Tuk Tuk Tours
Explore Bangkok by the iconic tuk tuk
If you’re looking for the best Thai restaurants in Bangkok then there are options at every budget level. If you’re also looking for a luxurious dining experience in Bangkok, you need not be put off by the city’s reputation for back-to-basics street food – the Thai capital has its fair share of high-fliers serving up top-notch Thai cuisine that is worth paying for. Here are our picks.
Perhaps the greatest authority on Thai food – and certainly from outside Thailand – Australian chef David Thompson is the man behind both Nahm restaurant in Bangkok, named as Asia’s best restaurant, and its now-closed predecessor of the same name in London, which was the world’s first Thai restaurant to earn a Michelin star. The branch at Bangkok’s Metropolitan Hotel serves up anything except the bland, gentrified food some expect from a foreign chef putting new twists on old Thai classics – instead Nahm delivers the kind of full-on flavour experience that makes for a truly memorable meal. As well as à la carte dining, the set menu offers canapés followed by a relish, salad, soup, curry and stir-fry. Dishes consistently raved about include the yum takai lemongrass salad and a brilliantly executed tom yum hot and sour soup.
Metropolitan Hotel, 27 South Sathorn Road; 7.00-11.00pm daily plus 12.00-2.30pm weekdays www.comohotels.com/metropolitanbangkok/dining/nahm
One-time street food vendor Ian Kittichai’s Issaya Siamese Club almost steals the show for its setting alone, in a hundred-year-old house in a lush garden that makes it feel miles from downtown Bangkok, when really it is a stone’s throw from chaotic Khlong Toey market, Bangkok’s major wholesale food trading spot. Luckily, the food is the real attraction here – though the interior of the house is just as stunning – and the menu serves up a modern take on Thai cuisine. Vegetarians will also be pleased that there is emphasis given to a comprehensive meat-free menu. The yum hua plee salad of banana blossoms gets a particular thumbs-up, along with a lamb massuman curry and khao yum southern rice salad, as do Kittichai’s selection of Thai desserts that he seems to have a particular knack for.
4 Soi Sri Aksorn, Chua Phloeng Road, Sathorn; 11.30am-2.30pm and 6.00-10.30pm daily www.issaya.com
The product of an Australian and Thai husband-and-wife chef combo who met while working at London’s Michelin-starred Nahm, the recently relocated and expanded Bo.Lan retains a focus on organic and locally-produced ingredients; it is pleasing to see ingredients on the menu labelled by their Thai province of origin. The restaurant grows many of its own vegetables on-site and has the aim of becoming waste-free. Though à la carte dining is available at lunchtime, of an evening it’s a set-menu-only affair, with the six-course selection featuring dishes that change with the seasons to suit ingredients that are currently in abundance. Rave-worthy dishes include a quail curry from Chachoengsao province to the east of Bangkok and a red curry with rabbit and winter melon, while the drinks offering also changes with the main menu to achieve the perfect pairing with your meal.
24 Sukhumvit Soi 53; Tuesday to Sunday 6.00pm-1.00am plus Thursday to Sunday 12.00-2.30pm www.bolan.co.th
Nahm photo by Krista; Issaya Siamese Club photo by Zuphachai Laokunrak/Issaya Siamese Club; Bo.Lan photo by Franklin Heijnen
Have you tried any of Bangkok’s top-end dining options? Where do you recommend?