For years Bangkok’s luxury restaurants were dominated by French and Mediterranean cuisine and exceptional Thai gastronomy could only be found at Bangkok’s bustling food markets served at rickety plastic tables.
A tour of Bangkok’s finest food stalls with an expert guide is certainly recommended – both for the quality of the dishes and the energetic atmosphere – but now appetizing and authentic Thai cuisine can also be found in Bangkok’s most splendid high-end restaurants.
Style/Ambiance: Australian head chef David Thompson has lived in Bangkok for twenty years studying the complexities of Thai cuisine – from vibrant street food to intricate royal dishes – and has penned two acclaimed books on the subject.
Thompson’s Nahm restaurant at the Halkin Hotel in London was the first Thai restaurant to be awarded a Michelin star and Thompson is now concentrating his efforts on the new Nahm restaurant in Bangkok. Nahm’s menu is inspired by 19th century royal gastronomy which Thompson claims is the pinnacle of Thai cooking. Try the jungle curry with pla chorn – a freshwater fish – followed by colorful sweet and salty Thai desserts. For greater privacy book one of the hotel’s private dining rooms.
David Thompson, Head Chef
Metropolitan Como Hotel, 27 South Sathorn Road, Tungmahamek, Sathorn, 10120
+66 2625 3388
Style/Ambiance: A hidden gem located in a serviced apartment block, Le Beaulieu offers outstanding haute cuisine.
Chef Hervé produces classic French gastronomy such as traditional bouillabaisse served with garlic bread and a rouille sauce, deep-fried frogs’ legs with garlic purée and crème brûlée served with a refreshing raspberry sorbet. The restaurant seats 60 and the mezzanine level forms a VIP seating area for up to 14 people. Le Beaulieu uses the freshest local ingredients sourced from Thailand’s royal agricultural project.
Hervé Frerard, Head Chef
Asoke Residence, 50 Sukhumvit soi 19, 10110
66 2204 2004
Style/Ambiance: Learn to cook authentic Thai cuisine with chefs Dylan Jones and Thai-born Bo Songvisava at a private lesson for up to ten people in the Bo.lan restaurant’s kitchens. Dylan and Bo trained under David Thompson at the Michelinstarred Nahm restaurant in London and produce traditional Thai dishes with contemporary twists.
Dedicated to the cause, Dylan has been learning Thai so that he can read antique books on Thai cookery. Like its cuisine, Bo.lan’s interior opts for authenticity and rejects clichéd Thai design. Located in an antique residential house Bo.lan showcases carefully selected traditional Thai items including coconut graters and kra-dongs (woven shallow baskets). Bo.lan has one private room for 15-20 people or should you wish to organize an event the entire restaurant can be hired exclusively.
Duangporn (Bo) Songvisava and Dylan Jones, Chefs
42 Soi Pichai Ronarong, Songkram, Sukhumvit 26, 10110
66 2260 2962
Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin
Style/Ambiance: A spin off from the Michelin-starred Kiin Kiin in Copenhagen, Sra Bua offers progressive interpretations of long-established Thai dishes, from frozen red curry with lobster salad to curry soup served in ice cream cones.
Located in the luxurious Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok the service at Sra Bua is impeccable and the décor is striking. Traditional teak wood paneling is tempered by modern design details such as raised planting beds filled with elegant grasses. There is an attractive main dining room that seats 70 and a private dining area is also available. For an introduction to Sra Bua’s innovative cuisine the set menu complete with expert wine pairing is recommended.
Prapaporn Srirote, Restaurant Manager
Siam Kempinski Hotel, 991/9 Rama 1 Road, Pathumwan, 10330
66 2162 9000
EAT ME RESTAURANT
Cuisine: Modern International and Regional
Style/Ambiance: Sit outside under lush palm trees or opt for Eat Me Restaurant’s stylish dining room where modest decor is enlivened with vibrant artworks provided by H Gallery – Bangkok’s leading contemporary art gallery. Serving international cuisine, this cosmopolitan venue opens late taking last orders at 1am. Try the pan-seared Thai Barramundi with spicy coconut broth followed by a sauternes jelly with fresh berries, crème anglaise and cotton candy. If Eat Me’s creative dessert menu doesn’t tickle your fancy why not indulge in a Lemon Meringue Tartini cocktail made with Absolut Citron and Baileys Irish Cream.
Darren Hausler, Owner and General Manager
Soi Pipat 2, Silom, 10500
66 2238 0931
THE OYSTER BAR BANGKOK
Style/Ambiance: With up to 20 varieties of oyster available – some of which are very rare – and no meat to be found anywhere on the menu, The Oyster Bar Bangkok is the city’s destination for seafood lovers.
Fresh seafood is imported twice a week and local organic produce from Thailand’s royal agricultural project arrives three times a week. The relaxed atmosphere and simple décor ensures that the restaurant’s delicious cuisine is the center of attention. Take a seat at the bar to watch the cooking action up close and talk to the chef and oyster shuckers – or for greater privacy request the VIP dining room. There is an extensive wine list and a broad selection of local and imported beers.