Bangkok’s exquisite dining scene has truly risen to top of its game. The city is filled with an abundance of restaurants to satisfy just about any culinary craving you might have. However, there is something about French cuisine that maintains itself as the ultimate crowd-pleaser in the city.
This year’s winner of Thailand Tatler’s Best New Restaurant is indeed a French restaurant. Nestled deep in soi Sukhumvit 39, Cocotte Farm Roast & Winery sits amidst a pool of renowned eateries, among them, Philippe and Hong Bao. This new kid on the block has garnered much attention over its appealing setting and a menu focused on scrumptious meat dishes and poultry rotisserie.
(Relevant: Inside Thailand Tatler Best Restaurants 2017)
We recently visited the thriving establishment for an exclusive sit-down with its young and talented executive chef. We asked questions, and chef Jeriko Van Der Wolf gave us answers, as well as a beautiful portion of smoked beef and burrata. Lucky us.
How do you feel about winning Thailand Tatler’s Best New Restaurant award?
It has been almost a year since we began to build this restaurant. I’m really happy to have won this award, not only for myself but for the team. It’s a team effort and therefore a victory for all of us.
What is the inspiration and philosophy behind the restaurant?
Initially, Cocotte was inspired by a French concept, which is the chicken rotisserie concept. The main idea was to cook really good chicken, locally sourced from Thailand, and to bring it to perfection with imported French ovens. Then we added other French concepts such as cheese, cold cuts and the meat because everyone in Bangkok is always searching for good meat.
If you had to describe Cocotte in three words, what would they be?
In terms of food: Chicken, beef and cheese. In terms of ambience: Homey, comfort and good vibes.
What is your favourite dish here?
That’s a really hard question because I made the menu. I would say it depends on the day. I love all my dishes.
What is the most popular dish?
The most popular is the tomahawk made from Australian wagyu beef, which is very juicy and tender. We sell over 15 per day.
What are the key success factors that make a restaurant become “best new restaurant”?
I think you have to give to your customers in a way that makes them want to come back. I think we are successful because we prepare food that you can eat every week. We are not preparing fancy food nor are we trying to be fancy. We focus on a homey comfort food style. People who come on Monday can come back with family and friends on Saturday.
Who would you have given the award to if it wasn't you guys?
For Best New Restaurant, I think I would have given it to Sühring.
What do you think about the Bangkok dining scene?
It’s great but it can also be a headache to choose a restaurant because there are so many of them. I don’t know which ones to choose. Restaurants have to keep the consistency on the quality. Nevertheless, the Bangkok dining scene and its nightlife are really amazing.
Any favourite after-hour night cap spots?
I like to go to Sing Sing. It’s really close to the restaurant so when I finish work, I go to have drinks there with my friends. I also like to go to Smalls.
If you could cook a full course meal and invite a celebrity to dine at Cocotte, who would it be?
For me, I would invite one of my previous chefs, Regis Marcon, a three-Michelin star chef in France. That’s my kind of celebrity. I don’t know other celebrities but anybody is welcome here.