There are many places around the world that have attempted to capture the magic of French cuisine outside of the country itself. Perhaps it is a bit unexpected to find that one of the places that does succeed in this endeavour is deep in Bangkok – a city with its own refined culinary identity. That restaurant is Brasserie 9. On the back of Brasserie 9’s success in LUXlife’s Global Luxury Restaurant and Bar Awards programme, we spoke with Mr. Linus Knobel to find out more.
Based out of an elegant remodelled mansion, Brasserie 9 strives to make a dramatic first impression. From its position at the heart of Bangkok’s downtown, located closed to the city’s business areas and entertainment high spots, the restaurant embraces a sort of revitalised old-world vibe, doubling down on the sophistication. It’s fitting, echoing Brasserie’s approach to Authentic French cuisine – thoroughly traditional with a modern twist.
As Knobel explains, Brasserie 9 aims to capture a luxurious atmosphere, to match the gastronomical treats that are served to guests every evening. “Brasserie 9 offers fine French dining amid in an elegant, colonial-style villa. It offers a new level of luxury experiences for the well-travelled culinary connoisseur. The restaurant is an intimate and stylish drinking, dining and entertainment venue, with four meeting rooms, and a professional team for events planning and catering. There’s also a spacious cigar and smoking room, further accentuating that idea of old-world luxury that Brasserie 9 is trying to recapture.”
On the food front, Brasserie 9 uses only the finest ingredients for their creations. “All of the superb elements are drawn together with the unrivalled expertise of our Chefs, to make sure that each customer enjoys the best authentic French cuisine on every visit.” This remains a keen focus for the restaurant, as they dedicate their efforts to ensuring that dining at Brasserie 9 is a treat, an experience to be cherished.
“We are committed to giving all of our guests the best possible dining experiences, from the first contact with the guest through to the end of the meal: Excellent service, delicious food, beautiful surroundings. Quality permeates everything we do at every level of operation – we ensure this through high levels of commitment and dedication.”
Naturally, the restaurant’s team play a vital role in bringing this goal to fruition. Here Knobel takes a moment to discuss Brasserie 9’s approach to employee training in more detail: “We create awareness through communication, training and comprehensive engagement activities. As we do this, we constantly monitor the performance of our staff to ensure high standards and high levels of service are met and maintained. At BAC Group (the restaurant’s Owner), we strongly believe training and developing employees are the key components in attracting talent, increasing productivity, and improving employee satisfaction.
“This year, the company will be focusing more on succession planning and employee development. With over 2,100 employees at BAC, the turnover is less than 2% as a result of development and training. Ultimately, our employees love what they do which makes a remarkable impact on their service!”
It would be remiss to not mention Bangkok in isolation – that is to say, how it has evolved over the last decade to become a gourmet dream, defined by world-class chefs at the height of their game. Knobel agrees, “Bangkok is a culinary paradise, with so many possibilities across the capital
from affordable and luxurious. Whether you are looking for style, ambience or flavour, Bangkok has a lot to offer – which has led to a highly competitive market. The competition in Thailand’s restaurant business is intensifying every year.
“It is therefore important for us to be original and different, and we differentiate ourselves from competitors by offering truly traditional and authentic cuisine.”
As such, Brasserie 9 doesn’t follow trends. It forges its own path. After all, food trends are notoriously transient. “Over the past few years, we have seen a lot of fusion creations where, often, a basic cooking skill has not been practiced. Saying that, recently, chefs are embracing the idea of simplicity and going back to basics. We’re already one step ahead of the curve there. Current food trends are all about healthy, organic food and understanding the origins of the food you buy. Brasserie 9 have been doing that for years.”
Regarding the future, Knobel comments on BAC’s plans for the remainder of 2019 and beyond. “The BAC group has four business units (over 2,000 employees) under its umbrella where they are related to one another. Our first establishment was Bangkok Air Catering at Suvarnabhumi Airport in 2004, a provider of airline catering and in-flight services, which has expanded to additional units on Samui and Phuket, with operations set to start in Chiang Mai during the first half of 2019. Throughout the business uncertainty, we have pursued business diversification with the aim of competitive differentiation and long-term sustainability. The successful establishment of Gourmet House Culinary Care, a provider of premium catering services at first class hospitals, and Gourmet Primo, a manufacturer of customized meal solutions that enjoys strong representation in the airport lounge, HORECA and outside event catering sectors.
“Meanwhile, the Gourmet House group of restaurants has two dining establishment operating under its umbrella: the multiple award-winning Al Saray Fine Lebanese and Indian Cuisine restaurants can be found at two locations in Silom and Soonvijai, while Brasserie 9 Fine French Cuisine has been established for over a year in a spacious new venue off Sathorn. A new restaurant will be added to its portfolio to celebrate the purest traditions of Thai cuisine, Ruen Noppagao, which promises a classic experience in every detail of menu, beverages, décor, and even the tableware.”