New restaurants, cafés and bars to try in Bangkok this month
When was the last time you stepped inside The Peninsula Plaza, the dated shoppingcomplex located along Ratchadamri Road? If you’re a foodie with an incessant craving for a fancy meal, the long-standing mall may just be your next epicurean destination as it is now home to White Lies, a fine-dining venue that boasts an intriguing “Italian omakase” concept. The man behind White Lies is Italian chef Maurizio Menconi, who achieved stardom inBangkok’s dining scene as head chef of La Scala, The Sukhothai Bangkok’s iconic Italian kitchen. At La Scala, Menconi steered The Art of Dining project, which granted him opportunities to cook side-by-side with some of the world’s most renowned chefs. Now, the star chef is on a new gastronomic journey, overseeing Areeya Property’s culinary outlets including White Lies, the group’s first fine-dining venture. White walls, earth-toned furniture, marble details, and dangling crystal set the tone for aswanky epicurean experience. The compact dining room welcomes with natural light in the early evening, and then turns to more elegance dim lighting as the evening deepens.Chef Menconi’s concept combines influences from the Italian kitchen with an Oriental flair, serving a constantly changing menu based on the availability of ingredients, not to mention his own mood for the evening. The Italian omakase menu (B5,000) comprises around 18 courses, all made of top-quality ingredients presented as art. Our meal started out with a rich, umami-intense cod f
Literally consisting of rice and curry, khao gaeng is one of the most understated street eats in the city. This dish’s reputation has long suffered because of, in most cases, the use of low-quality ingredients and its association to canteen-style food. Three connoisseurs of Thai cuisine, who have long built their fame in Bangkok’s food scene—Chef Chetphuchit Thakoengsak (food consultant and finalist of Top Chef Thailand), Chef Patchara Pirapak (former head chef of fine-dining Thai restaurant Saneh Jaan), and Kanokwan Asawanuchit (noted food blogger)—are hoping to save khao gaeng from its less than reputable status by delivering their own variations on this traditional comfort dish. Situated in Soi Nak Niwas 21 in outer Bangkok, Rossaneh reimagines the usual image of a khao gaeng shop by substituting a ramshackle shack with a hip venue. Taking up space inside an old shophouse, Rossaneh is a striking eatery decorated with splashes of bold color, from brightly painted walls to floral-patterned tablecloths to eye-catching murals depicting traditional weaving crafts. The shopfront sees life-sized standees of the owners welcoming guests. Despite the hip upgrade, the shop retains a traditional-style khao kaeng counter bar where diners can choose their mains. Rossaneh’s curries rise above other khao geang counterparts thanks to an intense and meticulously executed paste that goes into each variation. The choices (starting from B49) vary daily, but mainstays include gaeng kua, a fra
Saucey, owned by dermatologist by day and restaurateur by night, Komgrib Leelaake, along with a few partners, is lighting up quiet Soi Sathorn 8. The chicken eatery gleans inspiration from a laidback California-style beach club— complete with a fun beer bomb gimmick—to provide Sathorn’s post-work crowd with a vibrant beach-like escape. Tropical elements like a thatched roof and rattan furniture set the tone for a chillaxed vibe you’d want to sink into after eight hours of mindnumbing work. An outdoor patio, perfect for chilling with a cool glass of beer leads into an airconditioned dining room with warm lighting and bare walls. Fried chicken (starting from B159/6 pieces) is the name of the game at Saucey, and these birds are served drenched in one of six sauces available. There’s Saucey Original, an intensely addictive dressing flavored with fish sauce and palm sugar, and Saucey Signature, an indulgent option made from prawn fat and chili paste. Komgrib’s passion for travelling is reflected in the Seoul Sauce, which makes use of Korea-imported gochujang (red chili paste), and the African Teriyaki, which has the refreshing notesof ginger and wild honey. For the all-aroundcomfort food experience, pair your fried poultrywith side dishes like onion rings (B89) or hashbrowns (B89). To boost the fun, Saucey proffers bomb shots that go into glasses of Leo beer. Choose to get massively sloshed on a slushy bomb (B180), soju (B190) or umeshu (B250).
Chang Chui, the creative space in Thonburi, is known for one thing—a photogenic Lockheed L-1011 Tristar airliner that’s parked on its graveled courtyard. Bold plans were made to convert the disused plane into a swank fine-dining restaurant called Na-Oh, but the project suffered from multiple delays, and caused the grounded jet to become nothing but a cabinet of curiosities (it contains the owner’s spooky taxidermy collection). But the restaurant project has finally come into play, with an ambitious, theatrical gimmick in tow. A gaffe on the Biblical Noah’s Ark, Na-Oh feeds guests the storyline of a flying vessel taking chosen survivors of a shattered, post-apocalyptic world to a safe zone. The survivors (i.e., diners) are served what is said to be futuristic fare while travelling. The menu will constantly change to reflect a new theme set by the restaurant every three or four months. Currently, it’s all about diaspora—rootless food that merge diverse cultures and religions in reflection of the multiple nationalities aboard the Na-Oh flying ark. Responsible for these futuristic eats is 19-year-old, Australia-hailing Thai executive chef Mo-na Teeratada, or “O-Na” as heis called on the vessel. Na-Oh’s setting is an experience in itself. An elevator takes you up to the main dining room aboard the plane. (There is no toilet on board so empty your bladder prior to your visit.) Taxidermied animals are displayed alongside vintage Victorian trinkets, giving the entire space a sense
Arcade-themed eatery Hopeland obviously didn’t bring hope to 72 Courtyard. The place has closed down after barely a year of operations, and has been replaced with a new hope—this time in the form of an Italian wine bar. Taking over Hopeland’s vacated space at the back of the complex, Carbar flaunts the urban industrial décor. Sleek wooden furniture, raw cement walls, metal elements, hanging light bulbs—yeah, you get it. Sliding glass partitions separate the main indoor dining room from an outdoor space area, and are usually left open to create an open and casual vibe that’s complemented by hip hop tunes filtering through overhead speakers. Take it from its name—Carbar’s menu is an open invitation for carbo-loading. Start with the arancini (B150) or deep-fried risotto balls, here stuffed with sundried tomatoes, camembert and parmigiana, and served with apricot jam. The house also makes classic dishes like burrata and cherry tomatoes (B490), black pepper and parmigiano reggiano-mixed cacio e pepe spaghetti (B220), and homemade ravioli (B290) filled with cheese and short rib that’s been cooked for four hours. No Italian carbs feast is complete without pizza. At Carbar, it’s cooked in a woodfire oven and served Neapolitan-style (B220 to B340). Four choices of toppings are available, including the carnivore-friendly prosciutto di Parma (B290) and Italian sausage (B290). For more meaty indulgences, order a platter of cold cuts (B550). An amazing and affordable wine selection am
The city's new sky-high cocktail establishment, The Loft, promises to amaze with sleek interiors, expansive Bangkok views, and delicate concoctions inspired by vintage recipes included in the classic cocktail tome The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book. One of the three segments of Waldorf Astoria’s top-floor dining and wining triplex, The Loft is an elegant mélange of vintage charm and sheer opulence, its interiors evocative of a cool artist’s tastefully decorated digs. Big communal wooden tables are splashed with paint, Pollock-style, while painting accessories scattered across the bar do their part to represent the artist’s studio. The center of the room highlights Art Nouveau elements, a spider-shaped chandelier and a sleek marble bar top, while a floor-to-ceiling glass wall provides a 180-degree lookout over Bangkok’s illuminated skyscrapers. Head bartender and bar manager Michele Montauti (formerly at The House on Sathorn) puts his spin on classics featured in The Old Waldorf-Astoria Bar Book, and conjures up contemporary variations that tickle the palate and appease the cocktail connoisseur. He recommends the fizzy Lalla Rookh (B450), a mix of Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva Rum, Pierre Ferrand Cognac, rose syrup, lime, egg white and vanilla soda, or the Waldorf Claret Cup (B480), a well-balanced bevvy that combines the fruity, sweet and acidic notes of Martell Cognac, dry curacao, Maraschino liqueur, lime and a splash of soda. For an old-school classic with a local punch,
A group of chocolate-loving friends open a chocolate-cafe in the old town that puts a spotlight on Nakhon Si Thammarat-grown cacao. As a tribute to the farmer down south who took care of the fermentation process of the cacao beans before they are turned into bean-to-bars and chocolate drinks sold at Paradai. The highlight is the bean-to-bar items that have won multiple awards in the world stage including International Chocolate Awards in Florence, Italy in 2018. Also worth a try are indulgent chocolate drinks and chocolate bonbons with nine different flavors like Thai milk tea, galangal and yuzu, and honey and orange cream cheese.