The buzz: Chef Vichit Mukura, who headed the Mandarin Oriental’s Sala Rim Naam for 28 years, has moved his former chef's-table restaurant, Khao, into a more accommodating setting in Ekkamai for a la carte dining.
The decor: Taking its cues from a traditional rice storehouse, Khao lets blond wood and natural light set the tone. Windows look out onto walls of greenery and there’s a garden growing herbs and Thai chilies for use in the dishes. There's still a chef's table, which sits in its own room with an open kitchen to put you closer to the action.
The food: Book several weeks in advance for the chef’s table experience (B4,900/person, minimum of four) or dive headlong into the a la carte menu spotlighting traditional dishes that use fresh ingredients right out of Vichit’s favorite market: Or Tor Kor. The stir-fried catfish (B320) is fluffy, crunchy and has a finishing kick of salted egg. The tamarind chili paste (B280) comes with a big plate of vegetables and a gooey boiled egg to ease the gentle burn of the chili. The pomelo and prawns salad (B360) walks the line between sweet and sour, as does the spicy grilled beef salad with grapes (B420). The poh taek (B360), a holy basil-laced seafood soup, is rich with umami flavors. Cool your tongue on a plate of traditional desserts (B280) composed of steamed flour bites and coconut pudding with mixed fruit.
The drinks: An array of healthy, earthy options, from the pandan and ginger juice (B60) to the refreshing roselle juice (B60) and the sweet corn tea (B80). The smoothies are similarly simple and rejuvenating, coming in flavors like tomato and pineapple (B100) and coconut and butterfly pea flower (B100). Otherwise pair your meal with wine, which starts at B230 for white or B320 for red wine by the glass.
Why we’d come back: Warm, efficient service and the chance to experience a master class in Thai cooking from one of the cuisine’s best.