Aux Agapes – Parlez vous Francais?

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Aux Agapes is a new French restaurant on Third Road Pattaya. We walked in and a very French voice asked “Parlez vous Francais?” “Un peu, a l’ecole,” I replied. “No problems,” he said, “I speak English too.” And that was our introduction to the six days old Aux Agapes (pronounced “Oh zagap”) and the French owner/chef Christian.

Chef Christian has been some years in Thailand and speaks Thai as well as his native French and English. He is very well experienced having been an executive chef for a Michelin starred restaurant in France, and having had eight restaurants in Thailand at one stage.

His cuisine he describes as French, more in the Escoffier tradition and not “Cro Magnon” cooking, describing food with no soul.

It was not difficult to find Aux Agapes, being a little past and on the same side of Third Road as the New York Pizza House, with Soi Lengkee almost opposite. There is limited parking in front of Aux Agapes, but plenty kerbside on Third Road.

The décor is very pleasant with outsize regency stripes both inside and out. Starched white tablecloths and superb quality crockery and cutlery make for elegant table settings. Add in large tables and very comfortable chairs with the correct chair to tabletop height and you have the correct ambience for leisurely dining.

A central point in any French bar is Ricard (known as “yellow”, Christian told me) and I started with one to sip while perusing the menu (which is in French, English and Thai). Christian also pointed out that everything is done ‘in house’, even the nutty nougat (and more on that later).

The wine list is not all French as you might have supposed. Red and white by the glass (B. 140-180) from Chile, a bottle of Eaglehawk (Australia Wolf Blass) is B. 1290, with many others around that price. Local beers (B. 70-90) and Ricard B. 120.

The first page of the menu covers Starters and Salads (B. 160-280) with a Lyonnaise green salad at the lower end, and seafood in a puff pastry in a creamy calvados sauce at the top end.

“Plates de la Mer” are up next with several ways of presenting seafood (B. 240-640), including a salmon fillet, cooked in foil with herbs and soft spices and mashed potatoes (B. 390).

Soups and Foie gras are represented with the pan-fried duck foie gras with homemade gingerbread and wild honey caramel sauce.

Next up are a couple of pages for the carnivores. Most items are around B. 400. Duck dishes at the low end, such as orange braised duck legs, with imported rib eye near the top at B. 690. There are even choices such as wild pig in pepper sauce (B. 350). With your selection you get a choice of six sauces and four styles of potato.

Desserts are B. 140-180 including the home made nougat, which was just exceptional, though Christian did have to talk us into it, as we really were full.

I began with a French onion soup, hot to the table, with a dish of parmesan on the side. Madame had gone for the red tuna carpaccio and this was a superb starter. For our mains, I had the Coq au vin, and Madame the fillet of salmon. Both dishes were very good and cooked to perfection. Escoffier would have been pleased!

We had a most enjoyable evening at Aux Agapes, and we are sure you will too. The traditional French cuisine is always a pleasure, and with the prices not over the top in any way (a 400 gm Chateaubriand was the most expensive dish you could order at B. 790) and an extensive menu, there will be something for everyone. The portion sizes are also generous. This restaurant will quickly become a favorite for all those who like to savor a good meal and discuss the future of the world.

Definitely worth a visit.

Aux Agapes, 340/22-23, Third Road, open seven days, 12-3 p.m. for lunch and 6 p.m. until late for dinner. Parking in front of the restaurant or on-street parking Third Road or behind the restaurant for a small fee which Christian will refund, tel 082 539 9655.