Memos from Asia

5 Must-Try Exclusive Restaurants in Bangkok for True Gourmands

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Bangkok, Thailand has always been a culturally energetic city, known for its eccentric mix of the new with the classic. Also regarded as a “foodie city,” Bangkok’s street food is famous amongst gourmands, attracting thousands of travelers who come here every year to taste delicious comfort foods at low prices.

However, the city isn’t without its fair share of exclusive and expensive restaurants. While some of these are considered the best in the world, others provide an authentic gastronomic opportunity influenced by local recipes and ingredients.

Gaggan Anand Restaurant

The culinary world was left flabbergasted when the multi-award-winning Gaggan closed down in 2019. While some speculated that chef Gaggan would then move to Japan, he again surprised his patrons by starting Gaggan Anand in Bangkok within a few months. An intimate space on Sukhumvit Road, the restaurant carries forth his food philosophy of serving traditional Asian cuisine in jaw-droppingly beautiful modern renditions through 9, 15, and 18-course chef’s menus.

When eating at Gaggan Anand, diners have the option of three seating arrangements. The family room is ideal for smaller groups, whereas Arena G has a formal table setting close to the open kitchen. However, make a reservation for G’s Spot, a “communal seating” area that allows customers uninterrupted access to the food being prepared.

Address: 68 Sukhumvit 31, Sukhumvit Road, Wattana, Bangkok 10110

Paste

Thai fine-dining at its vert best, Paste is a Michelin-starred restaurant in Bangkok famous for serving traditional dishes with intense flavors in a sophisticated atmosphere. Chef Bee Satongun, who won the Best Female Chef in Asia award in 2018, focuses particularly on “forgotten” methods and recipes to shine a spotlight on Thai cooking’s variety, culture, and warmth.

When dining in the soothing pastel-colored space, you’ll notice the furnishing and décor has an almost zen-like flow that juxtaposes with the food’s eye-popping colors. Amongst the must-haves at Paste are the “Singhol” curry with slow-roasted goat, 31 flavor Thai omelet with Australian crab, and smoky eggplant salad with quail eggs.

Address: 999 Phloen Chit Rd, Lumphini, Pathum Wan District, Bangkok 10330

Sorn

For most people, Thai cuisine is one general food category featuring a range of delicacies. However, look a little closer, and slight variances emerge between the different regions, in the way food is prepared, ingredients used, and overall flavor profiles. Sorn, a two Michelin-starred restaurant, focuses mainly on southern Thai cuisine, highlighting specific provinces and their distinct cooking styles.

Sorn isn’t just about the food, although you have to try their double-boiled soup and other slow-cooked preparations without fail. The restaurant, located inside a Thai home, has an old-world charm about it that makes you overlook the fact that you are in one of the world’s busiest cities. Sorn is one of the best restaurants in Bangkok also because it sources ingredients directly from farmers down south, preparing them in a glass-enclosed kitchen for what is nothing short of a theatrical performance that diners get to relish along with delicious bites.

Address: 56, Sukhumvit 26 Soi Ari, Klongton Khlong Toei, Bangkok 10110

80/20

Inventive, delicate, and contemporary, 80/20 is a passion project of chefs Saki Hoshino and Napol Jantraget, where you’ll find the kitchen play around with some of Thailand’s little-known culinary elements. A one-star Michelin restaurant, 80/20 sources all of its ingredients from within Thailand, and features seasonal menus that never fail to wow its customers.

Food lovers visiting 80/20 should try their duck waffle, crab and calamansi baked rice, or local water plants, a unique vegan option. Also, make it a point to sit by the kitchen for an immersive experience where you can interact with the chef as he goes about cooking your food.

Address: 1052-1054, 26 Charoen Krung Rd, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500

Gaa

An unconventional fusion of Indian heritage and Thai ingredients with a heavy Nordic influence is what Gaa is all about. After Gaggan Anand, Garima Arora, who previously spent two years at Noma and then at Gaggan, is the next Indian-born chef to be making waves in Bangkok. She has already won her first Michelin star since opening the restaurant in 2017.

Widely considered amongst the best restaurants in Bangkok, Gaa celebrates the Indianness of its chef by plating food that is meant to be eaten by hands and shared amongst friends. With equal importance given to vegetarian and non-vegetarian diners, there is the option to pick a ten or 14-course menu and pair it with wine, cocktails, or juices. The food itself is radically pleasing in appearance but remains authentic in taste honoring original Indian recipes and Thai ingredients.

Address: 46 Sukhumvit 53 Alley, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110

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