8 Best restaurant in Bangkok
Sitting down for a meal is a cultural currency in Bangkok. It’s famously done curbside, on tiny plastic stools in the heat, with no frills but a truly mind-bending amount of flavor– be it a bubbling pot of spicy Tom Yum Goong, with shrimp and chilis bobbing to the surface, or a warming bowl of Khao Soi, where the chicken is falling off the bone in a nest of creamy noodles. The city’s renowned street food is your welcome, but you’ll quickly see the modern, more refined side– accessible in clean, simple café settings and in glittering, opulent dining rooms with river views. The scene includes Michelin nods aplenty, from Haute German to molecular Indian to as much Chinese rice and duck as you could fit into a year of eating. Bangkok is a big place. You’ll want a game plan. Then, be prepared to toss it out the window when you wander past something you just can not pass up eating.
Gaggan has established its international reputation with food built to shock, if not wholly confuse, the senses. You ‘d expect the Yogurt Explosion, for example, to be cold as it’s dropped into your open mouth by a server from a spoon held aloft. Instead, it’s warm and savory. You ‘d either like two more orders, or you never want to experience that sort of thing again. Each table moves at its own pace through the 25-course tasting menu. Some moments, there’s music; others, the server might instruct you to lick your plate. Yep, it’s that kind of place.
2. Prachak Pet Yang.
Outside Prachak Pet Yang in Bang Rak, you’ll see a row of hanging ducks– and then you’ll see a man methodically butchering them up behind a wall of glass. This joint serves the best Cantonese-style duck in Bangkok; the waterfowl is stuffed with herbs and spices, then slow cooked, resulting in soft flesh with a slightly crunchy skin. Many items on the menu are noodle dishes, but go with a large order of the duck, which comes with rice, a side of cucumber and ginger, and a sweet sauce that nicely balances the saltiness of the meat.
It’s exciting to dine at COMO Metropolitans Bangkok hotel’s Nahm, which is, by every measure, one of the finest restaurants in town. There are playful canapés to start, followed by appetizers like the famous pigeon larb salad and a range of creative, spicy soups. The mains are portioned to share, and each dish has something that you’ve likely never had before; skilled servers are eager to tell you all about the wok-fried fiddlehead ferns or the preserved prawns. This restaurant is a solid pick at any time of day. Come for an extravagant lunch or an evening tasting menu that somehow costs less than $100.
4. Supanniga Eating Room.
Downstairs at Supanniga Eating Room, glass walls overlook the river– it feels sort of like a houseboat, if said houseboat also had an industrial, Brooklyn-esque design, and was packed with a crowd of grad students, trendy Thai 30-somethings, and families out for dinner. There’s assorted seating– couches, iron and wooden chairs– a long bar, and stairs leading up to an open-air roof, which is the prime location for dining. The kitchen here is known for bold flavors, large portions of traditional Thai comfort foods, and a heavy dash of creativity; you’ll see everything from smoked fish to braised bitter melon.
5. Nai Mong Hoi Thod.
Nai Mong Hoi Tod is a no-frills, uber-local street-food joint with a small, garage-style setting right in the heart of Bangkok’s Chinatown. The vibe is unfussy: just some red, small, plastic stools amid a flurry of hawker activity, bright bursts of fire from the woks, and the sound of oil sizzling up hoy tod, or oyster omelets, a local favorite. The dish consists of crispy fried egg, a chewy batter, and salty, plump oysters, all garnished with green onions.
6. Le Normandie.
You access the Mandarin Oriental hotel’s Le Normandie through a small, hallway elevator, and when the doors open, you’re hit with an immediate “wow” factor. The design drips in antiques; the lighting has golden hues; and windows stretch the entire length of the dining room, offering some of the best river views in the city. There’s a tasting menu as well as an à la carte option; the latter begins with beautiful canapés and moves on to perfectly cooked venison and scallops with bergamot, radish, and lime. Every French plate is a work of art.
7. Eat Me.
Eat Me’s owners are Australian, and the menu looks like one you might see in Melbourne, with lamb that’s arguably the best in the city. Moments you’ve maybe come to miss if you’ve been dining on Thai food for a week– creamy goat cheese, pine nuts, sunchokes– are all represented here. Asian flavors chime in with beautiful restraint; for instance, the sea-urchin butter on hamachi collar. Many of the mains also come in two sizes, making this Silom spot a wonderful place to share.
8. Guay Jub Ouan Pochana.
Yaowarat, Chinatown’s most famous road, is a deluge of neon lights from thousands of colorful signs stretching overhead in all directions and a cacophony of traffic from taxis and tuk-tuks. One of the most congested areas– the madness within the madness, if you will– is around Guay Jub Ouan Pochana, a stall that’s been dishing up rolled noodle soup for five decades. You’ll see everyone here: Japanese millennials, iPhones held high, Chinese families out for dinner with their kids, Western tourists, and Thai couples on a date. Get the aromatic pork belly soup with traditional rolled noodles in a fragrant, hot broth– you won’t be disappointed.
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