10 of Bangkok’s best new restaurants
Ton Tassanakajohn is one of the most exciting Thai chefs around right now.
After training and interning in the states, he brings modern techniques to local ingredients and flavors, creating a cuisine that’s identifiably Thai but at the same time unpredictable and — for culinary conservatives — sometimes challenging (lobster with coriander snow and caramel sauce for one example).
The best bet is to pick one of the set menus (four- or seven-course) and let events take their course.
Ton is also a sommelier and the wine selection is a little gem.
Le Du, 399/3 Silom Soi 7, Bangkok; +66 (0)92 919 9969
In the upscale Groove development of bars and restaurants, Mejico may not be the truly authentic Mexican place that Bangkok needs (it’s actually Australian-owned, of all things), but it’s a cut above most of the Tex-Mex joints around.
You’re welcome to stick to drinks but the food is just too tempting.
Guacamole prepared at the table, soft-shell crab tacos and slow-cooked short rib are among the standouts and it also has by far the best selection of tequilas in town.
Mejico, Groove at Central World, 999/9 Rama I Road, Bangkok; +66 (0)2 252 6660
It’s best here to ignore the gaudy decor, clubby beats and fact that chef Noom Chantrawan got his big break on a TV show.
That makes it easier to enjoy Thai food created and presented with wit and thoughtfulness.
Volcanic beef, made with wagyu, is an upscale take on the fiery classic pad krapow.
The legendary tom yum soup is pretty much reinvented, prepared and served in a coffee siphon.
If you get the chance to talk to him, Noom is an amiable evangelist for his take on his home cuisine.
Osha, 99 Wireless Road, Bangkok; +66 (0)2 256 6555
Sister restaurant to its next door neighbor (the popular Tex Mex La Monita), El Osito leads a double life, serving as an American-style deli during the day then morphing into a lively tapas bar as darkness falls.
All the food is good but there’s one thing that places El Osito on this list — the awe-inspiring Reuben sandwich, constructed with thick-cut homemade corned beef on seedless rye.
Any New Yorker missing Katz’s should come here, order one and have a little sob.
El Osito, Mahatun Plaza, Ploenchit Road, Bangkok; +66 (0)2 651 4399
Bangkokians have been crazy for Italian food for a while but it’s only recently that restaurants focusing on specific regional cuisines have become successful.
Paolo Vitaletti, already responsible for the Rome-centric Appia, is behind the relaxed, family friendly Peppina, with its specifically Neapolitan take on pizza.
Of note are the specialty sausages, such as pork liver salami, with which the bubbly and slightly charred bases are enhanced.
Peppina also has a nice selection of Italian craft beers.
Peppina, 27/1 Sukhumvit Soi 31, Bangkok; +66 (0)2 119 7677
A number of Michelin-lauded chefs have opened satellite establishments in Thailand but Henk Savelberg has gone the whole hog, shutting down his place in the Netherlands and moving to Bangkok for good.
His menu hits a midpoint between classic French and nouvelle cuisine, with his ever-evolving signature lobster salad — jazzed up with foie gras cream and spiced quinoa — being just one highlight.
The multi-course dessert offerings are worth saving space for.
Savelberg, Oriental Residence, 110 Wireless Road, Bangkok; +66 (0)2 252 8001
Tim Footman is the assistant editor of Thailand Tatler magazine and has worked on the Tatler Best Restaurant Guide since 2008. More at Thailandbestrestaurant.com.