Culinary Artistry in Chiang Mai: Discover Chef Jerome Bondaz’s La Friandise Restaurant and Coffee Shop

La Friandise Restaurant is charming new Mediterranean restaurant and coffee shop owned by Chef Jerome Bondaz

By | Fri 14 Jun 2024


There are kitchens around the world helmed by chefs whose names alone set our tastebuds along with our anticipations a-tingling. Forged in the legendary kitchens of France, Chef Jerome Bondaz is the latest internationally acclaimed chef to have chosen to make Chiang Mai his home and Citylife recently spent many very happy hours indulging in an assortment of delightful dishes and wines at La Friandise Café and Restaurant.

Chef Jerome has worked with some formidable chefs whose reputations have global reach and influence. He worked with late Catalan masterchef Santi Santamaria as well as mentored under Gerard Rabaey. He spent time at Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse a l’Hotel de Paris (which has mostly held on to all three of its Michelin stars since it first received them in 1990), as well as with the absolute legend that is Anne Sophie Pic, the most decorated Michelin starred female chef in the world with 11 Michelin stars under her chef’s hat. Having spent over a decade gaining experience and skills in Europe’s premier restaurants, Chef Jerome headed to the Orient, where he has spent the past ten years at Bangkok’s Chartrium Grand Hotel, the last four as head chef.

It was over the pandemic that Chef Jerome and his partner Ou decided that it was time to open his own dream restaurant. It was only recently that the pair uprooted from the big city, spending the next many months getting La Friandise Restaurant and Coffee Shop open on Sridonchai Road just between the moat and the Night Bazaar.

Tall ceilings, vast windows to let in all the bright light, a charming little garden at the back and a cosy coffee counter makes for a casual, friendly, welcoming and very sabai new venue in town where prices are more than reasonable and the food is superb.

“I am from France’s Evian-Les-Bains and spent most of my professional life working in Michelin starred kitchens in Europe and Asia. La Friandise Restaurant and Coffee Shop is the result of my vision to open a Mediterranean cuisine restaurant, maximising my knowledge and experience with classical French cooking with the best recipes and influences of the Mediterranean region. I cook everything from scratch, making my own sauces, breads and other ingredients. I am loving my food journey here in Chiang Mai, exploring the fantastic produce, getting to talk to fellow-chefs who are most generous with their insights and time and getting to personally spend time with clients, getting to know them as they return time and again,” said Chef Jerome, who says that his daily highlight is visiting markets and organic producers to bring the best of Chiang Mai back into his kitchen. “I like to create when I cook, I add passion and whatever wonderful produce I get in that day. In that way, no two dishes here will be exactly the same.”

The café has a wonderful breakfast selection, at only 299 baht, offered in sets which include an option for carnivores, one with gravlax and other goodies and a very generous healthy option with fruits, granola, vegetables both fresh and cooked, yoghurt, egg mollet and some toast. Served all day, you will never be late for breakfast under Chef Jerome’s watch. However, if you come any other time of the day — and we were astounded to find out that La Friandise Restaurant and Coffee Shop opens from 7am to 9pm daily — there is a full menu, including a very delectable dessert section with all manner of classic French pastries we will discuss in a few.

Start off with a vibrant fish and prawn ceviche, which arrives tasting of the sea but with a wonderful burst of tangyness, making it hard to stop scooping once started.

Another deceptively simple dish is the classic Niçoise salad which truly highlights the fresh organic vegetables. For main dishes, you can go big with a black Angus beef ribeye steak slathered with a delicious sauce served with eggplant gratin, a chicken breast tarragon wafting delicate herbal aromas, or take in the rich flavours of the river prawn risotto feta cheese which arrives with its lobster as well as risotto, perfectly al dente.

Chef Jerome says that his talents lie in the kitchens not the wine cellar, so a very close friend of his who is a sommelier has hand-selected the highly curated wine list and the Pinot Blanc Vielles Vignes we tried was the perfect accompaniment to us sampling such a vast range of dishes through the many hours we indulged ourselves.

It would be sacrilegious not to end the meal on a sweet note, so we headed to the selection of baked goodies available and picked a deliciously light choux a la crème, a classic profiterole and an aromatic almond Frasier.

Chef Jerome loves a good challenge and he said that if anyone wishes to celebrate a special occasion, he would love to sit down and plan a menu from scratch, so that a truly special occasion can be marked in tasty, and fine, style!

The welcoming doors of La Friandise Restaurant and Coffee Shop are open daily and Chef Jerome and his partner, Ou, will be welcoming you with smiles and make sure you leave feeling wonderful and full.

35 10-12 Sridonchai Rd, Tambon Chang Khlan, Muang, Chiang Mai
Open daily:
7 am – 9 pm
092 949 9925