Thai spirit Mekhong’s first restaurant, Mekhong Mystique, has just arrived at Asiatique. With all the trappings of a wine bar—think leather couches and hanging lamps—the food is also your typical fusion fare, like New Zealand mussels with spicy Thai herbs (B160), squid ink spaghetti with seafood (B230) and spicy tuna tartar (B180). But there’s the added bonus of cocktails made with Mekhong, like the Sipping Sense of Esan (spiced tamarind juice, mango, dried chili and Mekhong, B240).
Ari continues to welcome new dining establishments, the latest being a new branch of Khua Kling Pak Sod. This second home for the delicious Southern restaurant (from Thonglor Soi 5) is sure to appease the local office crowds with its single dishes and set menus starting from B160, with offerings like the signature khua kling (stir-fried minced pork with Southern paste).
The buzz: After more than 10 years in the game, the stunningly beautiful Thai restaurant Mahanaga just revamped itself and changed its name to The Myth of Mahanaga. Boasting a new bar and a relaxing al fresco area, the menu sees Chef Christopher Pier integrating some Western ingredients and modern techniques, with a new Thai chef now taking over.
The buzz: Right after the opening of new restaurant Shuffle on its second floor, the Rainhill community mall welcomes another exciting new venue, rooftop Japanese-themed bar and restaurant Kinki, imported from Singapore, which promises to deliver an “urban attitude.”
Formerly named Sambucca, Il Bolognese Trattoria e Pizzeria has traded in Enoteca’s management for some new (but still Italian) faces. Many things remain otherwise unchanged. The space, a comfortable house in a leafy soi, is that ideal middle ground between bourgeois and casual, with its prominent pizza oven, large greenhouse, and more refined dining room to the side. The food, too, remains well-executed Italian favorites. With professional (although slightly jaded) staff and the kind of Italian manager who checks on every table, the place is particularly a hit with families.
Let’s get this out of the way: you just can’t beat La Monita, in Mahatun Plaza, for Mexican food in Bangkok. Senor Pico does have the seniority, the live band and the we-aim-to-please hotel service, but even Sunrise Tacos was an improvement on the food when that landed in town. Today, Senor Pico’s tacky (and, for some long-time Bangkok residents, nostalgic) décor is no more.
The buzz: One of the longest standing Mexican joints in town, Senor Pico has recently undergone renovations and now sports a more modern style with brand new lighting and a tequila bar. On top of the face-lift, there’s a completely new food menu, as well as a wide range of cocktails and some 50 tequilas at the bar. The kitchen is overseen by Chef Fernando Reyes Barba, a Mexican-born chef from the US with 15 years of experience. The place also features live Cuban bands (Tue-Sun from 7pm) and even boasts a mini dance floor.
The décor: Situated on the first floor of the Rembrandt Hotel, the new-look Senor Pico is decked out in a modern Mexican décor typified by plenty of terracotta and stone, and vintage tables and seating. Sit back in the dimly-lit surrounds and watch the chef in action in the open kitchen, or take a stool at the long counter for guests wanting casual drinks with music as a bonus. There are dance lessons (salsa and mambo) on Wednesday night, too.
The food: Senor Pico offers a wide range of both original Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisines. The recommended appetizer is guacamole en molcajete (B250), made fresh and served with fresh corn tortillas. Mains include quesadillas (grilled cheeses and jalapeños, B250) and the burrito de langosta (tortilla filled with grilled rock lobster, refried black beans and herb marinated green rice, B595). For something with more heft, look no further than the fajitas supreme (B595), which come with chicken, beef and prawns served with refried pinto beans and flour tortillas. Leave room for the tasty desserts like pastel de chocolate y chile ancho (chocolate truffle cake infused with poblano chili served with chocolate sauce and whipped cream, B195). For now, their Mexican Mayhem promotion lets you pair three kinds of tacos with three different premium tequilas for B899 (only available Thursday).
The drinks: They take tequila very seriously here, with an extensive list of premium choices spanning the blanco, reposado and anejo varieties. Prices range from B150 to B1,000 depending on quantity (there are many sizes of shot glass). They’re also proud of their margaritas; try La Fruta Margarita (frozen margarita with your choice of mango, passion fruit or tamarind, B260). For those who feel like partying, choose la fruta cantaro (a pitcher of fruit punch, B1,000) to share among friends. Of course, expect all sorts of sangria offerings, like Seductivo Summer Sangria (B250). Beers are Corona (B220), Heineken (B160) and Singha (B160).
The crowd: Hotel guests, both Thais and foreigners, who crave a Mexican dining experience with a bit of hotel polish. Tanyarat Kanjanara
The buzz: Jarret Wrisley of Soul Food Mahanakorn on Thonglor has teamed up with Chef Paolo Vitaletti to open a trattoria doing “Roman-style family recipes” in a space that used to be occupied by seafood eatery Fat Fish. Expectations are high given the huge popularity of Wrisley’s first venture, while Vitaletti comes with quite a pedigree, too, given his long career at luxury hotels across the globe (Aman, Four Seasons).
The Intercontinental Hotel's flagship restaurant Bawarchi is set in a contemporary Indian space decorated with Indian art and with Indian music playing the background. Having been open 13 years now, their concept is clear, serving up traditional Mughlai cuisine. The menu offers an extensive list of favorites like chicken tikka, tandoori lamb chops and gulab jamun (deep-fried cheese balls dipped in saffron flavored syrup). There's a similarly long list of vegetarian dishes, too.
Ramkhamhaeng is probably best known as being home to the biggest sports center in Bangkok and two universities, Ramkhamhaeng and ABAC. But as the neighborhood keeps expanding, so too does its variety of dining options. Most pleasingly, you can find good quality cuisine here at cheaper prices than elsewhere. Nueng Pooma Talaepao definitely fits this description. While hardly luxurious, with its plastic chairs and absence of air-con, the airy tent-like venue serves up cheap seafood which evidently draws in the crowds.
Buzz: After living in New York, owner K. James developed a deep love of Americana. Back in Thailand, he started selling rare retro-meets-military apparel at Chatuchak Weekend Market, where his stall caught the eye of Taiwanese interior designer Eugene Tan. Tan eventually asked James to set up shop in his Cabochon Hotel—the result being the three-week-old Wooden Submarine, a treasure trove of vintage finds.