Bangkok’s fine dining scene has been on fire for years, especially since the Michelin Guide made its entry into the Kingdom in 2018. Their acknowledgement of many world-class restaurants here put an international spotlight on just how amazing the dining scene in the capital city is, especially with regards to Thai food. Now what was once the best-kept foodie secret in Asia is out – Bangkok is a fantastic dining destination, especially when it comes to Thai fine dining.
If you’re coming to the City of Angels for a long or short trip, you must make room in your schedule to sample one of the city’s premier eateries. To help you out, we’ve compiled a shortlist of the top five places to visit; just make sure you book in advance.
1.Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin
Located in the opulent Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok (behind Siam Paragon shopping Mall) Sra Bua is the Thai spin-off of Copenhagen-based Kiin Kiin. It is the proud holder of one Michelin star. The cuisine at this Thai fine dining establishment is “modern gastronomy at its best”; renowned for its creative dishes presented with impressive modern interpretations. During the course of your avant-garde meal expect such oddities as gelatinous pearls of lobster in tom yam soup and curry made to look, feel and taste like ice cream. Please note that guests are asked to dress elegantly.
This stylish eatery, run by couple Bongkoch Satongun and Jason Bailey, is also the holder of one Michelin Star. Their dishes take inspiration from traditional Thai cuisine but add in a twist of modern techniques and artful presentations. What is lost in authenticity is gained in inventiveness and subtlety. While many die-hard traditionalists consider any tweaks to Thai food as sacrilege, dining at Paste is an eye-opening experience. We challenge you to try the stock-poached pork neck with chilli, red grapefruit, local flowers and toasted sticky rice and not be a modern Thai cuisine convert!
R.Haan is the only restaurant in our list to have not one, but two Michelin stars! That’s right, this Thai fine-dining operation from celebrity chef Chumpol Jangprai is the latest superstar in the Bangkok culinary landscape. Set in the sumptuous surrounds of a Rattanakosin era (circa 1782 – 1932) dining room, this establishment sets itself apart with its dedication and skilful use of seasonal Thai ingredients. Choose between three set menus: Samrub Tri, Samrub Tho and Samrub Eak, which highlights royal Thai cuisine. Again, guests are required to wear elegant attire.
4.Sala Rim Nam
The historic Mandarin Oriental’s signature Thai restaurant, Sala Rim Naam (Room at the Water’s Edge) combines classic royal Thai cuisine with a traditional dance theatre experience. This is a truly unique pairing, offering discerning diners a glimpse into local Thai culture as they dine on a delicious multi-course meal. Set in a sumptuous Thai pavilion overlooking the Chao Phraya in Thonburi, accessed via a quick, complimentary ferry ride across the water, the restaurant is considered a “must-try” destination for anyone visiting the city. You’re sure to wow guests if you bring them here.
5.Issaya Siamese Club
Set in a Thai heritage house which has been brought back to life with vibrant décor, aka bold splashes of colour and playful wallpaper, Issaya takes a dynamic and exciting approach to old school Thai cooking. The food manages to walk a fine line between proudly traditional and cutting-edge. To please health-conscious diners, the menu is replete with many homegrown, organic and vegetarian offerings. But this doesn’t mean they’re homely, quite the opposite, they are given an artful twist with eye-catching presentation and the use of high-quality ingredients. A meal here is a memorable Thai fine dining experience; especially when you end it with dessert and an aperitif while reclining on a beanbag in the lush garden.