Unveiling Bangkok’s Mind-Blowing Food Scene: 6 Jaw-Dropping Eateries!

For A Considerable Amount Of Time, The Term “Thai Fine Dining” In Bangkok Was Synonymous With Extravagant Multicourse Banquets That Made Use Of Recipes From The Royal Court.

These Meals, Which Were Served For A Very Long Time And Were Considered To Be The Pinnacle Of The Country’s Cuisine, Contained Vegetables That Had Been Beautifully Carved As Well As The Finest Cuts Of Boneless Fish And Meat.

The Flavors Had Been Painstakingly Calibrated Such That There Was Just The Right Amount Of Heat Without Being Overpowered By Funkier Undertones Like Pla Ra (Fermented Fish Paste).

Tourists Were The Primary Customers Of Restaurants That Specializes In Royal Thai Food; Locals Preferred To Indulge On Good French Or Japanese Cuisine. 

Something Started To Shift Around The Middle Of The 2010s. A New Generation Of Ambitious Young Thais, Who Were Inspired By The Locavore Movement That Was Sweeping Through Restaurants Throughout The World, Moved Their Focus To Recipes And Obscure Products From Beyond The Kitchens Of The Regal Households.

When Napol Jantraget Debuted His Informal Fine Dining Establishment 80/20 In 2015, He Was A Proponent Of Seasonal Produce. Chalee Kader Showcased Northern Thai Nose-To-Tail Cooking At 100 Mahaseth, Which Launched In Bangkok’s Old Town In 2017.

They Introduced Bangkok’s Cash-Flush Diners To Locally Farmed Beef, Tribal Food-Preservation Practices, And Plants From The Country’s Rural Corners That Even The Majority Of Thais Had Never Heard Of. This Was A Big Deal. 

These Pioneers Opened The Door To A Brand-New Period In The History Of Fine Dining In Thailand.

They Demonstrated That Typically Unrecognized Street Food Dishes And Regional Recipes Could Be Combined Into Multi Course Tasting Menus Without Relying On Imported Uni Or Truffles To Command A High Price Tag.

These Menus Could Be Served In Restaurants. Farmers Markets And Old Cookbooks Were Also Excellent Sources Of Culinary Creativity For Chefs.

They Went Scavenging In The Dense Woods Of Thailand, Drew Inspiration From The Culinary Traditions Of Their Forefathers, And Integrated Themselves With The Underprivileged Populations Of The Rural Isan Region. 

“These Chefs Are Discovering Thai Produce With The Same Excitement And Curiosity As They Would With Imported Ingredients,” Says Paveenaorn Duangoen, A Restaurant Consultant And Gourmet Tour Guide Based In Bangkok.

“These Chefs Are Discovering Thai Produce With The Same Excitement And Curiosity As They Would With Imported Ingredients.”

“Instead Of The Royal Cuisine, Which Is Frequently Considered To Be Exclusive, They Draw On Their Skills And Travel Experiences To Elevate More Approachable Dishes And Ingredients.”

The Contemporary Thai Fine Dining Scene Is Composed Of So Many Different Elements That It Is Tough To Identify. 

The Chef Geravich “Mew” Mesaengnilverakul, Who Received His Training From The Australian Chef David Thompson At Bangkok’s Well Famous Thai Restaurant Nahm, Found That Rigid Adherence To Royal Recipes Frequently Gave Him The Impression Of Being Haughty And Out Of Date.

“I Don’t Believe In Such Things As ‘Traditional’ Thai Food,” He Says, Explaining That Even Chilis, Which Are Now A Fundamental Ingredient In Thai Cooking, Were Introduced By Portuguese Traders. “I Don’t Believe In Such Things As ‘Traditional’ Thai Food.”

“I Also Found Mentions Of Foreign Ingredients Such As Salmon, Butter, And Yogurt In Cookbooks From The Royal Court,” He Continues. “These Cookbooks Were Used By The Royal Court.”

“However, They Arrived With Directions That Stated We Could Change Them Or Omit Them Altogether If That Was More Convenient.”

This Gives Mesaengnilverakul Permission To Continue Experimenting With New Things. “Our Food Is A Constant Adaptation From Both Our Diners And Our Chefs,”

He Explains. “Our Food Is Always Evolving.” We Don’t Tweak The Food In Order To Ruin It; Rather, We Do So In Order To Advance Its Development. 

The Following Are Some Of The Most Intriguing New Additions To The Eating Scene In Bangkok, Which Range From Fine Dining Venues That Emphasize On Firewood To Establishments Managed By Young Chefs Who Are Reimagining Cuisine From The Cookbooks Of Their Forefathers. 

Choen

Cohen Is A Concrete-Clad Restaurant On The Outskirts Of Chinatown That Only Has Ten Seats And Prepares Every Dish, Including The Clay Pot Rice With Pandan Infusion, Over An Open Wood Fire. Choen Opened In The Month Of December.

From The Flame-Licked Open Kitchen, Chef-Patron Mesaengnilverakul And His Young Staff Produce Tasting Meals That Are Presented In A Family-Style Setting Using A Range Of Grills, Smokers, And Tao (Bucket-Like Burners Made Of Clay).

Dishes With A Thai Influence Can Be Found On The Menu, Such As Smoked Beef Cheek Served With Ginger-Like Galangal And Pickled Lotus Root; Curried River Prawn Served With Burnt Coconut Embryo (The Fruit’s Spongy Interior After It Has Sprouted); And Grilled Local Catfish.

In Order To Extract The Full Potential Of Each Component, Mesaengnilverakul Makes Use Of Not One But Five Distinct Kinds Of Wood, Among Which Are Eucalyptus, Longan, And Lychee.

Even His Sweets Receive The Flaming Treatment: For His Most Recent Menu, He Mixed A Log Of Burning Longan Wood To Coconut Ice Cream To Give It The Distinctive Smokey Flavor That Is Characteristic Of Longan Wood. 

Potong

Many Thai Street Food Mainstays, Such As Khao Ka Moo (Slow-Braised Pig Leg With Rice) And Guay Jub (Peppery Rice Noodles), Have Their Roots In Chinese Cuisine. This Is Especially True Of Those Dishes That Can Be Found In The Winding Lanes Of Bangkok’s Chinatown.

These Thai-Chinese Flavors Are Given A Spin At Potong, Which Is Set In The Rebuilt Ruins Of Her Family’s Former Herbal Medicine Dispensary. Chef Pichaya “Pam” Utharntharm, Who Grew Up In The Neighborhood, Offers These Dishes A Fine Dining Touch At Potong.

The 20-Course Meals Reimagine Traditional Dishes From The Region, Such As Oyster Omelets And Roast Duck, As Elaborately Presented Works Of Art Made Entirely From Ingredients Sourced In Thailand.

In An Effort To Limit The Amount Of Food That Is Thrown Out, Utharntharm Will Not Hesitate To Use Unusual Foods Such As Duck Gizzard And Fish Offal.

Her Willingness To Take Risks Paid Off When Michelin Named Potong “Opening Of The Year” And Earned It A Star In The 2023 Thailand Guide. As A Result, Her Table Is Now One Of The Most Sought-After In The City. 

Small Dinner Club

In 2017, Chef Sareen Rojanametin, Who Was Born In Bangkok, Left His Position At Nora, A Restaurant In Melbourne, To Work At Benu, In San Francisco, And At Magnus Nilsson’s Faviken, In A Rural Part Of Sweden.

After That, He Retired For Two And A Half Years To A Forest Monastery In The Northeastern Region Of Thailand Before Emerging With A Small Dinner Club.

Hidden Behind A Brutalist Exterior Along Charoenkrung Road, The Restaurant’s Twelve Seats Are Arranged In A Circle Around A Dimly Lit Kitchen.

Rojanametin Describes The Restaurant’s Approach To Thai Cuisine As “Pulling Apart, Questioning, And Reimagining.”

His Whimsical 12-Course Degustation Menu Has Dishes With Mysterious Names Like “Looking At Tom Yum Prawn From Far Away” And “Daft Punk Is Playing At My Mouth.” 

It Would Be A Shame To Ruin The Fun By Revealing The Components Of The Meals, But Things From The Previous Menu, Such As “Spaghetti” Made From Green Papaya And A Pickled Mackerel Served On A Scorching Tom Yum (Hot And Sour) Granita, Provide A Glimpse Of Rojanametin’s Creative Approach To The Kitchen. 

Sam Rub Samrab Thai

The Charming Chef Prin Polsuk, Who Was Born In Lampang And Is Acclaimed For His Encyclopedic Knowledge Of Regional Thai Cuisine As Well As His Straightforward Approach To Preparing It, Was Born In Lampang.

After Taking Over At Nahm After David Thompson’s Departure, He Launched Samsung Samrab Thai, A Chef’s Table In Charoenkrung That Is Tough To Book And Is Located Behind An Unremarkable Garage.

In October, He Relocated The Business To The Ground Floor Of His Family Home In The Saladaeng Neighborhood, Where He Developed It To Become A Full-Fledged Restaurant.

His Ever-Evolving Menu Of Curries, Stir-Fries, And Chili Relishes Are All Influenced By Heirloom Recipes Sourced From As Far Afield As The Deep South And Tribal Settlements In The Mountainous North. His Cuisine Is Also Constantly Changing. 

Vilas

Vilas, A Partnership Between Polsuk And Pepe Dasi Jimenez, A Chef Born In Valencia, Takes Its Cues From King Chulalongkorn’s Excursion To Europe In 1897 And The Western Influences That Emerged As A Result In Royal Recipe Books.

Polsuk Is Also The Mastermind Behind Vilas. The Distinctive Aromas Of Thai Cuisine Are Combined With Foreign Cooking Methods And Ingredients To Create A 12-Course Tasting Menu That Is Served In A Scandi-Chic Dining Area That Is Decked Out In Blonde Wood.

Appetizers Such As Miang Kham-Like (Betel Leaf Wrap) With Hokkaido Sea Urchin And Seepweed (A Saline Coastal Herb) From The Samut Songkhram Region, And Grilled Sticky Rice With Karasumi, A Salted Mullet Roe, Were Examples Of Dishes On The Inaugural Menu That Were Inspired By Japanese Cuisine.

The Present Menu Pays Homage To The Chinese And Muslim Groups Who Reside In The Southern Region Of Thailand As Well As The Portuguese Influences That Have Been Incorporated Into Their Cuisine.

Some Of The Dishes That Stand Out On The Menu Include Salted Tuna Served With Crispy Beef Jerky And Pickled Melon As Well As Scarlet Prawns Cooked In A Southern Thai Curry. 

Taahra

Even Though Charcoal Smoke Wafts From Street-Side Satay And Chicken Vendors All Over The Country, The Fuel Is Rarely Celebrated In The Way That Taara Celebrates It.

At This New Restaurant Located Just Off Charoenkrung Road, The Head Chef Pat-In “Knock” Promsawadi Puts Charcoal Grilling Front And Center, Both In The Black-Sheathed Open Kitchen And On The 13-Course Fine Dining Menu That Blends Local Vegetables With Luxury Imports. Charcoal Grilling Takes Center Stage At This Restaurant.

The Grilled Normandy Oysters Come Dressed With Guava, Green Chili, And Coconut Milk, While The Charred Pigeon Leg Comes Presented With The Claw And All, Topped With Som Tum, Which Is Thai Papaya Salad. Both Of These Dishes Are Highlights.

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