DINING OUT & KHUN OCHA'S COOKBOOK
 

Le Beaulieu at Hill Lodge Resort  

A Restaurant Worthy of a Special Occasion

Le Beaulieu is one of the highest rated French restaurants in Bangkok. Recently, it opened a branch in Chiang Mai, at Chalaluck Bunnag’s Hill Lodge Resort in the mountains above the city. Last month, I attended a buffet dinner there to mark the grand opening.
The dining area is roofed, but otherwise is open air. I am told that, on cool evenings, it is warmed by an open fire. The restaurant has a splendid view down the hillside to a well-groomed, spacious lawn and a lily pond with fountain. The location certainly adds great charm. The restaurant itself can accommodate up to 30. We ate at tables on the lawn, which allows for about 100 diners.
The Bangkok restaurant is subtitled “cuisine by Herve Freward,” while this branch credits the cuisine to Chalaluck Bunnag. I talked with Herve Freward about what differences and similarities there would be between the two branches. He told me the menu in Chiang Mai was simpler, and in a more moderate price range, but the emphasis on the best ingredients would remain the same. Le Beaulieu describes the food as French contemporary, with fine ingredients presented with a clarity of taste.
Which brings me to the most important aspect of a restaurant, the food. We started with appetizers of Thai herbs enclosed in a rice crepe and deep fried – a delicious variation on Thai food. As a soup I enjoyed an excellent bouillabaisse. There was a choice of roast meats, fish and other dishes. My two favourites were the sea bass with beurre blanc sauce and the lamb stew. The subtle flavour of the beurre blanc sauce complemented the flavour of the sea bass well, while still allowing the taste of the fish to come through clearly. The lamb stew, with tender meat and succulent, savory sauce, was well complemented by the red wine served. This was a soft and approachable Shiraz merlot blend from Western Australia called Mission.
There were a variety of desserts and a cheese plate. The centerpiece, however, was a special chocolate cake decorated in honour of the occasion. See the photograph. This cake came from Gallothai, who make Belgian chocolate in Thailand and have a shop on Bamrungrat Road in Chiang Mai. It was so rich in chocolate that it needed a serrated knife to cut. As a fellow diner, Mary Berbae, commented, you know you are in a really sophisticated restaurant when you can eat the roast beef without a knife, but need a steak knife for the chocolate cake!
To give an idea of some of the items and prices on the regular menu, here are just a few examples: organic salad 290 baht, deep fried frog leg with rocket salad 490 baht, zucchini soup 160 baht, grilled salmon with red wine sauce 520 baht, pot au feu 850 baht, grilled lamb chops with rosemary sauce 950 baht. Note that prices are plus tax and 10% service. To get there, take the Canal Road south from the city. Turn right on the road to Samoeng. Drive about 18 km and you will see the Hill Lodge Resort on your left. The web site is www.hill-lodge.com and the telephone number is 053 365 011-2. I’d like to hear from you on your experience of this restaurant. Please contact me at: [email protected]

 

Salmon, Broccoli and Potato Bake

This recipe was inspired by the Yorkies Global Recipe Book (B. 500 and available at Yorkies in Jomtien, proceeds to the Yasothon School charity) and is really a family favorite, and does not take long to cook. It came from Tony Coghlan in England.

Cooking Method
Place potato wedges in shallow microwave dish, cover and cook for 10 minutes on high (turn after 5 minutes).
Now add broccoli, cover and cook for three minutes.
Mix the cream and mustard, with a brief sprinkle of ground pepper.
Place the salmon pieces between the broccoli and potatoes and then pour the cream/mustard over, making sure most of the broccoli is covered.
Now sprinkle with the cheese and place under the grill for five minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling, the tips of the potatoes are golden and the salmon is just cooked.

Ingredients                  Serves 4 
Potato cut in wedges         750 gm
Broccoli 1 head broken into florets
Fresh cream                     200 ml
Wholegrain mustard          2 tbspns
Salmon fillets                   4 (cut in large pieces)
Parmesan, grated            cup