From modern Indian rulebreakers to game-changing German and regional Thai restaurants, the city’s food scene has arguably never had more to offer. These are the most innovative, inspiring, sustainability-fueled, seasonally minded and downright delicious restaurants in Bangkok right now.
The buzz: 2019 was quite a year for Sorn. The family-run restaurant and flag bearer of traditional southern Thai cuisine earned two Michelin stars, although you could argue that recognition merely confirmed what everyone in Bangkok
already knew—the food here is special, worth traveling for. Under the direction of Supaksorn “Ice” Jongsiri and his friend and head chef Yodkawan “Yod” U-Pumpruk, the focus is placed firmly on southern ingredients, southern recipes
and southern farmers.
The food: Anywhere from 90 to 100 percent of the ingredients you’re eating here have come from the 14 southern Thai provinces. Across sharing-style tasting menus, chef Yod works magic on Phuket lobster, mangosteen and even sand mole crabs, forcing you to reenvision what you thought you knew about flavor. The attention to detail in each dish is apparent, with the process seeming closer to a construction project than simple cookery—the chefs arrive many hours before service, slow-cooking proteins over clay pots and building fiery bases for Sorn’s best dishes. The complexity results in dishes that truly nourish the soul.
The place: Entering this 90-year-old house feels like stepping inside a jungle sanctuary. The interiors reference Thailand’s southern rainforests, with arched-metal works recalling slender palm blades on the windows, and wood accents, earthy tones and plants dotted throughout the art deco-driven dining rooms.
Thai 56 Sukhumvit Soi 26, 099-081-1119. Open Tue-Fri 6-11pm; Sat-Sun noon-2pm, 6-11pm
The buzz: The original home of Bangkok French fine dining (open since 1958) has soared back into every top-tier foodie conversation under Savoie-born chef Arnaud Dunand Sauthier. Adding legitimacy to what Le Normandie diners
already knew, his food has won two Michelin stars since the guide was first brought to Thailand.
The food: Every great chef needs a dish that defines them. Dunand Sauthier has several: Krystal caviar with sea urchin and foamed potato; suddenly de rigueur carabineros with confit melon and piquillo peppers; wild venison with pear and fennel. All feature the kind of subtlety only a chef of his caliber can achieve. The incredible produce he uses only helps matters. Choose between an eight-course tasting menu or a limited a la carte menu of contemporary French courses. Whatever way you go, flawless consistency is guaranteed.
The place: No local restaurant does oldschool glamor as well as Le Normandie. Not to mention service. From the moment you step out of the elevator, the staff knows your name, your likes and dislikes, even how to regale you on the minutiae of every course. It’s discreet, it’s thoughtful, it’s perfect. Le Normandie might be lavishly over the top, with its plush carpets, dangling chandeliers and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Chao Phraya, but you shouldn’t expect any less from a venue so beloved by the city’s high rollers.
French Mandarin Oriental, 48 Charoen Krung Soi 40, 02-659-9000, Open Mon-Sat noon-2pm, 7-10pm
Exclusively for Citi ULTIMA, Citi Prestige, Citi Premier, Citi Mercedes,Citi ROP Preferred and Select Get 10% discount on 4-course and 5-course exclusive tasting menu for lunch and on tasting menu for dinner (Mon – Thu) *Price and menu for each season may change without prior notice 01 Mar ‘20 – 30 Nov ‘20
The buzz: Though Thai food won out this year, our former number one never fails to impress us with its Germanically meticulous tasting menus, served in a space that balances the line between elegant and inviting.
The food: Quality, seasonality and simplicity reign supreme in Thomas and Mathias Sühring’s 12-course “Erlebnis” tasting menu, which sees delicate mouthfuls of crayfish and beetroot interspersed with bite-size renditions of German specialties like the northern labskaus—pretzel topped with a meatball and fried quail egg. Mini Radler steins and crispy duck liver waffles in Hanutareferencing packaging act as playful ice breakers with two-Michelin-star finesse.
The place: Set in a remodeled midcentury villa in leafy Yen Akart, the restaurant possesses a real sense of hominess, magnified by framed pictures of the Sühring family farm. White tablecloths nod to tradition, while the modish open
kitchen offers a vibrant glimpse behind the scenes.
German 10 Yenakat Soi 3, 02-287-1799. Open Mon-Fri 5:30-9pm; Sat-Sun 11:30am-12:30pm, 5:30-9pm
Exclusively for Citi credit card members Get a complimentary drink valued THB 500 when spending via Citi credit card (limit 1 drink /card /table /sales slip) 01 Jan ‘20 - 31 Dec ‘20
The buzz: After working her way up through the kitchens of Noma and Gaggan and becoming India’s first woman to win a Michelin star—a feat she accomplished two years in a row—chef Garima Arora is entering the next stage of her
evolution. Forget 10-course tasting menus that reference New Nordic food cultures. Now, Gaa is all about India. Indian flavors, Indian diversity and Indian traditions, all expressed through a menu that casts aside fine dining conventions
in favor of feasts.
The food: Bangkok’s most multicultural kitchen team—chefs come from India, Germany, Poland, American Samoa to work here—presents five-part feasts that examine the culinary traditions of India’s coasts, streets and subcultures.
Dip into topli paneer, a disappearing Parsi delicacy, with savory crackers called khakra. Fried Bombay duck (a small fish native to Mumbai) goes down in one bite. Everything is made to share and be eaten with your hands. It’s clever, multisensory and revelatory.
The place: This vibrant, multi-story townhouse feels like two restaurants in one. Get a seat downstairs if you want to see what’s going on in the glassencased kitchen, but reserve a table on the second floor for a more relaxed and
intimate dinner. The indie soundtrack and conversational service speak to the kind of youthful energy that makes eating at Gaa such a joyful experience.
Indian 68/4 Sarasin Rd., 091-419-2424, Open Wed-Mon 6-10pm, Sat-Sun noon-1pm (1pm last order)
The buzz: Following 80/20’s upscale reinvention, 2019 was a whirlwind for the former hipster hangout. From being listed by Time magazine as one of the “World’s 100 Greatest Places” to earning a Michelin star for its trailblazing seasonal Thai tasting menus, this has become the ultimate one to watch.
The food: Constantly experimenting with fermentation, pickling and unusual ingredients, chef Napol “Joe“ Jantraget dreams up intriguing Thai-inspired creations like wagyu and oyster tartare with pickled garlic, smoked chili and kale, and mouthwatering thong muan-inspired crisps topped with rainbow lobster crudo and caramelized pork paste. Meanwhile, his partner chef Saki Hoshino’s mind-blowing desserts twist single ingredients like coconut into multifaceted
flavor explosions and reinvent savory dishes like somtam.
The place: Besides the inventive food, 80/20’s young, fun and laid-back vibe is what really seperates it from the pack. Sit at the open kitchen counter to soak up the buzzing atmosphere, or grab a table in the low-lit restaurant area, where dark walls and furnishings create a hip feel.
Thai 1052-1054 Charoenkrung Soi 26, 099-118-2200. Open Tue-Sun 6-9pm
The buzz: Since 2017, chef Deepanker “DK” Khosla has gradually turned his novel concept of creating the most sustainable restaurant in Thailand into a reality. DK isn’t just growing his own vegetables and herbs these days—he’s raising his own tilapia, building organic compost piles, making “aquaponics” a better understood term in our culinary vocabulary. Along the way, he’s transformed his cooking to pay homage to his Indian heritage, too.
The food: Since shifting his focus to the flavors of India, DK has hit his stride. Using ingredients grown onsite or sourced from select organic farms across Thailand, he whips up creatively plated nine- and 13-course menus that don’t skimp on spice or flavor. Kerala-style pulissery soup with Thai prawns, scallops and mussels. House-made baati bread with in-your-face chutneys. But no dish better demonstrates what DK is doing than “Haoma in a Bite”—everything, from the fried kombucha scoby cracker to the thinly sliced tilapia, comes from the restaurant’s garden.
The place: A bar on the veranda leads into a glass-fronted dining room filled with natural wood accents and hanging plants. The highlight, however, is the boundary-pushing back garden. Here, you’ll find the pesticide-free vegetables,
herbs and edible flowers you’ve just consumed growing in planter boxes. Look in the back, and you’ll spot tanks being fed by rainwater, where Haoma raises the fish that feed diners and fuel the garden with their waste.
Indian 231/3 Sukhumvit Soi 31, 02-258-4744. Open Tue-Fri 6-11pm; Sat-Sun 11:30am-3pm, 6-11pm
Exclusively for Citi credit card members Get 20% discount for every Second tasting 13 course (maximum number of 6 persons /table) 01 Mar ’20 – 28 Feb ‘21
The buzz: While Silom’s 22-year-old institution might be a veteran on the scene, it feels as fresh as ever. Under the helm of American chef Tim Butler, Eat Me adds just enough new touches from time to time to keep regular customers and food critics coming back to rave about the menu.
The food: Thai-but-not-Thai combinations like the wagyu tartare “larb” and lemongrass chicken with green mango have long exemplified the kind of cooking that’s now all the rage in kitchens in the West. But newer dishes, like the rack of lamb—butchered from free-range saltbush lambs that graze in the Australian Outback—served with a dark, sweet and dangerously good vincotto dressing, reflect Butler’s wayfaring spirit, cherrypicking global flavors that complement
his body of work.
The place: Eat Me’s fern-enshrouded outdoor zone is made for after-work drinks, while the boisterous dining room attracts glamorous local socialites and tank-topped Asian tourists alike. Don’t miss head bartender Buntanes “Pop” Direkrittikul’s complex gastronomy-inspired creations (larb moo and miang kham in a glass, anyone?)—these contribute to the sense that Eat Me is never standing still.
International 1/6 Phiphat Soi 2, Convent Rd., 02-238-0931. Open 3pm-1am
The buzz: When he’s not jet-setting around the world or checking up on his homey follow-up restaurant, Baan, chef Thitid “Ton” Tassanakajohn is whipping up a storm of creative, deconstructed Thai bites at his one-Michelin-starred
The food: Seasonality reigns over the artfully presented four- to six-course tasting menus, from the signature meaty river prawn with pork belly jam, organic rice and shrimp paste to the free-range chicken with fermented fish, spicy tamarind and dill. Classics like green curry and miang kham are bent out of recognition by chef Ton’s highwire techinques, while local ingredients are married to create heavenly flavor sensations like the Chiang Mai chocolate, peanut butter and vanilla-kaffir ice cream dessert. Wine pairings are on-point thanks to Ton’s certified sommelier status; expect plenty of organic and boutique labels.
The place: Cream walls with blondwood flourishes make for a relaxed and unfussy setting that allows the food to take center stage. Upstairs, bricks and dark lattice-work male for a moodier vibe. Each dish is presented in detail by the
Thai 399/3 Silom Soi 7, 092-919-9969. Open Mon-Sat 6-10:30pm
The buzz: Duangporn Songvisava and Dylan Jones have dominated Bangkok’s Thai fine-dining scene for over a decade with their sustainably-minded reinterpretations of ancient Thai recipes. Sharing-style presentation, laborintensive
techniques and a focus on aroma conjure traditional elements of Thai family cooking, elevated by refined presentation worthy of its Michelin-starred status.
The food: Calling on produce from local farmers, fishermen and foragers, the seasonal degustation menus are packed with rich spices and fiery family-style recipes. Reborn classics like boat noodle soup with sliced pork, morning glory and bean sprouts are joined by high-wire creations like the stir-fried Pak Bara squid with chicken liver, grachai and three kinds of basil, while Thai rice is treated with reverence.
The place: A renovated wooden house filled with dark wood furniture and moody oil paintings, surrounded by decking, green trees and vegetable patches summons the feel of a traditional Thai residence—the perfect match for the food.
Thai 24 Sukhumvit Soi 53, 02-260-2962. Open Wed 6-10pm; Thu-Sat noon-2pm, 6-10:30pm; Sun noon-2:30pm
The buzz: One of the hardest tables to get in town suddenly became a lot more accessible last year. Sushi Masato, the omakase joint that’s as difficult to access as any of Tokyo’s veritably clandestine sushi joints, added a second-floor annex, Raw Bar Masato, which brings the same attention to detail and focus on fresh Japanese seafood as its forerunner downstairs, just made for walk-ins.
The food: The twenty-odd courses you get here are never enough. Monkfish liver, perfectly cooked and peeled Petchabun tomato with fleur de sel, a line-up of nigiri that will leave you beguiled by chef and founder Masato Shimizu’s deft knife work—it doesn’t get any better than this in Bangkok. Thanks to the walk-in-friendly raw bar on the second floor, you don’t food, either. You can order straight from the kitchen downstairs while enjoying a selection of cocktails that shatter any stuffy omakase stereotypes you might harbor.
The place: From behind a beautiful L-shaped, Hinoki-wood counter, the chef and his sidekicks sculpt meals that are incredibly refined yet dispel the idea of omakase as an awkward, drawn-out affair. It helps that Masato is warm, conversational and informative—happily breaking out a book mid-meal to educate you on a single piece of fish.
Japanese 3/22 Sawasdee Soi 1, Sukhumvit Soi 31, 02-040-0015. Open Tue-Sun 5:30-11pm
It’s hard to find a chef who pours more into his work than Dan Bark. Four nights a week, he holds court over an intimate dining room above the Mikkeller bar in Ekamai, almost willing himself into dishes that deliberately travel from flavor to flavor across 10 courses. The food is complex and often nostalgic, and the enthusiastic service suggests the whole team really buys into what he’s doing.
International 2/F, 26 Ekkamai Soi 10, Yaek 2, 091-713-9034. Open Wed-Sat 6-10pm
Exclusively for Citi credit card members Get a complimentary last bite dessert valued THB 300 when spending via Citi credit card (limit 1 bite /person) 01 Jan ‘20 - 31 Dec ‘20
Helmed by young Texas-native Riley Sanders, Canvas has turned heads since the day it opened thanks to Sanders’ devotion to all things local and seasonal. Everything from the wagyu to the cheese to the honey comes from Thailand—some from organic farms and wet markets, others from the wild. Across six- and ninecourse tasting menus, Sanders delivers bold dishes that defy regional labels, serving fine dining with serious polish.
Thai 113/9-10 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor),099-614-1158. Open daily 6-9:30pm
Saawaan belongs to that new breed of fine-dining restaurant redefining what Thai food should be in this day and age. Chef-owner Sujira “Aom” Pongmorn serves seasonal nine-course menus, highlighting different culinary techniques from dish to dish: stir-fried Samut Songkhram mud crab, fermented black pork, charcoal-grilled Nakhon Pathom quail. Teetotalers will find a local tea pairing, though the wine list and extensive pairing option is also superb.
Thai BBBB 39/19 Suanphlu Rd., 02-679-3775, Open daily 6-9:30pm
Exclusively for Citi credit card members Get a complimentary last bite dessert valued THB 300 when spending via Citi credit card (limit 1 bite /person) 01 Jan ‘20 - 31 Dec ‘20
Centuries-old Thai recipes are dusted off, freshened up and served with the attention to detail they deserve by chefs Bongkoch “Bee” Satongun and husband Jason Bailey. The careful and colorful presentation has always been a
hallmark here, and even as the couple has expanded Paste to Laos in recent years, the quality and execution at their Gaysorn outlet remains as faultless as ever.
Thai 3/F, Gaysorn Village, 999 Phloen Chit Rd., 02-656-1003. Open daily noon-2pm, 6:30-11pm
Exclusively for Citi credit card members Get a complimentary drink valued up to THB 600 when spending via Citi credit card (only for 12:00 -14:00) (limit 1 drink /card /table /sales slip) 02 Jan ‘20 - 30 Sep ‘20
Effortlessly cool, chef Chet Adkins’ modern izakaya hits the sweet spot with its succulent grilled skewers, served from a sleek terrazzo counter backed by striking photo canvases. Sake- and umeshu-laced concoctions fuel the fun-loving crowd, further propelling the boisterous atmosphere.
Japanese 672/49 Charoenkrung Soi 28, 02-103-6598. Open Mon-Sat 6pm-midnight, Sun 6-10pm
Exclusively for Citi credit card members Get a complimentary dessert valued THB 250 when spending THB 1,000 or more /sales slip (limit 1 dish /card /table /sales slip) 01 Jan ‘20 - 31 Dec ‘20
One of the few omakase specialists with a Thai chef at the helm builds its name on hard-to-source, quality ingredients coming straight from Japan. Chef Banphot Boonklom (Gaysorn branch) and right hand man Chokchai Meemana
(Thonglor) make their nigiri sushi with two types of rice (seasoned with either white or red vinegar) at a classic sushi counter where 12 pieces is just never enough.
Japanese 46/4 Sukhumvit Soi 49, 02-662-6661. Open Tue-Sun noon-2pm, 6-11pm
Recently relocated to the floor above Sweet Pista in Warehouse 30, DAG is the hyperlocal restaurant the neighborhood always needed. Run by the folks behind Rarb and Escapade, DAG treats guests to a casual chef’s table fueled by local ingredients, with menus that change on the regular. For drinks, there’s a selection of natural and biodynamic wines and excellent cocktails that also feature local ingredients.
Thai Warehouse 30, Charoenkrung Soi 30, 087-363-2629. Open daily noon-9:30pm
Chef Chalee Kader and business partner Chaichat “Randy” Noprapa’s warm and rustic “root-to-fruit, nose-to-tail” restaurant has turned entrails and offcuts into must-eat dishes for nearly three years. The kitchen team utilizes every part of the pig, cow, and even banana they’ve sourced from Thai suppliers, making you question your devotion to premium meats through full-flavored, Isaan-referencing dishes like cassia leaf curry with cow hide, fried intestine and fermented pork ribs.
Thai, Isaan 100 Mahaset Rd., 02-235-0023. Open Mon-Fri 5-11pm; Sat-Sun 11am-11pm
Exclusively for Citi credit card members Get a complimentary Barette and Seabellte valued THB 390 or Northern Hot Dog valued THB 190 when spending THB 1,000 or more /sales slip (limit 1 dish /card /table /sales slip) 01 Mar ’20 – 28 Feb ‘21
For an extended period of time, Sri Trat was the “it” place among the city’s in crowd. They came then for the rooms filled with ocean blue button-backed leather sofas and dark woods, and they’re still coming back for the kind of food they wished their family made—hearty chamuang leaf curry, creamy coconut dip with mud crab meat and roe, grilled pork neck curry with rambutan.
Thai, Isaan 90 Soi Sukhumvit Soi 33, 02-088-0968. Open Wed-Mon noon-11pm
Exclusively for Citi credit card members Get a complimentary Malva Nut & Young Coconut Jelly in Fresh Coconut Milk Sauce valued THB 150 when spending THB 1,500 or more /sales slip or get a complimentary Assorted Thai Dessert Platter when spending THB 3,000 or more /sales slip (limit 1 dish /card /table /sales slip) 01 Apr ’20 – 31 Mar ‘21
Under the stewardship of Pim Techamuanvivit, Nahm still serves immaculately prepared seasonal Thai tasting menus. Only now the dishes rely less on assertive flavors to gain your attention, but rather technique and balance. The ngob talay, with blue swimmer crab, prawn and red grouper, is one of the best takes on grilled ho mok we’ve ever had, cooked to perfection by chefs who carry on Nahm’s detail-oriented legacy.
COMO Metropolitan Bangkok, South Sathorn Rd., 02-625-3333. Open Mon-Fri noon–2pm, daily 6:30–10:15pm
Exclusively for Citi credit card members Get complimentary extra dish and beverage valued THB 1,200 when spending THB 5,000 or more/sales slip (limit 1 set/card / table /sales slip) 01 Jan ‘20 - 31 Dec ‘20
The full list of 100 restaurants is available as a free booklet inserted in BK Magazine Mar 27 issue and a downloadable PDF version.