On Sukhumvit Soi 20 is a hidden gem, opposite the Windsor Hotel down a little driveway, past artistically graffitied walls, sits a beautiful teak house, otherwise known as Chesa.
Chesa is a Swiss restaurant that was bought to Bangkok in the year 2000, by chefs Thomas Nowak and Rene Kun. Sitting in the heart of Sukhumvit, amongst skyscrapers and office buildings, the restaurant (that has been built to look like a two storey house) stands out from the crowd. It’s a statement piece that is true to its Swiss roots and it is every bit as charming on the inside as it is on the outside.
Chesa is suitable for both business lunches and intimate dinners, and whilst there isn’t an official dress code, smart casual seems to be the dress code of choice.Dark wooden furniture fills the room, with the depth of colour truly emphasised by the hues of red from the table linen. Swiss memorabilia and select pieces of artwork give the restaurant a traditional, cozy and relaxed atmosphere.
There are two seating areas to choose from (smoking and non-smoking), but if you would prefer something more secluded, Chesa also offers you the opportunity to book a private dining room, which can seat up to 24 people.
Chesa offers the Swiss feeling in both taste and atmosphere.
The menu is a book filled with interesting flavour combinations, from the classic Cordonbleu to the Lemon Sherbet with Vodka and Cherry, Chesa serves an array of gourmet delicacies, which also includes both fondue and traditional Swiss raclette. From steak to risotto, the menu is diverse and provides well-flavoured options for both vegetarians, and meat lovers.
The staff are well matched to their surroundings in their red and white uniforms, but more importantly they are diligent, friendly, and speak good English. Head Chef, and co-owner Thomas, spends a lot of his time on the ground floor and is often seen greeting and chatting with customers, encouraging everyone to feel just that little bit more welcome.
Prices on the menu start at 300฿ for an appetizer and 650฿ for a main, with set menus available for lunch. There is also an all you can eat menu for 1180฿.
The only downside we could find: the portions are a little too small.
I went to Chesa on a week night to try out their food. There were only a few diners but the atmosphere was maintained with a good amount of background noise from other tables, and from the laugh ter between staff as they shared a joke. Chesa has a good team presence, which really adds to the dining experience. My only complaint is that whilst the flavours were good, I did feel that the portion sizes were a little small for the price that you pay, especially if you order the raclette, which was recommended to share between 2 people, but did not have enough cheese to cover the vegetables.
For those that want to try out Chesa but can’t decide what to order, Chesa has you covered as Bangkok’s only a la carte buffet.
On a Sunday brunch, Chesa will let you order as many dishes as you would like from the menu, delivered to your table for 1450฿ (per adult).
By Amy Morgan