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BK writers’ favorite new bars and restaurants of 2017 so far

Halfway through the year and these new openings are already rewriting Bangkok’s dining and drinking rulebook.

By BK staff | Jul 21, 2017

  • BK writers’ favorite new bars and restaurants of 2017 so far

See also: Bangkok's best new restaurants, bars, shops and creative megaprojects of 2017 so far


Anne Jansuttipan (Features Associate)

Phed Phed

Phed Phed must be the most buzzed about and exciting Isaan restaurant in town. Only months after opening early this year, this 24-seater space gained its reputation for offering the most authentic Isaan dishes of any Bangkok restaurant at super friendly price—think B50 and up. I love that they don’t play with Isaan cliches and instead offer cool, blue-toned decor blended with marble table tops. Their dishes are rooted in Nakhon Phanom food culture, and retain an honest taste that doesn’t compromise with Bangkok palates, especially the spiciness. Try their somtam pu plara topped with lead tree beans, moo tok crok (grilled pork neck salad with spicy dressing) and larb thod (herbal, minced meat spicy salad), with a bowl of the tom saep pork bone soup at hand.


 

Carl Dixon (Deputy Editor)

Tori Tama

This restaurant will totally change your perception of chicken—Tori Tama serves so many parts of the bird, it’s basically zero-waste. At the original Tokyo branch people queue up for a taste of delicacies like misaki (hen’s tail) grilled over an all-but smokeless bincho-tan charcoal. You don’t have that inconvenience here, but it’s hard to see why not, the way they do so much with seemingly so little: a sprinkle of salt here, a miso paste there. The place looks just like a sleek omakase sushi restaurant, though thankfully the prices are far lower. The list of sake from next door’s Orihara Shoten is also dangerously good, and would have you running around with your necktie around your head in no time if the surroundings weren't so plush. 


 

Choltanutkun Tun-atiruj (Staff Writer)

Just A Drink Maybe

I write the nightlife section, which means I have to check out new bars all the time and hardly feel like going out for my own enjoyment, but I do make the effort to come back to this gin bar regularly. Thanks to friendly prices and an equally friendly vibe, it’s the kind of place where you can rock up on your own and not feel the need to bury your nose in your phone to avoid the awkwardness of drinking solo. Plus there are over 100 labels of gin from around the world to choose from.

 

Blaq Lyte

Whenever I’m in a more social mood, I go here. Thonglor’s nightlife can try so hard to be “glam” but this place is just an empty room with neon lights, hologram stickers, holes and random Sharpie writing on the walls. They play modern hip-hop music only, plus drinks are half the price of the nightclub across the road.


 

Kankanok Wichiantanon (Junior Writer)

Toney, Soi Wanich 1 (Phahurat)

OK, so this place definitely didn’t open in 2017, but I did just discover it, which makes it my favorite place of 2017. Deep into a narrow street in Phahurat area, Toney’s tiny but cozy diner sits among the business of Bangkok’s Little India. You’ll find about 4-5 gangster-looking guys cooking up classic Indian dishes that are both cheap and delicious. They also definitely don’t hold back on the spices. Every dish is powerfully flavored. I’ve found no better way in Bangkok to experience Indian food culture!


Kasidit Srivilai (Junior Writer)

Supanniga x Roots Tha Tien

There was no riverside place in Bangkok’s Old Town that served decent Thai food before Supanniga Eating Room opened their third home at Tha Tien pier. What more can you ask for than perfect Thai dishes with perfect views from the riverbank across to Wat Arun? It even justifies the higher prices compared to the other two branches.Going beyond its Trat-meets-Isaan food, they’ve also partnered with coffee roaster Roots for new (yummy) Thai-influenced coffee creations. With vibrant but more low-key decor, it’s the kind of comy place where you’ll linger the whole afternoon.


 

Narisa Lin (Intern)

Gaa

Fine dining made with local ingredients is all the rage right now. Lucky for me, Bangkok is home to numerous great restaurants such as Gaggan, Robuchon and Suhring that can all make the best of Thai ingredients while turning out incredible, world-class dining experiences. One of my recent favorites is Gaa, opened by Garima Arora, an alumni of Noma and the ex-sous chef of Gaggan. The colorful aesthetic of this restaurant give it a more relaxed and young vibe that complements the tasting menu. Gaa uses local produce with Thai and Indian influences to produce meticulous and Insta-worthy dishes without compromising the flavors. My personal favorites is the chilled soup with mango, pumpkin and house marinated pickles. Each dot in the soup is a different flavor so remember not to mix it! Super creative, huh? I also love the chicken liver with longan. This may not sound appetizing but trust me, one bite and it will blow your taste buds. P.S love the cutlery there too!


 

Neon Boonyadhammakul (Junior Writer)

Bad Taste Cafe

I like hanging out at this bar because I enjoy its neon lights and the purposeless, weird videos that play on loop all night. Everything sticks to the concept of bad taste, except for the crowd and the beers. The bar has a variety of local and international craft beers in the fridge, all at friendly enough prices to make anyone want to grab one. Also, the DJ here is super-friendly—he even lets me play sometimes. Basically, if you are looking for a bar that’s full of weird and unexpected things, as well as a chill vibe, then this is absolutely the place for you. I also want to give a shout out to Dok Kaew House Bar. This place doesn’t take its craft beers as seriously, but serves great food.


 

Oliver Irvine (Managing Editor)

Foojohn Building

I like it because I can go there and know people. Places on Thonglor stopped feeling that way for me about three years ago. Here it’s as if WTF from 2014 has gone on a Charoenkrung vacation, picking up a penchant for affordable French wines and kitsch patterned wallpapers en route. Actually, it’s not really fair to call the interior kitsch. With its fluorescent-yet-warm lighting and Hong Kong bing sutt seating booths, the effect is knowingly cool but also original. I don’t go here to eat and have never actually tried the food—whether the downstairs crepes or upstairs barbecue—but have drunk my way through a fair portion of the cocktail menu, which tasted delicious (and strong enough to not remember a single drink in particular). One thing: you do have to pick your night wisely. Drop by when Lowdowns frontman Michael Selby is playing in the second story bar and the place will be buzzing.


 

Rujiyatorn Choksiriwan (Staff Writer)

Batt Tempura

It's hard to find many actual tempura places here, so you usually end up ordering it at any common Japanese restaurant. However, Batt Tempura is totally different and exotic. Their super-crispy tempura batter is up there with the best one in town and you get it with super-fresh prawns, well-prepared seafood and other stapes in every bite. All the neon lights and extra Supreme touches make this perfect for someone who’s both looking for a hipster place and real-deal tempura.  


 

Theerada Moonsiri (Staff Writer)

La Dotta

I could eat pasta seven days a week. At La Dotta, the latest offspring from people behind il Fumo and Vesper, my favorite has to be the signature, wonton-shaped tortelloni stuffed with cheese. I mean, aren’t pasta and cheese the best things in life? For those who like their food a bit more salty, the thick, hand-rolled pici with duck ragu is amazing. If you don’t mind the random kitchen heat, sitting at the bar facing the cooking serves up an interesting peek over how intense the chef is with his minions. Plus, thanks to Vesper’s head barman, their drinks are pretty fancy, too, mixing fresh fruits, tea and alcohol. Even when I don’t crave pasta, I still come back for the cocktails. More reasons? Well, they have weekday lunch set which start from just B290 for two courses—unbelievable in Thonglor. And they don’t add service charge.


 

Wanvida Jiralertpaiboon (Staff Writer)

Canvas (Thonglor)

Canvas surprised me in so many ways. The young head chef makes the most of local ingredients, whether it’s sataw bean or cockles, always turning them into creative dishes using deconstruction techniques, from fermentation to powdering. I believe even some chefs who’ve eaten here have been left stunned. The vibe is relaxing, the service staff professional, and you can interact with the chef and his army from the kitchen dining counter. Suffice to say, the cocktails are also amazing, coming as they do from the Rabbit Hole team.

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