cutting edge thai in bangkok
Im heading to thailand in 3 weeks and am exceedingly excited about perusing the street vendors, markets, and hole in the walls. In addition, i was curious as to whether there was any michelin type experience with absolute cutting edge incredible thai fusion. possibly a tasting menu or something. any suggestions?
I think you'd only get the "Michelin" experience in Bangkok in one of its excelllent French establishments, e.g. Le Normandie at the Oriental Hotel (that's where Jean-Georges Vongerichten used to work, and influenced his French-Thai fusion cuisine in his Vong outlets); D'Sens at the Dusit Thani Hotel (owned by Jacques & Laurent Pourcel of Le Jardin des Sens in Montpelier); or Ma Maison at the Nai Lert Park Hotel.
Personally, I've not found any "cutting edge incredible Thai fusion" restaurants - Thai food, with its strong flavors, tend to overwhelm any attempts to marry it to other food cultures/techniques. But some strong "fusion" (I'd rather say Modern-Thai)establishments I'd recommend include:
- Wyndham Thai, 41 Sukhumvit Soi 16. Don't miss their starters: som tam/grilled scallop on coconut crepes; and chicken/banana blossom salad with chili jam & lime dressing. For entree, the duck breast stuffed with lychee & tomatoes in red curry sauce is great! Finish off with the warm chocolate mango cake.
- Cafe Chili, Siam Paragon Mall (Ground Floor). It serves cuisine from Thailand's north-east Isaan province, but with a modern twist. Start with a Chillijito cocktail, then progress to the larb salmon with ground rice & herbs (beautiful!!). For entree, try grilled rack of lamb with deep-fried khao niew (sticky rice), an Isaan specialty, or deep-fried money-bags (wanton-like parcels filled with scrumptious meat filling);
- Ember, 99/11-12 Soi Lang Suan. It's Italian-Thai fusion. Try the fresh seafood linguine with sweet Thai basil pesto.
- Tai Thai at the Royal Bangkok Sports Club, 100 Ratchadamri Road. Chi-chi restaurant with plush red banquettes. Try glass noodles with king prawn - it's incredible. Although my local Thai relatives/friends think the tastes are too mild (i.e. less chillis than they'd like), I think it suits foreigners who want to avoid having their tongues burnt.
- Pandanus, 50 Soi Nantha Sathorn Road. Casual, hip eatery - pandanus leaf-wrapped chicken & shrimp, pasta dishes with green or red curry.
If you're after a tasting menu, try the elegant Blue Elephant at South Sathorn. Originating from Brussels, its milder Thai cuisine is a favorite of the Russian ambassador (a regular there).