By Elle Faraday
taking a shortcut through to Thapae Road the other day, I passed a French
restaurant called Le Solil่s. The restaurant caught my eye because the d้cor
was elegant and stylish and was clearly newly opened. I decided that I would
return that night with my partner.
We arrived and were welcomed at the door by one of the co-owners, Fabien
Spengler. Together with his brother Olivier, they run the restaurant as well as
prepare and cook all of the food. Once we were seated, we decided that we would
start off our meal with a little glass of Kir, a traditional French aperitif. It
was refreshingly different and certainly helped while we mused over the choices
of food on offer.
The menu was extensive and we had trouble choosing what we were going to eat,
due to the fact that it all looked so good. In the end, we decided to choose a
few dishes each and share. We started off with the cream of pumpkin soup, which
at just 60 baht was an absolute bargain. It was rich and creamy with a hint of
peppery seasoning. It was such a simple dish, but was a delicious way to start
the meal and it certainly got our taste buds flowing.
We hadn’t eaten much that day so we indulged ourselves and ordered a second
starter. I chose the saut้ed prawns on green mango while my partner went
for the terrine of pepper and cream cheese. The dishes were a steal at just 140
and 90 baht respectively and we could afford to go wild. The food arrived and I
wasn’t sure whether to eat it or take a photo of it as it was so beautifully
presented. The prawns were a fusion of French and Thai cuisines, saut้ed
in garlic, ginger and whiskey. The contrasting green mango made the perfect, if
not surprising, accompaniment.
We had a slight breather before our main course and enjoyed a glass of fine
Vieux Pape Ros้ wine. It was not long before we were ready to continue
with our feast. I chose the duck breast which was served with a gratin of
zucchini, while my partner opted for the filet of beef with a creamy pepper
sauce and home made French fries. Again, these meals were incredibly reasonably
priced at just 240 and 300 baht. I do not exaggerate when I say that both main
courses were among the best I have tasted while I have been in Chiang Mai and at
a fraction of the price of some other French restaurants.
The dishes were perfectly cooked. The duck was served with a deliciously sharp
raspberry coulis, which perfectly complemented the plump breast and the zucchini
gratin. The beef was extremely tender and served with a creamy pepper sauce and
the best French fries I have had in the city. They were home made, needle thin
and wonderfully crispy; a refreshing change to the mass produced frozen fries
found in most establishments.
It was now time for dessert and I could not resist my long-time favourite, cr่me
brulee. I was amazed at the giant portion that was produced. The delightfully
light custard was encased in a crunchy topping of burnt sugar – divine. My
partner opted for the homemade chocolate mousse that was aero light and fluffy
with a deep rich taste. It was the perfect way to end any meal.
finished the bottle of Ros้ and both Fabien and Olivier joined us for
coffee. The restaurant has only been open six weeks and they are keen to share
their passion for food with the residents and visitors to Chiang Mai.
They both share the cooking and their love of good food comes through in the
taste and presentation of the meals they serve.
They want to make French cuisine available at an affordable price for everyone.
I can honestly say that I enjoyed some of the best food I have had in a long
time and the prices are an absolute bargain if you compare them to the quality
of the food.
Le Solil่s can be found at 35 Chang Moi Soi 2, which can be reached from
towards the bottom of Thapae Road (near the gate) or from Chang Moi Road. It is
opposite the north wall of Wat Cheatawan and is quite tucked away, but well
worth the effort to seek out. You will not be disappointed.
Les Solil่s is open from 11:30 to 14:00 and again from 18:30 to 22:00
Monday to Saturday. You can contact Fabien and Olivier by calling the restaurant
on 053 232 468.
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