What a year! Hundreds of other hole-in-the-walls, Francophied mall sandwich shops, illustrious imports (Tim Ho Wan, Hong Kong’s top dim sum place comes to mind), hopeful start-ups, pop-ups, and food trucks have influenced the shifting landscape of food in Bangkok. As for fine dining—or, rather, the more formal restaurant scene—2015 has been remarkable, as well, with the pinnacle perhaps being Gaggan’s ascension to Asia’s best restaurant, according to the awards in Singapore organized by S.Pellegrino.
But Chef Gaggan Anand wasn’t the only restaurateur doing great things this year. Bangkok has fast become a diverse, world-class restaurant city. With thousands of outlets to try, and but a few digestive tracts to cover them all, Bangkok 101’s admiring critics and critical admirers have highlighted, with a little help of buzz amongst foodie friends, five exciting additions to the scene in the following pages:
THE DINING ROOM AT THE HOUSE ON SATHORN—Outstanding ingredients presented with flair in a personal narrative of a worldwide culinary search, all in a setting that doesn’t have to use false décor touches to exude elegance.
One of the top new experiences this year—the tender young 10-course dinner paired with exclusive beers at Upstairs at Mikkeller—gets full coverage as our Hot Plate on pages 18-19. We also take you “In The Kitchen” to glimpse some of the inner workings of an older strong entry with staying power: the when-in-Bangkok, eat-as-a-Roman APPIA.
Among the dozens of other stand-outs winning buzz, here are ten new outlets—or older outlets doing new things—worthy not merely of honourable mentions, but also sustained samplings:
ERR—Gourmet Thai bar snacks by Bo.lan in a fun funky setting
M KRUB BY CHEF MAN—The highest of exquisitely high-end Sino-French by a local master strutting his stuff (look for a proper review in the near future)
KOM-BA-WA—Say “Good Evening” to astounding “Japaniste” creations with fish flown in from Tokyo
SAVELBERG—Amodernist Dutch master quietly churning out Michelin-starred Euro-kaiseki miniatures
LENZI—Cut through the fancy dishes to amazing cold cuts imported from family butchers in Tuscany
THE SMOKIN’ PUG—Doing brisk business with brisket, the best new addition to real American barbecue lands smack in the middle of Patpong
LA MONITA URBAN CANTINA—This more upscale outlet of an authentic taquería goes far to prove that Mexican can be more than enchiladas
OSITO—A German chef doing Spanish tapas and New York pastrami and making it cool—where else but in Bangkok?
SEVEN SPOONS—A second simpler representative of Spanish flair serving the small enclave where Chinatown turns artsy
THE GIRL AND THE PIG—A modest café/bistro that does just about everything right, from pasta to waffles