Great restaurants *other* than Thai food in Bangkok?
Is it even taboo to ask?
Will be in Thailand for a month in Jan.- Feb......I've been before.....done the food stall thing and eaten black scorpion off a stick....
...but I remember, after a week or two, wanting more diversity in my meals than just Thai, and craving certain ingredients not used heavily in Thai cooking (dairy, mostly...)
Even thought the dollar is weak against the baht now, wouldn't Bangkok still be a less expensive place to dine, say, French cuisine or sushi than my hometown of Los Angeles?
So how about it? This board is full of Bangkok dining recommendations, but how about non-Thai restaurants?.....
For middle eastern I have been eating at Shahrazad for 15+ years. Excellent versions of all the 'greatest hits' - babagnoush, hummous, falafel and grilled meats. Almost always extremely busy.
(And they have the most interesting breakfast menu I've seen in BKK!)
In "Soi Arab" below the Grace Hotel. (6/8 Sukhumvit Soi 3/1) After you've eaten hang out in one of the outdoor joints along there for a shisha and mint tea.
I'm an American who has been living in BKK for several years now.
Here's what I'd recommend for non-Thai food:
1 - Bourbon Street Restaurant (Washington Square behind the Mambo Theater on Sukhumvit near Soi 22) - Primarily Cajun food. They have a Blackened Ribeye that is about the most flavorful steak I've had anywhere in the world. Excellent crawfish bisque and club sandwiches. Homemade blue cheese dressing is amazing also. Give the mexican food a miss.
2 - Philippe Restaurant - Sukhumvit Soi 39 - Top-end French restaurant. Everything is well done with only the best ingredients. A bit pricy.
3 - Indigo - Soi Convent - Country style French restaurant down a little soi off Soi Convent.- Affordable and comfortable. Huge portion of Fois Gras for the price. Overall very good food.
4 - Senor Pico - Inside the Rembrant Hotel - About the only passable mexican food you can find in BKK. They have a live latin band. The Cilantro & Pepper Fillet is very very good. Salsa is so so.
5 - Beccofino - Sukhumvit 55 - Outstanding Italian food. Amazing lunch specials.
6 - Rang Mahal - Top floor of the Rembrant Hotel. Appropriatly known as the best Indian Restaurant in Bangkok. Highly recommended.
7 - Le Delat - Sukhumvit Soi 23 - Very good Vietnamese Food and a nice environment.
Although I enjoy Senor Picos, I found it to be more "variations on a theme".
I have heard that "Sunrise Tacos" is a little more authentic (from a Texan's POV).
I understand they have a store in the Emporium's food court, as well as a couple more on Sukhumvit.
I avoid Sukhumvit, but I will try to hit the Emporium for a taste.
Without a doubt it would be less expensive than what you would pay in Los Angeles. I am originally from L.A. and even with the dollar as weak as it is, the non-Thai restaurants are still less costly, especially if you go for lunch, although even for dinner they are a bargain compared to L.A. Le Beaulieu for French, Beccofino for Italian, Jidori-Ya Kenzou for Japanese and of course, there are countless others.
The Bangkok Post website has excellent restaurant reviews in the Realtime section, including both Thai and farang places. They just reviewed a place in Thong Lor that specializes in fondue and raclette. Not something I would want to eat in April in Bangkok, but for homesick Swiss expats, it must be a taste of heaven.
Bit late to reply, but for anyone else with the same question, I recommend trying Vietnamese if it's not too similar to Thai for you. Le Dalat is a great and beautiful restaurant in a house with garden. It's on Sukhumviit road, soi 23. There's some other good Vietnamese places in BKK, too.
Another place worth looking at, Food Loft in the Central department store (near ploenchit skytrain) is good to try a very wide variety of really different things, like Indian, European, Pizza, etcetera. They have separate kitchens for each sort of cuisine, so the quality is usually quite good. Fun atmosphere.
Bangkok has the best Italian restaurants outside of Italy!
Angelini, Zanotti, and Gianni are among my favorites, but there are scads of them -- not pseudo-Italian, but the real thing. Although the food is expensive by Thai standards, it costs far less than you'd pay for the same authentic Italian food elsewhere.
The only downside is that wine is savagely expensive in Bangkok restaurants, about twice what you'd pay in the US. You're hard-pressed to find many bottles costing less than US$50 in Bangkok restaurants. The house wines are usually good, though, often Chilean. And Thailand is quickly learning to make good wine; try the whites from Chateau de Loei if you get a chance.
For fabulous Indian food with a killer view, go to Rang Mahal -- deservedly famous.
Good Korean at Kongju in the hotel that's attached to MBK mall.
I second Hanaya. Also, there's a community of Japanese on Thonglor (Sukhumvit soi 55) and the soi which connects 55 to 39 (Suk 55/13?) There are tons of Japanese restaurants for Japanese people there. Little hole in the wall ramen shops, restaurants, etc. I'd recommend checking out one of the more busy ones.
There's a couple Korean places there too.
Here are some non-Thai spots which I really liked:
For Italian food, Sorrento (South Sathorn Rd) or Angelini's (Shangri-La Hotel).
Great steaks at New York Steakhouse (JW Marriot), Fireplace Grill (Intercontinental Bangkok) or Madisons (Four Seasons).
French food - Le Normandie at Oriental, Le Cafe Siam (Sathorn) or Auberge Dab (Pathumwan).
My fave German is Bei Otto (Sukhumvit Soi 4) though you can find many others in the city.
Any other SPECIFIC non-Thai cuisine you're looking for?
re: Curt the Soi Hound
I love the German food at the TawanDaeng Micro Brewery on Rama 4 .
I wonder how many of those deep fried pork knuckles they go through in an night ?
Strangely enough the Thai Food is excellent as well .
And of course its more than a restaurant , with entertainment etc. , but beware the place is Very Thai .
i lived in BKK for several months...
-- i agree that Zanotti is excellent...especially the risotto and the fritto misto
-- for other Italian, i also like Calderazzo on Langsuan, and Airplane, a few doors down, is pretty good too...
-- i agree w/ the Rang Mahal rec, but i'll also add that Indian food is pretty good at a lot of places in BKK...Rang Mahal has a nice view and top food, but it's quite pricey...all the Indian places i ordered delivery from pretty strong too and less than half the price...
-- i've had only disappointing French food in BKK, although i never made it to Philippe...
-- and if you are really craving dairy, charcuterie, etc, getting some bread and cheeses from the high-end supermarkets is always an option...
Had dinner at Zanotti last Wed. The food was excellent - perhaps the best Italian I've tried in Bangkok. I had:
- Taglioni Piemontesi di spinaci con San Daniele ham (Piedmontese spinach angel-hair pasta with San Daniel ham & Italian walnut sauce);
- Trancio di Branzino al Cartoccio con Patate e Verdune (sea-bass fillet baked in foil with vegetables, extra virgin olive oil, garlic & lemon drops);
- Bunet Piemontese (a Piedmontese pudding, made using amaretti cookies, chocolate & caramel).
P.S. - Ran into ex-premier Thaksin Shinawatra in the men's room afterwards - looks like Zanotti is also his choice for an Italian fix.