THAI-LAO-YEH (*****L): A gastronomic heaven, this chic restaurant dissimulates its vintage splendor and exotic aromas at the bottom end of Sukhumvit Soi 45. Catering the distinguished guests of the so-dandy Cabochon, one of our top 5 favorite boutique hotels in Southeast Asia and a member of Secret Retreats, it attracts a lot of cosmopolite outsiders. The high-society from Sukhumvit and Thonglor has a napkin ring in the refined public and private dining rooms, sure to enjoy a most authentic Siamese (and Laotian) cuisine served traditionally by a young and well-trained staff.
The most sophisticated Siamese royal cuisine meets the street-food favorites on the extensive menu. Selecting a few dishes from this collection of delicacies was a torment of Tantalus. Curious foodies, with a limited experience of the Thai recipes, should come twice. First time just to discover the spicy savors of Thai Tapas, like “Deep-Fried Chicken Knuckles” (or Pork Intestine), “Duck Beaks”, or “Yum Salad with Pork Ear”, just to mention some of our favorites. So palatable with a spicy and refreshing “Papaya Dtam Salad”. We counted no less than 20 sorts of salads in total!
After such an initiation, come back for dinner, when the room displays all its elegance and turns amazingly romantic, to discover the chef's signature dishes. “Pla Kapong” is one of the most common, yet delicious types of fish freshly delivered from the Gulf of Siam. Deep-Fried and served with a light green mango sauce, this is a crispy, tasty finger food. Other signatures, “Deep-Fried Fish Cake” and “Deep-Fried One-Day-Dried Beef” are well worth the try. More Finger foods, charcoal grilles that time: don't miss the “Grilled Chiangmai Pork Sausage”: the famous Sai-Ua, a most popular street-food specialty, would cost half the price in a mall food-center, at least... But the preparation at Thai-Lao-Yeh features top quality meat, less fat, and the mixture of spices is so well balanced. We found the portion generous, as for the rest of dishes which we enjoyed during our unforgettable stay at The Cabochon.
This is, of course, the place for the best soups ever. Only French, Vietnamese, Chinese and Siamese cuisines have the know-how for that, indeed. We all know the world famous “Tom-Yum Goong”, sour and spicy soup with shrimps. Try its richer version, featuring much more coconut milk, called “Tom Kha Goong”, just to reach a gastronomic ecstasy.
After that, to make it 100% local, order the signature, spicy and tasty “Curry Fat Crab” with holy basil. Another gratifying curry dish, the “Yellow Sour Curry with Sea Bass / Seafood”, proves one more time that the best curries are Thai and not Indian. Lighter, more complex, with an easy digestion. Those disliking spicy food can order the blend, yet sapful “Panaeng Curry with Chicken”.
All dishes can be enjoyed with steamed jasmine rice, or sticky rice, our favorite... Particularly as a dessert. Undoubtedly the yummiest one can experience in Southeast Asia: “Thai Mango with Sticky Rice”, mixed with a thick natural coconut milk cream... We could fly a thousand miles to enjoy it.
Another good surprise, the bill is as light as a cloud for such a luxury and reputed restaurant. Between USD 30 and 40, selecting the best delicacies, and with one bottle of Singha beer. A selection of Thai Tapas will cost you less than USD 20.
Dress code smart casual.
Monday to Friday = Lunch 11:30- 14:30. Dinner 18:00- 23:00. Saturday to Sunday & Public holiday = Lunch 11:30- 15:00. Dinner 18:00-23:00.
THAI-LAO-YEH :(at Cabochon Hotel & Residence): 14/29 Sukhumvit 45 Road, Klongton Nua, Wattana, Bangkok 10110
PHONE : +66 2259 2871-3 FACSIMILE : +66 2259 2870
E-MAIL: : firstname.lastname@example.org
TAAN (*****L): A crown over the top floor of the hip Siam@Siam design hotel, Taan is one of the newest fine-dining venues in the heart of Bangkok. Designed like a trendy lounge, with a breathtaking panorama of the city, Taan («Have a meal!» in Thai) focuses on traditional Siamese cuisine. Presented an innovative, sometimes eccentric way by Executive Chef Monthep Kamolsilp, all dishes come with a twist of modernity. The menu is updated according to the seasons: featuring only ultra-fresh ingredients, purchased from local bio-farmers from Southern to Northern Thailand. The best of this unmatched culinary nation, from the hyper-local street-food favorites to the rarest «Royal Project Caviar», enlighted our evening in this gourmet restaurant.
Familiarized with Siamese food for a few decades, we could have ordered a la carte. But we preferred to let «Taan's 9 Courses Tasting Menu» (THB 2,100 + / USD 68 +) guide our experience. Designed like a trip to the leading gastronomic destinations countrywide, each dish refers to the distance from Bangkok to the originated region.
We sipped a «Hyper-Local Ku-Su-Ma Cocktail» (THB 330 + / USD 11 +), alchemically mixing Dried Mango, Roasted Chili infused Kristall Rum, Mango Juice, Basil, Honey, and Lime, awaiting less than five minutes before being served «578 KM Ranong Spiny Lobster, Cured in Fish Sauce with Frozen Green Chili & Royal Project Caviar». A signature, it didn't provoke our enthusiasm. We started with the frozen chili paste, which we found refreshing and ideal to stimulate the appetite, then ate the Spiny Lobster topped with some grains of local caviar from a recent production. Still too small to impress the amateur of Beluga... or Sevruga (it was in between), it paired raw lobster. Asian gourmet (20% of Taan's guests) like sashimi and they certainly loved a texture which we, Westerners, found too chewing and lacking savor.
The rest of the experience was much more convincing. We would even describe it as exceptional: both in term of presentation -inventive and worth a Michelin star!- with faultless cooking methods.
«688 KM Nan Fermented Organic Pork» came over a banana leaf, oddly set on a small tree trunk. A bucolic display for a popular dish, served with aromatic herbs. «742 KM Ranong Satay-Marinated Wild Caught River Prawn with Peanut Sauce & Pickled Raw Papaya, Lotus Root and Vietnamese Coriander» was a melody of savors, and one of our preferred appetizers. As simple as good things should be, this is also a chef's signature.
«678 KM Surat Thani Minced Fermented Daily Wild Caught Grouper, Dip with Sub-Dried Tomato & Crispy Fish Skin», presented in a small fisherman rattan net, and «485 KM Chumphon Stir Fried Hinlay Marinated Blue Swimmer Crab, with Organic Chicken Eggs, Chili Oil & Pickled Thai Garlic», were two superlative seafood dishes. Associating Blue Crab with Chicken Eggs might sound audacious. Tough, it resulted in a remarkable dish.
Thailand means BBQ and roasted meats. They came as a main dish (though all the portions were more or less the same, we couldn't establish clearly the border between appetizers and main dishes). «463 KM Khon Kaen Grilles Crispy Pork Belly, with Stir-Fried Bitter Beans, Shrimp Paste, & Chili» was divinely tender, with mouth-watering crispy skin. This specialty, available a bit everywhere in Southeast Asia and China, is a best seller at Taan. Together with very local «65 KM Nakhon Pathom Banana Leaf-Wrapped Charcoal-Grilled Chicken, with Lotus Stems & Pad Thai-Style Tamarind Dressing». We had both dishes with Thai Jasmine Rice and Wild Rice.
Curry is most popular in Thailand. We finished our main dishes degustation with sappy, very authentic «685 KM Surat Thani Wallago Fish Southern Coconut Curry, with Surat Thani Sea Horseshoe Crab Roe». A delicacy, meeting the supreme quality of royal Thai cuisine.
As a «Finishing» (this is how Chef Monthep calls desserts), we had a street food favorite: «164 KM Lopburi Kanm Taan, Steamed Toddy Palm Cake», served with class in a black plate.
We always pair spicy dishes with Singha or Chang Beer. But in a fine-dining restaurant like Taan, we rather went for some wine. Only young, mineral white wine can efficiently balance dominant, aggressive red chili and other Thai spices notes. Siam@Siam house wine, «Domaine Begude, Terroir 11300, Chardonnay 2017», imported from Haute Vallée de l'Aude, Southern France, was a good choice at THB 320 / USD 11 by the class. Alternatively, we did like «Neudorf, Sauvignon Blanc, 2017», from New Zealand. 20% barrel fermented, it came with some fresh ripe green, vibrant florals and a touch of fennel (THB 350 / USD 12 by the glass). A top-class gastronomic restaurant, Taan should consider offering a wine-pairing option.
One of the classiest, best value fine-dining restaurants in Bangkok, warmly recommended. Taan may expect many awards in the near future.
Dress code smart casual.
Open daily, 6pm - 11pm (last orders 10.30 pm).
TAAN (Siam@Siam Bangkok): 865 Rama I Road, Patumwan Wang Mai, Bangkok, Kingdom of Thailand.
PHONE: +66 65 328 7374 / +66 2217 3000
CELADON (*****L): This is, with Sala Rim Nam, a prominent Royal Thai Cuisine restaurant in Bangkok and, from our last experience, definitely the best. A definition of a faultless dinner: when the setting is idyllic, the service as smooth as silk, the tableware supremely elegant, and the food authentic and toothsome. Paired with a discreet Thai dancing show (performing daily at 7.30 pm + 8.30 pm), and a view of the gardens, this is the dreamed place to invite your wife or girlfriend for a romantic dinner.
When many restaurants serve an upgraded version of the excellent Thai street food in elegant plates, rebranded “Royal Thai Cuisine”, we tasted at Celadon the climax of an authentic cuisine tailored made for a Siamese palace. Old recipes are cooked and served “old school” style, by a reverent, anticipating staff. The fact that it was part of a hotel made us little reluctant at first sight: the ingredients could be mild, adapted to international taste? The first dishes reassured us: at The Sukhothai hotel, one of our favorite addresses in Bangkok, the cuisine comes with real Thai accent.
We chose the “Horapa Menu” at THB 1700 ++ (USD 49 ++), affordable key to a lavish banquet. Starting in style with “Khong Waang Celadon” (not spicy): a rich appetizer selection of Prawn Cake, Crispy Rice Cup with Scallop, Mince Chicken, Crab Meat Spring Roll and a surprising Steamed Flowers Shape Dumpling (featuring edible flowers, freshly picked up from Celadon organic garden). “Yam Hauplee Hoyshell Rom Kwaun Yaang” (spicy), Banana Blossom Salad and Grilled Smoked Hokkaido Scallops, tasted like a real delicacy. That was one of our preferred dishes with the well known, savory –and quite spicy- “Tom Khaa Gai Nai Mapraow Orn”: a classic of the Thai cuisine, this Coconut Soup with Chicken, Galangal, Kaffir Lime, was nicely presented in a young coconut. Our “Gaeng hed Ped Yaang”, Roasted Duck in a Creamy Red Curry, was served in such a generous portion, like all the dishes at Celadon, that our stomach started feeling quite full. But the best was yet to come…
We always liked “Phad Krachai Pla Thod”, Crispy Fish, Spicy Rhizome, Hot Basil Sauce, served very spicy that night, and “Goong Maenaam Yaang”, the best River Prawns available on the local market, grilled to a perfect texture with Spicy Garlic and Chili Sauce. Very interesting, and a discovery for us, “Phad Yod Maprow Hedhomsod”, Stir-Fried Coconut Palm Heart, with Shiitake Mushrooms in Soya and Garlic Sauce, was the unique vegetarian dish on the Horapa Menu (with many suggestions a la carte); surely the most sapid.
Dessert was “Ice Cream Kati Kluay Thod”: Deep-Fried Banana with an as sweet as a sin Homemade Coconut Ice Cream.
Though Celadon has a remarkable wine cellar, we preferred to pair our dinner the Thai way: with Singha Beer on the rocks.
Our coffee (from the local production) was presented to our table with a sweet teaser.
Dress code smart casual.
Lunch (Daily): noon - 3:00pm. (last order: 2:30 pm). Dinner (Daily): 6:30 pm - 11:00 pm (last order: 10:30 pm).
CELADON: (at THE SUKHOTHAI HOTEL) 13/3 South Sathorn Road, Bangkok 10120, Thailand
PHONE: +66 (0) 2344 8888 FACSIMILE: +66 (0) 2344 8899
LE DU (*****L): One of the “Secret Tables” from the selective “Secret Retreats” catalog, the only confidential characteristic of this restaurant is its location, hidden in a small lane, 100 meters from BTS Silom Line station Chong Nonsi, making Le Du accessible within a few minutes from any part of Bangkok.
Magazines, TV programs, media, and blogs made Chef Ton’s restaurant one of the most famous tables downtown. In a totally full dining room, we could see this young and hyperactive guy working as a chef in his cuisine, inquiring guests on what they prefer to order or how did they enjoy their dishes, sitting with some of them, and spending time with us as the restaurant public relations manager… He is certainly, with Helène Darroze in Paris, one of the very few top chefs with a high graduation (MBA). After spending a few years working in some Michelin Star restaurants in New York, he came back to his country to introduce a cuisine which we would describe as “very personal”. By chance this is not that much fusion; and by chance, this is very Thai. We would say, to approach a definition, that he operates a Thai wine pairing restaurant. Which is both ambitious and difficult. We never liked spicy food, sour tastes and coconut milk with wine. Ton actually changed made us change our opinion, with a 99% faultless diner.
Though our review won’t be up to date (“Le Du” means “seasons”, with fresh ingredients of the local production used according to their natural availability), we would like to describe our surprising experience. We ordered a la carte and from the recommended “Le Du’s Tasting Menu” (THB 2,590 / USD 75). Do like us, save your time and money: add the wine pairing option at THB 1690 / USD 50 for 6 glasses.
The light amuse-bouche, “Saoato Soup with Pork Liver Paté and Pork Skin Crackers”, cleaned our palate and opened our appetite. One glass of Spanish “Vintage Cava, Marta Reserva Brut”, 2011, paired ideally our three cold appetizers. “Khao Chae”, shrimp and pork ball, radish, salted fish, jasmine ice cream: fishy and succulent. You have to be Asian to like the chewy texture –and the size- of the “Raw Oyster”. Thus, accompanied with sweet acacia, chili gel, chili paste tiles, spicy cilantro granite, this was spicy enough to please our taste buds. We like it hot, “pet-pet”, and it was! Our preferred cold appetizer, “Raw Black Barracuda”, with chili, lemon, basil and a yummy red onion jam shall make us come back to Le Du, indeed. Paired with “Orvieto Classico, La Carraia, Umbria, 2013”: recommended with poultry, this refreshing Italian wine did a good job, cleaning up the spices from our palate.
Part “Two” a la carte, “From the Sea and Forest”, includes two of our favorite dishes. We would put as a number one the “River Prawn” with dried shrimp, tofu, tamarind, and chive. The prawn was undercooked to perfection: keeping all its juice and taste, allowing an ideal texture. Very fishy, yet balanced by the tamarind and chive. Chef Ton came to our table, and we congratulated him for the ad hoc pairing: “Grüner Veltliner Am Berg, Bernhard Ott, 2014, Wagram”. This Austria wine develops unexpected aromas of… curry! That was a discovery for us. No wine can pair Thai food that well.
We basically don’t like that much “Rosé d’Anjou”. We are French, and this surely objectively due to the fact that this wine is associated with cheap bistros and BBQs amongst friends in our country. That was the unique pairing which failed to seduce us. We should rather have emptied our glass of Grüner Veltliner with the fragrant, well textured “Wild Mushrooms”: this broth featuring bottle gourd and Northern-style sausage is our second preferred dish on the menu.
“Part Three” came “From The Ranch”, with a selection of the best local meats. The juicy “Local 30 Days Dry-Aged Beef Tenderloin”, with eggplants, young coconut shoots, and green curry, comes from a renowned farm located in Northeast Thailand. This bio meat competes in tenderness and taste with the premium beef from Texas, New Zealand or Argentina. Just impressive, paired with Cabernet-Sauvignon “Mont Gras, Reserva 2014, D.O Valle Central” from Chile. Almost as good as the glass of “Sangiovese, La Carraia, Genesi 2009”, strong, barrique, elegant, pairing the best Pork Belly which we ever tasted: aromatized with palm sugar and honey sauce, it almost melted in our mouth.
“Part Four” is dedicated to “Sin”, with a selection of three desserts. Straightly order the signature “Dill Ice Cream” if it is on the menu the day of your visit. Mixing orange and a powerful dark chocolate from Vietnam, this was with one glass of Vittoria coffee the best happy ending which we ever received in Thailand…
There is one thing which we liked as much as the high level of gastronomy and fast service in this noticeable restaurant, and it counts a lot: we have seen happy staff in the wall-of-windowed kitchen, smiling and communicating while actively working. That was the climax of a legendary dinner in a legendary restaurant.
Dress code smart casual.
Open for dinner only. Monday to Friday: 6.00 PM to 11.00 PM. Saturday 6.00 PM to 11.00 PM.
LE DU: 399/3 Silom soi 7 Silom, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500
PHONE: +66 92 919-9969
ROSSINI'S (*****L): So many awards and accolades didn't infatuate at all the chef and the staff of this five star, authentic “trattoria”. A top ten best Italian restaurants in Bangkok, housed in the ritzy Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit, it doesn't' look like a hotel restaurant at all. Reflecting the atmosphere of an upscale bistro, it pleased our eyes at first sight. Italian extravaganza comes everywhere: design, service, tableware, service and of course gastronomy.
Prices are on the high scale; at least on the Thailand standards. A dinner paired with decent Italian wine, and without further excesses like blue lobster and Alba white truffles, would cost around USD100. At least. This remains of course extremely reasonable compared with what you would be charged in Paris, London, or even Singapore, for a fancy experience in a five-star restaurant. Anyhow, those looking for a great value for money should rather do like us and come for lunch.
The “Business Lunch” went for approximately USD 15 the day of our visit. We liked the great choice of “Antipasti”: particularly the “Wild Alaskan Keta Tartare”. An upgraded quality of wild salmon, our “Keta” was nicely accompanied with red cabbage gazpacho, and celery. So digest! Those with a solid appetite will prefer the creamy, supremely succulent “Imported Burrata”, wild arugula, toasted pine nuts relish. Regularly featured on the menu, this is a signature dish. Like the tender “Charcoal Wagyu Rump”, and the recommended “Branzino Del Mediterraneo”: served with charred leeks and carrots, this kind of sea bass was the highlight of a faultless lunch. Nicely finalized with a classic “Tirami sú Rossini’s” or a more innovative “Cioccolata Calda” (hot chocolate foam, rum granite), served with the espresso coffee included in the bill. Add at least USD 10 for pairing your dishes with one glass of house wine.
Dress code smart casual (no shorts, no sportswear).
Open for lunch: 12.00 - 14.30 hours (Monday - Friday, except public holidays. Dinner: 18.00 - 22.30 hours (daily). Sunday Jazzy Brunch: 12.00 - 15.00 hours.
ROSSINI'S (hotel Sheraton Grande Sukhumvit): 250 Sukhumvit Road, 10110 Bangkok
PHONE: +662 649 8364 FACSIMILE: +662 649 8000
THE CHINA HOUSE (*****L): Inspired by Shanghai’s legendary Art Deco period, this is one of our favourite Cantonese restaurants in Thailand. Located in a stylish beautifully restored two-storey pavilion, opposite the main entrance door of the legendary Oriental Hotel (now Mandarin Oriental Hotel Bangkok), this is, with the excellent Mayflower at Dusit Thani, the most visited fine dining Chinese restaurant in town. Though we always preferred the "Oven roasted Peking Duck" at Siang Ping Loh, the rest of the signature dishes are unbeatable in term of preparation and ultra-stylish, mouth watering presentation by the most anticipating staff ever. Don't miss the well worth the trip "Black Pepper Wagyu Beef Tenderloin", wok seared with savory black pepper sauce and pistachio nuts. Or the Deep-fried, crunchy "Wasabi Prawns with a Mild Green Mustard Dressing and fresh Mango". Executive Chef Andy Leong Siew Fye a la carte menu is regularly updated, with a tempting selection of unlimited first class "Dim Sum" (Tue-Sat) and a Brunch Buffet (Sun) containing many signature dishes from the menu.
Note well that The China House adheres to a smart dress code for all guests, including children. Ladies are kindly asked to wear elegant attire and proper footwear. Gentlemen are kindly asked to wear smart shirt, long trousers and closed shoes.
Open 11:30am – 2:30pm (Tue - Sun). Dinner 7 - 10:30pm (Tue - Sun).
THE CHINA HOUSE (at THE MANDARIN ORIENTAL BANGKOK): 48 Oriental Avenue, Bangkok 10500
PHONE: +662 659 9000 Ext 7393 FACSIMILE: +662 659 0000
RIVERSIDE GRILL (*****L): A must, should you stay or not in the plush Royal Orchid Sheraton: this trendy and comfortable riverside dining venue competes in style and casualness with our favorite terraces in Bangkok (Riverside Terrace at Mandarin Oriental, The Terrace@72 at Ramada Plaza Menam Riverside...). The place is surprisingly intimate, and doesn't reflect at all the size and animation of the cyclopean Sheraton. The live jazz music brings a blue note of romance, and the “Menam” does the rest. Our tip: if you are looking for a full riverside experience: use the stylish and convenient Sheraton private shuttle boat service (it is available every half an hour from Saphan Taksin BTS station, from 10:00 AM until 10:00 PM). After this short seven minutes complimentary cruise, let the staff pamper you. The waitress who took care of us was so enthusiastic, most friendly yet discreet: popping in, just like miraculously, each time we needed her.
Chilling out with Aht Kalayanakupt's saxophone live melodies, watching the river life float by, we ordered a selection of grilled dishes “à la carte”. Starting with a classical, succulent Lobster Bisque. Our portion of Thai Barbecued Prawns “Goong Yang, served on garden leaves and fresh lime, was generous. Don't miss the Grilled Sea Bass “Pla Pao”: palatable with its three kinds of sauce and fresh vegetable. The crunchy Grilled Jumbo Prawns is a signature dishes, making the guests (featuring many local patrons) coming back. One of the best-established steak house in Bangkok, the Riverside Grill serves a legendary Roasted Milk-Fed Australian Lamb Rack, and melting Australian Wagyu Beef (try -and share- the 600 gr “Chateaubriand!).
We didn't ruin ourselves attending a pleasant night, which cost us about US$ 40 per head. Including one glass of Singha Beer, and an espresso coffee, which we enjoyed smoking a Partagas D4 at a separate table, not to disturb the dinners with the smoke. Tobacco is banished from most of the restaurants in Bangkok; if you are a cigar aficionado, keep this excellent terrace in mind.
Dress code smart casual.
Note that “Jazz on The River” plays only Friday and Saturday evening, from 6:00 PM until 8:00 PM.
Open 5:00 PM - 10:30 PM (bar only: 4:00 PM - 1:00 AM)
RIVERSIDE GRILL (at Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers): 2 Charoen Krung Road Soi 30 (Captain Bush Lane) Siphya, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500
PHONE: +66 2 266 0123 ext. 3126
SUPANNIGA CRUISE (*****L): Launched in 2017, the newest, most gourmet, romantic and expensive dinner cruise on the Chao Praya river is definitely superlative. A refined pleasure for the happy few, this is the complete opposite of the plebeian buffet-cruises attracting groups of Korean and Chinese tourists, constituting 99% of the traffic over the river after sunset. We did it like the 1%: invited in one of the pre-opening parties scheduled for travel agents, food writers, and chefs, and attended by the CEO of Supanniga Group, inquiring in person about his guests' impression to eventually improve what we would actually call perfection.
Let's start with the boat. Strategically sized and nicely designed to make a maximum of 40 high-end clients feel at ease, isolating at the end of the spacious tables for a romance, or socializing on the large, deep sofas astern on the lower and upper decks, it comes with a touch of contemporary elegance. Distinguishing itself very much from the other cruisers parking at River City pier, besides the Royal Orchid Sheraton & Towers.
The boarders are welcomed in style by the uniformed staff. This is Thailand! We found the same refinement like in the plush Mandarin Oriental Hotel, where we dropped our luggage as always. Contrary to many boats, Supanigga didn't make it Siamese by the design; trendy, cool, lounge-style, dinners are floating on a modern luxury cocoon. Two things capture the attention: the illuminated riverside and its landmarks... and the bar with its tempting wall of Champagne Taittinger. A prestigious partnership makes Reims so close to Bangkok, and France so close to our heart... and lips.
Almost all options include one glass of Taittinger. From the short (one hour) “Valentine's Sunset Champagne Taittinger Cruise” (THB 1,950 / person), till the most recommended “Dinner Champagne Taittinger Cruise” which we fully enjoyed during more than 2 hours, at only THB 3,250 per person (with a couple of glasses of good wine, it won't exceed THB 4,000). “Expensive” in comparison with the competitors catering with mass tourists, we found this flamboyant experience more than reasonably priced. A giveaway for western travelers, enjoying the atmosphere of a yacht for the price of a bistro in Paris!
The boat leaves its pier a 4:45 pm for evening cocktail cruise, and at 6:15 pm for the dinner cruise. It starts with a flute of Champagne, coming with “Mieng Platu Kapi Koh Chang”: an entertaining selection of amuses-bouche, grilled peanuts, dried fish, and exotic sauces for a great dip. Appetizers are Mahor (minced meat salad on a sliced orange), “Kratong Tong” (shortcrust pastry filled with curry) and our favorite, “Yum Som O Goong Sod” (spicy pomelo salad with prawn). Thai prawns are crunchy and tasty, and this was a pleasure to enjoy one more generous piece with our “Tom Yun Goong Yai”: traditional soup with mushrooms, coriander, lemongrass, and quite “pet” (spicy), with red chili. We found the food globally hot, and always liked it this way: it has to be spicy to taste like Thai! Another selection of authentic delicacies, “Sam Rub Thai” features some tapas-style portions of “Moo Cha Muang”(so fragrant pork curry with herbs), “Nam Prik Kai Pu” (most popular chili-based sauce), “Son In Law Egg” (golden-brown fried eggs), “Yum Pla Salad” (fish salad with green mango), and “Hor Mok Pu” (fish custard in a banana leave), all served with brown rice. That was the best of Thailand on a single tray! Then came the much expected “Mango Sticky Rice”, with a lot of coconut milk: this is from far the best dessert in all Asia. We are addicted!
After this dinner, well worth the best Thai restaurants in Bangkok (Sala Rim Nam for instance, or Le Du), the amazingly anticipating, so-friendly head-waiter proposed to serve our tea with “Petits Fours” , installed on a deep sofa, at the convivial club-style back section of the yacht. With a 360° panorama: the Royal Palace, Wat Pho, the Portuguese churches (one is illuminated close to River City; the other one, more discreet, is on the Thonburi side, close to Wat Arun), the colonial-style French Embassy and its park, and the rice barges descending the “Menam”. What a show! Our one and only regret: this is the ideal place for a cigar, and there was no “humidor” for the prestigious clients of this prestigious cruise. Lots of them are surely "cigar aficionados", and there is no better place like a deck to enjoy a Partagas D4 or a Montecristo N°2.
Once the all guests left the boat at River City, we asked the captain if we could stay aboard until he had his boat parked at the technical pier, at Riva Surya hotel, close to Khao San Road. That was a way to “steal” 20 more minutes aboard and to show, much more by any comment, how much we loved this thumbs up experience.
Dress code casual.
This one of the most attractive “Secret Tables” by “Secret Retreats”.
SUPANNIGA CRUISE: Head Office, 160/11 Sukhumvit 55 (Thonglor)
Klongton Nuea, Wattana, Bangkok, Thailand 10110
PHONE: +66 2 714 7608 / +66 97 238 8284
VOILA (*****L): The opulent hotel Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit has two signature restaurants. L'Appart, on its 32nd floor: competing in style with L'Atelier Robuchon or Le Normandie. And the more casual Voilà, with an exquisite French accent, plus the unique flavors of the best cuisine in the world.
Welcome by distinguished French staff, like in a Parisian posh restaurant, treated with better seafood than in Honfleur, Mont-Saint-Michel or Saint Malo, before enjoying a selection of refined cheese comparable to the one recently enjoyed in three-Michelin-star Epicure Paris and, last but not least, presented a bill based on the low-cost of living in Thailand... No doubt, we were sitting in Voilà, the French gastronomic embassy in Thailand: enjoying its legendary “Seafood Night Market” at approximately USD 55.
Open every Friday and Saturday evening, the “market” is a bright and fishy explosion of colors and iodized perfumes. With shelves of seafood delicacies, counters of fresh fish, sushi/sashimi and premium BBQ dishes, blue Lobster from New Zealand or Canada, “Langoustine” (scampi) from France, and different types of Belon and “Fine de Claire” oysters: including the hard to find “Bouzigues”, a gastronomic treasure from the region of Languedoc. Few restaurants in Bangkok propose Sea Urchins: Voilà does, and we found them generously filled, with that sweet taste revealing an amazing freshness. Shells aficionados will feed their passion with Razor Clam, Atlantic Mussel, Cockles and unique “Bulot” (sea snails from the Channel and French Atlantic). We have been impressed by the selection of different kinds of crabs: including “Tourteau” from Normandy or Brittany, which is certainly the best variety in the world, with the expensive Alaskan King Crab generously displayed over crushed ice.
The offer may change “selon arrivage”: according to the seasons. The rich resources of the Thai seas have not been forgotten, with the unique Slipper Lobster and Tiger Prawn. More common, yet palatable, Blue Crab, Squid, Scallops and Sea Bass are profusion.
We had a little of everything, except grilled meat (also included in the buffet, with excellent steaks), focusing only on seafood on this first and exciting visit. We have been impressed by the quality of the Blue Lobster, grilled “al dente”, and pleasantly iodized. The quota is set to “eat as much as you can”, except for lobster. The limitation is half a piece per person; the restaurant manager, trained in Michelin-starred Laurent Paris, was so courteous and brought another half piece to our table, just to extend the pleasure of the divine tasting. Try a Grouper, Sea Bream and Sea Bass BBQ, and you will feel like sitting on a Samui beachside terrace. Excellent! Don't forget to enjoy the so refined “Langoustines” and the rare, subtle river Crayfish.
We would have experienced the whole offer, but our stomach got quickly full. We wanted to keep some space for cheese. Voilà is surely the best place in Bangkok -maybe in Thailand!- for the experience: a glass-walled room, quite similar to a cigar chamber, refines Camembert AOP from Normandy, Munster, Roquefort, Gruyère, Livarot... All the treasures from the French patrimony are available (like the fish: “Selon arrivage”)... included in the price of the buffet! Some delicatessen and desserts are also on display, for those with a gargantuan appetite...
At approximately USD 10 by the glass, “Villa Antinori 2014, Trebbiano Malvasia”, Pinot Bianco from Tuscany, was an ideal pairing. A Little bit cheaper, the white Côtes-du-Rhône “Paul Jaboulet, Parallèle 45”, from France, did the job quite well also.
Note that, alternatively, and for approximately half the price od the “Seafood Night market”, the “Thai Seafood Dinner Buffet” features “all you can eat” fresh Thai seafood, every Sunday to Thursday from 6 pm to 10:30 pm.
From our long, so long time experience in Bangkok, we could confirm that Voilà has the best seafood buffet in the Kingdom of Thailand. Maybe in all Southeast Asia. Thumbs up or, as we say in France: “Chapeau bas!”.
Dress code smart casual.
VOILA (hotel Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit): 189 Sukhumvit Road Soi 13-15 Klongtoey Nua Wattana
PHONE: +66 2 1269999 FACSIMILE: +66 2 1269998
LE NORMANDIE (*****L): You are both gourmet and wealthy. You like superlative French wines and legendary Thai service. Le Normandie is the place for a happy fews. A French, highly experimented chef, and a stylish"Maître d'Hôtel", supervise this panoramic restaurant on the top floor of the lavish Mandarin-Oriental Bangkok hotel "Garden Wing": setting a splendid menu for its distinguished guests. Fairly good value for money at lunch time, with a classic "à la carte" at approximately THB 1,500-2,500 with one or two glasses of wine, it comes actually expensive for dinner. From what we could see, Le Normandie is very much visited by the local society (Queen Sirikit loves it: dinning there at least once per month) and European expats, nostalgic of the Western cuisine.
We particularly enjoyed the Duck Liver, paired with an excellent Sauterne, the Supreme of Lobster and the Filet Mignon (juicy and tender) with vegetables strudels. Most of the ingredients are freshly imported from France: only two or three authentic French restaurants in Bangkok can afford it.
Cheese is wonderful, with a great variety from not so common Murol to popular Bresse Bleu, and from aristocratic Roquefort to Brie de Meaux, generously served on a trolley. As a dessert, we recommend the "Creme Renversée": a pure delight, which comes on the regularly updated menu.
Time has gone, unfortunately, when a French "maestro" was hired for a long term as a consultant (Troisgros, Senderens, Vrinat... all of them have worked for Le Normandie); the new generation of world famous chefs still visit Le Normandie on special occasions, conducting special culinary menus.
Le Normandie remains one of our best addresses in Bangkok for those who like the "Cuisine Bourgeoise". Certainly the most prestigious.Dress code business formal.
SOFITEL SO BANGKOK
might sound a play on words, but the new Sofitel
So is really the new haunt for the
high-So: attracted not only by the modern and chic concept, but also by
a luscious cuisine paired with a very unique selection of wine from
and the “New World”. A favorite for the young, casual
local youngsters, Red
Oven, introduces itself as a showcase kitchen representing
passion for the culinary arts. We sat there a couple of unforgettable
hours, for a legendary buffet dinner. Not one of those sickly “all you
can eat” exhibition of cheap food, but live cooking stations, boosting
a selection of fresh seafood (where rock lobsters come from Phuket, and
oysters from Normandy), cooked-to-order warm foie gras or roasted lamb
from Australia and New Zealand, French baguette and special breads
directly from the oven, crispy pizza and the best Japanese specialities
in Thailand (not only shushis...). The cheese was cautiously selected
and ripened: it featured French “Pont L'Evêque”, Swiss “Tête de Moine”,
Spanish Manchego (we tasted it with fabulous “Jamon Jabugo” ham) and
other imported regional brands. The pastries were so refined,
that we could believe that Pierre Hermé came from Paris to prepare the
ideally textured and yummy macaroons just for ourselves! At less than
EUR 50 (with one glass of wine), where could be find better value
Dress business formal.SOFITEL SO BANGKOK: 2 North Sathorn Road, Bangrak, Bangkok 10500
PHONE: +66 (0) 2 624 0000 FACSIMILE: +66 (0) 2 624 0111
RANG MAHAL (*****): Good Indian restaurants are overabundant in Bangkok, which is certainly, together with London, the most interesting city outside India to experience a great curry or a succulent tandoori. But when it comes to entertain itself in style, the local Indian community goes nowhere but in the Rang Mahal.
Arguably one of the best gourmet restaurants we have experienced in Bangkok, it occupies the 26th floor of the luxurious Rembrandt Hotel, and gives the impression of dinning in a real « rang mahal » (name given to the banqueting room, where the maharajahs of India were treated to the best food, drinks and music). Decorated with complicated mirror work and lovely paintings, the restaurant has a heavily carpeted large main dining room, filled with Indian music. This is where you will feel the beat on: the atmosphere is festive, though of course quite noisy. Indians guests book their table there far in advance; the first time visitor will get more chance to have his table reserved in the second room, close to enormous windows with a splendid view over Bangkok or, even better, in the large, breezy terrace, ideal for al fresco romance... or smoking a cigar.
No need to be connoisseurs of this cuisine to enjoy the yummy truly authentic Northern Indian specialities brought to our table by a myriad of servants supervised by a beautiful hostess acting like a seducing «maître d'hôtel». We simply followed her wise advice, and have been served a best of the Indian cuisine in fine porcelain plates sorted to luxurious silverware.
The «Tandoori Nazrane» are kebabs made out of selected Indian herbs and spices, according to secret recipes which have been handed down the generations to the present time. Wonderful appetizers, they feature « Tandoori Prawns » (THB 675), marinated in succulent spices, and finished in a charcoal oven. Crunchy, amazingly palatable, those jumbo prawns constituted a great introduction to our banquet. It came with « Saada Chawal » (THB 195): fluffy steamed Basmati rice. We loved the « Makhani Naan » (THB 100), fine flour bread topped with butter, and the « Laccha Paratha » (THB 100), multi-layered whole-wheat flour bread, which came with our « Murgh Tikka » (THB 395): so tender pieces of boneless chicken marinated in spices, then grilled in the Tandoori. We had it with « Dal-Maa Rang Mahal » (THB 250): black lentils cooked with asafoetida, garlic and tomatoes. Simmered over night on a charcoal fire, this legendary « Dal », enriched with butter and cream, is a Rang Mahal specialty. Our happy stomach was full, but couldn't resist a small portion of « Burra Kebab » (THB 425): Mutton delicately flavored, and finished in clay oven.
A real Indian banquet ends with a rich selection of desserts. Out of the great choice offered at the Rang Mahal, we pick up the « Gulab Jamun » (THB 175). This was the first time that we tasted those cream cheese dumplings, flavored with cardamom, saffron, and topped with roasted almonds. Energetic would be an euphemism to describe such a rich specialty. Forget your scale, and order it: this is simply yummy.
menus are available, which we found very good value for money. The
Menu» would be a perfect initiation to the Rang Mahal resources,
at THB 995 ++. It comes with Tea Masala; though we would like to recommend the
astonishing Indian «Champagne IVY Brut, Chateau
An interesting New World style wine, blended from Chardonnay,
Blanc, Riesling and Muscat. Displaying an inviting clear straw color,
a lasting stream of effervescence, we found it better than many
or South African sparkling wines.
HAOMA (*****L): Always a trusted source for an astonishing gourmet experience, «Secret Tables» reserved our second Indian dinner of the week in this cushy, romantic restaurant hidden in a quiet lane of Sukhumvit: a five minutes taxi ride from the bustling Asoke road, with an easy access by BTS station Asoke. We neglected a bit to visit Haoma website in detail, as we already know much about Indian classics. We also like to feel surprised, discovering a restaurant in situ, with our eyes and palate. So great was our surprise to see how different young and dynamic Chef Deepanker Khosla, aka DK's cuisine was from what we experienced a few days before in Rang Mahal!
Our personal vision of an Indian restaurant is either very basic, with steel gobelets and plastic seats, either bling, with all the tacky notes of the oriental arguable notion of luxury. From the 2 dollars eateries in Pahurat to the hyper-chic Rang Mahal, both categories are plentiful in Bangkok. But Haoma is unique. Both in term of design and cookery.
The street is pleasantly residential. The restaurant integrates itself so well in one of the plentyful 1970s villas, that our taxi got so problem to find it. Our GPS, and the fancy cars parking in front, helped a lot to identify this gastronomic hideaway. A restaurant with a garden, or a garden with a restaurant? Haoma is green. It has a fabulous collection of organic plants, amongst the most common and also the rarest, and also a fish tank. Not an aquarium; no, actually a large tank growing different species, extracted just a few minutes before getting into DK's pans. Fresh ingredients is the secret of superlative fares.
The open cuisine stood a bit away from our table. The room was quite full the evening of our visit. We therefore couldn't sit by to the bay window, with a garden view: this is the place to be, to fully enjoy the romantic atmosphere of the simple yet classy, intimate dining-room. We felt like more in a Beverly Hills or Saint-Tropez eatery for the upper-class foodies than in Bangkok. By no mean did we had the impression to visit an Indian restaurant, shouldn't it be the inviting fragrance of the spices.
The “connoisseur” of Indian cuisine felt disorientated receiving the 9-course menu. There was actually no reference to the curries, tikka, and whatever we used to experience before. DK explained to us that Haoma was one of the very few places in Southeast Asia for “neo-Indian” cuisine. Dishes served in his place refer to the now forgotten regional specialties -with a Madras influence- from the centuries before the British protectorate. We suddenly felt like absolute beginners: luckily, the friendly chef, assisted by his head waiter, visited our table before and after each dish. Kindly guiding our first paths into a totally new culinary experience, illustrated by fireworks of unique flavors enlightening our palate, without any “faux pas”!
The “9-Course Nature Menu” (THB 2,390 / USD79) is a good choice to alternatively enjoy mountain, sea, and urban farm ingredients, presented to the table with the imagination and sometimes extreme sophistication of a French Michelin-Star restaurant. Halfway between Marc Veyrat and Pierre Gagnaire. The wine pairing is reputed attractive, but we never drink wine with Indian food. Beer eventually, though we prefer Lassi. We realized that the slightly sparkling water with lime, served on a regular basis by the anticipating staff, paired DK's cuisine ultra sophisticated aromas so ideally that kept on it from appetizer until dessert.
We started with “Gaulauti Cornets” set of Wild Mushrooms, Spices, Citrus Gel, and local Truffles. Oddly served on a trunk, it was a bit spicy. Interesting yet a bit disorientating: just a good method to prepare our palate to the rest of the experience. “Oyster & Corn Tartar”, Cilantro, Corn, and Yuzu Lemon, displayed on a super slim toast, presented over a whole piece of corn, like a masterpiece of Modern Art, was superlative. Very fishy, that was definitely our favorite dish. Michelin-star worth!
“Golgappa”, Chick Pea, Potato, Tamarind, Mint & Yoghurt, boasted all the tastes of India in one single bite (oh yes: the portions were small). It came paired with a magic potion made from Green Mango, Cumin, and mixed spices, which should be absorbed to develop the aromas of the Golgappa. An Indian version of Gazpacho, “Tomato Mist” was a refreshing broth associating Haoma Farm Tomato, Whey, Haoma Leaf, Blueberry & Cucumber ice.
Main dish was illustrated by a collection of signatures fares, always available on the menu. Making the guests (mostly Westerners, Thais, and still a few Thai-Indians) coming back. Our preferred was “The Disappearing Duck”: eccentric, indeed! With crispy Poultry Wing, Sticky Rice, Haoma Urban Farm Greens, and a Curry Jelly Duck on which the maitre d' poured a warm broth melting it into a curry foam! We observed the trick much time on a chocolate bowl; never on curry. That was one of the best dishes on the menu. “Hoama on a Bite”, Hoama Raised Fish, Sashi, Haoma Greens & Raisin Jam, mixed fish, spices and greens of the garden compressed in one bite. “Farmers Fuel”, featured Eggplant Relish, Mango Pickle, Tomato Chutney which we spread over a mini Pati bread. Again, the rustic display reminded us of Marc Veyrat.
The signatures sampling ended with DK's most famous recipe: “Me in a Bowl”, concentrating his favorite savors in a single dish. Ultra tender Charbroiled Chicken, creamy Makhani Curry, Pickled Shallots & Mint Chutney. Served with a Naam, compressed like a Crumpet. A delicacy.
“Nadia”, chef's girlfriend, gave her name to a Chocolate dessert, with Cherry Sorbet, Raspberry, and Rose Ham, decorated with some lovely pearls of “hoax caviar”. Nice pastry job, together with the “Petits Fours” featuring a noticeable “Aniseed Cake with White Chocolate”.
If Haoma, operating since 2017, doesn't receive a first Michelin-star in the next couple of years, either the inspectors or ourselves don't know what is a grand restaurant.
HAOMA:231/3 Sukhumvit Rd, Khwaeng Khlong Toei Nuea, Bangkok 10110, Kingdom of Thailand
PHONE: +66 22584744
Star Chef Theo Randall's first venture outside the UK, this 75-cover
cool open-plan dinning room with outdoor seating, inaugurated in 2015
in the top-luxury InterContinental
hotel, in the heart of Bangkok shopping and business district, is
a top 5 best Italian restaurants in Bangkok. It was full like an egg
the day of our visit. With a lunchtime mixture of foreign businessmen,
smart Sino-Thai and young tourists looking for a classy gastronomic
experience at a fair price and who, maybe, already knew Randall from
his successful eponymous restaurant at the InterContinental Park Lane,
London. This is where chef Chris Beverley has been trained; he
perfectly replicates in Bangkok Randall's legendary antipasti, contorni
(side dishes), and pizza. Fish, meat and game plates, roasted, sautéed,
a la plancha, are simply mouth watering.
Dress code casual.
EURASIAN GRILL (*****): This fine dining restaurant recently opened in the excellent Ramada Plaza Menam Riverside Hotel, combining an attractive selection of gourmet food in a five star environment. Unbeatable price and exceptional quality both define this plush restaurant with a classy yet friendly atmosphere, where a high-end cuisine sourced from local finest seasonal produces is served moderately priced: set or a-la-carte.
You will like the French Oven Baked Onion Soup and Bouillabaisse, or the more international yet much refined Lobster Bisque, served with Seared Hokkaido Scallop topped with a Cream and lamp Caviar. All soups cost approximately THB 200 during our visit, in winter 2015. Seafood delicacies, like Fresh Clam Cove Oysters with Shallot Red Wine Vinegar and Yellow Lemon, or Pan fried Sea Bass with Saffron Mussel Broth, Creamed Potatoes Spring Vegetables (about THB 500) are signature dishes. The attractive “Meat Market” features Pan fried Lamb Loin, with Carrot-Apple Ginger Puree, Black Truffle Potato Croquette enhanced with Thyme Lamb Jus and the signature Grilled Tenderloin from” Hakata Wagyu” Beef, with Pan Fried Foie Gras Served with Spinach, Porcini Cannelloni Roasted Potato and Port (one of the most expensive dishes, at approximately THB 1,500). As a dessert, we recommend the Lemongrass Crème Brule served with Mango Sorbet (THB 150 the day of our visit).
There is a large selection of wines at all prices, featuring fair-valued house wines by the glass, and legendary cocktails expertly elaborated since decades by the hotel barmaids (enjoy one glass Baang Kho Leam, Bacardi Light Rum, spiced with Ginger and cooled by a touch of Banana).
Dress code casual.
EURASIAN GRILL (at Ramada Plaza Menam Riverside Hotel): 2074 Charoenkrung Rd., Bangkorlaem, Bangkok 10120
PHONE: +66 (0) 268 81000 FACSIMILE: +66 (0) 229 19400, +66 (0) 229 11048
THE TERRACE@72 (*****): We gladly experienced during the same week this restaurant at the Ramada Plaza Menam Riverside hotel, and also the Riverside Terrace at the Mandarin Oriental. Both have an idyllic setting on the banks of the Chao Phraya River: offering guests a classy dining with a beautiful view. Comparatively, the Terrace@72 is less formal, more kids friendly and better value for almost the same five star offer. Mixing Indian, Japanese and western cuisines with very authentic local Thai and Chinese delicacies, the Terrace@72 daily fresh offers feature an amazing selection of seafood, meats, homemade desserts and salads, served buffet-style from open-kitchen.
Should you be a tourist or a resident in Bangkok, do like us and experience the terrace for one of the best riverside breakfasts in town. The service, in this remarkably well managed hotel, meets a peak at the Terrace@72 . Though more than one thousand guests are catered each morning by the very active and friendly staff, we felt like the center of attraction with our double espresso coffee refilled as soon as we emptied our cup, plates and cutlery removed from our table as soon as we finished a dish, and always a kind word and a warm smile from part of the motivated and anticipating waiters and nice looking waitresses.
The waterfront dining experience at sunset is so romantic. Sitting al fresco, enjoying mouth-watering barbecued seafood and meats before visiting the decadent dessert station boasting a variety of delicious pastries, creams and tropical fruits, is a most epicurean experience.
Note that, besides the buffet offer, orders can also be taken from The Waves Restaurant (for a la carte or a set menu, plus great monthly specials). The Waves has a different offer, and certainly one of the best Thai Cuisine menus which we experienced in Bangkok, produced by the enthousiastic Executive Chef Boonplook Thiengsoosuk. He supervises all the restaurants in the hotel, with a personal passion for the regional, homey cuisine served "Pet-Pet" (very spicy) the day of our visit, and so nicely presented in the plate.
Average bill for set menu/buffet, with one glass of beer or house wine at Terrace@72 and Waves restaurants, is approximately THB 3,000++ for 2 persons.
Dress code casual.
Open for daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner from 6.00 am – 11.00 pm
THE TERRACE@72 (at Ramada Plaza Menam Riverside Hotel): 2074 Charoenkrung Rd., Bangkorlaem, Bangkok 10120
PHONE: +66 (0) 268 81000 FACSIMILE: +66 (0) 229 19400, +66 (0) 229 11048
STEAKHOUSE (*****): Located
in the ritzy JW
Marriott hotel, this plush, private-club like restaurant
the best steak houses in Bangkok. The top quality fresh chilled meat,
from the USA and Australia, comes out from grain fed beef: which
tender and juicy steaks. We ordered a Rib Eye Steak
(14 oz) from
Omaha (Nebraska): cut from the center of the rib, this «
Angus Beef » steak develops an excellent full bodied flavor.
Although slightly more fatty than the Fillet Mignon,
Australian Grain Fed Prime Rib or the legendary NY
(one of the restaurant signatures), the flesh melts on the grill and
rare or medium, always very juicy. As a side dish, we chose Deutsch
Asparagus: light and palatable, creating a smart association
aristocratic beef (at THB 1,700, we could even call it « royal
Steaks and fillets arrive on their plate with minimal adornment: we had
it with a full bodied, aromatic red wine from South Africa: a superb «
Kanonkop Cadette, Merlot Cabernet » (THB 570 by the glass / THB 2,700
You don't like meat? No problem: the New-York Steakhouse is still a place for you. It has got remarkable seafood. We experienced the Lobster Bisque : friendly Chef Dieter Ruckenbauer knows how to make it! The French way: with Cognac and generous bites of crunchy lobster... This is the specialty which will make us come back. A great value for money, at THB 340 only! Many guests like the Seafood Mixed Grill (THB 1,650): with lobster, salmon, tiger prawns, tuna loin and swordfish. Another super fresh delicacy is the Seafood Market, featuring lobster tails, mussels, oysters and shrimps, served on crushed ice by the small (THB 1,600) or large (THB 2,950) portion. Have it with a refreshing, well chilled French « Château Alexis Lichine, Chardonnay » (THB 450 by the glass).
Salads are another signature: prepared tableside, the Caesar Salad (THB 390), with anchovies and pork bacon, can be accompanied by a wide variety of rich, palatable sauces.
For dessert, don't hesitate: the New York Cheesecake, rich and decadent, is simply a must.
Dress code business formal... just to feel at ease in front of the dressed to kill French Maître d'Hôtel!
The Bangkok society loves this place, which is also very much visited by the hotel residents: so reservation is as warmly recommended as the restaurant.
dinner only, 6:00PM – 11:00PM.
NEW-YORK STEAKHOUSE (at JW MARRIOTT HOTEL BANGKOK ): 4 Sukhumvit Road, Soi 2, Bangkok 10110
PHONE: +662 656 7700 FACSIMILE: +662 656 7711
CIAO (*****): What a location for a romantic moonlight diner! Settled between the river Chao Phraya and the tropical gardens of The Oriental «Authors' Lounge», this is certainly our favorite terrace in Bangkok. You feel like far from Italy, with a breathtaking panorama on the starlit «menam» (=river), jammed with rice barges, speedboats and ferries; but we must recognize that the food is close to what we would have enjoyed in a Roman trattoria. The sauces are lighter, the olive-oil dosed with parsimony; but we are in a tropical country and, indeed, your stomach will like it. Else, the pizzas are cooked in an authentic Neapolitan wood-fired oven. There is a variety of home-made pasta which make the Italian diaspora, quite active in Bangkok, come back again and again.
We enjoyed very much the Antipasto of small Calamari, with Sun Wilted Plum Tomatoes, Oven Roasted Pumpkin, Small Olives and Sweet "Pepperoni" (THB 380), which is one the chef's signatures. Very light and tasty. Another favorite: the Casareccia Pasta With Lamb Meat Balls, Salted Ricotta and Touch of Chillies (THB 390). The Original "Alex Cesare Cardini" Salad, with Anchovy Fillets, Garlic Tiles and Parmesan (THB 380) is a best seller. The Risotto with Crustaceans, Green Asparagus, Aromatic Herbs and Drops of Saffron Oil (THB 450) has been adapted to the climate, and we liked very much this light, palatable version of what is basically supposed to be quite an heavy meal.
Excellent desserts, featuring original Italian ice-creams.
We had our diner with a very affordable (THB 400 by the glass) «Primo Amore 2006 IGT, Pinot Grigio delle Venezie» with light pear and almond aromas, with dilute fresh pear fruit flavors and a soft and slightly tart finish. Interesting and refreshing.
Friendly and efficient service, supervised by Khun Nattanone: the «Maître d'Hôtel », which has been working at The Oriental for ages.
recommend this genuine, affordable Italian restaurant.
Dress code casual.
PHONE: +662 659 9000 FACSIMILE: +662 659 0000
SALA RIM NAAM (*****L): Our first great tourist and gastronomic experience in Thailand. Still under the jet lag, we booked our diner at the Sala Rim Naam in The Mandarin Oriental Hotel. This was a delight: after crossing the river Menam Chao Phraya in an old fashion teak wood ferry-boat, when at dawn the lights of the ships are starting reflecting in the obscure water, we reached the Thonburi's right bank where is located the Sala Rim Naam, just behind a romantic garden and terrace. Our dreamed Thailand became reality as soon as we stepped into this traditional and luxurious pavilion: a stream of servants drove us to a table -after our shoes had been softly removed !- kneeling quite permanently in front of us to present a set menu of tasty typical specialties.
Meanwhile, we were entertained by dances from old Siam court, and episodes of masked Ramakian performed by "katoeys" (transvestites) any honest man would feel ready to marry on the spot... discovering quickly the sad reality ! Royal treatment, indeed. We left the Sala Rim Naam little bit dizzy with nostalgia, sweet music, great spicy food and cool Singha beer. A servant (could we talk about "waiter" or "waitress" in this such a noble place?...) returned our shoes, delicately polished. Was it a dream ? No: this was Thailand, Sala Rim Naam, and the superlative luxury of The Oriental.
Rim Nam is also serving lunch. In a quiet and very local atmosphere
of guests were upper class Thai residents- we experienced their
buffet: lots of crispy, chewy, spicy, sour and sweet delicacies! With
still that unique quality in term of food,
beverage and service! Booking is essential.
Dress code casual.
DA VINCI (*****): Being one of the top 5 best Italian restaurants in Bangkok wasn't good enough: a complete refurbishment undergone in 2017 completely transforms the little bit too corporate experience from the past years, into the total illusion of seating in a homely Tuscan trattoria, enjoying at poolside the light breeze from the 4th floor of the excellent hotel Rembrandt. Walls have been pulled down, making the al fresco atmosphere so relaxing and romantic. The white/red checked tablecloths, Italian melodies, a pizzaiolo cooking 100% authentic Neapolitan pizza in the new wood-fired oven imported from Italy (“-Our Rolls Royce” proudly says Executive Chef Vittorio Bertini)... no doubt: gastronomy comes with a real Italian touch at Da Vinci.
The Rembrandt is, with Sofitel Sukhumvit, Mandarin-Oriental, and Ramada Riverside, one of the best grand hotels in F&B. This a place where food is still artisanal, and guests serviced as individually and courteously as in a small restaurant. Da Vinci is the most intimate dining venue at Rembrandt. A concentration of Epicurean delicacies, the menu focuses on fresh specialties, with lots of vegetable and fish, served with pasta, over pizza, or separately.
We had our aperitive (Martini Rosso “on the rocks”, of course) with home-backed “Bruschetta”, served with “Pomodoro Salsa” (tomato, oregano, garlic, and shallot). “Pasta Fresca” participates to the reputation of Da Vinci: we would recommend the succulent “Fettucine Al Nero Di Sepia”. The sepia black ink noodles are one of our favorite Italian specialties, and those prepared by Chef Vittorio are simply unique: fishy, nicely textured, tossed with baby squids, chopped garlic, a little bit of chili, and a fragrant olive oil from Tuscany. “Ravioli Panna e Tartuffo”, richly filled with ricotta cheese in rich truffle cream sauce, is another signature pasta making the patrons coming back. Most of those “Pasta Fresca” dishes are incredibly affordable, at approximately USD 10.
“Italian Pasta” is slightly cheaper but equally refined. We like the system: after selecting the dried pasta (Long like Capellini, Linguine, etc... Or short like Penne, Rigatoni), we have been invited to select our favorite sauce with topping (we recommend “Aglio Olio A.O.P” extra olive oil, garlic, dry chili, freshly grated Parmesan cheese).
Now, what about the pizza? With a thin, crispy dough, topped with fresh tomatoes and generous portions of vegetables, meats or seafood, and prime quality melted cheese, they made us like traveling to Napoli. Though our favorite Pizza is always the classic “Margherita”, we had been suggested to experience the signature “Da Vinci”. It delightfully features tomato sauce, mushrooms, Gorgonzola, Mozzarella, and thin slices of aristocratic “San Daniele prosciutto”! One of the best hams in the world. At less than USD 10, we would say that no one should miss the seven-star pizza at Hotel Rembrandt. Back to Bangkok in a few weeks, we shall visit Da Vinci again for pizza and... “Prime Rib Steak Fiorentina”. We can't call this restaurant a steakhouse. Though it has premier meat at a fair price. Around USD 50 for one kilogram of juicy Australian beef Angus, serving 2 or 3 hungry guests is more than acceptable. That time we preferred some light and sappy seafood: “King Tiger Prawn Skewer”, marinated in lemon-olive oil, grilled over the charcoal, and served with tomato-garlic salsa. Like most of the fish specialties, it costs around USD 10.
The wine list features a clever selection of Italian, New World, and French brands for all budgets. There are some rare, astonishing Thaï wines. We must acknowledge that the quality increased a lot...on par with the price. A decent bottle of local wine starts from USD 50... It is nevertheless well worth the try.
We concluded this most satisfying lunch with the yummiest “Tiramisu” ever. Alternatively, we would suggest the fragrant “Tortino”: warm chocolate fondant, served with a subtly perfumed pistachio ice-cream.
Dress code casual.
Open 12:00 - 23:00.
THE RIVERSIDE TERRACE (*****): A superb view on the river Chao Phraya, one of the best trained staff in town and a pharaonic buffet make the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok romantic Riverside Terrace one of the most pleasant al fresco restaurants we ever experienced in Asia. The night of our diner, the restaurant was full with what actually keeps on building the legend of the oldest and most luxurious hotel in Bangkok: elegant and educated guests, giving the impression that we joined a private party. The cornucopia of fresh salads, grilled meat, French cheese and elaborated pastries is worth the picture. What should make us come back, indeed, is the selection of seafood, where king size prawns and yummy rock lobsters are provided generously (we shameless ate four of them...). Fish is either grilled over the charcoal, either tandoored in a traditional Indian oven. In both cases, the cooking time is always perfect, and the flesh comes tasty and tender; neither on the chewy side. Guest from the Middle-East -and exotic gourmets alike- can enjoy mezze, kebabs, lamb or turkey “shawarma”. More and more Japanese travellers visit the hotel; they like the selection of Sushi and a delicious Teppanyaki.
We concluded our meal with a strong coffee from Thailand (as strong and perfumed as the best Italian brands) and a cigar, watching the traditional Thai riverside life, drifted by the sight and sounds of the “menam” and the discreet melodies of the live band playing almost every night. That's a good life!
The service was so good that we expressed our satisfaction to one of the waiters, working for the hotel since... 25 years. Despite of the re-branding, the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok remains The Oriental: a still brilliant “Old Lady”!
Open daily for dinner 7:00pm -10:45pm.
THE RIVERSIDE TERRACE (at THE MANDARIN ORIENTAL BANGKOK)
PHONE: +662 659 9000 Ext. 7610 FACSIMILE: +662 659 0000
MEXICANO (*****): The Mexican culinary tradition is a unique thing, full of depth and wonder which only fresh local ingredients can provide. We are on a tropical land producing most of the vegetables, bulbs, plants, spices, fruits, fish and meat included in most of the recipes. A good combination: we are in a hotel providing the little bonuses for an upscale dinner: imported US steaks, prime quality tequilas and alcohol, and a splendid service worth the ++ on the reasonable bill.
When lots of local patrons visit Mexicano for the folklore (every evening -except Monday- it has the unique Mariachi live music band in the Kingdom of Thailand!), the excellent Rembrandt Hotel residents come with the expectation of a rich and entertaining gastronomic experience. Everything has been done to transform the former Señor Pico, a popular venue until its rebranding in 2012, into the prime, 100% authentic Mexican (and not Tex-Mex) restaurant in Bangkok. Our last dinner proved that the challenge was successful, with a cheerful cuisine in a warm family atmosphere.
la carte menu”
features all the specialties, including popular dishes like “Guacamole
en Molcajete”, prepared by the table, traditionally, with fresh
avocados, onion, chilies and lemon, hand-pressed by a mortar in a
pestle carved from volcanic rock. Topping crispy home-made tacos, it is
ideally paired with one glass of Singha beer… or Corona, to make it
100% Mexican. A light fare, the “Ensalada de Pollo” (Chicken Salad), as
simple and basic at it might look, is a delicious family recipe.
Originating from “Baja California”, “Tacos Baja” is one of our favorite
dishes at Mexicano: crispy battered fish in a corn tortilla, topped
with a cilantro slaw and a homemade tartar sauce, this is a chef’s
signature. Another best seller, which will actually make us come back:
“Lamb Leg Skewer”, so tender and juicy, can’t be missed if this is your
first visit. Served in a generous portion, it can feed two people.
Though “Churros” is more like a Spanish popular coffee-shop specialty, we were as astonished as happy to see those fried dough pastries proposed on the menu. Served like in Madrid, with strong and thick hot dark chocolate, that was one of the yummiest desserts enjoyed in our stay in Bangkok.
Though located in a five-star hotel, the bill sounds as popular as the concept: approximately USD 30 – 40 per person, with beer, for a very festive dinner.
BREEZE (*****): High-rise and high-end! We loved at first sight this impressive dinning scene, spread over two-stories atop the luxurious Lebua At State Tower hotel. We had our table booked a few weeks in advance -the restaurant is always full- on the 52nd floor, in the al fresco terrace which is accessible by a glass sky-bridge that is illuminated by an alternative spectrum of colors. We were lucky enough to be seated beside a glass balcony, more than 200 meters above the Menam Chao Phraya river, enjoying a dramatic panorama over the most exciting and bustling megalopolis in Asia.
Such a great location would be more than enough to attract tourists: overcharging them with mediocre food. Which is not at all Breeze management's choice. Part of the «Dome At State Tower» gastronomic concept (the best top class gastronomic restaurants in Bangkok, concentrated under one roof), Breeze features authentic Asian seafood cuisine. Better than Singapore. Dethroning Hong Kong. Was it the addition of many glass of Laurent-Perrier Champagne? Was it the pure oxygen breathed over the Bangkok legendary smog? Was it simply the amazing quality of the top class dishes brought to our table? We became euphoric after our first starter: a «Steamed Dim Sim Basket» (THB 930), featuring a sophisticated selection of supreme Lobster Siew Mai, Chive Dumplings, rare Zucchini Prawn Dumplings and Chilean Sea Bass Mooli Rolls. Our companion had Wasabi Prawns, crispy friend and tossed with Wasabi Cream (THB 510), which we would also like to recommend. Our «Chicken and Shark's Fin Soup» (THB 1,8000) was a delicacy: shark's fin is a legendary Chinese specialty. One of the most expensive also. It displays a very special savour, and comes like a very healthy meat, saturated with vitamines.
As a main dish, we did it the Chinese way, ordering a selection of the best Breeze specialties for the whole table. The Baked Chilean Sea Bass (THB 1,180), is prepared like in the best three Michelin Star we had visited in our long gastronomic life. We have been impressed, indeed, by the preparation of our fish, glazed with Chinese Honey, and served with fried Mushrooms, Kailan (a bitter-sweet green vegetable) and light Hoisin Sauce. It was competing, in term of savor and quality, with the yummy «Wok-Fried live Australian Lobster XO», with Wing Beans and Mushrooms, in a light red Chili XO sauce. At THB 3,450, this is one of the most expensive fares on the menu; but well worth the price. You can get lobster at a more balanced rate, ordering the «Breeze Fried Rice»: an epicurean dish, with diced Abalone, Crab meat, and a generous portion of lobster minced meat. A pure, divine, delicacy! At THB 1,900, we won't hesitate and order it again next time we visit Breeze.
Desserts concentrates on one page in the menu. Great value for money (all come at THB 320). We just loved the «Portuguese Egg Tart with Birds Nest» (a delicacy collected in the South of Thailand), which is the pastry chef's specialty, together with the «Breeze on Ice» ( a refreshing selection of petit desserts on ice).
Though Breeze enjoys one of the best -if not simply the best!- wine cellar in the Kingdom of Thailand, we ordered neutral beverages, not interfering with the delicate savor of the Chinese gastronomic cuisine. Two glasses of Laurent-Perrier Brut (at THB 1,980 by the glass) and a few cups of Jasmine Tea perfectly accompanied this sumptuous dinner.
Guiness Book of Records reminds that the most expensive dinner ever has
been served under «The
Dôme», at 1 Million US dollars a head!!! Please, don't
be frightened: you will spend about THB 8-15,000 per person for a
set menu dinner, with one or two glasses of good wine. Less than half
price applied in a two Michelin Star restaurant in Europe. Which makes
this expensive restaurant still one of the best values in
PHONE: +662 624 9999 FACSIMILE: +662 624 9998
EMPTY PLATES (****L): Nothing is more difficult than giving stars to a restaurant... moreover when it is not a restaurant... We knew about those many chefs visiting their clients' house, to prepare tailored made menus for their guests; yet, we ignored Chef Steven John's kind of business, consisting in welcoming gourmets in his private apartment, located just a few MRT metro stations from the city center of Bangkok. It took us less than ten minutes from Sukhumvit, followed by a two minutes walk, to be warmly welcomed by Steven in the lobby of his residence. A couple joined the dinner that night, promising to be intimate and friendly. Some evening, when up to ten persons sit in the colorful dining-room, it is more party like. The surprise factor is a bonus... together with the menu: we didn't know at all what Steven prepared for us!
With a Swiss father and Thai mother, both passionate in gastronomy, we could forecast a bit the kind of cuisine he might like to cook. Swiss / French cuisines are close cousins. With a nice marriage to the Thai one, the diner was promising to be excellent. Moreover, Steven is a bit of an autodidact. He learned how to cook on the job: step by step, and spoon after spoon. A recruiter from airlines crew, he recently resigned to concentrate on Empty Plates: operating since 2018 only, it is so well patronized that Steven is now devoting himself by 100% to his small, nicely equipped kitchen.
Set for two, tables are settled like in a bistro. Close to each other. Facilitating the discussion between all the diners, which was mostly oriented on gastronomy. Steven joined us regularly, escaping from his kitchen every time he could. He has no assistant, and does all the jobs by himself... including bakery: his bread is among the best which we had in Bangkok! He is also a sommelier. We had a party one day before, drank a bit too much, and that was our alcohol-free day. But we secretly envied the couple next table, experienced one of the Bourgueuil, Mendoza, or Bordeaux bottles exhibited on a pedestal table. We noted two things. A positive one: price was reasonable (THB 1000 / USD 33 for Pinot Grigio, for instance). And a negative one: no wine pairing was proposed. How could we enjoy a hot vegetarian dish, meat with a sauce, then fish with the same wine? The solution would have been to order some beer. But what about beer with fine dining?...
After receiving our complimentary welcome Mango Sour mocktail, we started our «Thairope» gourmet experience, where Thailand meets Europe, with sweet «Ben Muean Fish Cracker» (made from dried local fish), topped with Celery Butter, Sea-bass Belly, Siracha Hollandaise, and lovely, aromatic Bok Choy Flowers. Eating flowers is not odd at all in Southeast Asia, where some restaurants specialize in that ingredient. We observed our neighbors enjoying it with... red wine. We had one bottle of mineral New Zealander «Neudorf Sauvignon Blanc» at Taan, the evening before, also available at Empty Plates, which would have been the ad hoc pairing.
“Ants Egg Yum” was a curiosity, at least for the “farangs” we are. Eating insects is very popular in Issan region. The raw Ants egg, on a rice cracker garnished with Culantro, Betel Leaf, Chocolate Mint, Tiger Basil & Dok Khem, were served with a yummy dressing, based on Coconut Milk & Chili Paste. Note that all the herbs seasoning Steven's dishes are grown up in an organic micro-garden, set on his balcony. That hyper-local dish could be paired with light red wine, like Bourgueil.
We really enjoyed “Smoked Roast Beef Namtok”. Cooked for 1 6hours, smoked for 90 minutes, the meat was so tender that we have been so surprised to hear that it has been purchased, like most of the ingredients, in a local market. The dressing was inspired by Issan beef waterfall salad. To make it a bit European, Dijon Mustard, and Worcester sauce have been added in small quantity. The dressing was based on homemade Tamarind Sauce. Garnished with Toasted Rice, Mint & Culantro. It was served with a selection of succulent home-baked Pecan Pumpkin Bread & Rustic Bread. We couldn't finish our beef, unfortunately. We ate too much bread, and the portions were a bit too generous for a normal appetite; very different from the tasting menus tapas-sized dishes served in fine-dining restaurants. Beer would be the ideal pairing.
So tropical, vegetarian “Rambutan Ceviche” featured Passion Fruit Tigre, alchemically infused with 2 types of Chili Oil, garnished with 3 different types of Chili, Yellow Bell Pepper, and Thai Basil Foam. This was“Pèt” (spicy)! We did appreciate the Passion Fruit Sake shot served with the Ceviche to clear our hot palate...
Our favorite dish was “Smoked Duck Breast”, served pinky and juicy after a perfect cooking time sous-vide, smoked for half an hour, then finished on the grill. Divinely tender, it came with Fermented Soy Bean Sauce from Chiang Mai, and grilled Okra giving some char on both sides.
“Pork Tenderloin” was faultless too. Both in term of excellent cooking time (two hours sous-vide), and quality of meat. But we would have preferred some fish, indeed. Just to balance the menu. Sea-bass, Spin Lobster, Crab... Though, we did enjoy our tenderloin, fragrantly seasoned with Home-made Oriental Spice Rub, nicely sweetened with palatable Sweet Corn Espuma mixed with Coconut Cream, and sophisticated Mint Chutney (fresh Mint, Cilantro & Roasted Heirloom Tomato) counter-balancing the sweetness of the Espuma. We would pair this delicacy -and duck alike- with Bordeaux (we have seen a good “Berger Baron Philippe de Rothschild” on the wine list).
«Oh My Durian!» surprise dessert, actually Monthong Durian (the highest quality in Thailand) & Coconut Cream Panna Cotta, Durian Crumble Puree & Chips, Toasted Almonds, was the dreamed happy end of a fair value THB 2,100 / USD 68 dinner. Approximately THB 3,000 / USD 100, sharing one bottle of wine for two.
Empty Plates is one of the «Secret Tables», listed in the jet-set «Secret Retreats» catalog.
EMPTY PLATES: Address upon reservation.
LIMONCELLO (****L): Founded in 2006 by Italian banker and investor Roberto Ugolini, the Limoncello group of restaurants is currently developing the ambition to educate the Thai population on what “made in Italy” really means. A visit to the Thonglor branch shows that foreign residents and tourists are not excluded from this gourmand experience, where all nationalities, from all ages and social classes, are invited to capture the authentic flavour of one of our favourite cuisines.
Limoncello modern design boosts a warm, family atmosphere with a real Italian soul which makes you feel at home. Regular patrons like the classy terrace, with a smoking area where you can enjoy a good cigar and a last glass of grappa, listening to the classy music piping all around. There is a special party once a week, when models are invited for more ambiance: no need to say that this memorable day the restaurant is packed, not only with gourmets...
Executive Chef Mario Fraschini's motto is freshness and simplicity: the finest ingredients provide a rich variety of guaranteed 100% homemade antipasti, pizza, pasta, meat and seafood. The receipts are mixing tradition with a contemporary touch, titillating our taste buds deliciously with delicacies like “Carpaccio di Manzo” (beef carpaccio with creamy mozzarella sauce), “Polpa Di Granchio Gratinata” (crab meat gratin), or “Peperoni Imbottonati”(stuffed bell peppers), constituting so-sexy antipasti. Alternatively, la “Zuppa Al Tartuffo” (leek soup with black summer truffles) or signature “Insalata Limoncello Nizzarda” (salad with egg, tuna, olives, tomato, anchovies and cucumber) would be a promising appetizer.
Depending on your appetite, we recommend as a main dish “Linguine with Canadian Lobster” (THB 1800). Pair it with a well chilled white wine, like for instance “Lugana Prestige Provenza 2011” (THB 1500). Another best seller, warmly recommended by chef Mario, “Risotto with Truffle” is a fairly valued alternative, at only THB 490 for a gourmand portion. It tastes fantastic with “Barolo Battasiolo 2009” (THB 3900). Meat is reputed at Limoncello: we would recommend “Ribeye BBQ with Grilled Vegetable” (THB 1200) pairing one glass of more from aromatic red Tuscan wine, like “Promis Cà Marcanda, Gaja 2012” (THB 2400). You like prime quality fish? Order Chef Mario's “Branzino al Sale” (THB 790): a delicacy which you should experience with “Gewurtztraminer Colterenzio” (THB 1750).
Limoncello is a trattoria and a first class pizzeria. “Pizza Limoncello”, with tomato, mozzarella, bacon, mascarpone cheese, porcini mushrooms and basil (THB 490), “Pizza Ugolini”, with peeled tomato, burrata cheese and basil (THB 500) and “Pizza King”, with Australian lamb ragout, Italian truffle, artichoke and mozzarella (THB 500) are the merry patrons' favourites. With pizza we suggest “Prosecco Follador” (THB 1200) or “Sauvignon Blanc Alfiere Bianco Villa Martina, DOC Friuli/Venezia” (THB 1300).
Yummy desserts feature “Tiramisu and Chocolate Mousse” (THB 200) with “Bellavista Franciacorta Brut Alma” (THB 2100) or a glass of strong, creamy espresso.
The bill won't hurt your wallet: which is a good surprise in one of “The Best Thailand Tatler 2015 Italian Restaurants” , located in the high-so Sukhumvit/Thonglor area.
Open daily 11:30 to 14:30 and 17:30 to 23:00.
Thonglor soi 9, 131 Soi Sukhumwit 53 (Paidee-Madee), Sukhumvit Rd. ,
Khlong Tan Nue Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110
BOTTEGA DI LUCA (****L): Since
2008 Chef Luca Appino effortlessly regales Sukhumvit residents and
tourists alike with a modern version of a traditional, rustic Italian
cuisine infused with global Mediterranean influences. The
gourmet menu and quite inoffensive prices make his intimate
bistro-chic, situated on the second floor of The Terrace 49 building,
one of the top 5 best Italian restaurants in Bangkok.
RED PEPPER (****): Located on the ground floor of the Rembrandt Towers, this is a relaxing, pleasant place for contemporary Thai cuisine and specialities including vegetarian dishes.. A lot of expats living in the healthy Sukumvit area like to visit this very pretty good value restaurant, entertained by live piano music, for its renowned scallop delicacies and sophisticated curries.
We stepped in the restaurant at 10:30pm and, though it usually closes at 11pm, it was still quite full; we were offered a table and promptly served without any kind of remark. We were advised to watch out when ordering: all dishes are served in generous portions. We therefore suggest dinners to order and share three or four specialities. Service is anticipating and fast: so those who want more will be served within a few minutes.
The «Tom Kha Gai» (THB 180) is our favorite Thai soup: featuring chicken, galangal and coconut milk, this is a perfumed delight. Not as spicy as the legendary «Tom Yam Goong» (THB 240): traditional hot King Prawn soup, with lime, lemon-grass a, lot of chilli. For experienced palates only!
Red Peppers is a place for vegetarians specialties: we found lot of them in the extended menu. The «Poh Pia Je» (THB 150) are very good vegetarian spring rolls. We like the refreshing «Yam Som-O Je» (THB 140) pomelo salad. Excellent «Phad Thai Je» (THB 160): fried vegetarian noodles Thai style, recommended for children because not spicy at all.
The fish and seafood are proficiently prepared. As spicy as yummy, «Pla Krapong Khao Neung Manao» (THB 310), steamed boneless sea-bass with spicy lime sauce, is much recommended. More expensive (THB 560), the «Goong Tod Gratiem Prik Thai» is a delicacy a gourmet cannot miss; we like it with «Khao Phad Gratiem» (THB 150): tasty garlic fried rice. Have it all with a bottle of well chilled local beer (Singha or Chang); Thai food doesn't go along with wine.
good selection of desserts: the best remains the «Kluay Bowd
(THB 95): palatable banana cooked in coconut milk.
FOCAZZIA (***): This trendy trattoria at the Novotel Bangkok (on Siam Square) is successfully packed every night with Italian food connoisseurs. This is actually not only a pizzeria, thought they prepare the best Pizza (THB 160-290) in town: a wide selection of Mediterranean specialties is also available on the menu.
We started our dinner with a Selezione d'Antipasti Misti Del Giorno, featuring a selection of daily prepared appetizers, for two. Including: Pan Bruschetta (fresh oven-backed bread, with diced fresh tomatoes, Mozzarella and oregano), Affettati Misti (Italian cold cuts) and Grigliata Di Verdure (selection of grilled vegetables in aromatic olive oil). All came freshly delicious. Most of the ingredients are imported: we therefore found the price (THB 310) much affordable.
Still as an appetizer, another good option would be the great Grigliata Di Frutti Di Mare: that rich selection of grilled fish, seafood and vegetables featured some samples of Carpaccio Ai Pesci Di Mare (raw marinated sea bass and tuna, with lemon dressing), and Totanetti Balzi Rossi (spicy-sour marinated grilled baby squid on tomato sauce). Same range of price as the previous course (THB 340).
Pasta is also much palatable. We enjoyed the classical Lasagne Bolognese: well oven backed, creamy, with first choice meat. Their Taglioni Primavera are also first rate, and not expensive al all: only THB 150 for a most generous portion.
The Sabaione was slightly too sweet according to our taste, but many people like it that way. The Tiramisu is much recommended (THB 130).
such a good value for money,
nobody would believe it, but there is live guitar music till 10pm; then
a curtain opens in the back of the room which, in a minute, becomes
of the CM2 : one of the most popular night club and entertainment
in town !
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