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Best Restaurants Bangkok?? Updates?? Please??

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I saw many replies to this question throughout the years and was wondering if I could get a updated list. I appreciate the time everyone takes to post. I really enjoy learning new things from people who know good food. I work in a restaurant for a living and love food...I don't have a whole lot of money to spend but can take any recommendations--really want to find at least one great lunch place to sit and have lunch for a hour or two with a nice bottle of wine as well as any dinner options-- I will be in Bangkok for over a month and would like to find some memorable dining--thank you very much!!!

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  1. Is this your first trip to Bangkok?

    You lost me when you mentioned sitting around with a bottle of wine. Most Thai doesn't lend itself to wine. The subtleties of the wine would, most likely, be lost. That said, I'm sure someone will follow with pairings! ;-)

    Are you dining alone?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Curt the Soi Hound

      No--I've been to Bangkok before--and around the country--to the beaches a bit--which is why I asked about the wine--and having lunch with wine and such---because I didnt see anything like that and wondered if it exsisted--I am going with my girlfriend who is from Europe and she likes this kind of thing--as do I...My really good friend also lives there in Bangkok and he and his wife teach english...and they would enjoy that too--I'm more looking for great dining options (other than the wine & lunch thing) just thought if there was a place that would be good too...Thanks for responding--I saw your (Curt) posts earlier while I was looking and you seem to have good ideas--Any good dining options would be appreciated--I talked to my friend thats there--tonight actually and he said he had been to Lek--so I'll be able to find that one--atleast...thanks again.

      1. re: Just_ineats

        I've got some Thai friends who love wines, too. They normally like to have those with barbecued seafood which you can find all over Bangkok, really.

        Many Thais in Bangkok are also of Chinese (Chiuchow) descent and their food lends itself to wine pairings quite well. I like Scala Sharksfin in Siam Square. The crab in claypot with glass noodles are nice. As are the fish maw and prawns in claypot, all flavoured with lots of garlic and coriander root..

    2. I really like Baan Rabiang Nam. It quite a ways north, in Nonthaburi, but well worth the drive. If you head up for dinner, definitely make reservations.

      http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbi...

      Rosabieng is quite good. They have two branches, on Suk soi 11, across from the Ambassador Hotel, and another across from the Samsen RR Station.

      Baan Phuengchom is an great new place a friend took us. It's located just off soi 7 Ari, just north of the Ari BTS station. They offer some unique dishes, like woonsen with 3 smelly vegetables and steamed beef with mangda sauce. Great food! This is another spot that reservations are definitely suggested.

      If your friends haven't been, Krua Aporn is always a winner. They have a couple branches, one just south of Democracy Monument , and one just north of the National Library. The crab omelet and pu pad pong kari are both winners.

      http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbi...

      If you just want to kick back, sip wine and people watch, Siam Paragon has some options.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Curt the Soi Hound

        Thank you for your replies!!

      2. for a decent bottle of wine in BKK, go to the bar at the top of the Sofitel Silom (i think the bar's called V9)...not a foodie destination, but a pleasant place to share a bottle and good (for Thailand) selection...

        re: pairings, imo any nice crisp white will go fine w/ Thai seafood, curries, etc...sometimes rose too...buy a bottle in a store (the big farang-oriented supermarkets all have selections), then get some street food to go, and have a little picnic :)

        1. I just went to BK and am slowly going blogging through the restaurants I visited there (pics slowly going up on www.tomeats.com

          )

          But in summary I would thoroughly echo Curt and highly highly recommend Krua Aporn. But more importantly the street food generally.

          The most fashionable restaurants right now are probably nahm, sra bua, bo.LAN, soul food. I would say bo.LAN was probably the best on my visit (wonderful romantic atmosp as well). Soul Food is the most casual/ fun. nahm was good but missing something. Sra Bua was surprisingly good molecular.

          Hope that helps.

          Tom

          20 Replies
          1. re: TomEatsHK

            Checked the blog. I agree totally!

            "Molecular cuisine". What a stupid name!

            1. re: Curt the Soi Hound

              well there are many house wine places around Bangkok. The one that I've been to is in the middle of Thong lor soi 10. It is like wine tasting place with chilling atmosphere. Not sure about the lunch thou as there snacks there are like cheese, small sandwiches.

              1. re: Aikidoka

                hmm, i'll have to try that Thong Lor soi 10 place next time i'm in town...does it have a name?...

                i used to go to a wine bar on S'vit just west of Thong Lor, i think between S'vit 53 and Thong Lor, on the north side...tiny chill place...not sure if it's still open as i was there last time about two or three years ago...

                1. re: Simon

                  If you can get to Nahm at The Metropolitan on Sathorn Road, Chef David Thompson's cuisine is sublime and the winelist not too shabby although it seems weird to drink in the tropics I noticed quite a bit of imbibing. A great scene and vibe can be found with the most inventive cocktails at Hyde & Seek.

            2. re: TomEatsHK

              It's been settled, CNN says that Nahm is the best Thai restaurant in Thailand based on the top 50 restaurant list in the world (Nahm is number 50) :p

              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/847132

              1. re: cacruden

                Saw the list as well with Nahm as the best restaurant in Thailand (regardless types of cuisine) and Iggy's as the best in Asia.

                Anyhow, my understanding is it's not ranked by CNN.
                http://www.theworlds50best.com/

                (sorry for going off-track from original topic
                )I'm interested to see the first list of Asia's best 50 restaurants which is scheduled to be firstly announced next Feb in Singapore. I have to admit that seeing "your Singapore" logo as a sponsor for the event made me even more curious to see how many restaurants outside Singapore will make it on the list :p

                1. re: NP2

                  Noticed that afterwards - it is compiled by Restaurant Magazine (Industry magazine).

                  "Voters are comprised of 837 members, each selected for their expert opinion of the international restaurant scene. To create the Academy, and give it a fair representation of the global restaurant scene, we divide the world up into 27 geographical regions. Each region has a chairperson appointed for their knowledge of their part of the restaurant world. These chairs each selected a voting panel of 30 – ensuring a balanced selection of chefs, restaurateurs, food/restaurant journalists and gourmands.". Each voter has seven votes to cast.

                  Which to me guarantees it is going to create a list of restaurants that are funded well enough to "create buzz", and pretty well shut out every hole in the wall dinner. And pretty well all going to be a high cost restaurant. It will exclude any restaurant that focuses solely on food quality and not on "ambiance". In other words - it is really NOT the top 50 restaurants. It is the top 50 restaurants of a certain ilk.

                  1. re: cacruden

                    Regardless, as a Thai, I'm happy that we have made one into "the list" :D I'm particularly proud that it's Thai cuisine from Nahm as the best restaurant in Thailand rather than upscale French from Le Normandie or D'Sens...like Iggy's or Amber.

                    For many of us, it may not necessary be the true best restaurant lists. (Actually, all lists and ranks are always debatable...and maybe that's the purpose of it- create the conversation.)

                    1. re: NP2

                      If they had picked a restaurant like Le Normandie or D'Sens that would have been highly insulting..... I prefer eating Thai food over French food, of course French food is problematic for me since a lot of times it is served with mashed potatoes -- something I prefer not to eat.... and often hard to get a substitution for :p I was forced to eat it before leaving the dinner table when I was younger which meant I was sometimes at the dinner table right up until it was time to go to bed.... because eating them made me gag.

                      Nahm of course would have got quite a number of votes since it is the sister restaurant of Nahm in England (first Michelin starred Thai restaurant in Europe) and thus would have appeal to judges that visited Thailand. I also suspect that it would even get some votes from people that never made it here by judges that voted in quid-pro-quo fashion with one of their seven votes. That said though, at least they picked a restaurant that has good tasting food -- I suspect that there are a few on the list that don't :o

                      1. re: NP2

                        It was funny, I was teasing the Thai friend (the one I brought with me to the restaurant) of mine that Nahm was the best restaurant in Thailand.... Her answer was no way and thinks that both Laem Chareon Seafood (original Rayong branch and then Mengjai/Huai Khwang branch -- other locations not so much) and Baan Klang Nam were better. Rating given was Nahm - 3/5 stars :p

                        1. re: cacruden

                          Her choices seem to put the emphasis on eating, not "dining".

                          Most Thais that I know put "innovation", ambiance and presentation after the food itself. They will dump a wad, inviting friends to a fancy meal, but the food is rarely the draw.

                          Funny thing is that in most other areas, "appearance" will trump reality, every time. But, Thais love their food!

                          1. re: Curt the Soi Hound

                            Ate out 3 times a day 5+ days a week for 3 years while I was on the road (San Diego, Denver, London). It is funny but thinking back - I can remember the hole in the wall diner type places (that had good food), but do not have memories of the "higher end" restaurants that I went to (I know I did, just don't have a good recollection of them). I can even remember specific dishes from the places I remember. Which begs the question, if I spent money (not mine - but still) on restaurants and they were not memorable - what was the point of spending the extra money? :p Trying out a place once is always good, since you at least learn one thing (even if it is that you don't really care for it). So I agree, food should trump "innovation" and ambiance because it the long run most places with ambiance but not the food will be forgotten...

                            1. re: cacruden

                              "So I agree, food should trump "innovation" and ambiance because it the long run most places with ambiance but not the food will be forgotten..."
                              -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                              Ageed.

                              Re: Denver - 3 years ago, I met Thanawat Bates, a Thai who's the executive chef at the Brown Palace Hotel's premier restaurant:

                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/640578

                              His cooking infused Thai flavors into otherwise mundane Mid-west cuisine ;-)

                      2. re: cacruden

                        Check out some of Jay Rayners comments this year and last - he is a critic (UK Guardian newspaper website) and member of one of the panels. He lift the lid on the "hosted" meals for the judges. That said it is meant to be a list of the worlds best restaurants not the worlds best food - and restaurants are about lots of things including ambiance. And it is meant to be a more eclectic leading edge list as opposed to the more conservative guides like Michelin. I think it is useful, but it is going more mainstream so getting less useful. Still good to see a Thai restaurant featured, hopefully visitors will add a broader range of options to bookend a visit to Nahm.

                        Interesting note on the well funded restaurants. Noma started very low key andit was the efforts of an enrelenting blogger who raised its profile, got the fooderati interested, the critics followed and the accolades followed after that. The truly talented can start small and grass roots support can get them there if there is true talent - it isn't all about PR budgets and hype - the really talented do emerge.

                      3. re: NP2

                        NP2 - It's very, very Singapore-centric when it comes to Asia. As you can see, most of Tokyo and Osaka's superb Michelin-starred restaurants were missing from the list.

                        1. re: klyeoh

                          I looked through the list of the members listed online and I could see some japanese names, some chinese names, but I could not find anyone with a name that looked like it could be a Thai name..... The fact that the list seems by its very nature be ensuring a balanced "selection of chefs, restaurateurs, food/restaurant journalists and gourmands" already means that it will not have a balanced "selection of diners".

                          1. re: cacruden

                            There are some Thais in the Academy - Thomas Vitayakul (General Manager of Rose Hotel Bangkok), Rungsima Kasikranund (Editor-in-Chief, Elle Thailand) and Tanyamon Navakunvichitr - but I think one needs some connections within the region, too.

                            1. re: klyeoh

                              Yes, with 7 votes to spare - do you think Nahm BKK got some from England in exchange? Well connected restaurants from elsewhere would have more connections.

                          2. re: klyeoh

                            Exactly!!! I mean I love the food in SG but come on....there are others stars in hk and Japan that as shiny but didn't make it!

                            The Miele Guide was also very Singapore centric! But Miele Guide would pose negative bias on non-English speaking countries in general so it's kinda understandable that SG outshines others.

                            1. re: klyeoh

                              Isn't it a draw between Singapore and HK with four each? But given the sponsorship of next years Asian Top 50 by the Sing Tourist board I will await the results with interest.

                              Overall I thought the Asian representation was very conservative, the "Foders" safe selection that satisfys the armchair gourmet but pushes few boundaries. In Europe, whilst the list is flawed, it at least recognises some of the more interesting places. Overall I wonder if 2012 is the year the list "jumped the shark" and maybe the Asian 50 next year will just prove this

                      4. One of my favorite places to eat lunch in all of Bangkok is a restaurant called Tho Po Channa (โต๋วโภชนา). The restaurant is located in the South of Bangkok, near Big C Ratburana, and the food is so good, they are only open for 3 hours per day - from 11 am - 2 pm.

                        There's no wine, but if you are looking for high quality lunch food, I would highly recommend it. Their duck in soy sauce is awesome (bpet paloe เป็ดพะโล้).

                        Hope this helps, I can give you more info if you are interested.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Migrationology

                          The guy above has a real talent for sorting out which of the non-descript street stalls are providing something special. He has a really cool blog, which I originally found while searching out authentic Indian food in Bangkok.

                          This may upset a lot of people, but I think Bangkok has the worst Thai food in all of Thailand. There are some gems, but so many restaurants are serving mediocre and poor food. I suspect that many local people patronize these shops due to convenience (laziness). That being said, you can do well in Bangkok with some research. Migrationology is a great resource for inexpensive no ambience street food, which by the way, is usually the most delicious food in Bangkok.

                          For fancy restaurants I always end up eating French, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, etc. Fancy Thai restaurants simply end up tasting inauthentic. I do enjoy a restaurant on Sukhumvit Soi 22,near the main road on the right side coming from the main road. It's open from lunch until relatively late (midnight or so). It isn't exactly "high end", but is comfortable. It's more expensive than typical Thai restaurants, but I feel it's worth it. I especially like the goong sam rot... deep fried large prawns with chili sauce (literally "three taste" sauce. I'm not sure which three of the four tastes: sweet, salty, sour, hot thy mean.. because it has elements of all four tastes. This type of dish is usually seved as fish - pla sam rot.

                          I agree with previous posts that Thai cuisine is not the best to pair with wine. It can be done... however I'd simply enjoy a Thai meal and then later have a bottle of wine and some antipasti at Enoteca Italiana on Sukhumvit Soi 29. Or some decent wine by the glass and comforting pasta dishes (and good Italian cheeses) at "de Vino" on Thonglor.