BANGKOK RESTAURANT

Whale’s Belly

The buzz: Three foodie friends all finished cooking school and paired up to open this ocean-themed eatery. One of the chefs, Mai Apirawit, also did a stint in Le Normandie’s kitchen, so you can expect fairly classic European techniques.

The décor: A lot of navy blue and a wavy white ceiling to offset it all, evoking either waves or the ribs of a whale’s belly. There are also fish tanks and ship wheels, but all this nautical kitsch somehow gets lost in the sheer size of the space, while the large bay windows offer plenty of natural light during the day. Portholes offer views of the partly open kitchen.

The food: Cool down with the refreshing timbale of avocado and crab (blue crab rillette, guacamole, lumpfish roe and honeydew gazpacho, B520) or set sail with the earthier duck & beets (smoked duck breast, pickled beetroot, needle beans and lemon vinaigrette, B420). Despite the Normandie-cred, there are also Asian-inspired touches in dishes like the lacquered Chilean seabass with orange miso emulsion, shiitake and teriyaki sauce (B890). As well as down-to-earth comfort food like the mac & cheese duo of ravioli (herbed chicken stuffing, ricotta, espagnole and parmesan cream sauce, B550). As for the pastries, there’s finally more to life than lava cake or tiramisu, with treats like Winter’s Night (kirsch dark cherries, Rocher crisp, dark chocolate ganache, B270).

The drinks: There’s a proper bar to park yourself before sitting down to your meal. The cocktails were developed by mixologist Karn Liangsrisuk, who snatched second place in the 2012 Bacardi bartending contest, representing the Shangri La. Try the Traditional Clove Martini (clove oil, Galliano, pineapple juice, lime juice, cinnamon syrup, B220) or Together Forever (cucumber, lychee vodka, Campari, cranberry juice, pink grapefruit juice, B250). Wines range from B1,100-6,500, beers from B180-320.

The crowd: Executives in Asoke who like the private room for power lunches and Japanese expats in the area. Pieng-or Mongkolkumnuankhet

Venue Details
Address: Whale’s Belly, 39 Boulevard, 41 Sukhumvit Soi 39, Bangkok, Thailand
Phone: 02-160-0333
Area: Phrom Phong
Cuisine: European
Open since: April, 2012
Opening hours: daily 5:30-11pm
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Whale’s Belly