Though it's considered one of the world’s most popular cuisines, Chinese fare is not a crowd favorite when it comes to fine dining (unless it’s for a family reunion or a dinner party paid for by your boss). Nan Bei at swanky Rosewood Bangkok wants to change this perception by gussying up Chinese fare with a touch of edgy glamor. And it’s doing so by putting these meals in a photogenic, jawdropping setting that doesn’t ascribe to typical Oriental stereotypes. As the elevator door opens to the 19th floor, you are immediately struck by thousands of glistening lights that are meant to symbolize a constellation of stars, in particular the constellation referencing the ancient Chinese folktale of The Cowherd and The Weaver Girl. The sad tale is about the Weaver Girl (represented by the star Vega) and the Cowherd (represented by the star Altair), who are separated by a river (represented by the Milky Way) and can only meet once a year on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month. A narrow corridor, decorated with tea sets, leads to the main dining chamber, which features a Peking duck station and a dim sum cooking station at each end. Art deco-inspired chandeliers and marble floors with Chinese patterns round up the décor. The restaurant’s name juxtaposes the Mandarin words for “south” and “north”, respectively. A brief discussion with the restaurant manager reveals that the menu is loosely inspired by cuisine from (you’ve guessed it) the northern and southern parts of China. In
This fine-dining establishment has long been one of our favorite spots to savor Italian fare and it has never failed to wow. But even tried-and-tested formulas need a tweak, which is why Medici thought to revamp its menu, this time combining the tastes and styles of cuisine from countries like France, Spain and Italy to give a more contemporary twist to Mediterranean fare. The kitchen is now helmed by Chef Bart Cywinski, who earned his culinary chops at several notable restaurants across the globe, including The Grill at The Dorchester in London, and the Michelin-starred JAAN in Singapore. Those who have dined at Medici before will be familiar with its dark and dramatic neo-classical interiors. But for those who have yet to make a visit, you can think of the opulent glam of The Great Gatsby plus the bar scene from any ’70s gangster film to give you an idea. Pick a seat by the brightly-lit open kitchen if you’d to see your food being whipped up right in front of you. Not long after you’re seated, a waiter will serve you pumpkin cappuccino, a complementary pumpkin parmesan soup layered with potato foam, and served warm in a shot glass. This soup prepares your palate for a culinary journey that can start off with the local mud crab and tomato cannelloni (B580), a signature dish that features tomato jelly stuffed with seasoned crab meat and quinoa, and topped with sturgeon caviar and avocado mousse. If you want something that’s along the lines of comfort fare, order the lobster
The anticipation was high for the opening of the ultra-luxurious Rosewood Bangkok, and when it finally lifted up the curtain, the hotel didn’t disappoint. Its stylish interiors by acclaimed design firm Celia Chu Design, swanky amenities and seamless service are everything that would appeal to the discerning deep-pocketed travelers. The luxury hotel is also set to be the new dining destination for avid foodies and drink connoisseurs, offering a gamut of posh and unique food and bar outlets, all of which will be open by this month. The first to be launched isLakorn, an all-day dining room that celebrates theatrical art as well as delicious Western and Thai bites. Lakorn, named after the Thai word for “theatrical performance” is a subtle showcase of artistic and cultural elements—the curtains feature thousands of sharp metal thimbles with intricate carvings, similar to those worn by Thai dancers, while dividers reflect floral bas-relief details inspired by vintage music boxes. These are set against the restaurant’s elegantly sophisticated marble surfaces, floor-to-ceiling mirrors and earth-toned cushions.The menu, crafted by the chef de cuisine Jarno Robles, highlights dishes as elegant as its surrounds. There’s a burrata salad with heirloom baby carrots and croutons (B480); batter-coated snapper with chips and tartare sauce (B680); and a puffy vol au vent with chicken ragu, green peas and mushroom (B590). Thai dishes are also available if you’re hoping for more local flavors.
Compared with the other fine-dining mainstays that populate Bangkok’s gentrified neighborhoods, Elements at The Okura Prestige still considerably flies under the epicurean radar. Despite its lesser-known status, the sky-high dining fixture still earned a Michelin star for expertly blending the use of sophisticated French techniques with premium Japanese ingredients. And despite recent hiccups, including the departure of executive chef Antony Scholtmeyer just a few months after the restaurant received a Michelin star, prompting a reshuffling in the kitchen, this elevated restaurant still soars. The diligent kitchen team is now led by Conrado B. DeGuzaman and Jirawat Ouprasert, the sous chefs who’ve been around since Elements first opened. Changes have been effected, including the introduction of a menu that only offers multi-course meals. Two options include six -and seven-course meals (B4,000 and B4,600) that each epitomize the marriage of French flair and Japanese flavors. Oriental simplicity shine in dishes like the seasonal salad of Japanese vegetables paired with hollandaise sauce, daidai (bitter orange) vinegar and tomato jelly. The intense flavors of the sea kick in in the likes of David Hervé oyster mousse served with toro, pickles and dashi beurre blanc sauce, and a seafood compilation of anchovy custard, asari clam, hamaji foam with Salicornia cream and gin-infused cucumber. Mains are cooked beautifully as in the roasted lamb with grilled artichoke, mitsuba (Japan
After a long wait, the crown jewel of Thailand’s first Park Hyatt is ready to be experienced. Taking over the top three stories of the hotel tower, Penthouse Bar + Grill is home to six different food and drink outlets
THERE’S NO SHORTAGE of hot pot restaurants on Soi Langsuan (Mercury Ville alone has two places that are usually packed with office workers gulping as much food as possible during all-you-can-eat hours). Randy Noprapa and Chalee Kader, the chefs behind Fillets and 100 Mahaseth, are adding to the number with Mrs. Wu, a modern eatery that takes the humble hot pot to another level. Set on the third floor of The Portico food and booze complex, Mrs. Wu’s façade is a distinctive showcase of neon-lit hotpots—a stark contrast to the elegantly subdued frontages of the other restaurants within the building. According to the manager, the restaurant is supposed to evoke the experience of dining in a Chinatown eatery somewhere in the American West Coast. The imaginary Mrs. Wu is its proprietor, a thirdgeneration Chinese-American who grew up in a family of food (and whiskey) connoisseurs. The restaurant, however, is light years away from your traditional Chinatown joint. The whole space veers away from tradition, featuring predominantly dark tones only broken by a mural depicting cheongsam-clad ladies languidly lounging about with their smart gadgets. A rounded bar in the middle of the sprawling space churns out premium single malts and Tsingtao beer. Meals are priced higher than your typical hot pot restaurant, justified by the the inclusion of top-quality beef such as melt-in-your-mouth Japanese Sendai A4 sirloin (B950) and Hokkaido A5 ribeye (B850). Local beef Himawari-gyu (B520) from
Francesco Lenzi, the culinary genius behind the upscale Lenzi Tuscan Kitchen, and the former chef of Medici at Hotel Muse, abandons fine-dining efforts at his new eatery, opting instead for more a casual space that that spotlights traditional Italian fare. Nonna Nella by Lenzi is a tribute to the chef’s Sicilian-born grandmother Sebastianella Tusa, whose nickname is, apparently, Nella (nonna means “grandmother” in Italian). The venue exudes the simple charm of a neighborhood restaurant, merging a bistro feel with a delicatessen offering. The front showcases fresh produce, including ham and cheese, most of which are produced by Lenzi’s family in Tuscany. Inside, a spacious room is divided into a wood-heavy dining area and a modern open kitchen equipped with Italianimported kitchen appliances. The menu is a testament to Lenzi’s close attention to produce; the front page lists artisanal products from his family’s farm such as bazzetta (cured pork leg, B250), truffle-infused cured pork sausage (B350) and bazzon cotto (cooked ham, B400). The menu also features items, such as fish ham, which are imported from other artisanal farms in Italy. We opted for the smoked sturgeon, which is lean and flavorsome, served with grilled zucchini and feta cheese, and drizzled with mustard dressing. Benefitting from an in-house pasta machine, Nonna Nella is able to produce fresh egg-based pasta that go into dishes like spaghettoni all'amatriciana (B400), spaghetti’s fatter brother topped with m
Deconstructing food is tricky, especially if you’re trying to pick apart a complex and long-standing epicurean tradition like Thai cuisine. Oftentimes, the results turn out to be pretentious, over-conceptualized, underwhelming efforts that pique the ire of purists. Fortunately, this is not the case with Spirit Jim Thompson, the newly opened, eponymously named restaurant of the beloved silk company. Food is not an alien concept to Jim Thompson. It opened a restaurant at the heritage Jim Thompson House 13 years ago, and the posh dining room has since become a food institution in Bangkok (we love their khao chae, pricey though it may be). The company also installed Cafe 9 in its Surawong headquarters and the avant-garde Bombyx at Siam Paragon. It even has a swanky restaurant in Singapore’s Dempsey Hill. So it’s no surprise that Jim Thompson has added another dining room to its growing portfolio. And yes, deconstruction is key to the savory offerings here. Inspired by recipes developed in the royal court, combined with his knowledge of pan-Continental fare, Jim Thompson’s culinary director and food expert Montri Virojnvechpant broke down the flavors that make up authentic Thai food to discover new ways to prepare and present it. Montri insists on using ingredients from the company’s very own Jim Thompson Farm in Nakhon Ratchasima to guarantee the freshness and almost-chemical-free condition of the vegetables. Jim Thompson also commissioned food stylist Ekarin Yusuksomboon to p
Talented pastry chef Carol Boosaba has spread her elegant tearoom-style café Paris Mikki in Asok to the second hip location in Central Embassy’s new co-living space Open House. Despite looking like a kiosk than a proper café, expect the same quality pastries that are praised for high-end ingredients and sophisticated presentation as in its Asok headquarter. Indulge in nicely-dressed French éclair filled with intensely rich cream, available in flavors like vanilla,strawberry and chocolate framboise. Also highly recommended are Orangette (B200), a treat made with orange hazelnut chocolate covering indulgent filling made with real orange and Philip 85 (B210), a layered chocolate cake packed in chocolate, raspberry and pistachio flavors.
A fine Cantonese restaurant on the third floor of Plaza Athenee Bangkok, Silk Road is greeting guests with warm and welcoming, yet elegant atmosphere with Chinese Kingdom’s style dining room décor. With Chef Cheng Kam Sing, the respectable, experienced head chef of Silk Road who has been taking care of the restaurant, and curating the menu for more than 14 years, it is guaranteed that you will experience one of the finest Cantonese cuisine in town. The menu ranges from your favorite Dim Sum to the signature Peking duck (that is surely one of the best, B1,600) The duck is carefully prepared with herbs and seasonings, and its skin is turned into 20 pieces of the crispy, no fat skin. When wrap in a pancake with cucumber and the sweet chef’s recipe sauce, it is no doubt why Peking duck is one of the signature dishes here. Moreover, you can have the duck meat cooked the way you want. We try it with garlic and chili which is quite impressive as the meat is tender and delicious. Another signature dish you shouldn’t miss is Baked fillet of Garoupa in Onion Sauce (B300/ 100G.) The thick white sauce is a mixture of fishbone, vegetable, mushroom and herbs, and it is in a hotpot. The fillet will be cooked in the hot pot with the delicious Onion Sauce and eat first then followed by vegetable that is cooked in the same pot. But you can eat both at the same time too, and trust us; you’ll enjoy sipping the soup. There is also Steamed River Prawn/Radish + Vermicelli (B1,000) which is in the
Instead of throwing a grand bash for its first anniversary, Wittayu Road’s much-loved Glasshouse@Sindhorn celebrated by introducing a new member to the luxury dining scene. Tucked away behind a discreet façade and heavy wooden doors, Saneh Jaan revels in the most authentic elements of Thai food culture. The interior design features a reinterpretation of a Thai pavilion during the reign of King Rama V, when Western culture began to reach Thailand. The names of the private dining rooms were bestowed by national poet, Naowarat Pongpaiboon, who also composed a series of poems to decorate the restaurant’s walls. Saneh Jaan’s executives are real foodies who, for decades, have traveled around the kingdom to sample its greatest dishes. The menu reads like a credits list of time-honored classic Thai dishes. There’s nothing molecular, or faintly modern, here. Recommended dishes include the kaeng kiew waan (green curry), massaman curry and Chinese long beans from Ratchaburi stir-fried with shrimp paste, not to mention the muu palo tao jiew (stewed pork belly and eggs with fermented bean curd). Only the sophisticated lounge area shows a hint of modern Thai design. The bar is tended by Sompong “Paa Pong” Boonsri, the cocktail master behind the three-decade success of the Mandarin Oriental’s Bamboo Bar. Saneh Jaan is currently open only for dinner, yet it plans to soon serve up lunch to the area’s wealthy executives and diplomats.
Number one on the list of Asia’s Best 50 Restaurants for 2016, Gaggan offers one of the best and most enjoyable Indian dining experiences you could have. Chef Gaggan Anand honed his skills in molecular gastronomy at famous three Michelin-star restaurant El Bulli, and has developed what he calls “progressive Indian cuisine.” Tucked within Langsuan, the white, two-story house is a pleasant contrast to Gaggan’s innovative cooking style. The Chef Dining area (which is always reserved) sits right next to the kitchen’s, offering diners a view of how the chefs prepare each molecular dish through a glass window. Sounds good, right? They recommend the Testing Menu, a true representation of Gaggan-ness. Yogurt Explosion, bite-sized homemade yogurt balls with the texture of caviar prepares you for other dishes. The following courses are all cutting-edge and fun: Mumbaiwalla, creative ball-shaped pav bhaji (thick vegetable curry); Viagra, fresh oysters served with Indian mustard ice cream; and air-light truffle soup. Go and see what the fuss is all about.
An abandoned, bright yellow building that’s been sitting opposite Gaggan for years has been taken over by the restaurant’s former sous chef and transformed into Gaa, a fine-dining destination that’s poised to take Bangkok’s food scene by storm. Helming the kitchen is Garima Arora, a Mumbai-hailing journalist-turned-chef who earned her cooking chops at two Michelin-starred Copenhagen restaurant Noma before landing a spot in Gaggan’s kitchen. In a homey dining room that combines mirror, brick and dark wood, Arora serves eight- (B1,800) and 12-course (B2,400) meals that alchemize local organic ingredients into an eclectic mix of international flavors. A meal usually starts off with an enticing starter like grilled young corn husk brushed with chili and paired with an addictive corn emulsion, before moving on to more substantial fare such as pork ribs brined in “piso” (split-pea miso). This dish, which plays up intense flavors against mild textures, is topped with a colorful combo of finely-chopped shallots, spring onions and pomegranate. Another course, the grouper taco takes inspiration from khanom la, the flossy sweet treat from southern Thailand. Wrapped in a crunchy shell, this treat underlines the combined flavors of mustard and caramelized milk skin. Desserts are a sheer delight. A trio of soft-serve ice cream features exotic flavors like jaggery, turmeric and beewax. The cones and toppings are exceptionally made with ingredients like coriander seed and safflower. India
Located in the heart of metropolitan Bangkok, Fillets features contemporary yet comforting Edo era-inspired interiors. Randy Nopprapa (chef and business partner), a protege of world-renowned Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, has over a decade’s experience heading some of the best sushi restaurants in Washington D.C. Opt for the omakase course (starts at B4,500), where Chef Randy uses various techniques and balances out flavors to create a wholesome chef’s-table dining experience. Not too keen on raw fish? Fillets offers a great selection of local dry-aged beef along with well-composed signature dishes.