According to TripAdvisor there are 13,199 restaurants in Bangkok ranging from street vendors through ordinary restaurants to street vendors with Michelin stars and finally high-end Michelin-starred establishments. In this city full of foodies and party goers, one must always find a new place to dine and be SEEN.
Olivier da Costa and Avani go way back to the opening of Olivier Avenida at the Avani Avenida Liberdade in Lisbon – a landmark city center hotel which also plays host to SEEN Lisbon, the follow up to the original SEEN at the Tivoli Mofarrej Sao Paulo Hotel.
Olivier’s remarkable career spans two decades and seven restaurants including Olivier Avenida. Premium steaks are the specialty at cosy K.O.B; gourmet burgers, pizza and pasta at indulgent Guilty; East-meets-West sushi at theatrical Yakuza, while the finest French cuisine is served in an opulent 19th century palace setting at Petit Palais. When the executive team of Minor Hotels Group tried his restaurant in Lisbon, they quickly decided to bring SEEN back home and place it on top of the Avani+ Riverside.
“A chefpreneur is the guy in charge of the chefs and the one who puts money into the business,” said Olivier. “A lot of Chefs want to be the star. I want guests to be the star. If guests feel like they are the star in your restaurant, they bring good business,” he added. But even though Olivier considers himself a chefpreneur and has over 200 people to take care of, to this day he still takes the opportunity to cook in his own restaurants.
His first SEEN in Sao Paulo was a huge success, and when asked why he thought this success could be reproduced in Bangkok, Olivier was ready to share his thoughts. “It’s like having children,” he said. “You never know if they would be successful in life or not, but you have to provide for them and equip them with education and morals, and show them the way of normality so they will turn out well. The conditions are good, the view is spectacular, the location is great. The food is nice, it’s trendy, and the group is good. That’s what sums it up here.”
“The concept is easy. We’re here to surprise people,” explained Olivier. He then then showed exactly what he meant: “It’s going to be the most expensive Nigiri in the world,” he said, presenting the delicacy plated with gold leaf and sprinkled with caviar. “There is a word in Brazil people use – ‘muvuca’ – it means having fun, enjoying good food, good drinks, beautiful things. That’s what SEEN is about.”
Marion Walsh Hedouin, Minor Hotels VP Public Relations & Communications also welcomed Avani’s latest addition. “The SEEN experience is about great views, great food, and great cocktails,” she said, “and we are confident that the multi-talented team we have assembled here will redefine the city’s nightlife.”
As for Hotelintel.co, we learned two key things from Chefpreneur Olivier. The first is to enjoy the beautiful things – and personally we believe that SEEN is one of the most beautiful restaurants a hotel could ever offer. The second is that Olivier never drinks – though we might have trouble following his example because Head Mixologist Mohammed Fadli is in charge of cocktails, and you know we never say NO to cocktails…