Chef Luca Appino’s habitual research trips back to his homeland result in some of the best seasonal Italian produce that Bangkok has to offer. These are put to good use in dishes that are refined yet authentic in flavor. Chef Andrea Ortu heads the kitchen these days, wielding his influene in unbelievably creamy and rich risottos, decadent slow-cooked beef and to-die-for lemon curdstuffed crepes. To drink, the cellar comes equipped with some of the finest Super Tuscans around.
Full-flavored Lao recipes and an old-school funk soundtrack combine at the noir-industrial dining room of Sanya Souvanna Phouma (Bed Supperclub, Maggie Choo’s, Sing Sing and Cactus) and fellow Laotian business partner Saya Na Champassak’s latest venture. This is Lao food, made with lots of Lao ingredients, that’s not afraid of real-deal, bold flavors—pla ra (fermented fish) included. All those funky flavors call for a sharp, punchy cocktail (or three), like the Salt & Pepper Margarita (Cimarron Blanco tequila, agave syrup, fresh lime and grapefruit juice).
Sometimes the very best Thai restaurants are characterized by the number of customers willing to put up with indifferent service and packed tables for great food. Here, this family-run Southern Thai specialist proves this to be true: the boisterous dining room can result in the occasional distracted server and long wait. But the persistent crowds show that the food makes it all worth it, thanks to the kitchen’s uncompromisingly volcanic levels of spice and deft cooking of fresh ingredients.
French for “house of the truffle,” the name of this restaurant speaks for itself. Maison de la Truffe in France has over 80 years of history behind it. Here, the menu revolves around one highly-priced ingredient, truffle. Step inside and you’ll see a shop showcasing truffle products, from truffle paste and truffle-infused olive oil to truffle slicers and chocolate truffles. As for the restaurant, you can watch kitchen staff in action through a large window while they cook Western classics like pumpkin soup, truffle omelet, truffle risotto, pan-fried sea bass and veal fillet mignon.
Founded by a group of moneyed Japanophile friends, Mugendai was one of the first restaurants to claim it flies its fish in from Tsukiji Market, in Tokyo, five times a week, back when twice a week was still the norm. Its signature sushi dish, the Aburi 7, is an assortment of seven blow-torched slabs of fatty bluefin tuna, snapper, halibut fin and Matsuzaka beef (among others) topped by dabs of shredded garlic, crab eggs, ponzu or miso. Or go for the sashimi, the slices are gargantuan and bursting with flavor. The 7th-floor views of Thonglor are a nice touch, too.
Set in a palatial old house decked out in pops of navy and orange, This Thonglor Italian bistro is what lazy Sundays were made for. Dig into one of the fresh baked pizzas—not to be missed thanks to the flavor-packed, overnight-fermented dough and baby mozzarella (called bocconcini)—or classic Italian pastas and salads served family style.
This collaboration between French restaurateur Frederic Meyer (Issaya Siamese Club and Namsaah) and Italian chef Luca Apino (La Bottega di Luca) takes an Italy-meets-France approach to pizzas. Pumped out of two massive ovens from Italy, the pizzas here are delicate and refined affairs that often bear extravagant toppings.
Wine, food and cocktails are each helmed by one of the three talented partners, friends from their Culinary Institute of America (CIA) days. Singaporean chef Cong Wen’s fascination with regional flavors is apparent in the amuse-bouche spread, such as a guava-filled puff, broken rice crackers, and grilled papaya with rosemary. His entree Tartare is cubed catch-of-the-day with a kapi (shrimp paste) mayo, turmeric yogurt and dill oil.
Even in its first few months, it was clear this former home-turned-eatery was a rousing success. Featuring delicious-yet-underrated Eastern Thai dishes such as chamuang leaf curry and creamy lon chili dip, this restaurant has even been known to turn back hungry customers if their reservations are made too late in the day. One look at the high-end crowd thronging the colorful, stylish dining room amply illustrates this restaurant’s popularity.
Though Toro plays to Barcelona with its offerings of boquerones (anchovies in black vinegar) and boards of manchego cheese, this Boston-born restaurant is far from strictly Spanish. Head chef Zach Watkins takes his cues from the American branch for many of the fusion small plates, while also interpreting Thai flavors into dishes like hangar steak in green curry sauce and fatty pig’s cheek with dancing shrimp and pickled mango. Follow things up with a huge pan of paella to share.
Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, this Mexican restaurant's slick, cocktail-bar atmosphere makes for an effortless transition from dinner to night out. Chilis and other fancy ingredients are flown in from Mexico, but it’s the the perfectly soft corn tortillas that almost steal the show. Have them with refined fillings like roast duck and seared foie gras—a delicious coming together of textures and flavors. The bar’s powerful tequila and mezcal cocktails often mirror the complexity of the food.
From September 14-29, BK Magazine and 60 of the city’s best restaurants will join forces to serve hundreds of special dinners at a knockout fixed price of B1,000++ per person (B1,170 total) for a minimum of three courses. General booking opens this Aug 20, though if you use a Citibank credit card you can start making bookings from Aug 11 and also get special dining perks at each venue. Make your reservations at www.bkrestaurantweek.com.
SPECIAL BENEFITS FOR CITIBANK CARD MEMBERS
Advance booking for Citi credit card members from Aug 11
Extra dish or other perk when you pay with Citi credit cards
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