Did you know that Bangkok now has an edible insect fine dining restaurant? Well it does, and the eatery, named Insects in the Backyard—a nod to the controversial 2010 Thai film of the same name directed by Tanwarin Sukkhapisit—is located in the popular ChangChui art hub, on the west side of the Chao Phraya River (in Thonburi).
So what’s on the menu? How about: Crab and giant water beetle ravioli with turmeric saffron sauce; Red ant marinated beef short rib steak; and Lobster grasshopper bisque risotto with seafood and sundried tomatoes. In short, the kitchen here is putting out international fine dining dishes to rival most restaurants in Bangkok. Of course, chomping on beetles, crickets, worms, and other multi-legged animals is nothing new here in Thailand, but doing it with fancy cutlery in a restaurant is something new.
Executive Chef Mai Thitiwat, who has had previous stints at Sirocco LeBua and the Michelin-starred D’Sens, is as passionate about insects as he is about food. As part of the ongoing launch they’ve already had two four-course chef’s tasting menu dinners in August (one in Thai and one in English). The restaurant also offers seasonable specials and pledges to purchase locally as often as possible.
As for nutritional value, bugs are low in fat and high in protein, and there’s no argument that eating lower down on the food chain results in an overall lower carbon footprint.
But is the public at large actually making a bee-line to try the, err… grub?
“Without a doubt it’s become a destination,” says Regan ‘Suzuki’ Pairojmahakij, one of the consultants involved with the project. “We’ve been having Chinese customers landing in Bangkok and coming straight to ChangChui just for the restaurant.”