reflect on a stunning repast.
Pesca Mar & Terra Bistro, 39 Ekamai Soi 12
Open daily 11am-3pm, 6pm-11:45pm