This month's highlights include Vietnamese in the Old Town, a taste of Eastern Thailand, a sultry smokehouse and an adventurous Gaggan-backed restaurant.
Soi Yen Akart’s new restaurant sits in an old two-story wooden house (next to Coffee Craftsman) decked out stylishly with wooden furniture, hanging ferns and lamps. The homey vibes translate to a big menu that covers something for everyone, from Thai classic dishes like pad Thai (B180), tom yum (with prawn or lobster, B250/B980) and stir-fried morning glory (B150) to pizza topped with ham and mushroom (B350) and Australian black Angus tomahawk (from B3,000/1.2kg).
30 Yen Akat Rd., 02-249-0182
The shop-house opposite Gaggan is now Gaa, where chef Gaggan Anand invests in the talents of his former sous-chef, Garima Arora. The Thai-Indian chef and her team champion ingredients found on the coastal region between Thailand and India, which they serve exclusively in tasting menus (B1,800 for eight courses/B2,400 for 12 courses). Modern techniques meet traditional cooking methods in a sandwich of translucent dehydrated cabbage with roasted bell pepper paste, while the kitchen’s devotion to made-from-scratch produce is showcased in the house-made split-pea miso in which they marinate the grilled pork ribs. Simpler-looking items pack no less flavor, like the grilled seasoned baby corn husks with corn milk dip. The plate of Indian-inspired petit fours on which the meal ends is a real highlight.
Follow the big, bright neon sign for Sukhumvit's sultry new smokehouse. All the cooking goes down around a massive outdoor grill pit where American chef Chandler Schultz prepares smoked pork ribs, hanger steak and even lobsters for a dining room that's chic but informal—black paint, beautiful flamingo-adorned wallpaper, chandeliers and stylish collectibles. To go with all that grilled meat, don't miss the delicious thick-cut fries cooked in dry-aged beef fat, or the margaritas.
26 Sukhumvit Soi 31, 02-662-3814
This bright orange Korea-hailing barbecue joint cooks up its food spicier to cater to the Thai palate. Order either pork (from B220) or beef (from B230) and prepare it yourself on the table-top grill with a variety of sauces and vegetables. Unlike most Korean barbecue joints and their seemingly limitless array of traditional sides, here they want you to tuck into Western sides like mac and cheese (B260) and baked truffle potato and cheese (B220). However, they do serve other Korean staples like kimchi fried rice with cheese (B360), which is cooked for you table-side, and naengmyeon (cold noodles, B190-220).
266/9-10 Siam Square Soi 3, Rama 1 Rd., 02-252-9334
Chiang Mai's popular salad and steak restaurant has branched out to Siam Square and is already packed. Known for using fresh veggies from its own organic farm, the restaurant highlights salads: design your own or choose from the likes of spicy tuna salad (B165), a photogenic fruit salad served in a melon shell (B240) or a huge bowl of salmon with grilled tofu, greens and grains (B285). They also serve heartily portioned meat dishes like barbecue spare ribs (B315) and pastas (B125-285). To drink, you can opt for coffee, fresh fruit juices or some smoothies. Do expect a queue, though, just like in Chiang Mai.
426/2-4 Siam Square Soi 7, 063-093-8388
Sukhumvit Soi 33’s new Thai restaurant presents the cuisine from Trat, a province in the east of the country. In a stylish, contemporary brick and wood house, Sri Trat lets you enjoy the likes of moo chamuang (pork curry with chamuang leaves, B220), barracuda spicy salad (B220) and massaman curry with unripe durian (B280). They are also serious about their bar, where ex-Vesper bartender Paradee Sahathanasomboon rolls out concoctions like Trad Bee's Knees (gin, fresh lime, honey and kaffir lime leaf, B360).
90 Sukhumvit Soi 33, 02-088-0968
Set in a shop-house down an alley in the ever-charming Tha Tien neighborhood, this two-story restaurant serves up cuisine from Northern and Central Vietnam, where owner Gai Mitwicharn’s grandparents came from. Amid decor that's low-key but stylish, Tonkin Annam is all about food bursting with freshness, served on banana leaves in shallow bamboo baskets. The nem nuong (B250) features house-made grilled mince pork and fresh vegetables, along with extra thin flour sheets that don’t need to be hydrated and customizable sauce (with separated chili and chopped peanuts). Expect other staples like banh hoi (thin rice vermicelli with grilled pork, B190), banh cuon (minced pork and chives wrapped in steamed rice sheet, B130) and pho (B150 with chicken/B220 with beef). Do be sure to try the thit kho tieu (braised pork belly in fish sauce, chili and black pepper) and Vietnamese drip coffee with egg sabayon (B80), too.
69 Maharaj Rd., 093-469-2969