From Sri Lankan crabs to Korean cuisine, there’s a lot to love this month.
Under Foodie Collection (Vesper, il Fumo, La Dotta, 80/20), Mediterranean bistro-cum-natural wine bar Via Maris has been reborn as an Italian eatery that doubles as Thailand’s first ever official Campari bar. Negronis are, of course, a must. Of the seven on offer, we recommend the perfectly-balanced Spatial Concept (B360), a mix of Campari, Bulldog gin, Cinzano 1757 Rosso and espresso milk punch that won the mixologist of neighboring Vesper, Supawit “Palm” Muttarattana, first place in the Campari Bartender Competition Asia at the start of 2019. But you’d be remiss to ignore their carb-loaded line-up of pasta and risotto—try the indulgent Tortelloni 4 Formaggi (B350), filled with Italian cheeses and topped with 24-month Parmigiano Reggiano fondue.
10/15 Convent Rd., 02-236-5558
Taking an elegant yet casual approach to fine dining, head chef Tap draws inspiration from his Thai-Chinese heritage, as well as his globe-spanning experience in kitchens everywhere from England to Melbourne. The delicate, contemporary Asian-inspired menu highlights ingredients from dedicated farmers across the region in 10 tasting courses (B3,400/person), which change quarterly, in keeping with the seasons. Currently, you’ll find dishes like bluefin tuna larb with pickled carrots, miang kham ice cream and free range Dombes duck with blackberries, red Chinese plum and a crisp red cabbage cake. A curated selection of wines is available for pairing (B1,600 for entree/B2,550 for special list).
36/22 (Soi Phrom Si 1) Sukhumvit Soi 39, 065-143-1111
Charoenkrung has welcomed a curry powerhouse from a trio of former David Thompson-era Nahm chefs. Though petite, the shop makes a grand impression with its bold red and black Chinese-retro decor, masterminded by interior designer Shelley Kwok. The set menus change every three-to-four weeks and each include a curry dish, steamed rice, soup, salad and something sweet. Right now, you’ll find their signature curry with smoked kingfish and pennywort (B560) and the Narathiwat beef curry (B600) with raw banana. Don’t miss the tangerine relish (B580) served with grilled tiger prawns and a choice of side dishes. Reservations are recommended.
14 Nakhon Kasem Soi 5, 081-822-0182
From the same owners of the minimalist, black- and white-clad Hands and Heart comes this new spot bursting with warm hues, wood and splashes of white. Outside, you’ll find lush greenery and round picnic tables surrounding the restaurant, which, in a welcome twist, is pet-friendly. The kitchen is overseen by chef Kanta “Toiting” Siddidharm, who has a CV packed with stints at Gaa, 80/20 and Noma. Her food—a mix of Thai and Nordic touches—is technique-driven while remaining simple and comforting. As for the drinks, all coffee beans are hand-selected from growers around the world and roasted on the premises. Try the filter of the day (B160), or opt for a wine curated by Naturalista, like the lightly oaked Travis Tausend chardonnay (B350/glass).
4 Phra Khanong Rd., 02-058-2699
Following a brief stint at Lhong 1919, Karmakamet Conveyance has officially opened its doors at its new location in Thonglor. The restaurant, run by chef Jutamas “Som” Theantae in partnership with Natthorn “Edge” Rakchana, founder of the namesake aromatherapy brand, reflects Som’s itinerant, label-defying journey to the professional kitchen. The space itself feels like a dreamscape, with two-tops set amid curved white walls, gold-tinted mirrors and exposed bricks. Meanwhile, 12-course dinners (B2,500; add B2,500 for Champagne pairing) meander from singularly named dishes like Wealth (Indian spice-rubbed lamb) to Street (southern Thai curry) to Pre-motion (smoked black cod served sushi-style).
1,1/1 Sukhumvit Soi 49, 02-004-3997
While still staying true to the essence of Mexican cuisine, the menu here takes a health-conscious bent—think house-made corn tortillas tinged orange by the addition of sweet potato and loaded with grilled cheese, grilled cactus, kale, avocado salsa verde and pickled veggies in the Guerrero (B140/piece), or marinated New Zealand grass-fed beef tenderloin, avocado slices, grilled spring onion and green salsa in the Torero (B190/piece). The drinks, too, have taken a turn, with a host of aguas frescas (homemade flavored waters), like the classic Jamaica (B100)—a mildly sweet hibiscus cold infusion—and the Pina-Cilantro (B100), a refreshing pineapple and coriander water. For something tronger, the ever-changing wine list is packed with organic and natural wines (B300/glass).
The Commons, 335 Thonglor Soi 17, 02-006-3225
Down a small soi off the residential Sukhumvit Soi 36, this imposing slice of Italy is an unexpected find. Housed in a standalone two-story building surrounded by a black awning, a paved parking area and a lush green garden, the property is divided into Italian restaurant L’Oliva and neighboring Caffe Olives. Inside, you’ll find a comfy, lunch-friendly lounge area with wood beam ceilings and red brick details; head through the brick archways for a more intimate setting, where the specialty is Neapolitan pizzas. Featuring a perfectly puffy crust, topped with mortadella, ricotta, pistachio pesto and fresh fiordilatte cheese, the Mortadella Pistachio pizza (B440) is no doubt up there with Bangkok’s best. Opt for the group sharing meal and wine pairing is just B665 for four glasses, too.
4 Sukhumvit Soi 36, 094-858-9868
Sri Lanka’s best restaurant—ranked no. 35 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list—has landed in Bangkok. Here, it’s all about meaty Sri Lankan crabs in various sizes, slathered in all types of saucy goodness. Start with the steamed crab and avocado salad (B390) tossed in a wasabi mayo, followed by the creamy crab liver pate (B390), served with housemade melba crackers and a tiny flask of honey. For mains, go for the Huge Prawn (B620 for 200-250g), which comes with a buttery sauce of garlic and chili that you can mop up with their homemade toasted bread, and anything from the 800g medium sized crab (B1,800) to the 1.1kg jumbo (B3,600) stir-fried in their famous black pepper sauce.
31 Sam-ed, No.15/1 Soi Sukhumvit, 098-598-6554
Inspired by popular picnic spot Jeju Island in South Korea, this quaint, all-white restaurant offers a bright and airy space, perfect for lunch. Organic produce is key in dishes like the bibimbap (B220) and Korean fried chicken (B220), created using the owner’s mom's recipe and fried a la minute. Also on offer are classics like the kimchi pancake (B150) and spicy kimchi pork and tofu (B220), while Jeju’s famous mandarin oranges feature in the likes of the Jeju orange salad (B195) and Jeju mandarin coffee (B99).
Chulalongkorn Soi 22, 082-067-9308
A sister of Gifu prefecture’s Yanagiya—which was once hailed by The Guardian as “possibly the best restaurant on the planet”—Shun by Yanagiya breaks away from the wild animal-heavy, regional cuisine of its invitation-only forerunner. Instead, this opening treats local and imported seasonal ingredients to traditional Yanagiya-style charcoal-cooking across 15 courses (B4,800/person), all served in an elegant 15-seat dining room centered around an open cooking island. On the menu, you’ll find juicy tebasaki (Japanese-style chicken wings), uzura (smoked and grilled quail eggs) and Yanigiya’s signature unadon, featuring Anguilla Japonica unagi basted in special 50-year-old tare sauce. A selection of rare sakes, Old World wines and seasonal cocktails fill the drinks list.
3/F, Donki, Thonglor Soi 10, 097-854-2222