อั้งม้อ (Ang Morr)
Tanisorn Vongsoontorn/Time Out Bangkok

Best new restaurants and cafes to try in Bangkok right now

The breeze has cooled. Lockdown restrictions have been lifted. Time to go out.

Written by
Time Out Bangkok editors
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The breeze has cooled. Lockdown restrictions have been lifted. Time to go out.

New restaurants and cafés

  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary European
  • Sathorn

Mirco Keller is no stranger to Bangkok’s fine-dining scene. The German chef first came to Thailand back in 2010 for a stint at long-established restaurant Water Library at Chamchuri Square. Over the next decade, he honed his culinary skills while exploring the essence of Thai cuisine.

Skip to early 2020, when Chef Mirco ventured out on his own and opened his own eponymous restaurant on Soi Suanplu. The establishment is a representation of the chef himself, serving delectable fare that combines various culinary cultures of Europe and Asia. “For me, cooking has no boundaries. I don’t want to limit myself to using French techniques. Adding some Asian sensibilities, like Japanese, can effectively elevate the dish as a whole,” he explains.

Keller’s menu mainly focuses on gorgeous-looking dishes influenced by the German and French food the chef enjoyed during his childhood. The flavors, however, manifest some Asian influences due to the use of regional ingredients and seasoning.

To grasp the essence of what Chef Mirco is trying to do at Keller, go for one of the multi-course tasting menus: Keller Classic (B3,700++ for seven courses) or Keller Journey (B4,900++ for nine courses). Each includes à la carte dishes available on the menu at the same price and in the same portion.

Highlights include Ōra King Salmon (B290), a starter that ignites your senses with fresh orange fish and grape seaweed drizzled with yuzu dressing; and Berliner Senfei (B490), a dish of silky-smooth potato mousse, duck egg yolk, fermented beetroot and caviar.

Fish Mousse (B790) combines hamaji and trout roe, and gets a tangy hit from lemon dressing, while Obsiblue Prawn (B1,090) injects hints of wasabi in the buttermilk sauce that’s used to top New Zealand prawn tarta.

Other fulfilling plates include Anjou Pigeon (B1,490), which showcases Chef Mirco’s zero- waste ambition through the use of different parts of the bird, from the meat, to the wing, to the heart; and Iberico Pork (B990), which is prepared using a combination of European and Chinese cooking techniques. Scallion puree, mango and a flavorful sauce help liven up the dish.

Wrap up your meal with Guava (B490), a luscious dessert made with guava juice.

  • Restaurants
  • Central Asian
  • Khlong Toei

Rewind back some 10 to 20 years ago, when our Nanas and Pop-pops would drag us to a so-called “cookshop” restaurant, sit us at the table, and feed us dishes like pork chop or beef stew that looked Western but had distinctly Chinese flavors. 

If you happen to be one of those Gen Y-ers who had this kind of experience, then we’re happy to tell you that you can relive it again at Ang Morr, a new restaurant on Soi Sukhumvit 38 that pays homage to the Chinese-Western cuisine that was popular in Thailand back in the day.  

Launched by Yuki Srikanchana of the Nara Thai Cuisine group and creative director Bhanu Inkawat, the restaurant reinvents the cookshop culinary culture that can be traced back to the era of King Rama IV, a time when Western expats settled in the Kingdom and recruited Chinese chefs to cook for them. (“Ang mor” is actually a Teochew term, and what Thai-Chinese grammys and grampys call foreigners).

The popularity of cookshop restaurants waned in the ’90s, but Yuki and Bhanu thought that it was a good time to reintroduce it to Bangkok gourmands. Stylized as a “cookshop bistro”, Ang Morr serves original cookshop fare, but with a contemporary twist.

Recommendations include sweet corn soup (B260), pork chop (B360) and beef salad (B550 to B980), as well as stir-fried sweet and sour pork (B280 to B500) that uses apricot instead of pineapple to give a tangy zing to the sauce.

Have a go at the cold tofu (B240), which comes topped with crispy salmon and a zesty dressing made with soy sauce, and the ice cream with frozen egg yolk (B320), which elevates the traditional Thai dessert.

Come and explore cookshop fare amidst luxuriously photogenic vibes at Ang Morr on Soi Sukhumvit 38. The restaurant is open every day from 11:00 to 22:00, from Monday to Thursday, and from 08:00 to 22:00 on the weekend.

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  • Restaurants
  • Fusion
  • Charoenkrung

Focusing on local ingredients to create elevated Thai fare is nothing new in Bangkok, but only a few fine-dining players have managed to produce results that maximize the complex flavors of each ingredient, at the same time shed light on their origins.

One of the establishments that have succeeded in doing so is 80/20, the Thai restaurant on Charoenkrung Road that describes its dishes as 80 percent local ingredients and 20 percent chef’s creativity. These days, the creativity is attributed to Canadian culinary talent Andrew Martin, who is now on his comeback stint for the restaurant. 

Chef Andrew, who was 80/20’s chef when it first opened, has taken on the task of maintaining the restaurant’s Michelin-starred reputation. While some may buckle under pressure, it doesn’t seem to be the case for Andrew. In fact, he appears more confident in his revived role, and is eager to share more of what he’s learned as a chef and as a person since he’s left. 

The Signature Tasting Menu - the Upgraded Version encapsulates the essence of 80/20 and Chef Andrew’s competence. The menu consists of 15 big and small bites made with local surf and turf ingredients, with the main course paying tribute to the Samrub-style dining custom.

The meal kicks off with tiny bites that function like flavor bombs in your mouth. One reworks khanom buang (Thai crepe) as a savory bite, while another wraps a peanut ball within a strawberry. 

These morsels are followed by a tangy palate-cleansing drink, and more small, flavor-rich dishes such as an excellent gaeng som curry, a spicy roasted prawn, and Chinese fried rice with pan-seared dry-aged duck.

The main course is a Samrub set comprising red curry with grilled beef and deep-fried reef cod, both served with assorted pickled vegetables and jasmine rice.

Each dish packs a range of intense flavors that shock the palate, so intense that they may be too strong for diners who prefer milder tastes. (Don’t say you weren’t warned.) The spice, however, is balanced out by the subtle sweetness of two impressive desserts—a grilled chocolate with black sesame and lychee jelly, and coconut ice cream and cake with guava fruit.

The verdict: 80/20 is worth it. The Upgraded Signature Tasting Menu may be a bit pricey at B3,500++, but its value lies in how each dish is beautifully presented and how the entire set displays how far Thai cuisine can go. More importantly, the rather casual and rough-around-the edges ambience of 80/20 is a perfect starting point for those who wish to try on the fine-dining experience for the first time without feeling too awkward by all the white table cloth manners prevalent in other establishments.

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  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary European
  • Khlong Toei

Bangkok has one of the most diverse food scenes in the world. You can find practically any cuisine here, and thanks to Chef Aleksandrs Nasikailovs, it’s now even possible to have Latvian fare in the city. 

At the White House, located on Soi Sukhumvit 16, the Latvian native serves refined fare from his own country with contemporary European twists. Chef Aleksandrs first came to Thailand as a chef for Baltic Blunos, but put up his own venture soon after parting ways with Chef Martin Blunos’ establishment.

Despite the elegant food, the restaurant is actually stylized as a smart-casual place where guests can come and enjoy either beautifully prepared tasting menus or tantalizing à la carte dishes. Diners can enjoy live music while savoring their food on the first floor or opt for a more intimate ambience on the second floor. Regardless of the setting, you’re promised an amazing meal that’s enhanced by artistic presentation and crockery that are handmade by the chef himself.

The White House Experience (B4,000++) is a tasting menu that best captures the essence of Chef Aleksandrs’ cooking. Comprising over 10 courses, the menu is dependent on the ingredients of the season. On our visit, we were served Gillardeau oysters, which came with raspberry vinaigrette and yogurt pearls; hand-dived deep-sea scallops with hollandaise and Baeri sturgeon caviar; and a rack of lamb elevated with black garlic paste and green peppercorn sauce.

The meal is rounded up by homemade chocolate that come in various shapes and flavors.

For a better dining experience, pair the food with the cocktails made by Japanese mixologist Kei Sawada. He will amaze you with a selection of weird and wonderful concoctions that make use of unlikely ingredients such as wasabi and blue cheese. Don’t think twice and get the cocktail pairing option (B1,500++).

  • Restaurants
  • Bakeries
  • Chula-Samyan

At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic last May, Panaporn “Claire” Hamhunsa and her Polish boyfriend ventured into Bangkok's baked goods scene by offering pączki, or deep-fried Polish donuts, for delivery.

“We started out casually, making these for ourselves during our free time,” Claire recounts. “Then we made some more for our friends who loved them and later asked if they could order.” What started out as a kitchen hobby then turned into a serious business.

After almost a year of sending out pączki to people in Bangkok (mostly expats), Holy Donut Pączkarnia now has its own physical shop in Suanluang Square. It’s the sole spot in the city where guests and pastry lovers can get an authentic taste of these Polish treats.

“We use a recipe that has been passed down for generations within my boyfriend’s family,” Claire shares. “These donuts are actually culturally important to Christians in Poland, especially during Fat Thursday where people heavily feast on food before going on religious fasting. Pączki is especially popular during this time.”

Pączki also has certain characteristics and ingredients that differentiate it from the donut we are used to. “The dough, to begin with, is denser and chewier than American donuts,” Claire describes. “And the round shape has a ring around it from being deep-fried.”

Vodka is also added to the mixture. It “prevents the dough from absorbing the cooking oil”, but evaporates in the deep-frying process. Claire also points out that, commonly, pączki have only a small amount of filling, which could be any flavor from berry fruits to sweet creams. But Holy Donut Pączkarnia, as Claire assures, is generous when it comes to loading up their donuts.

The shop offers nine flavors in total, including the signature Krem Mleczny (B55), which is stuffed with luscious vanilla custard, Nutella (B75), Apple Pie (B75), and Lemon Poppy Seed (B65).

These delectable donuts are best paired with cold brew coffee (B50) or a milky foam option called Warsaw Fog (B60). You can also have them with one of their milkshakes (B99 each).

Holy Donut Pączkarnia is also planning to include savory fare in the menu, like zapiekanki or Polish pizzas (B130).

The café is located in Suanluang Square (Soi Chula 5, Ban Tad Thong) and is open daily (except Tuesday) from 09:00 to 19:00.

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  • Restaurants
  • Charoenkrung

It never ceases to amaze foodies how a chef can transform seemingly regular ingredients into one amazing culinary journey. That’s the case with Small Dinner Club (SCD), a new restaurant situated at community space Charoen 43 that’s headed by Chef Sareen Rojanamatin, who just arrived back in Thailand after years of working in Australia, 

SCD is a reflection of the chef, who exudes introverted and artistic personalities. The venue’s gallery-like ambience and dark-hued decor provides the ideal setting for his creativity to flourish.

The restaurant welcomes only 12 diners per day. From the first floor, which could very well be a mini-gallery, guests are escorted to the upper floor and seated at a long table that provides a clear view of the chef in action.

A brief introduction accompanies each course (there are 16) and it soon becomes evident that SDC is another spot that attempts to showcase the possibilities of unconventional ingredients sourced from all over Thailand.

What Goes Up Must Come Down is one of the more surprising courses. Everyone at the table was convinced they were munching on a deep-fried corn ball, but it turned out to be a chrysanthemum flower. Then there’s She Put de Lime in de Coconut, which makes one think they’re eating only coconut meat, when there are actually seafood and various fruits mixed in.

Our highest praise goes to Too Many Italians, Only One Asian, a dish that Chef sareen reckons best reflects a fusion of Thai and international flavors. We also can’t say enough about Daft Punk Is Playing in My Mouth, an intriguing offering that reimagines spicy tom yum soup as a frozen bite with Thai mackerel.

Duck & Hide is probably the most unexpected in the roster, pairing dry-aged duck meat with a grilled banana. Kudos to the chef for coming up with the combo.

The multi-course dinner ends with Life of Rice, which brilliantly showcases the many ways to prepare rice, from roasting, to steaming, to fermenting.

SDC’s debut tasting menu is priced at B4,500++ for 16 courses. The restaurant is open from Thursday to Sunday, from 18:00.

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Charoenkrung
  • price 3 of 4

Ciao Terrazza—the poshed-up version of a trattoria, Mandarin Oriental-style—has reopened at the hotel’s riverside terrace, fronting the century-old Author’s Wing. Patrons will be able to relish hearty Italian dishes while enjoying views of the Chao Phraya River. Unlike the hotel’s more sophisticated outlets, such as Le Normandie and Lord Jim’s, Ciao is a more casual venue that features modern black tabletops and sleek bronze table lamps.

This March, Italian sous chef Dario Busnelli wants to take gourmands on a journey through his childhood memories in Milan. The chef has put together a line-up of dishes that he remembers eating back in the day and follows the very own recipes of his aunt who, until now, still influences his cooking.

Highlights from the updated menu include two starters: king fish marinated in passionfruit with crudité and Kaviari caviar, and Frittino Di Mare, a dish of deep-fried carabineros prawns, Atlantic Sea bream and calamari.

Chef Dario’s take on the classic lasagna has delectable shank wagyu, which gives a meatier flavor to the dish, while his risotto has hints of Champagne and perfectly cooked giant octopus.

Wrap up your meal at Ciao Terrazza with an apple strudel. The dish isn’t essentially Italian, but the warm pastry holds a special place in the Chef’s heart thanks to his beloved aunt.

Ciao Terrazza is open throughout March for dinner from Friday and Tuesday, at 18:00 to 23:00.

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  • Restaurants
  • Spanish
  • Watthana

“Hello, Papi!” was the very enthusiastic greeting from Willy Trullàs Moreno, the quirky and highly energetic chef behind new tapas restaurant El Willy Kitchen.

Located on Soi Sukhumvit 51, the restaurant is as welcoming as its owner. A playful collection of pop art and boldly colored decor inject life into an intimate space mostly decorated with retro-style furniture.

This Bangkok endeavor follows El Willy’s original branch in Shanghai, which opened back in 2007. You can say that serendipity is behind this second outlet—the pandemic found Chef Willy stranded in Bangkok in 2020 with his family and an eventual familiarity with the city planted the idea of expanding his culinary empire. 

“I want it to have the concept of a happy Spanish kitchen where people can come and enjoy fun and sexy food,” Chef Willy says. “It’s always the thing I wanted to do back in the beginning of my career 14 years ago.”

As the 44-year-old chef explains, “sexy food” is part of El Willy’s brand identity and DNA. “We want to make things fun, sexy and happy.” And spicy—the dishes served at the Bangkok branch have more zing to them to please the Thai palate.

Explosion de Salmon y Trufa (B460/4 pieces) seems to be a favorite. The starter pairs smoked salmon with silky-smooth yogurt and truffle-infused honey drops. It’s a fantastic way to kick off the evening’s meal. For something lighter, go for Tira de Vieira (B580), where fresh scallops are soaked with mashed avocado and tiger’s milk sauce—or Tostada de Atún (B260), a crispy corn tostada topped with tuna, avocado, and smoked chili.

Follow these up with the mixed seafood paella (B1,490), which can be served dry or with a bit of sauce, or the charcoal-grilled Spanish rib-eye steak (B490/100g), which uses Vaca Cebona beef.

Though El Willy Kitchen specializes in à la carte dishes, the restaurant can also prepare a set menu experience specially curated by Chef Willy. 

Currently, the restaurant is open from Tuesday to Sunday for dinner (17:00 to 22:45), but is also open for lunch on Saturday from 11:30 to 15:00.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Charoenkrung

Ultra-luxurious establishment Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok has revealed a patisserie of its own on its riverside promenade. In contrast to the hotel’s overall sumptuous aesthetics, Café Madeleine is a casual and friendly place where you can sit back with soothing drinks and delicious fresh bakes the whole day long. 

Besides freshly-baked pastries like croissants, canelés and their signature madeleines, the hotel cafe also specializes in modern-looking cakes in six signature flavors, namely Gianduja Chocolate and Hazelnut Mousse, Yoghurt Strawberry Sponge Cake, Mango and Passion Fruit Cheesecake, Fresh Fruit Tart, Coconut & Pandan Choux, and Bronte Pistachio Cake. These are available in three different sizes: petit mignon (from B95), mono portion (from 180) and a whole cake (from B1,250).

Executive pastry chef Andrea Bonaffini is the talent behind these wonderful offerings. His resume reveals impressive stints at the likes of three-Michelin-starred The Fat Duck in England and self-opened Yellow Lemon in Taiwan. With his close connections to Asia, Chef Andrea has injected the region’s many rich flavors into some of his creations, like the Passionfruit & Coconut madeleine. These delicious bites also come in two other flavors: Chocolate & Cacao Caramel Nib and Raspberry & Vanilla (B420/box of six).

Café Madeleine also offers tasty nibbles like cantucci, cookies and palmiers, as well as takeaway boxes of hearty salads and sandwiches. Drinks include café-appropriate items ranging from medium-roast coffees to tea to fizzy refreshments.

The hotel also has an online store (fsbangkokathome.com) where customers can pre-order all items for pickup. The patisserie is located between Four Seasons Residences and Brasserie Palmier.

  • Restaurants
  • Thai
  • Khlong Toei

After years of running around the kitchens and front of the house at many respected restaurants like Canvas and Sühring, Pikun “Kate” Wangsantia finally put up her fine-dining venture. The capable restaurateur now runs a “secret supper club” where she cooks off menu and according to her mood. 

“I have a room in my building that serves as the perfect casual private dining place where friends can meet up with trusted friends and without judgement to chat, drink and dine, and with safety measures in place,” she says. “I didn’t know what a supper club was, but it turns out that it is what I am doing!”

Kate’s Place is located on the second floor of her shophouse. Hidden behind a secret bookshelf (sorry for spoiling the fun), the space feels and looks like the living room of a stylish home. All the fun is centered on a huge dining table that can accommodate as much as 10 people. 

At this homey station, Kate, who did a Cooking Master Class in Chiang Mai and also operates a daytime endeavor called Boonlang Braised Chicken Noodles, uses the word “uplifting” to describe the food at her new restaurant. “It’s not about dish presentation or fancy restaurant design, but the food and the environment should make you feel welcome, comforted and happy.” The “Uplifting Thai Cuisine” set menu is Kate’s signature offering but, in the spirit of carte blanche cooking, the theme keeps rotating monthly. “We would often give the dining sessions a theme, such as Cheeseboard Sundays or Thai-Chinese or Isan Night to spice things up.”

We were introduced to a Chinese-inspired feast on our visit. Separated into two parts, the course started with small bites: deep-fried Golden Bag dumpling, laab squid, stir-fried vermicelli and crab meat, stuffed chicken wing, and tom kha soup with cabbage and scallops. 

Four delicious main dishes followed, namely steamed red grouper with soy sauce, strawberry-infused panang curry with beef (our favorite), stir-fried prawns with chili and lime, and salted soybean paste and fresh vegetables. The meal ended with a dessert of wild tapioca with coconut cream and water chestnuts.

These days, many restaurants are trying to stand out by going overboard with the story behind their cuisine and food that focuses more on style over substance, but that’s not the case with Kate’s Place. The simplicity of each dish manifests how the chef herself is humbly aware of what she’s capable of as a cook—which is a lot more than others can claim.

Kate’s Place is now open for both private dining from 2-12 guests, with the Uplifting Thai Cuisine offered at a special price of B990 per person during the fresh opening. For more information and reservations, please visit its official Instagram and Facebook.

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  • Restaurants
  • Chinese
  • Charoenkrung

It took five years, since the initial launch of the Michelin Guide back in 2017, for a Chinese restaurant in Thailand to be awarded a star. Yu Ting Yuan, the Chinese dining room at Four Seasons Bangkok, holds this recognition, and it is well-deserved. 

Helmed by executive Chinese chef Qiu Xiaogui, Yu Ting Yuan promises authentic, fusion-free dishes from the Canton region. But you just don’t come for the food, you come for the dining experience. 

“Yu Ting Yuan is a destination restaurant. The way you see this restaurant is created by the whole atmosphere, from the art pieces to the water features,” Chef Qiu explains.  “No [other] Chinese restaurant in town has this kind of setting. The music, for instance, is curated from a playlist of non-traditional upbeat music.” He also refers to the 88-seat arrangement, a feature meant to enhance the restaurant’s good fortune.

Yu Ting Yuan’s commitment to “making the best dishes” extends to how it sources only the best ingredients from both local and international sources—abalone, dried seafood and cooking wine are imported from the mainland, while geese are sourced from Hong Kong and pork from Vietnam. This practice assures that the food’s authenticity is “not compromised”. Each dish is prepared in a simple manner, using traditional cooking techniques, which, as Chef Qiu explains, is in the true style of Cantonese cooking, 

Expect classic seafood fare such as Lobster & Seafood Dumpling (B250), Braised Sea Cucumber with Millet (B1,850) and Supreme Fish Maw in Abalone Sauce (B1,450). The meat offerings boast the Signature Barbecue Selection (B640), which has roasted pork belly, crispy pork belly and barbecue suckling pig.

Those lucky enough to get a sought-after reservation after January 19 can indulge in new dishes such as Cordyceps Flower Mushroom Dumpling and Thousand-Layer Crisp Roll with Prawns. The latter is a moreish dish that reworks deep-fried spring rolls.

The updated menu will also include Deep-Fried Canadian Lobster with Steamed Egg White, and Wild Almond and Braised Winter Melon with Crab and Dry Scallops.

Some may question Yu Ting Yuan’s explosive debut in the Michelin Guide this year, but we assure you that its star was rightfully awarded. The restaurant excels in all aspects—it offers great food, great vibes and great service. 

  • Restaurants
  • Phrom Phong

Ministry of Crab is paradise for gourmands with a craving for perfectly cooked crustaceans. The original branch in Sri Lanka has held a spot on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurant for five consecutive years, and its popularity has allowed it to enjoy a presence in several Asian countries, including Thailand.

“I’m Japanese-Sri Lankan. That [probably] influences the way I cook without any technical boundaries,” says Dharshan Munidasa, Ministry of Crab’s co-founder and the Bangkok branch’s head chef.

The crustacean specialist takes pride in serving Sri Lankan crab. Chef Dharshan claims that you don’t need much, apart from a few ingredients and simple cooking techniques, to bring out the very taste of this aquatic diamond. “The food is going to be great as long as the ingredients are fresh,” he explains.

A majority of the crab dishes at Ministry of Crab are simply steamed and then complemented with a tasty sauce. Pepper Crab, for instance, the restaurant’s signature dish, is served with a hot sauce made with peppercorns and pepper stock. Meanwhile, Garlic Chilli Crab takes its flavors from multicultural sources—its sauce is made with Italian olive oil, Japanese soy sauce and Sri Lankan chilli flakes. (The price of each dish varies according to the size of the crab.)

There’s more to the menu than just crab. Shrimp enthusiasts can enjoy Clay Pot Prawn Curry (B1,380), a hot and heavy number that comes with a flavorful sauce and charcoal-grilled bread. The dish is best paired with pol sambol (B180), a Sri Lankan condiment in which coconut flakes are seasoned with chili, lime juice and shallots. In fact, the sambol is a wonderful and refreshing complement to nearly every dish on the menu. Highly recommended.

Some other dishes worth a shout-out are the Sri Lankan-style garlic bread (B80), Leek Fried Rice (B180) and Ministry of Crab’s sole dessert Coconut Creme Brulee (B250).

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  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Charoenkrung
  • price 4 of 4

A new chapter has been unveiled at Le Normandie. The institutional fine-dining restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok has introduced some of the biggest changes in its 60-year history, starting with the arrival of Alain Roux, the famed chef behind the three-Michelin-starred The Waterside Inn in the UK.

The news that Roux is taking over Le Normandie’s kitchens sent waves across the city’s fine-dining scene and had gourmands anticipating what direction Le Normandie would move towards.

The new era of Alain Roux has rendered all-around changes to the two-Michelin-starred French restaurant. For one, the chef’s name has been attached to that of the dining room. The serving style is now less formal and the menu has taken on a more classic route. 

Accompanying Roux to Bangkok are his skillful comrades, including a manager, a wait staff and Phil Hickman, who will act as head chef. Roux and Hickman have worked together on redesigning Le Normandie’s menus for both lunch and dinner, which consist of three and nine courses, respectively.

The three-course lunch (B3,400++) gives a glimpse of what Le Normandie’s new dawn tastes like. Starting off the meal are a two-bite canape, a signature brioche and an amuse bouche of oyster served with refreshing cucumber jelly. Following closely is a delectable sourdough bread served with imported French butter and salt from Nan province.

The first course is Smooth Parmesan Cream, a deliciously moreish bite served with an almond puff. This course showcases the British chef’s baking skills, which was how he got his start in the culinary world. 

The menu offers two options for mains: Pan-Fried Veal Medallions or Pan-Fried Red Mullet. We went with the beef, and were highly impressed with the perfectly-cooked cheek meat, and the white wine jus and croquette-like head-meat patty with hollandaise sauce that came with it.

Dessert is a coconut sorbet with white chocolate and pineapple, but keep an eye out for the cheese cart, which has over 20 types of quality French cheeses.

Recruiting a respected international personality like Alain Roux is a completely new undertaking for Le Normandie, and one that, we’re sure, will bring the restaurant’s reputation to greater heights.

  • Restaurants
  • Fusion
  • Yaowarat

Prolific chef Pichaya “Pam” Utharntham draws inspiration from her Thai-Chinese heritage to create a dining experience that’s completely different from what she offers at The Table, her intimate dining room where she churns out creations influenced by French fare and western cooking techniques. At Potong, the former judge of Top Chef Thailand extracts inspiration from her cultural background. “I grew up in a Thai-Chinese family, and it strikes me how no one has tried to capture this culture in fine dining,” she says. 

The restaurant is named after the drugstore her Hokkien great-great-grandfather, who settled down in Thailand 130 years ago, founded. Potong is credited for popularizing a herb potion for women that is still being sold to this day.

The age-old traditions of Chinese immigrants come to the fore at Potong the restaurant. “The charm of Thai-Chinese cuisine lies in how it encapsulates the cultures of Hokkien and Teochew settlers, who had to integrate with their surroundings in Thailand in the form of cuisine,” Chef Pam explains.

These influences are represented in “5 Elements, 5 Senses”, a tasting menu that also displays the chef’s progressive cooking. Each of the 20 courses in the menu is closely intertwined with stories from Chef Pam’s childhood and background. One of them is a steamed black chicken that’s served with riceberry rice cooked in pork stomach and infused with over 20 herbs, and a vinegar drink. Black chicken, which was a food she grew up eating, may not be familiar to today’s diners, which is why she is bringing it back to the table.

Many of the dishes, though, are known to us, such as dim sum and roasted barbecue that are presented in a more modern way.

The majority of ingredients used for the multi-course meal are made in-house by the Potong crew, from the soy sauce, to the miso, to the fermented tea. And a dedication to detail is seen in many courses like a 14-day dry-aged duck, barbecued Angus beef, and stir-fried Chinese kale, served all together with six dipping sauces.

It may take two to three hours to complete all 20 courses, but it’s time well spent, especially with black soy sauce ice cream to look forward to at meal’s end. It took Chef Pam over six months to ferment the sauce for this unique dessert, which is a perfect balance of sweet, salty and even spicy—the dish is served with chili-shaped candy.

Accompanying each dish is a postcard with messages that Pam has written to her great-great-grandfather. It’s a personal touch that gives a more personal and meaningful slant to the entire Potong experience.

Potong’s “5 Elements, 5 Senses” menu is priced at B4,500++ per person. Find out more information about the course and how to make reservations here.

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  • Restaurants
  • Japanese
  • Khlong Toei

Brooklyn-born Okonomi is now in Bangkok! Set on Soi Sukhumvit 38, the cafe-slash-restaurant has been seeing an influx of café-hoppers and avid gourmands alike who want to experience a new approach to contemporary Japanese fare.

Back in the New York borough, Okonomi operates as a breakfast purveyor during the day and a hot ramen place at night under the name Yuji Ramen. Founded by salesman turned restaurateur Yuji Haraguchi, Okonomi combines Japanese home-cooking with western touches to create wholesome breakfast and brunch numbers.

Chef David Del Pilar Potes, who’s worked with Haraguchi for eight years, heads the kitchen at the Bangkok branch—and he is more than happy to present the restaurant’s “mottainai” technique (aka the zero-waste approach) as he creates fish-dominated dishes for Bangkokians.

Bringing this concept to the fore are the Ichiju Sansai breakfast sets (B640, available until 11:00), which consists of a bowl of soup, rice, three small dishes, and a slab of beautifully cooked Japanese fish like hamachi (amberjack) or samara (mackerel). They also have all-day brunch meals including Unagi Kabayaki (B550) a donburi dish of charcoal-grilled eel topped with a sweet, citrus-infused soy sauce, or Shiro Shoyu Ramen (B300), a filling umami-intense serve with madai (red sea bream) fermented with kombu (seaweed).

The eatery has also recently launched snack plates such as Fish Sando (B350) and Hojicha Donut (B100). You can also pop in for Japanese-inspired drinks like Okonomi House drip coffee (B250), Matcha Uji Latte (B140) or Black Sesame Cappuccino (B140).

Most cafés in Bangkok are more concerned about presenting photogenic aesthetics rather than serving food that pleases the palate, but that not the case for Okonomi (it’s not to say that its pistachio-colored facade and minimalist light wood interiors are not easy on the eye). The restaurant is definitely worth a revisit—both for its calming ambience and the delectable, nutritious and filling fare it offers. 

We almost forgot: Okonomi doesn’t take any cash, so get your cards or online money ready.

  • Restaurants
  • Thai
  • Khlong Toei

The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in New York has produced a handful of Thailand’s most renowned chefs, including Chef Pichaya “Pam” Utharntham of The Table by Chef Pam and Potong, and Chef Thitid “Ton” Tassanakajohn of Le Du and Nusara. Both culinary figures and their restaurants are recognized, if not revered, by some of the city’s most discerning epicures. 

Following closely in their footsteps is Chef Worathon “Tae” Udomchalotorn, another CIA alum who actually graduated in the same class as Chef Ton. Chef Tae and the latter are actually good friends and used to run Le Du together. It may have taken some time and a few detours (including a stint at the three-Michellin-starred Benu in San Francisco), but it was well worth the wait now that Chef Tae has put up his own venture—a fine-dining endeavor called Kavee.

Taking the name from the Thai word for “poet”, the restaurant reinterprets fine Thai fare using modern cooking techniques. “I think of my creations as Thai, but some of them take inspiration from what I remember eating in the past,” the chef explains.

The element of “poetry” in Kavee’s cuisine lies in how Chef Tae presents a multi-course menu in “perfect sequence, in order to create the most pleasurable dining experience possible”, and that’s exactly what we experience at the restaurant’s soft opening.

Kavee’s debut menu is stylized as a blind tasting. Dishes are not revealed in advance, allowing diners to potentially enjoy the experience of savoring its flavors without too much expectation. The first course of seven came out extremely strong. The amuse bouche included three flavorful morsels: oyster with kumquat dressing, tangy foie gras meringue, and spicy amberjack.

What followed next was a reworked kanom jeen sao nam where, instead of mixing rice noodles with coconut milk curry, Chef Tae used grilled scallops topped with fermented rambutan and wasabi snow.

The flavors became a bit more subtle with the succeeding dishes, which included a grilled fish with zesty tamarind sauce paired with a delicious shallot tart, and a rice congee with a generous amount of crab meat, dried chilli and black pepper. A scrumptious brioche dinner roll was served on the side for guests to dip into the congee, making the dish even more fulfilling and comforting.

The pre-main of deep-fried chicken stuffed with pâté came with more truffle flakes—and likely calories—than we would have liked, and less of the sweet sauce that we actually liked, but that all was forgiven when the main course—a dry-aged Barbary duck with a superb sauce made with coriander root—was revealed.

What followed was a palate-cleansing sorbet whipped up from the leaves of the tummang plant, usually used in Southern Thailand to make chilli paste. It was a great precedent for dessert: truffles ice cream with coconut pudding and coffee crumbles on the side.

Instead of following the traditional flavor build-up of most tasting menus, Kavee’s offering went the opposite way, going from intense hits to more subtle and comforting tastes. The deviation, however, in no way took away from the pleasure of enjoying the meal. In fact, this different approach left us more curious about what else Chef Tae has up his sleeve and eager to experience the next chapter of his well-composed culinary poetry.

Kavee’s seven-course tasting menu is currently priced at B2,590 per person (from B2,890) until 31 December 2021.

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  • Restaurants
  • Phloen Chit

When it comes to Japanese fare in Bangkok, there’s so much to choose from, from casual mall eateries to swanky omakase joints. But establishments that promise mind-blowing cuisine on a more progressive front are quite rare.

But we can thank Jeff Ramsey for filling up the gap with Kintsugi, the upscale Japanese restaurant at The Athenee. Opened in 2019, the restaurant has consistently appeased dining connoisseurs with modern dishes that break the boundaries of traditional Japanese cooking.

The Japanese-American chef takes inspiration from the art of kintsugi, wherein gold is used to give a new lease on life to broken ceramics. In similar fashion, Ramsey has no intention of “fixing” kaiseki cuisine; rather, he wishes to reinterpret it by incorporating his unique vision into ancient culinary traditions. 

The acclaimed chef’s deep understanding of Japanese ingredients, combined with his creative vision, guarantee a memorable dining experience. And you can see this, once again, in Ramsey’s latest kaiseki offering. The Kin tasting menu (B3,500++) comprises 10  small courses that each encapsulates a fusion of Japanese authenticity and western tweaks. 

To kick off the meal, the creative chef serves Sashimi Spring Rolls, a moreish dish that stuffs tender fresh fish into a crispy roll. Caramelized Ankimo follows, an interesting dish that pairs perfectly cooked fish liver with ponzu sauce. The third course is steamed egg and Alaskan King crab steamed egg with subtle hints of truffle oil.

But the highlight of the multi-course meal is Kin Kat, a foie gras ice cream that references the popular chocolate wafer snack. Two monaka wafers sandwich a soft cream made with premium duck liver.

The meal also includes uni gohan with snow crab meat, grilled Australian MB9 Wagyu, and clam miso soup.

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Phaya Thai

Previously known for being a hub for dive bars and unpretentious eateries, Ratchathewi is on its way to becoming a bit cooler, thanks to the emergence of art galleries and upscale cafés. Hip kids and artheads alike flock into the neighborhood in hopes of finding a new favorite hangout—like Piccolo Vicolo.

This new café, tucked away on Wat Phraya Yang alley, is part of the upcoming art and lifestyle community estate called Galileoasis, and its location kind of makes sense as its title actually means “small alley” in Italian.

Owner Nara “Pan” Lojanatorn saw an opportunity to create a space where city-dwellers can escape the city’s hustle and bustle, and cocoon in her intimate alley cafe. Pan and her family (who are all passionate designers) decided to launch Piccolo Vicolo as an introduction to their estate, a preview of what is yet to come. “We want this place to be a small community, consisting of a restaurant, café, gallery, theater, hotel and record store,” she says.

The café is set in a 50-year-old shophouse that’s decorated with wooden vintage decor and some greenery. In contrast, modish green glass lanterns hang over an expansive counter, bringing a hint of color to the shop’s bare walls and minimalist interiors.

Like any other modern-day coffeehouse, Piccolo Vicolo has a couple of unconventional signature drinks on its menu—Black Coconut (B140) and Black Lemon (B140) are two drinks that showcase the team’s homemade syrups. Conventional drinkers can opt for aromatic blends made with international and local beans, like Artisan, which has nutty and chocolate hints, and Lively, a brew with a more refreshing hit.

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  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary European

Back in June, at the peak of the COVID-19 lockdown, we checked in with Chef Jutamas “Som” Theantae, the culinary talent behind progressive fine-dining restaurant Karmakamet Conveyance. The venue was then struggling, having to close and then reopen again, following the constantly changing government regulations brought about by the pandemic. The uncertainty was a bit overwhelming for the chef and prompted a rethink of her future.

Chef Jutamas
Som's TableChef Jutamas "Som" Theantae

Six months later and Som is in a different head- and workspace. If anything, the pandemic served as a trigger that encouraged her to put up an endeavor that she can completely call her own, one where she calls the shots. She set up Som’s Table in the peaceful resort town of Hua Hin, in a converted house right by the water. 

Som's Table
Kenika Ruaytanapanich/Time Out Bangkok
Som's Table
Kenika Ruaytanapanich/Time Out Bangkok
Som's Table
Kenika Ruaytanapanich/Time Out Bangkok

At this new venture, Chef Som goes “back to basics” and rekindles her relationship with European fare. “I actually started my cooking journey with European food,” she explains. “This new restaurant has allowed me to go back to where I started.” 

Som’s Table is, in many ways, a 180-degree turn from Karmakamet Conveyance. Instead of serving haute cuisine with a don’t-ask-don’t-tell gimmick, Chef Som dishes out comfort food off a carte blanche menu. Dishes vary on a daily basis, and are dependent on the availability of ingredients from local sources and fishermen from surrounding villages.

During our visit, the starter of the day was Fish Bites (B390), a dish featuring bite-sized morsels of house-smoked black cod with sambol-seasoned rice. This was followed by an impressive appetite-driving salad (B690) of fresh mangoes, huge avocado chunks and juicy tiger prawns with dill sour yogurt and horseradish-infused beurre noisette.

Som's Table
Kenika Ruaytanapanich/Time Out BangkokFish Bites
Som's Table
Kenika Ruaytanapanich/Time Out BangkokMango and avocado salad

Som’s Table is nestled on a quiet beach in Khao Tao, far away from Hua Hin’s city center. But that doesn’t seem to be an issue for guests, as long as she keeps serving more great food like a bean stew with local barracuda (B790) paired with superb ratatouille and green olive tapenade; and hand-rolled pici with spicy nduja (B590). “There were no guests at all during the first seven days,” she relates. “But after that, boom! Full booking! It was a complete surprise to see so many people flocking here.”

Som's Table
Kenika Ruaytanapanich/Time Out BangkokBean stew with local barracuda
Som's Table
Kenika Ruaytanapanich/Time Out BangkokHand-rolled pici with spicy nduja

We don’t share her surprise. Each dish is a telling revelation of Chef Som’s passion for her trade. It probably helps that she feels no pressure to comply with any brand concept, hence the freedom to do whatever she likes. Though she jokingly admits missing “cooking for fine dining”, the prolific chef is in no hurry to go back to her former life in Bangkok. “It’s already as good as it can be... [Fine dining] wouldn’t suit this place,” she asserts. “It would be impossible for me to force diners to understand what I do. They’re on holiday!”

But that still doesn’t stop her from “exploring new tastes to add more layers” to every dish she serves at Som’s Table. “European cuisine in Thailand still has plenty of room for improvement,” she says.

Som's Table
Kenika Ruaytanapanich/Time Out Bangkok

It may be a bit too soon to declare Som’s Table as the chef’s career-defining moment considering it only opened less than two months ago, but with what we’ve tasted and witnessed so far, specifically how she cooks and season each dish herself to ensure its complexity and quality, the future seems bright for Chef Som.

Som’s Table is located on 19 Soi Ruamjai, Jai Kao Tao, Nong Kae, Prachuap Khiri Khan. Reservations can be made via 09 7287 2442, reservation@somsatable.com or somstable.com.

  • Restaurants
  • Thai
  • Sathorn

“I intend to push Thai cuisine to another level,” says Chef Thitid “Ton” Tassanakajohn, the renowned chef behind acclaimed fine-dining establishments Le Du and Nusara, not to mention boat noodle restaurant ThepNakorn and, now, a new venture called Lahnyai. 

As with his other restaurants, Chef Ton doesn’t fail to fulfil his promise to push Thai food forward. Lahnyai, in his words, is a “sequel” to Nusara, the elegant dining room that earned a spot in the 2021 list of Asia’s 50 Best restaurants. At Nusara, he brings life to his grandmother’s recipes. At Lahnyai, he still pays tribute to his grandmother (lahnyai translates to “grandmother’s boy”) by using her recipes but giving them a playful, contemporary edge. “I try to bring out the true essence of Nusara and add a modern twist characteristic of today’s generation. It’s all about fun, vibrancy and creativity,” asserts the chef, who also expresses how he tries not to repeat the same old tricks in his creations.

What you’ll get at Larnyai are dishes made with ingredients that don't seem to be the right fit for Thai cuisine—just imagine adding truffles and ikura (aka red caviar) to traditional dishes.

Chef Ton came up with an impressive 14-course tasting menu (B3,590++) to introduce the essence of Larnyai. To start, you have three bite-sized pre-appetizers, including caviar in a crispy golden cup, thong plu (fried flour balls) with chicken curry filling, and a reworked Thai crispy pancake.

Following the amuse bouche is a five-layer dried fish and watermelon jelly flavored with dashi and bitter orange. You also have steamed egg with coconut milk-based chilli paste and generous chunks of crab meat. To further drive the appetite, Chef Ton follows these up with  a hot and sour soup of abalone.

The main course is served samrub-style and comprises five small plates: a southern-style spicy soup, grilled scallops with crab egg and shrimp fat, Ra-Wang curry with grilled pork jowl, and stir-fried Wagyu with holy basil. Each one is rich in flavor and executed to perfection. 

To conclude the meal, the chef serves a palate-cleansing sorbet made with betel leaves. This acts as a prelude to a pa ka krong (Thai flower-shaped dessert similar to a mochi) with coconut caramel filling and white truffle flakes on top.

Chef Nongnuch “Nuch” Sae-eiw supervises the kitchen at Lahnyai alongside Chef Ton. The restaurant, which is located at Baan Turtle on Soi Suanplu, can accommodate 10 to 12 diners per round. Call 06 2242 5966 for reservations.

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  • Restaurants
  • Khlong Toei
  • price 3 of 4

Launched back in 2019, Mia, helmed by epicurean couple Michelle Goh and Top Russell, quickly shot to fine-dining stardom and has since strengthened its reputation as a go-to for the city’s gastrophiles and socialites. After having to close and then reopen several times in the last few months due to COVID restrictions, the duo is making a comeback with a new culinary offering. 

Recently, Top and Michelle tested the waters and made the big move from serving à la carte dishes to delivering a well-curated tasting menu. The success of this first endeavor encouraged the couple to come up with a new tasting menu, one that once again manifests their impressive talents. 

Mia’s Winter 2021 menu encapsulates both European and Asian influences, both in taste and presentation. Experimenting with various cooking techniques, ranging from slow-cooking, to curing, to fermentation has allowed the chefs to draw out more profound flavors from each ingredient used.

The seven-course tasting menu starts off with Ostra Regal oysters with red cabbage granitas. The zingy dish prepares the palate for a four-piece amuse bouche that delivers an explosion of flavors: a duxelles tartlet with truffle-infused hollandaise, a chickpea puff stuffed with tuna niçoise, a crispy rice cake with beef tartare, and foie gras flavored with mulled wine and ginger.

These two starters only whet the appetite for the heavier fare that follows. You have sourdough brioche with shallot butter and onion ash (a course that showcases their pastry creativity), and then Hokkaido scallops served with apple and dill sorbet. According to Chef Michelle, the latter is one of the set menu’s highlights. Though we agree with her, our two thumbs up are reserved for the gorgeously-decorated 24-hour-cured hamachi. Nestled in crispy petals, the fish is seasoned with tomato dashi, ricotta and wasabi snow.

The menu moves on to a throat-warming crab chawanmushi, which reworks the Japanese steamed egg custard dish with artichoke pureé and crustacean oil. The tempo slows down again with the salad-like confit cod served with gambas mousseline and mussels, but picks up soon after with Pork 4 Ways, a dish that showcases Chef Top’s skills with slow-cooking and displays the versatility of the meat. You’ll be spoiled for choice with pork chop with pad krapow-inspired sauce, pork consommé, crispy pork skin and blood pudding. (A Hokkaido Kamui Gyu A4 Wagyu Chateaubriand alternative is also available.)

Wrapping up the meal are two desserts, each one unique in their own way. One is a refreshing pear sorbet, while the other is a more filling fig leaf ice cream on top of French toast.

Mia’s latest seasonal tasting menu is a great way to make a comeback post-lockdown. Not only does it uphold the restaurant’s prestigious standing, but also paves the way for further acclaim. 

Mia’s seven-course Winter Tasting Menu is priced at B3,550++ (B2,850 for five courses) with wine pairing options available. The restaurant can also accommodate vegetarian or vegan requests.

  • Restaurants
  • Thai
  • Thonglor
  • price 3 of 4

Back in 2018, popular Thai chef and TV personality Chumpol Jangprai gave life to R.HAAN, an elegant eatery devoted to samrub or traditional Thai-style shared eating, but with a fine-dining approach.

Taking its name from the Thai word for food, R.HAAN (pronounced “aa-harn,” not “raan” like we originally thought) is set within a charming white house on Soi Thonglor 9. Inside, the dining room combines pastoral murals with black faux brick walls. Antique cabinets and hanging flower garlands—traditional elements essential to a Thai house—populate the space to portray a sense of authenticity.

After cocooning for some time during the pandemic (and experimenting on takeaways and delivery sets for those in home isolation), Chef Chumpol is now ready to unveil R.HAAN’s “Sustainable Wisdom of Thai Herb Samrub”, a new menu consisting of eight courses that each take inspiration from local, rustic recipes popular in a certain part of Thailand.

The first course gives an overview of the entire meal. It features a huge wooden box containing a Thailand map delicately drawn with salt and chilli powder. On top are five bite-sized morsels that represent the regions of the kingdom.

Following the amuse bouche is an innovative som tum where Chef Chumpol uses molecular techniques to style each main ingredient—green papaya, chilli, long beans—into jelly with spicy-dressing spheres. It’s a dish that’s high on visual wow factor.

The most memorable dish in this samrub meal is the Coconut & Galangal Cream Cappuccino with Squid Ink, which is a play on tom kha gai. The silky-smooth soup has spicy and sour hints, with saltiness thrown in courtesy of a parmesan crisp.

Course 5 is a surprise and is dependent on the ingredients available that day. We were served an elevated version of rice noodles and steamed sea bass with oyster sauce, a stir-fried dish that’s usually served at street food restaurants.

The main course is a medley of dishes, including a soup (choose between prawn tom yum or Kurobuta pork tom zap), shrimp paste with fresh vegetables and fruit, panang curry with Wagyu Angus beef and a bowl of aromatic jasmine rice.

Do spare some room for dessert. You can either go for a reimagined mango sticky rice or Chiang Mai-grown chocolate.

Like previous R.HAAN’s releases, this latest tasting set nicely balances a range of Thai flavors in each course. The restaurant is a good introduction to authentic Thai fare for visiting friends or those not familiar with the cuisine. And the fact that it’s elevated two-Michelin-starred Thai may be a bonus.

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Huai Khwang

Grow Tea Studio, in contrast to its fast-paced environment, is all about promoting a serene, unhurried tea experience that relies on a meticulous green tea-brewing process. The space is small and cozy, and seating is limited. As a complement to its main product, the shop features minimalist Japanese-style decor.

Former food designer Napaktorn “Bamee” Srisaikoo and dear friend Thanapong Phisitsin (Patad) opened the café after two years of hunting down the best matcha. Their search led them to tea from Uji in South Kyoto, which they describe as “a light drink that’s full of complexity in taste and flavor.”

  • Bars
  • Tapas bars
  • Ratchaprasong

VASO, the modern tapas bar helmed by celebrated Spanish chef Alvaro Ramos, has unveiled a spin-off venture on the ground floor of centralwOrld’s Groove. Its name alone tells you what to expect. Tapas Music Bar by Vaso combines tasty small plates with lively tunes performed by up-and-coming bands. Complementing this combo are stylish Mediterranean-style decor reminiscent of the beachside hangouts in Ibiza, including an eye-catching moon lantern that has become the bar’s most renowned decorative feature. 

 

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