Akira Back’s eponymous restaurant on the 37th-floor of Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park is only the latest in the celebrity chef’s globetrotting conquest, with his brand represented in 10 cities around the world. The flavors of Back’s dishes, however, are more localized, layering Korean and Japanese cuisines with influences from his American upbringing. Share the AB tacos (crispy taco shells stuffed with Wagyu bulgogi marinated in sweet soy sauce) and tuna pizza (tuna sashimi on chips-like crust drizzled lightly with white truffle oil) to keep room for the grilled octopus in smoked jalapeno sauce and the absolutely necessary and wonderfully decadent chocolate souffle.
Sukhumvit Soi 22. See full details here.
Big-name British chef Martin Blunos, of the formerly-two-Michelin-starred Lettonie and Blinis restaurants (both now closed) and repeated appearances on Iron Chef UK, has brought his burgeoning restaurant empire to Bangkok. Blunos is the first excursion outside of his homeland for the walrus-mustached chef and promises international comfort food by the pool. Don’t be fooled by the seeming simplicity of the menu, as Blunos himself helms the kitchen here showing off quality produce and playful preparation. The Fisherman is a seafood platter that comes piled high with milk-poached snow fish, grilled prawns, oak-smoked salmon mousse and cured herring. His lobster roll, meanwhile, spotlights bouncy, garlic butter-poached Canadian lobster in a buttery and garlic brioche along with a lightly-whipped orange mayonnaise. More fun can be had with the Peking duck pizza (B570), smeared with oyster sauce.
Sathorn Rd. See full details here.
At Ekamian, Parkorn "Tan" Kosiyabong, the chef behind One Ounce Chang Chui, teams up with his artist friends to open a space that’s all about live electronic music, exhibitions and chef’s table-only, local ingredient-based dinners. Available from Thu-Sat, these meals (from B1,500 for six courses) are only available for 12 seats at a time, with bookings required three days in advance. A select few a la carte options give you an idea of the creative, globe-spanning flavors on offer: Jumping Frog (frog legs, herbs and garlic foam) and Sticky Back Alley Ribs (pork ribs, sticky soy honey and crispy garlic).
Sukhumvit Soi 49. See full details here.
After 60 years dominating Bangkok’s suki scene, chain restaurant Coca is going French. The ubiquitous buffet brand has now opened French St. restaurant at O.P. Garden, where it offers Provencal comfort food courtesy of the Southern France-hailing chef Frederic Guerin. Try his perfectly crispy, squid ink croquettes accompanied by saffron aioli, along with a bouillabaisse made with monkfish and cod. Eating as a group? Guerin’s food goes big on sharing portions like the hay baked chicken black truffle, a whole stuffed chicken with rice, or the spicy tomato linguine that doesn’t compromise on spiciness. Save some room for the zucchini cake with creamy olive oil to happily end the meal.
Charoenkrung Soi 36. See full details here.
Stave off that Italian eatery ennui with iO Osteria, which combines pizzeria, delicatessen, bakery and bar in a single venue. The menu won’t bore you either, skirting the likes of classic carbonara and spaghetti Bolognese for more esoteric, but still homey, eating from across Italy’s 20 regions. The orecchiette in a pork sausage and saffron sauce is a crowd pleaser that goes well with red wine. With its casual mood and wide-ranging, affordable fare, Groove at CentralWorld adds a dining destination that’s satisfying at any time of day.
The Groove @ CentralWorld. See full details here.
The ultra-exclusive nightlife scene has a new high bar with this five-story venue that combines 24-hour restaurant and pimped-out club. The Firm has mashed together two shop-houses and decorated the place in sleek blacks, ambers and glass. The first two floors, the restaurant, focuses on East-meet-West cuisine, like the Prawn Samurai, which sees the crustacean matched with wasabi mayo, avocado and aioli. For the mains try the Everything It’s Quacked Up To Be: ravioli stuffed with Chinese-style duck served with foie gras in a red wine sauce. We would go back just for the Chocolate Ecstasy dessert, composed of a pot of bitter hot chocolate served with fresh mango and salted caramel ice cream.
Sukhumvit Soi 33. See full details here.
Ishikawa Motonobu, a third-generation fish wholesaler whose restaurant in the outer market of Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market is a foodie site of pilgrimage, has opened a restaurant in Bangkok. Sit at Tsukiji Aozora Sandaime’s 12-seat bar to watch the chefs work with a quiet confidence that disguises the sophistication of the sushi. The lunch omakase (B1,800) gets you 10 Edomae-style pieces, while the Aozora omakase (B3,300) comes with five substantial courses and a dessert. A la carte diners are invited into the back rooms, where you shouldn’t miss the sashimi rice bowl, nicknamed “the jewelry box,” which comes with a wealth of tuna, salmon roe, sea urchin and golden eye snapper, all topped with a single plump shrimp.
Sukhumvit Soi 24. See full details here.
Entering this new pop-up Thai restaurant is like stepping onto a set of A Midsummer Night’s Dream: a colossal wooden wall welcomes guests as they walk through a near-pitch black space dotted with the glow from hundreds of real fireflies enclosed in a controlled ecosystem. Two Thai head chefs present a set-menu (B2,400 for five courses) of deconstructed traditional dishes, like miang dok bua with kapi (spicy shrimp paste in a lotus petal wrap) or gaeng phed ped yang, a crispy duck confit dressed in a spicy curry reduction. A cocktail team formerly of Ku De Ta and Morimoto pours drinks such as the Farmer’s Delight (B280): spice-infused Sangsom, raspberry syrup and egg white. The restaurant is only temporary, though, with a planned lifespan of 18 month—the same as a firefly.
Petchaburi Rd. See full details here.