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Special Occasion Dinner in Bangkok

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Hello all,

My husband and I will be celebrating our first anniversay in Bangkok next week and I'm looking for an exceptional, romantic place for dinner. The concierge suggested Thiptara at the Peninsula - I'm always wary of hotel restaurants... any ideas?

We will also be celebrating my husband's birthday in Bangkok - for this night I'm looking for a good restaurant with a fun vibe (something that feels like a night out with a bar or lounge area...). How is Koi?

For both dinners we don't mind if the food is not Thai - we're spending ten days in Phuket and Bangkok and will be eating mainly Thai food throughout.

Thank you for any input...

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  1. hi....

    -- Koi is disgusting...i ate there once and the food was awful...

    -- i avoid most high-end Thai food places because the food is almost always geared to a Western palate...so i can't vote for or against any of those specifically...

    -- a few places that come to mind for non-Thai food: the high-end Indian place whose name i'm blanking on, Rang Mahal?...or you could do Sirocco, as the view/setting is stellar...for your husband's dinner, you might consider doing the meal once place and then the drink/lounge part afterward: e.g. you could go somewhere like Vientienne Kitchen and then get a drink at Vertigo or Sirocco...

    6 Replies
    1. re: Simon

      The "high end" dining usually does miss the mark. Most will have offerings that tend to be on the "safe" side.

      You might look into a dinner cruise:

      http://www.manohracruises.com/index.php

      http://www.loynava.com/

      1. re: Simon

        Vientiane Kitchen is a gouging session nowadays , and pretty much has been since it was included in Lonely Planet .

        A place to avoid IMHO .

        1. re: ChangFai

          i haven't been there in a long time..too bad if it's gone downhil as it used to be fun place...what have you experienced gouging-wise?

          1. re: Simon

            Simon
            I actually really enjoyed the food the last time I was at VK , especially a Tom Kha Talay that I thought was really tasty ,but as I said its a tourist trap nowadays .

            As soon as we entered , we were handed one of those 7-11 cold towels . Fine until you looked at the bill and they had added 25 baht per towel .

            The beer is warm , "you want ice" , 30 baht per small bucket of ice added to the bill , which turned out to be every time we ordered a beer .

            7% VAT .......You think they pay VAT :-)

            10% Service Charge !

            Then the waiter threw a tantrum because we didn't leave a tip , and there was me thinking it was covered by the service charge .

            Small stuff maybe , but its the type of things that only start happening when such restaurants make the Lonely Planet type books , and there is plenty of places with good food that don't do such things .

            IMHO .

            1. re: ChangFai

              "Then the waiter threw a tantrum because we didn't leave a tip , and there was me thinking it was covered by the service charge ."

              Whether a tip was in order, or not, the staff will never see any of the "service charge." You'll usually only see it at larger restaurants that keep books. It was explained to me that the service charge is another tax.

              Staff of many of the establishments that are frequented by tourists have come to expect tips. I wouldn't doubt if some of the proprietors may have even decided that the staff can work for tips, sans salary.

              Personally, I avoid most of the shiny path, not necessarily because the food might be "dumbed down", but because the staffs often become a bit callous.

              1. re: ChangFai

                yikes...that sounds bad...

                have you found a new place that you prefer?...strictly for food, my fav Isaan places in BKK are mostly stands or lunch-only quasi-stands...so what i liked in the past about VK was that it had decent Isaan food in a fun dinner setting...but the gouging stuff you described would surely annoy me...perhaps Khrua Rommai nearby? (i've never been there, but it's gotten mixed reviews here in the past)...

        2. I've heard good things about Shunbo for Japanese.

          Butler's at Gaysorn Plaza might be good (I've only hear a little about it, but all good so far).

          Le Normandie at Oriental Hotel

          1. Thank you all for your replies - I will report back with our eventual experiences next week!