Café Tartine is very close to the BTS station, so you won't be sweating buckets when on arrival (which is always makes for a more pleasant dining experience).
This place reminds me of some of the chain-like brunch places in NYC and London, namely 'Le Pain Quotidien', although Café Tartine is more homely and unique.
The interior is light and airy with fan ceilings. Huge glass door cabinets are neatly lined with designer glass water bottles in the seating area, whilst a homely country style kitchen complete with counter top occupies the other half. The white shirt aproned service staff all look completely at home, bustling away as they take, prepare and serve orders.
The menu has a good selection of breakfast items, crepes, sandwiches (with your choice of bread), a couple of soups including the obligatory french onion soup, salads, or if you so prefer, there is a 'make-your-own' salad option where you just tick off what you want from the list. Beverages include coffees, including an XXL bowl option, shakes, and other drinks.
Mr. P joined me for lunch today as I had already told him that I would take him to a wonderful place for something a little French. As we stepped inside, I could tell Mr. P approved of this café.
Feeling right at home with the menu, Mr. P chose the ham and melted brie baguette (around 190 baht). The baguette was crunchy on the outside, and lovingly soft on the inside. He was pretty pleased with his baguette sandwich and it brought back memories of his many childhood summers spent in France.
I ordered the salade nicoise (220 baht) which was a hefty plate of salad topped with boiled egg, tomato, boiled potato, olives, red peppers, green beans and let's not forget, the tuna itself!
The olives were fat and juicy, the tuna was soft and well, tuna. The ingredients all tasted wonderfully fresh, but if I had one complaint - and it is a small one - I would have liked the lettuce to have been better tossed in the dressing as the salad leaves at the top were not as well dressed as those at the bottom.
All in all though, a really tasty and well-thought out generous salade nicoise.
We both finished off the meal with a coffee which was steaming hot and again, very generous. And a dessert of course; me having the tart tatin and Mr. P having the lime pie.
I had suggested sharing to Mr. P before ordering, but he would not listen. So when the very generous portions arrived, we couldn't believe our eyes and Mr. P confessed that we should have indeed shared ... men! Our neighbours even eyed up our desserts and exclaimed how good they looked.
The apples on the tart tartin oozed with just the right amount of sweetness, the caramel infused pastry was delicious, although not puff pastry. Again, it tasted good and the caramel sauce with fresh cream on the side is a lovely addition for those with an extra sweet tooth.
The lime pie looked just like a British lemon meringue pie, but of course the French have their own 'Tarte Meringuée au Citron', so nothing British about this one ....
The meringue was very light with the edges browned just enough on top, and the lime curd was on the right side of sour. The pastry was slightly biscuit-like which Mr. P (as an Englishman) loves.
Service is polite and friendly here. There is seating outside with tall floor fans, which I imagine is really lovely for chilling out in once the heat subsides a little in the evenings.
They also offer free wifi which is fantastic. Having been here twice already, I noticed how lunch time between 12:30-13:30pm is absolutely buzzing, so if you want to avoid the manic rush, come either before or after this hour.
I have yet to try their croissants, of which I am so looking forward to doing very soon.
Soi Ruam Rudee at Athenee Residence, 65 Wireless Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
Tel: +66 (0)2 168 5464
Nearest BTS: Ploenchit, exit 4. U-turn at the bottom of the stairs, take the first left into Soi Ruam Rudee and Cafe Tartine is a mere 100 metres on the right hand side.