Bangkok is back. We are too. So, let’s get a few things straight.
For more than two decades, BK Magazine has been part of Bangkok’s dining scene. Our reviews have always been honest and helpful—and occasionally controversial. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, BK Magazine put a moratorium on reviews, because, well, it just seemed cruel. Now, the city's dining scene is booming again, and we're excited to get our hands dirty.
But, but, but you’re paid to write nice things about food, right?
No. When we do a review, we pay for the food and write what we please. Our reviews cover the restaurant’s quality, customer service, and creativity—and whatever other X-factors tickle our fancy. We are neither nice nor nasty. We are helpful. Short of a fake mustache, we go as incognito as we can. We go unannounced and dine unannounced.
Hang on, don’t you publish a lot of uncritical food news too?
Yeah, those aren’t reviews. BK has sections that serve different purposes.
New & Noted: This is for new and noteworthy restaurants that we might not even have tried yet—a new location, a celeb chef takeover, awards, and anything else for foodies in Bangkok. We don’t review. We explain.
Open Door: We are invited to a restaurant—yes, that means the food is free—and sometimes we get to know the chef, owners, and staff. This way, we profile new venues according to what they hope to offer and get information that matters for our readers.
Features: Features tell stories, and sometimes those stories are about food. Sometimes it’s chefs. Sometimes it’s trends or ingredients. Sometimes we’re just feeling whimsical and want to talk about moo krob or ice cream. Deal with it.
Roundups: We write informative, neighborhood-specific round ups of food and beverage establishments and trends around the city. We try to include the best and most interesting spots around the city—not a critical take.
Sponsored Articles: Sponsored articles are paid-for advertisements that are not written by the editorial team at BK. These articles are clearly labeled.
Alright, so who gets reviewed?
1. The restaurant must be at least three months old, and we try to avoid restaurants that are having teething troubles with new chefs or concepts.
2. We look for restaurants that are buzzing, interesting, or something we just plain want to try.
3. Sometimes, if a restaurant is courting controversy with a menu item, service, or blatant concept theft, we’ll try to check that out.
What do you cover in your reviews?
We’ll typically attempt to try at least two appetizers, two mains, two desserts, and two drinks. But a review reviews the whole dining experience: staff, service, atmosphere, music, design—everything that affects you as a patron.
Why do you do negative reviews?
Because we care. Many restaurateurs and chefs in this city are close to our hearts. But our responsibility is to you, not them. We will try to give as accurate an accounting as we can, realizing that not everyone will agree—that includes everyone in this office. Criticism serves our readers and serves the subject of that criticism by giving them an honest critique of their work. Honest reviews keep the food scene healthy.
But bad reviews can damage a restaurant’s business.
It takes a lot to keep a restaurant alive. Our reviews don’t close restaurants or bars. If one bad English-language review torpedoes your restaurant, it was already sinking. Don’t shoot the messenger.
Can’t you say things more nicely, though?
We don’t use profanity or personal attacks, even when we really, really want to. We’re trying to be honest because that’s the only way things get better. We don’t deal in slander. If we don’t think it’s up to snuff, that’s our opinion, and truth is an absolute defense against libel—even in Thailand.
Why are your reviewers anonymous?
Despite doing reviews incognito, there have been threats to our staff in the past. We settle our differences with words and/or breakdancing competitions, not violence or legal threats. Moreover, the review will have been discussed in an editorial meeting, edited by our staff, and paid for by the publisher. We all had a hand in it, so if there’s flac to take, we’ll all take it. Our office is always available for reader comments through social media, email, and by phone.
How does the star rating work?
You’ll be pleased to know that we’re changing the star rating system. We’re adding half stars to add a little wiggle room to the rankings to make our system more descriptive. We’re also changing the way we think about our ranking system.
- 1 is bad, really bad. Give this place a miss. This ranking is for the barely edible or dangerous.
- 1.5 is still bad. But there is at least one redeeming factor.
- 2 is nothing special, and we’re not going to recommend you leave your couch for it.
- 2.5 is for “stuck in the neighborhood” places. We all eat at a lot of 2.5 places, but we’re not going to recommend you do.
- 3 is middle-of-the-road. Maybe it has a few problems, but it’s still worth a stop.
- 3. 5 has something special. Maybe it’s a staple. Maybe it’s original. Whatever it is, it’s worth trying for yourself.
- 4 stars means you made it. It’s worth your time, your wallet, and more.
- 4.5 is for those spots that are essential dining for any serious Bangkok foodie.
- 5 stars is for places we feel offer a nearly flawless dining experience.
- Top Tables: This distinction is reserved for only 100 restaurants, our Top Tables.
How often do you do reviews?
We'll try to do it at least twice a month.
What makes you qualified to review restaurants?
Our reviewers are discerning foodies with references on and experience in Bangkok’s F&B scene. Restaurant reviews are opinions, but they are opinions from seasoned professionals who care about our readers and the dining scene in this city.
What can I do if I disagree with your reviews?
Sometimes we’re out of date, sometimes we miss something. Feel free to tell us when you think we’re wrong. Send your updates/hate mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.