There’s a lot to like about Lady Brett, the late-night neighbor of Sathorn’s favorite brunch spot, Rocket
. With most new Bangkok restaurants looking pretty much interchangeable, this European tavern-referencing bistro now seems even more charming than when it first opened back in early 2014. The rich black leather bonquettes, the excessively wide lacquered darkwood bar and the tasteful herringbone floor tiles make for a place with genuine ambience.
The food, too, has really developed over time, replacing the ungainly slow-roasted meats and pastas with a concise menu that puts the spotlight on barbecue. They go into quite some detail about the “binchotan hardwood charcoal from Laos” and young bamboo “seasoning,” but don’t expect meat that tastes like it’s spent hours over a backyard smoker. The charred, woody notes are just about there, but this is no Smokin’ Pug. The barbecued chicken thigh (B190), for example, features moist, perfectly cooked and deboned meat that hints at charcoal smoke rather than hitting you with it.
The 800-gram tomahawk steak (B1,500) is the same, with a well-charred exterior giving way to a red center that’s delicious thanks to the rare flavor of the meat alone. Not long ago we tried the Aussie rib-eye here (B850), and by comparison this hunk of local beef sings. We could do without the pool of flavorless creamed spinach, but at less than B200 per 100 grams, we bet you won’t find a better priced tomahawk in town. The truffle-black garlic sauce (B75) also gets right what so many get wrong.
It’s not all good, though; stray away from the barbecue menu and cracks begin to appear. The pulled pork burger (B290) with its sweet, sticky meat and even sweeter brioche bun just doesn’t do it for us. It’s much the same story with the snapper and pomegranate ceviche (B360), which seems more like a limply dressed raw-fish salad. Give it some sharpness!
These things aside, booking in at Lady Brett (and you will have to book) makes for a good evening. The guys behind the bar know what they’re doing and have no problems going off-menu, and the place has a decent buzz even in the middle of the week. When news of Lady Brett’s menu shift came late last year we thought finally this team might have put a foot wrong. If that was the case, then clearly they’ve stepped it firmly back in place.
Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor), headed by Jess Barnes of the defunct Opposite Mess Hall.
This review took place in October 2015 and is based on a visit to the restaurant without the restaurant's knowledge. For more on BK's review policy, click here.