It’s back! Portuguese cuisine is back on the menu in Bangkok!
It was nearly three years ago at La Portugalia that I was first introduced to Portuguese food. When they moved closer to my home, expanded their menu to include even more traditional dishes, and rebranded themselves as Casa Portugal, I was a happy man. Because this was the only place in town serving traditional homestyle dishes from Portugal, and I was loving what they served.
Then in August 2019, they abruptly closed shop.
It took nearly two years for me to rediscover homestyle Portuguese cooking in Bangkok. But it’s back now and it’s just what is being dished out at the Biscuit Bar & Restaurant (official Facebook page). I am happy to be able to share it with you, too.
My gal and I took a tour of their menu in which we focused on their Portuguese offerings. If you’ve been craving authentic traditional Portuguese dishes served homestyle, then this article will be of interest to you.
Let me show you what they have to offer…
Authentic from the start…
I knew we were in for an authentic experience right from the start when our table was provided with a complimentary plate of sliced fluffy carcaça bread with a bowl of savory roasted tomato and sardine butter. Saboroso!
You may be familiar with the French croquette filled with mashed potatoes. Croquetes are also a popular Portuguese cafe snack. But the Portuguese take these deep-fried treats to another level by making croquetes with beef. These Croquetes de Carne (180 baht) are the perfect way to kick start a meal at Biscuit Bar & Restaurant.
These tasty bites are served with a mildly spicy bell pepper sauce perfect for dipping. Each order comes with three croquetes. The slightly crispy shell encases a savory meat filling that will leave you craving more. But couples that stay together share the third…
Salada de Presunto
For some greenery, we ordered this Salada de Presunto (250 baht). This salad is made with thick slices of jamón, creamy cheese, fresh figs, lettuce, spring onions, and fig jam. The salty slices of jamón, the sweetness of the fresh figs, and the creaminess of the cheese are a winning combo!
My kind of pub grub!
Since it’s also a bar, it makes sense that the kitchen would also offer some light bites on the menu. But instead of Fish n’ Chips or Steak and Guinness pies, here you’ll find some tasty traditional Portuguese sandwiches.
Bifanas (180 baht) are sandwiches filled with thin slices of fried pork that have first been marinated and simmered in a sauce of white wine, garlic, bay leaf, and paprika. The Biscuit Bar and Restaurant serves it inside homemade carcaça bread with plenty of mustard and a side salad.
Another tasty light bite dish is this Merguez Sausage on Flatbread (200 baht). These merguez sausages are perfectly spicy and piquant. Each grilled sausage is served with spicy pepper sauce, garlicky yoghurt, and tomato slices on a bed of fried onions, over soft homemade flatbread.
Every bite is a flavor explosion. I only wish there was an option to “double dog” it–those sausages are really, really good!
On to the big stuff!
If you love seafood, this Arroz de Marisco (380 baht) is a must-try dish. It’s somewhat similar to Spanish paella and is loaded with large shrimp, sliced squid, mussels, and clams. All the seafood, the shellfish especially, makes a rich, flavorful rice dish.
The dish is served at the table in a lidded metal pot straight from the stove. Expect to be greeted by a mouthwatering cloud of steam once the lid is lifted. This is a large dish that can be a meal for two or more. I highly recommend it!
This is a “tart”?
All my life when I see a tart on the menu it’s in the dessert section. So I was surprised to see this Tomato & Mustard Tart (380 baht) in the main courses section. What is it? It’s a classic summer recipe of Southern France that’s popular when tomatoes are in season. This tart features a buttery puff pastry, smeared with mustard, which is topped with slices of ripe tomatoes baked with Provençal herbs.
Along with an excellent selection of Portuguese dishes, Biscuit Bar & Restaurant’s menu also features other Mediterranean facing regional dishes from Southen France and Northern Africa. This tart is a dish I’d recommend to accompany whatever you are in the mood for.
It’s just incredible!
Don’t forget dessert!
I think just about every culture has a version of a chocolate mousse dessert. It makes sense. It’s a damned good dessert and a great way to end the meal with something sweet. That being said, this Mousse de Chocolate (180 baht) is one of the best chocolate mousse desserts I have ever tasted. My gal, a confessed chocoholic, completely agreed with me.
This rich, decadent mousse is topped with shaved chocolate and served in a large martini glass. It’s a significant dessert that is easily shared, though you’ll still be scraping the sides of the glass so as not to waste a single bit of chocolatey goodness. This dessert is a gift to anyone who loves chocolate. Don’t deny yourself the pleasure of it.
A dessert tart!
Another delicious Portuguese dessert is this almond tart, Tarte de Amêndoa (120 baht). The owner learned this recipe as a kitchen trainee in the Algarve, Portugal’s southernmost region. The result is a thick buttery tart with a sweet coating of sliced almonds. I’d have loved to have had a slice for takeaway for my coffee the next day!
A chat with the owners…
It’s ironic, but I actually met Jorge and Ronny, owners of Biscuit Bar & Restaurant, at the opening of Casa Portugalia. Both avid vinyl music fans, at the time they were both bouncing ideas about opening up a bar with a vinyl theme. In fact, the bar gets its name from how records are made. The first step in making a record is melting the vinyl down into a “biscuit“.
Biscuit Bar opened in December 2019. We all know how COVID threw a wrench at the F&B industry in 2020, and it was especially hard for those businesses who were just starting out. Bars that didn’t have a restaurant were shackled with even more restrictions. Many opted to start serving food to survive.
In November 2020, the venue became Biscuit Bar & Restaurant. The kitchen operations and menu were Jorge’s baby. Jorge was born in Mozambique but his family resettled in Lisbon, Portugal during the war. It’s here where he grew up, and he identifies with this Atlantic region. After schooling in England, he spent many years in kitchens throughout the world.
After curating a menu of unique Portuguese and other Atlantic regional dishes of the area, perfecting their recipes, and securing suppliers for the ingredients, Bangkok suffered its second round of COVID restrictions on bars and restaurants which forced them to close again.
Biscuit Bar & Restaurant re-opened again in February 2021, and crossing fingers, hopefully will remain so. There is still more on their menu I’d love to try along with a bottle of one of their reasonably priced Portuguese wines. While talking with Jorge he also explained that the menu would be continuously evolving and to expect new and exciting dishes along with limited specials based on special ingredients sourced from direct from Portugal.
I’ll be looking forward to seeing what they spin both downstairs at the bar and upstairs in the kitchen!
I’m hungry. Where is it?
Biscuit Bar & Restaurant is located on a small alley right off of Chinatown’s nightlife Mecca, Soi Nana. It’s about an 8-minute walk from the Hua Lumphong MRT station. Grab works, too!
For dining, there are 3 table areas between the floors with the topmost area near the kitchen being the most popular. If you’re dining with a large group reservations are highly recommended.
The first-floor area houses the bar and additional seating. After you’ve enjoyed your delicious dinner upstairs why not enjoy a signature cocktail and some tunes spun by a guest DJ, or if you’re lucky even Ronny or Jorge themselves downstairs?
Check out/follow their Facebook page to see who might be spinning that night and what specials they might be dishing out in the kitchen!
I want to hear from you!
Should you decide to experience Biscuit Bar & Restaurant, I’d love to hear your feedback in the comment section below, directly to me, or via message on either the Chow Traveller Facebook page or Chow Traveller Instagram (and feel free to like/follow these pages if you want to learn about more foodie gems). However you choose to reach out, I’d love to hear from you!