What do you get when you cross a grocery store with a restaurant? A new trend in dining, a grocerant. But unlike grocery stores that sell quickly heated ready-to-eat meals, VIVIN Grocery (official Facebook page) serves French bistro favorites with artisanal, local, and natural ingredients that you can also stock your fridge with.
My gal and I recently had the chance to visit VIVIN Grocery to experience some of their most popular dine-in dishes. We unexpectedly discovered that Thailand also has some fantastic local cheese and charcuterie producers. What they are producing absolutely holds up to their European counterparts, too. If like me, you feel your fridge would be naked without a few kinds of cheese and charcuterie, you will want to know about this place!
But more than just a grocery, their restaurant menu offers some delicious dishes that are absolutely worth dining in for.
Let me show you what I’m talking about…
All artisanal, local, and natural!
Before dining, we were introduced to some of the locally produced cheeses VIVIN Grocery offers. A professed turophile (that’s what a “cheese lover” is called!), I’ve always lamented the prices of cheese in Thailand and the budgetary impact maintaining my love/addiction to it.
From my experience, I’ve always thought if you want good cheese in Bangkok, you pay for it in a BIG way. So my first thought after seeing the low prices on these cheeses was that there was no way they were going to taste as good as the imported brands. Boy was I ever wrong.
This cheese tasting built up our excitement to try the dine-in menu. It also instilled within us a determination to do some shopping before we left. This is why if you have the appetite, or enough people with you, I highly recommend kickstarting your meal at VIVIN Grocery with one of their Apéro Platters!
The meats and cheeses of their apéro platters vary based on product availability. But if there’s a particular kind of meat or cheese you desire let them know. The artisan charcuteries, cold cuts, and cheese portions are approximately 40 grams. Each platter is served along with chutney, pickles, and pistolet mini bread slices.
The medium-sized Charcuterie Cheese Apéro Platter (560 baht) came with two different types of meat (chunks of velvety mortadella with pistachio, and slices of peppery cured duck breast) and two kinds of cheeses (a tangy Thai Sai Blue and a creamy goat cheese Bûchette).
If you want to combine your love for cheese with your need for roughage, I recommend the Grilled Halloumi Salad (290 baht). This garden dish is made with organic lettuce, rocket, onion, fresh mulberries, thick slices of pan-fried salty/springy Halloumi cheese (from Chiang Rai), dressed with My Grand-ma Vinaigrette and wildflower honey. It’s a large salad that’s perfect for sharing.
This was the fluffiest omelet I have ever experienced! All omelets at VIVIN Grocery are served table-side, where it is carefully folded over and plated before you.
This Goat Cheese Omelet (290 baht) is an über-poofy omelet delicately flavored with creamy goat cheese from Chiang Mai and spring onions. We chose pork lardons and diced potatoes (100 baht) as an additional side.
This is a tasty burger!
If you’re a fan of juicy burgers, you’ll be very happy with VIVIN Grocery’s burger menu. During our visit, we tried the Blue Cheese Burger (340 baht).
These juicy burgers are made with 150 grams of Thai-Charolais beef, topped with tangy Thai Sai Blue (a Stilton style cheese From Chiang Rai), seared onions, slices of tomato, mixed lettuce, dill pickle slices, with dashes of fleur de sel and Kampot pepper, on a brioche bun. The result is a juicy burger you just can’t keep your hands off of!
If you enjoy grilling your own burgers at home, make sure to pick up or have delivered some of these juicy burger patties (2 x 150-gram patties only 190 baht).
Pièce de résistance!
My gal and I don’t always agree on every dish, but it’s nice when we are in agreement. We were in total agreement for this particular dish. We agreed that this Duck Confit (380 baht) is the best duck confit we have ever had outside of Europe. Its incredibly flavorful meat and crispy textured skin actually exceed its beautiful presentation. Translation: Not only is this dish pretty, but it’s also pretty damned tasty!
The dish is served with VIVIN Grocery’s mash of the day, seasonal vegetables, and mulberry sauce drizzled on the plate. This is the kind of dish that you crave. It is why it’s not a bad idea to visit with an appetite instead of just popping in for some groceries.
I highly, highly recommend this dish.
A bit about dessert…
When writing articles about the restaurants I enjoy, I often say to “Save some room for dessert!”. The wonderful thing about VIVIN Grocery is that even if you’re stuffed to the gills you can still order dessert because they’re conveniently packaged for takeaway or dine-in. So for our visit, there was chocolate mousse for my gal and egg custard for moi…
Using Kad Kokao from Chumphon this Chocolate Mousse (160 baht) is pure creamy, chocolatey decadence. It’s so rich, each bite is like a spoonful of slightly sweet chocolate truffle. It’ll make you sweat.
This all-organic, made with free-range eggs, Egg Custard (80 baht) is super creamy and the caramel sauce on the bottom adds delicious sweetness with each bite!
A chat with the owners…
Originally from the commune of Roane in the Loire department of Central France, Nicolas (Nico) Vivin entered the world of gastronomy at the tender age of 17. It was an auspicious start as he interned at Troisgros, a renowned Michelin 3-starred restaurant. After his internship, he pursued a hospitality degree at the École hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL) in Switzerland. During his schooling program, one of his internships landed him at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Bangkok.
He fell in love with Thailand’s City of Angels and after a few years returned to work in Bangkok’s bustling Hotel/F&B industry. In 2014 he recognized that there was an opportunity to fill the gap for fine French ingredients made locally, and launched the VIVIN brand starting with foie gras.
What’s in a name?
Over the years, Nico has been able to foster relationships with local farmers, ranchers, artisan cheesemakers, bakers, and chocolatiers to be able to offer epicurean products. In his words, “the quality, the reputation, the image of luxury, originality of products, attention to detail and refinement of taste” are the major assets of the brand. Only when the products achieve this high standard are they packaged with his family name.
Shop, eat, or both!
In March of 2017, Nico launched a delicatessen stand in the Emquartier Gourmet Market. That was the first major step in becoming an entrepreneur. VIVIN Grocery’s launch in December 2019 was the next exciting step for both him and his wife, Samantha Proyrungtong. This new endeavor allowed them to centralize all of their products in a one-stop-shop as well as create a menu using their products as ingredients in a boutique bistro setting.
With VIVIN Grocery customers could now shop, eat, or do both. I’ve showcased some of the joys of dining in, so let me now share a taste of what they have to offer for shoppers.
If you love cheese (and if you’ve read this far you probably do) VIVIN Grocer will be your new temple. They offer both in-store or delivering a wide selection of cheeses. With a knowledgeable staff and the ability to sample before purchasing, whatever texture or flavor you’re craving you are sure to find something here to please your palate.
Also, available in-store or for delivery are a wide selection of cold cuts and charcuterie. You can find everything from lunch meat slices to whole duck foie gras.
They also carry all of the miscellaneous items that are essential accompaniments for a charcuterie and cheese board such as caviar, honey, wines, and much more.
But most important, whatever you decide to bring into your home you can be assured that you’re buying natural quality artisanal goods that support the local community!
I’m hungry. Where is it?
VIVIN Grocery is located on Ekkamai (Sukhumvit Soi 63) in a small dead-end alley. There’s ample parking available on site. If you’re familiar with the Délices de Capoue pizza joint, it’s right across from that! If not, see the Google Map below.
Dining is available both downstairs and upstairs (ideal for larger groups). Reservations for large groups are encouraged. Make sure to check/follow their Facebook page for their daily specials and new menu items!
I want to hear from you!
Should you decide to experience VIVIN Grocery 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, I’d love to hear from you!