When I was asked to review a French Wine and Tapas bar my mind conjured up images of times gone by when I used to travel to Paris to watch France play England at Rugby. In those days the venue was the magnificent Parc Des Princes, but alas games are now played at the less glamorous Stade De France.
I remember travelling on the metro to the St Cloud station and then, after a short walk, I was at the stadium. The French love their rugby, it is second nature to them and the welcome you got as a visiting supporter was second to none. Sets of supporters would stand on street corners discussing battles gone by, sharing a bottle or two whilst waiting for the next gladiatorial contest to commence.
Surrounding the venue was a large collection of restaurants, cafes and wine bars all catering for the multitudes whose appetites had been fuelled by the odd glass of something that they would never remember consuming.
So with all these memories fresh in my mind off I went to the Oli Wine and Tapas bar situated at 47/26 Talad Thong Nai, Meuang, Buriram. Talad Thong is an area on the Thanon Thali Road, near to the bus station about 150 meters from the traffic lights at the junction with Bulamduan road. The bar is easily visible form the road and there is ample parking available
Oliver with his father Jean and brother Julien
The bar is on the ground floor of a single unit building. There is a covered seated area outside and inside various types of seating consisting of small tables with chairs and stools around old wine barrels that have been tastefully constructed into tables.
As You would expect the bar is typically French, the walls being adorned with various ornaments and art work to compliment it’s theme.. The lighting is soft and the ambiance is complete with the unobtrusive back ground music.
I received a warm welcome from the owner Oliver who is a proud Parisian now established in Thailand. Oliver has been in the country for ten years and has worked as a chef, restaurant manager and manager of several establishments in Bangkok, Phuket and Buriram.
Oliver and his wife Nan are the driving force behind the bar and, as well as being mine host, Oliver is also the chef and is ablely supported by a friendly team.
The friendly staff
The menu is a mixture of French and Asian dishes. The French dishes includes tartin pate, a cold cut meat selection, a French cheese board and parmentier de canard which is a rustic duck dish. The Asian dishes including toug tong (Thai filled pastry parcels), Thai spring rolls and gyosa which is a type of Japanese fried dumpling. In addition there are garlic breads, with or without cheese and much more. There is a sweet seletion consisting of lava cake, apple muffins and caramel cream all prepared by Oliver.
To complement the food there are a selection of wines from Chile, Australia and France that can be purchased by the glass, carafe or bottle. The wine is kept in a wine cooler in order that it can be served at the optimum temperature. Prices vary depending where the wine is from but, compared to similar establishments in Bangkok and other tourist areas, the prices very reasonable, I selected the French red merlot at 110 baht a glass which, apart from being an excellent wine, was good value.
For my meal I selected the garlic bread, the cold cuts and the parmentier de canard. The garlic bread arrive first and consisted of a generous serving of sixes pieces (five in the picture as my daughter got in first) of French bread which had been lightly grilled and spread with a delicately flavoured garlic butter.
Second to arrive was the cold cuts accompanied by a basket of bread. The cuts consisted of coppa which is a cured pork, Paris ham, salamis and black pork pate. I have to say, being unashamed out and out carnivore, this was heaven on a plate, I was not disappointed.
Cold cut plate
My final dish and, the pièce de résistance, was the parmentier de canard, which roughly translated means duck with potatoes. The duck had been fried with onions, herbs and garlic and layered in a dish with mashed potatoes, topped with cheese and baked in the oven, this style is of cooking is called en-cocotte and is typically French. The duck was presented in the cocotte on a plate with a green salad. I tucked in with great gusto and as I penetrated the cheese and potato with my spoon the aromatics that came from the dish were a delight. The duck was full of flavour and not over powered by the garlic, herbs and onions, the mash potato was buttery and silky smooth and the whole dish complimented by the cheese. The green salad was fresh, properly seasoned and masked with a delectable French dressing.
Parmentier De Canard
The three dishes were washed down with a couple glasses of Merlot and a glass of Rose Provence, the bill came to under 900 baht, which I thought was great value.
The bar bar is open six days a week from 5pm to 11pm closong only on Mondays..Happy hour is daily between 6pm and 8pm and when you buy 2 glasses of wine, or spirits or 2 bottles of beer you get the third free.
Oli Wine and Tapas is a unique addition to the Buriram restaurant scene and will hopefully be around for a long time. There is no place Buriram that offers this type of cuisine, affordable wines and produce a taste of Paris in Issan.
For more information go to https://www.facebook.com/OliwineBuriram?fref=ts
The food menu