In the wake of their successful sandwich franchise, Danish nationals Daniel Baven and Mark Perthu-Hansen are applying the successful model of their sandwich shops to the upscale dining market: you can tailor your meal to your preferences down to the last detail, from protein to sides to sauces, all within relatively affordable price-points.
Their selection of starters is classified into two categories: B180 (includes lobster bruschetta and gratinated scallops); and B250 (carpaccio of beef, lobster and prawn bisque), making it easier for diners to make their choices without having to spend too much time considering the trade-off between gluttony and poverty.
The menu, with a few exceptions in the starters, is a selection of high-quality ingredients prepared simply and expertly, allowing customers maximum value and satisfaction from the options available.
A playful touch comes from the complimentary amuse-bouche set out before the rest of your meal: when we went we were served a small dish of tuna pepper with pineapple salsa, the heat from the peppercorns made for a nice bite to start off with.
The ‘sizzling gambas’, jumbo prawns on a sizzling platter, came with garlic butter, and together with toasted bread made the best of the fresh seafood.
The selection of meats available are a definite highlight, from simple chicken breast to the more expected Australian beef (tenderloin and striploin) and New Zealand lamb chop. Crocodile
makes a unique addition, one that many diners select for the novelty of tasting the chewy, slightly fatty meat. The seafood selection makes an excellent choice for the less adventurous – the salmon we were served was cooked expertly: moist, flaky and flavourful, not a common accomplishment, and enjoyable even to those who prefer their salmon raw.
The sauces available, however, set Lucky 13 apart. Made from scratch every day, the red wine sauce was superb, but the hummus yoghurt dressing – brought over from the lineup at the
sandwicheries – is the sort of concoction you could be satisfied with on its own, and it definitely makes for a great addition to the seafood, or even the vegetable sides.
Meat lovers can rest assured – Chef Cherdsak Leasum at Lucky 13 also knows how to cook red meat to perfect temperatures. The cut of striploin we were served came a perfect medium-rare,
and was served with asparagus, tomato and a piece of corn on the cob ('local vegetables' on the menu).
For dessert, the crème brûlée was well-executed, but the peach ice cream (served inside a whole dragon fruit) made for a surprise burst of tartness that made for a nice ending to the meal. With plans to change the menu every six months, as well as the plans to open for lunch from June, Lucky 13 is a good addition to anyone’s dining rotation, with a solid selection of dishes that are bound to satisfy anyone.
Lucky 13 Bar & Grill is located at 84/39 Soi Saiyuan 8, Rawai, on the 7th floor of BTR Suites Hotel. Tel: 091 826 2710. facebook.com/lucky13barandgrill