Your guide to a boozy weekend getaway in Cambodia’s capital.
Apr 07, 2016|
Featuring fine Thai cuisine made using traditional methods and the best ingredients, Bo.lan—an amalgam of the chef-couple’s names—has made a splash in the global dining world with its aromatic curries, beautifully plated salads and artfully conceived menu. Adding to the allure is a striking dining room, set in an old house replete with tropical garden and close to hipster thoroughfare Soi Thonglor. When chef couple Duangporn Songvisava and Dylan Jones opened Bo.lan in 2009, they gave Bangkok its first devotedly authentic fine-dining Thai restaurant. Today, the pair not only continue to drive Bo.lan down increasingly uncompromising roots, waving goodbye to the a la carte menu altogether last year, but they’ve also expanded with the street-food-and-cocktails focused Err, near the river. Do try the “Bo.lan balance,” a menu that changes along with the seasons.
Styled like a deli/restaurant but more evocative of a fine-dining hotspot, this upscale Italian eatery run by chef Luca Appino offers Italian classics made with fresh—and, when possible, homemade—ingredients. Daily specialties change in accordance with what’s fresh in the market, but typical standouts include the beef tomahawk steak and burrata salad.
Testament to the size (and spending power) of the Japanese expats in Bangkok, this kaiseki specialist—founded in Ginza more than 70 years ago—has opened its very first branch outside of Japan on Thonglor. Although this restaurant specializes in kaiseki (meticulously prepared multi-course meals made with seasonal ingredients), it still accepts walk-in customers and offers some a la carte dishes, too.
“New American” can be a slippery concept, but Culinary Institute of America-trained chef Rangsima Bunyasaranand manages to send out a menu’s worth of dishes bristling with brio. Favorites include the jerk chicken hearts with pineapple salsa, homemade charcuterie plate with pork rillette and head cheese terrine, and seared duck breast. A creative cocktail menu awaits, too.
Founded over 80 years ago in Kyoto’s Gion district by the Mita family, this world-renowned teppanyaki restaurant has opened its first branch outside of Japan on Thonglor Road. Offering some of the most highly lauded beef in the world, Mikaku uses only A4-5 graded Kobe-sourced wagyu. Besides what’s cooked on the teppan (an iron plate where the chef works his magic), Mikaku also offers a couple seafood options including king crab and tuna steak.
The business that had a big hand in kick-starting Bangkok’s brunch craze serves all-day dishes like crab cakes with eggs Benedict, corned beef hash, and a sinfully rich strawberry waffle. Other meals are represented on the menu too, such as lunch (burgers) and dinner (steak frites, roast chicken). Thanks to carefully-sourced beans roasted in house, the coffee here is excellent.
Thought of as a “Thai-style izakaya” by owner Jarrett Wrisley, this perennially popular Thai hotspot does Thai street food with thoughtful, arty flourishes: think housemade watermelon rind pickles with the Hat Yai-style fried chicken, or a smoky bacon garnish on the grilled eggplant salad. Specials, written up on a chalkboard on the ground floor, change on a regular basis and the cocktails are potent and tasty.
In a town filled to the brim with fickle restaurant-goers, Surface manages to toe the line with simple French dishes crafted from chef Chalee Kader’s creative point of view, like the spinach salad with Roquefort cheese and peaches, and the popular crispy snow fish hijiki angel hair pasta. Adding to the ambience are the garden seats and attractive, “shabby chic” wine bar.
Japanese chef Takahiro Hato is especially finicky, choosing only the best quality ingredients from his home country. Obviously, the thing to get here is sushi, so why not choose the omakase route, where the chef chooses your dinner? Lucky diners will get a sushi tutorial from Takahiro himself, as well as extra rolls of uni (sea urchin), which is of such good quality that it earns rave reviews across the board.
Owned by the same people behind Sushi Kanda (and in the same location), Tempura Kanda deep-fries an assortment of premium ingredients in an airy net of batter, winning over lovers of tempura as much as its sister sushi restaurant draws lovers of raw fish. Try the omakase of tempura, where the chef fries up whatever is fresh in the market that day.
Diners who want to sample fresh oysters in a dining room with the feel of a ship below decks need look no further than this reno-vated shophouse on Soi Thonglor, where a wide variety of fresh oysters, carpaccio (thinly sliced raw meat), ceviche (Peruvian-style sea-food salad) and tataki (seared slices of meat) dishes crowd the menu alongside a selection of cocktails and wine.
Another restaurant that offers up a wide-ranging Japanese food experience, Yashin—backed by the owners of Tenyuu Grand on Sathorn—offers diners everything from sushi omakase (where the chef decides on what’s freshest to serve on that day) to shabu shabu, a type of stew in which thin slices of meat are cooked by dipping them briefly in boiling broth before they are dipped in sauce and eaten with rice and boiled vegetables.
Located in “Japanese expat central,” Joushitsu Sushi offers a menu brimming with imported ingredients such as engawa (flounder fin), uni (sea urchin), unagi (sea eel) and hotate (scallop). Adding to the authenticity is the understated decor dominated by a sushi bar. Recommended are the self-named sushi set, the unagi don (grilled eel over rice) and the value-for-money lunch sets.
This fine-dining addition to hipster craft beer bar Mikkeller boasts a “progressive American” menu created by a chef who once worked at Chicago’s three-Michelin-starred Grace Restaurant. What you get is unlike anything else in Bangkok: a nine-course beer-pairing experience. As a result of the limited space available, Upstairs only opens on Friday and Saturday nights, and 3-4 days’ advance reservation is recommended.
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Your guide to a boozy weekend getaway in Cambodia’s capital.
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