Bangkok is quickly evolving into one of the world’s best fine-dining destinations
Thanks to its cosmopolitan vibe, multiculturalism and flourishing gastronomic scene over the past decade, Bangkok has rapidly become “the” destination for foodies and refined restaurateurs. Travellers from far and wide journey to Thailand’s capital to soak in the culture and savour the authentic tastes of Thai and international cuisine in world-class fine-dining establishments, while renowned restaurant brands, Michelin-starred chefs and celebrity chefs see Bangkok as a receptive home for their outlets.
Photo: Morimoto Bangkok
By Manta Klangboonkrong
Thanks to Bangkok’s strategic location and the openness of the local culture, cuisine from around the world is flourishing. Five-star hotels and high-end establishments regularly invite Michelin-starred chefs for special-guest chef dinners, while resident chefs come from every corner of the globe to work in the city and hone their skills and creativity in creating menus that transcend any one particular cuisine. These are then matched with crafted cocktails from Bangkok’s ever evolving cocktail scene.
A magical and inspiring destination for food lovers, decent meals can be found all over the city, especially in world-class complexes such as the recently launched Mahanakhon Cube – the city’s new landmark with exciting choices for foodies – as well as Icon Siam, the mega shopping and dining destination on the banks of the Chao Phraya River slated to open next year.
Photo: Morimoto Bangkok
Adding to the jaw-dropping list of celebrity chef restaurants like L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Masaharu Morimoto’s Morimoto Bangkok and Theo Randall’s Theo Mio are British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Italian and celebrated French chef Alain Ducasse’s expansion into Asia.
Meanwhile, Bangkok-based chefs are sharpening their knives and minds for some exciting projects. This year alone we have seen three chefs from El Bulli cooking wonders at Islero and Gula, while the Sühring brothers from Germany, who gained a reputation with modern cuisine, have returned to their roots and brought classic German food to the newly opened Sühring.
Here are some of the city’s greatest new offerings and soon-to-open restaurants to add to your dining agenda.
Perched on the top floor of Banyan Tree Bangkok overlooking the bustling modern cityscape and majestic Chao Phraya River, Vertigo Too sets the bar for gastronomic and mixology arts with an ample selection of cross-cultural cuisine and personalized cocktails.
60th floor, Banyan Tree Bangkok, Sathon Road
5pm-1am daily, 02-679-1200
One of the sensational new arrivals in Bangkok in recent years is America’s Iron Chef star Masaharu Morimoto’s eponymous restaurant. The celebrity chef treats the city’s foodies with world renowned signature dishes that harmonize Western and Japanese ingredients.
4th floor, Mahanakhon Cube, Narathiwat Road
Lunch and dinner daily from 11.30am, 02-060-9099
Promising an unmatched dining experience at the first rooftop venue on Witthayu Road, Char, and its French Chef de Cuisine Lionel Vinatier, delight your palate with top-notch steak under the “contemporary grill” concept, prepared with artistry using organic produce.
25th floor, Hotel Indigo, Witthayu Road
6pm-midnight daily, 02-207-4999
Two Spanish chefs from El Bulli in Girona bring the authentic taste of Spanish cuisine to Bangkok with an extensive tapas menu constructed from imported ingredients and mouth-watering meat dishes cooked in the cutting-edge Josper oven.
Ground level, Athenee Tower on Soi Ruam Rudee
5pm-midnight daily, 02-168-8100—1
Gula – Private Chef
Nothing says exclusive like having your own private chef, especially if that chef is Jacobo Astray, Ferran Adria’s protégé in a three-year stint at El Bulli. With sharp intuition and refreshingly experimental taste, Gula offers avant-garde, ever-evolving signature seasonal menus by Jacobo in the comfort of your home.
Maison de la Truffe
From Paris to Bangkok, the world’s finest selection of French truffles and classic French recipes will arrive in Thailand as the first stop in Asia. An institution for premium quality truffles since 1932, the Maison dedicates its entire existence to “the black diamond of French gastronomy” to enhance authentic French dishes and combine tradition and creativity.
Thong Lo Soi 9
Chow Café & Bar
Bangkok’s newest destination for casual dining and entertainment offers Californian-Chinese fusion food that is comforting, filling and pleasantly familiar but with a touch of glamour and a metropolitan twist. The bar is also a unique art space dedicated to local Thai artists.
Ground level, Metropole Hotel on New Petchaburi Road
6pm-2am daily, 02-318-2274
Il Fumo Charcoal Grill & Cocktails
Nostalgic, opulent flair comes together with strong, bold tastes in this steakhouse by the husband-and-wife restaurateurs behind the success of Vesper on Silom Road. With a “no compromise” policy, the kitchen serves hearty meat dishes and upscale Italian favourites prepared with premium quality imported ingredients.
6pm-1am daily, 02-286-8833
End the day on a high note with crafted cocktails, fine wines and a sumptuous Asian-inspired feast with funky twists. Indian tandoor, Japanese tempura, Thai curries and more mingle on an impressive and tantalizing menu.
26th floor, Avani Riverside Bangkok Hotel
5.30pm-1am daily, 02-431-9100
Flûte A Perrier-Jouët Bar
Perched above the award-winning Sirocco restaurant on the 64th floor of The Dome at lebua, it is the highest al fresco champagne bar in the world. It offers a stunning aerial view of Bangkok, 800 feet in the air, combined with exclusive tastings of such signature Perrier-Jouët selections as Belle Époque Rose, Belle Époque Grand Brut, and Belle Époque Blanc de Blancs.
6pm-1am daily, 02-624-9555
Ceviche, succulent suckling pig, Joselito ham, razor clam, lobster, sangria and top-drawer wines are just some of the many flavourful Spanish items patrons can indulge in at the semi-al fresco restaurant. Gastronomic delights and wondrous music bring the soul of Spain to your table and leave you asking for “uno mas” – one more!
54th floor, Centara Grand at CentralWorld
4pm-1am daily, 02-100-6255
Discover true Italian flair at award-winning chef Theo Randall’s Italian kitchen in the heart of Bangkok. Observe the culinary marvel in action through the open kitchen and indulge in an array of authentic Italian dishes, paired with signature cocktails and Italian wines.
Ground floor, InterContinental Bangkok
11.30am-11.30pm daily, 02-656-0444
German cuisine found a loving home in Bangkok as twin chefs Mathias and Thomas Sühring established their own restaurant earlier this year. Forget sauerkraut and sausages and prepare to take a culinary journey through the heritage of German cuisine, executed with modern flair and finesse.
Yen Akat Soi 3
6pm-midnight daily, 02-287-1799
British superstar chef Jamie Oliver is expanding his British-Italian restaurant empire to Bangkok. Expecting it to be industrial, chic and casual, fans will get to try best-selling Italian comfort dishes like pizza, pasta, antipasti and sharing plates served in his inimitable style.
Opening at the end of 2016
Alain Ducasse in Bangkok
Those working around the opening of the first Bangkok restaurant of one of the world’s most celebrated chefs are sealing their lips very tightly about the details. But anything that comes from Alain Ducasse, one of only two chefs in the world to hold 21 Michelin stars in his long career, is going to be to-die-for.
Icon Siam by the Chao Phraya River
More details soon
Manta Klangboonkrong a Bangkok-based avid lifestyle writer with vast interests in food, drinking culture and travel. For 13 years she has traveled extensively both in Thailand and overseas, looking for stories, insights and unique experiences to share with her readers.