After selling from a truck zipping through Bangkok to survive the pandemic lockdown, an Ekkamai grocery store is now back in full operation with a new, in-store dining service.
They call it a “grocerant.”
Offering artisan and natural products from several parts of Thailand, Vivin Grocery earlier this month expanded to a “shelf to plate” concept for everything it sells, from cheese, honey and jam to smoked meats.
Now called Vivin Grocerant, the shop opened by Frenchman Nicolas Vivin and his business partner-slash-wife Samantha Proyrungtong – adds dining tables and chairs to its shophouse mezzanine for customers who want to eat their groceries cooked to order on the spot. There’s a menu to choose from as well.
More than just another buzzword for novelty-obsessed foodies, the hybrid concept brings freshly prepared, ready-to-eat food to convenience stores, grocery outlets and non-restaurant retailers. Think of it as one-stop shopping for those who want quality eats yet lack the prep time or space.
“It’s all about the products,” Samantha said.
Keeping it Local
The couple began humbly in 2014 with Vivin-branded products popping up at markets and events, some of which reached boutique supermarket shelves. The Ekkamai venue opened in November with a focus on local gourmet, natural and organic Thai ingredients. It currently offers more than 200 items sourced nationwide: honey from Chiang Mai, sausages from Koh Samui, sugarcane-distilled rum from Phuket and free-range eggs from Ang Thong.
Only a few things are imported from abroad, such as Kampot peppers from Cambodia, Italian olive oil, butter from France and caviar from, you guessed it, Iran.
On the new, impressively long menu is a fave of Nicolas and Samantha, a traditional French Duck Confit (THB380). The recipe is cooked by slow-roasting a duck’s leg in its own fat for a long time before the skin is well-browned and super crispy with meat at falling-off-the-bone perfection.
Blue Cheese Burger (THB380) consists of Tha Sai Blue, Stilton-style cheese from Chiang Rai, a 150-gram Thai-Charolais beef patty, artisanal buns, seared onion, tomato slices, lettuce, pickle, Fleur de sel (aka sea salt) and Kampot pepper.
Vegetarians can opt for Goat Cheese Salad (THB360), which utilizes Chiang Mai-sourced raw milk-based goat cheese placed on crusty artisan sourdough bread. The plate comes with organically produced rocket lettuce, beetroot, macadamia and more in a vinaigrette from a recipe by Nicolas’ grandma.
Another crowd-pleasing and stomach-satisfying dish that also happens to be vegetarian is the Three Cheese Omelette (THB390). It’s a fluffy, classic French omelette made with three cheeses – Huay Bong tomme de vache from Chiang Rai, Le Doi Pao Swiss-style cheese and a Melene camembert-style cheese from Chiang Mai. Served fresh from the pan, it comes on a dish alongside organic veggies such as corn, carrots, beetroots and potatoes.
Vivin Grocery is open 8pm to 9pm daily. Future plans include staying open until 10pm. It is located in the Ekamai Complex between sois Ekkamai 19 and 21, which is reachable by motorbike from BTS Ekkamai.
Vivin Grocery – Local Artisan Shop
379/8 Soi Sukhumvit 63, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana
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