A deep dive into culinary history.
The buzz: True, Bangkok has never suffered from a shortage of Northern food—you’ll find plenty of khao soi places on one soi alone. But it’s a different story when we think about fine dining. Following Phaya Thai’s Lanna-focused fine-dining Maze, North promises authentic northern flavors and a novel taste of the old
The decor: The restaurant takes over a colonial-style house that once belonged to ML Nuam Snidvong and retains most of its former glory, complete with lush green garden. Several hints and references to Lanna’s heritage are writ large in North’s design—think yee peng (traditional Northern floating paper lanterns over the ceiling) and triangular blinds that draw reference from khanom jok (Northern-style sweet dough pyramid). For more privacy, there are two private dining rooms available with balcony views.
The food: At North, you’ll find several lesser known ingredients from Northern Thai provinces. In this 9-course dining experience (B2,888), you start off with a jackfruit mousse tart and featherback fish larb with an aromatic kick from Lanna’s staple makwaen spice. The fun of these two amuse bouches is that the white powder inside the box is not just for show: you can add this rice powder on top of either dish for crunchy flavor and to mitigate the spiciness—quite thoughtful. Next is Khao Som, Tai Yai’s rice braised in tomato broth—hence the “orange” part of the name. The rice is topped with crab paste and sandwiched between a Thai rice cracker and hollandaise sauce. Equally fun is the French duck breast smoked with Fleur du Nord tea served alongside with Chiang Mai’s wild fruit jelly makiang and galangal chili sauce. The course is then buffered with Phulae pineapple sorbet topped with spherized wild longan honey and rice crackers. We also love the spin on khao soi; the chef swaps the usual noodles for angel hair spaghetti and serves it with grilled river prawn and herbal sauces. The most intriguing part is their traditional set menu dubbed “Khan Toke North'' filled with Northern specialties in a refillable, all-you-can-eat feast, including beef shank hanglay curry, sauteed Chiang Dao vegetables with eggs; kurobuta sai oua; and Northern chili dip with free range chicken. The dessert menu is filled with regional ingredients including the musk melon cream mousse with pandan tulle with a flavor reminiscent of lod chong served alongside green bean jelly from Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai strawberry sorbet.
Why we’d come back: North has been open since December last year and is still evolving. With the old charms of yesteryear and a commitment to bringing lesser known ingredients from the North to the plate, we’d say there’s more to expect from this new addition to Bangkok’s culinary scene. By Porpor Leelasestaporn
Photo: Porpor Leelasestaporn / BK Magazine