Fine Italian restaurant La Scala (The Sukhothai, 13/3 South Sathorn Rd., Bangkok, 02-344-8888. www.sukhothai.com) this month welcomes a new guest chef, Inaki Aizpitarte, the owner of Paris’ renowned Le Chateaubriand, ranked 15th on the San Pellegrino list of the World's Best Restaurants.
Judging by its crowds, Paradise Dynasty (4/F, Siam Paragon, Bangkok, 082-338-9999) is a strong new contender for Cantonese cuisine in town. Interestingly, this Singapore franchise decided on a casual dining vibe for this Bangkok branch as opposed to the rather lavish décor on show at outlets back home. Recommended dishes include the xiao long bao (B285) in eight flavors like black truffle, foie gras and garlic, homemade noodles with beef in Szechuan style (B235) and pork dumpling with chili sauce (B125).
With a chic warehouse-like appearance typified by a large brick wall and floor-to-ceiling windows, Kitche Café & Bar (Jatujak Green, Kampaengpech 3 Rd., Bangkok, 085-484-9033) serves Italian fare in spacious yet cozy surrounds. Tucked away in new outdoor community mall Jatujak Green, the recommended dishes include baked eggplants with bacon and ham (B130), grilled white snapper with barley risotto, mushrooms and vegetable (B210) and pumpkin and feta salad with lime dressing (B140).
Located at the Crystal Design Center, Crystal Cafe (CDC, 1148/9 Praditmanootham Rd., 02-101-1209) accommodates the hip crowd with a relaxed bar vibe influenced by the owner’s formative years spent in the US. The whole place has just been renovated, from the décor to the kitchen. The smoking area out front is a prime spot to spend a chill night with a cold beer in hand (happy hours are Mon-Thu, 6-8pm).
Hidden away in Ekkamai, Little Backyard (1023/49, Ekkamai Soi 22, Bangkok, 02-713-3261) specializes in home-style international cuisine. And judging by some of their Facebook pics, the recently opened restaurant has already proved a hit among the Thai celebrity set with its cozy looking interior and well-presented dishes. Try the spaghetti bacon (B180) or kai krata (sunny side up egg with mushroom or ground pork served in a pan, B100), or drop by for a relaxed afternoon tea in the eponymous little backyard.
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (2/F, CentralWorld, Rama 1 Rd., Bangkok) is opening its first branch in Thailand this October. Founded in Southern California in 1963, the chain has already expanded to 20 countries and will serve over 30 varieties of coffee and 20 varieties of tea. Bypass CentralWorld’s many cafes to try one of their signature beverages, the café mocha (finely brewed coffee with chocolate and steamed milk).
Starting this month, Tables’ Signature Dinner promotion will be enticing diners to experience classic European cuisine served with a touch of theatrical flair. Set in the mezzanine overlooking the lobby at the Grand Hyatt Erawan, Tables (494 Ratchadamri Rd., 02-254-1234, bangkok.grand.hyatt.com) is all about the French tradition of tableside food preparation.
Conceived of as a way to spread bike culture (and green living) in a city where the car is king, the stripped-down, glass-walled Café Velodome (www.facebook.com/CafeVelodome) is already a hub for Bangkok’s cycling community. Apart from providing bike racks and pumps, the staff are happy to share their knowledge on the best bike routes, local cycling groups and everything else bicycle-related.
Known for its affordable lunch and dinner buffet (B635), Cantonese restaurant Loong Foong (Swissôtel Le Concorde, 204 Ratchadapisek Rd., Bangkok, 02-694-2222. MRT Huai Khwang) recently introduced some interesting dishes to its lineup with a new set menu (B1,800). Expect options like deep fried shrimp ball with marinated chicken roll and jelly fish salad, and stir-fried crab with XO sauce.
Organized by the people behind the new American craft beer importer Beervana, Wild Flavors set for Oct 12-13 at Opposite (27/1 Sukhumvit Soi 51, Bangkok, 02-662-6246) promises to pair artisanal craft beers from Northwest America with cuisine from that part of world. Expect gamey dishes featuring red deer and rabbit, created by Tim Butler of Eat Me fame. Tickets are B2,300, but hurry and book up before beer enthusiasts take your spot.