This month's places to get your fill of oysters and mussels and Japanese nose-to-tail skewers, plus a Thai fine-dining show-stopper.

Koi

You might remember Koi from its Sukhumvit days as the place where models went to get laid on Friday nights. Now, the California-born brand has taken over what was once the 39th-floor restaurant at Ku De Ta, where it dishes out fusion-y, Japanese comfort food—spicy tuna on crispy rice cakes, wagyu beef with mashed potatoes and fried rice. The long, narrow space retains its sultry, lounge-bar ambience with leather upholstered seats and a deeply polished bar. Stop here to sip on the Lychee Rose Martini—a mix of vodka and lychee liquer—before heading into the club at Ce La Vie. 

Sathorn Square, Narathiwas Rd. See full detail here.

 

Kutai

Thai-French cuisine meets beach-bohemian vibes at Suan Phlu’s new restaurant and bar with its decor of vintage drink ads, rainbow buntings, faux palms. The name is Maori for mussels, but doubles as Thai slang for "I'm Thai," a call that's echoed by the seafood-heavy menu with Thai undercurrents. Start on a half-dozen Fine de Claire No.3 oysters. Also get the mussels, glazed in butter and white wine (French style), submerged in cream or steamed with Belgian beer--every style coming with fries, rice or salad. Sub-B250 cocktails keep to the beach-shack theme or pop open a bottle of Fashion Prosecco Brut if you're getting the oysters.

Suanphlu Soi 1. See full detail here.

 

Mallard

Mallard, a farm-to-table Mediterranean restaurant, has landed among the ranks of bars and eateries on Sukhumvit Soi 49. Brace yourself for the maximalist decor, which we’ll call upscale hunting lodge for the many animal trophies and statues that crowd the glossy interior. Chef Mehmet Semet’s experience in Norway’s kitchens comes through a protein-heavy menu spotlighting dishes like a steak tartare topped with grated truffle and a to-share platter of grilled seafood that has scallops, shrimp, clams, mussels and cuttlefish with the house-made cocktail sauce on the side. If the decor’s put you in a hunter-gatherer mood, try the stew of beef cheek and tongue with baby carrots, peas, mushrooms and a topping of satisfyingly rich mashed potatoes.

Sukhumvit Soi 49. See full detail here

 

Nihon Saiseisakaba

Sukhumvit Soi 26’s Nihon Saiseisakaba is all about Japanese-style nose-to-tail dining. This Tokyo-hailing izakaya with some 20 branches across Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan specializes in motsuyaki, or grilled offal, with prices starting at just B29. That could mean pork liver topped with sauteed garlic and onion or beef tongue. More adventurous offerings come in the form of grilled pig diaphragm or heart, but the squeamish can always opt for pork and chicken meatballs or a chicken teriyaki rice bowl. The Tokyo original is a “drink-standing” bar, a kitsch throwback to the pre-war era, but here you have the luxury of holing up at a table to knock back sake or Asahi. 

Sukhumvit Soi 26. See full detail here.

 

Praya Kitchen

Gai Ob Phu Kao Fai might be familiar to anyone who was in Bangkok during the 1980s. It’s a whole spit-roast chicken, doused in Mekhong whiskey and set alight tableside—basically the tomahawk steak of its day. It’s also the signature at the new Marriott Surawongse hotel’s Praya Kitchen, where head chef Attapol “X” Naito Thangthong aims to bring back the forgotten kitsch classic. His other creations include fried oyster fritters with chili sauce and a crabmeat-loaded Southern tumeric curry, served in a vast, open-kitchen space that far surpasses the hotel-all-day-dining benchmark with its huge, original art motifs replicated from temple murals. 

Surawong Rd. See full detail here.

 

Saawaan

Saawaan is the missing link in Thai fine dining. While Nahm has the authenticity, Le Du the French technique and Sra Bua the molecular stuff, this new spot from Team Issaya pitches itself somewhere between the three: 10-course tasting menus of Thai dishes your average tourist has never heard of. Head chef Sujira "Aom" Pongmorn steps away from Baan Padthai to reinvent fermented beef salads, crab fat dips, grilled pork neck and spicy-sour soups as delicate tasting portions that we’re confident compete with the top tier of Bangkok fine dining. For the fixed price of B1,950, it’s also a moodily-lit, glamorously appointed, genuinely-special-feeling steal. Teetotales will find a local tea pairing, though the wine list is also superb. 

Suan Phlu Rd. See full detail here.