Chefs Julien Imbert, Top Russell and Michelle Goh join for this decadent modern European restaurant.
The buzz: When foreign chefs with reputations and Michelin stars built in Europe’s biggest capitals suddenly announce they’ve moved to Bangkok and opened shop, tongues wag. Julien Imbert is one such chef, with a resume spanning London’s Sketch, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal and Jason Atherton’s City Social. But Imbert is owner, not chef, at Mia. To run the kitchen, he’s appointed Top Russell, the former head chef at Freebird (and BK’s Young Chef of the Year in 2018), fresh off a successful pop-up stint called Ter’ra, together with his girlfriend and Ter’ra cohort Michelle Goh, former pastry chef at Suhring.
The decor: Similarities with Sketch, London’s influencer-baiting explosion of candy pinks and unabashed playful excess, seep through Mia’s three separate dining rooms. These range from the Bubblegum and Flowers Room (unofficial name), to the So Dark it Could be a Fetish Club Room, to the William Morris Meets Habitat Room. Our choice is with Bubblegum, for the simple fact it’s the only one with windows. The downstairs bar is a more familiar experience, with mid-century influences making their presence felt in a very Millennial way—all brass, geometric wallpaper and dripping light bulbs.
The food: They say “modern European,” which is a forgiving way of letting the chefs follow whatever whims they fancy, from comically decadent “foie gras doughnuts” with prune jam (B360) to aubergine in homemade Sriracha sauce with tofu (B260). Top understands how to do comfort food, so it’s not all oysters in ponzu (B150 each) and hamachi ceviche with passion fruit dressing (B320). You’ll also find hefty sharing portions of Moroccan spiced lamb shoulder in caramelized yogurt (B1,850) and Darling Downs wagyu flank steak with “mushroom ketchup” (B2,350). For dessert, the whole tarte tatin with vanilla ice cream is already establishing itself as a Mia signature.
Why we’d come back: When the valuable yet fickle culinary box-tickers have faded away, Mia’s future lies with comfort cuisine in a grown-up setting, offered on a menu that can be navigated for around B2,000 a head.