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2 most memorable fine dining restaurants in Bangkok?

Hey,

We will be staying in Bangkok for 2 nights to end our trip through Cambodia and Vietnam early 2012

We have visited Bangkok before in our younger years and have seen all the highlights that this city has to offer. So this short visit will be all about food..... we can't wait!! During the day we will eat some of the delicious street food but in the evening we would like to have dinner in 2 stunning fine dinning restaurants that are must eats when your in Bangkok. I have come up with a lot of old information on the internet. I have read multiple times about a place called Bo Lan but I am not sure if this still is a great place...

I would love to hear your 2 best recommendations to have dinner in Bangkok to end this trip perfectly! The food does not necessarily has to be Thai. For us it is more about the experience these two last days
after hopefully a lot of already good meals in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Thanks for your reactions in advance!

Best Regards,

Paul de Brouwer
The Netherlands

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  1. It depends what you mean by fine dining, I think everyone uses that term differently. The three I tried recently fit into that catgory, as they are comfortable, you can out on your glad rags, and the service is good. Nahm, Bo Lan and Sra Bua.

    Of the three Sra Bua is molecular thai, the food is very interesting and innovative, service is good, and room is very luxurious and glam. On the night we went here (floods) it wasn't full which detracted a litte from the ambiance.

    Nahm is modern and high end, the food is very good but i hated the service as it was far too fast with waiters hoveing - too many staff for the size of restaurant. I enjoyed Bo Lan the most, the food is terrific an maybe a little more rustic but far from street food, the setting is an old house so not slick or glamerous but equally not cheap or uncomfortable. Service is a little rough around the edges.

    8 Replies
    1. re: PhilD

      Hi Phil, Thanks for your reaction! This is what I meant by fine-dining :)
      As I understand Nahm and Sra Bua are both restaurants in hotels and
      only Bo Lan is a "individual" place. We are going to have dinner at Bo
      Lan for sure for the second night I am still looking around for another
      good individual option as we are not very fond of eating in hotels. In the
      Netherlands all good restaurants are not associated with hotels.... I know
      it is different in other parts of the world but in our experience this is where
      you get the best price/quality. I am surprised to see that there are not many
      people talking about Bangkok on CH but I hope to receive some good suggestions
      anyway. Best Regards, Paul

      1. re: jjjdebrouwer

        I saw a place on the internet called Soul Food. Anyone knows this place and is it any good? Their website is a bit crappy... at least on a Macbook.Thanks for your reply! Paul

        1. re: jjjdebrouwer

          I would have agreed with you about hotels and restaurants a few years ago but increasingly i find the best restsurants can be in hotels - think of Paris or London as examples. In Asia it is even more prevelant with good hotels investing in good chefs and underwriting the cost of the place. For example I had a great "french bistro" meal at the Conrad's Gordon Ramsay restaurant in Tokyo recently - it was a complete surprise, I was hungry and it was diwnstairs and open.

        2. re: PhilD

          I disagree with Sra Bua. Just returned from Bangkok and found dinner to be excruciatingly long, the plates uninteresting and pretentious and very few notable dishes (though there is a lot of food). Service was very formal but the ambiance is like dining in a large mausoleum. The place has little character and the so-called molecular gastronomy on display is gimmick-ridden and often makes no sense with the so-called reconstructed dish.

          If you are going to offer a new take on chicken satay, for example, the taste and presentation has to exceed the "original" version. The Nibblings menu failed to do so on so many levels and the satay was just plain unpleasant to look at and taste (like yellow gefilte fish).

          While the hotel (Kampinski) and the restaurant are enormous lavishly renovated spaces, I think there are far better gourmet options available in Bangkok. During our dinner - which took over 2 1/2 hours - only two additional tables were occupied and those appeared to be western hotel guests. Either the extravagant cost imposed or the actual product offered is not attacting diners - at least based on our recent experience. We would not go back.

          1. re: wristband

            Hi Wristband,

            Thanks for your reaction. You mention there are far better gourmet options available in Bangkok.

            Can you mention them please? I am still looking for good options.

            Thanks for your reaction!

            1. re: jjjdebrouwer

              Bo Lan is in an interesting setting, with two chefs that (I believe) worked at David Thompson's Naahm which is at the Metropolitan hotel, south of Lumphini Park. I have not eaten at Naahm but there is considerable publicity as Thompson earned a Michelin star in London with his efforts. I thought Bo Lan was far better than Sra Bua, especially if you are looking for innovative, upscale "new" Thai cuisine in a unique and pleasant setting.

              I have been told top hotels offer good gourmet choices. I had dinner at the St. Regis and Four Seasons on our recent trip but do not suggest you make a special effort for either (not bad, just not what you might be looking for).

              1. re: wristband

                "I have been told top hotels offer good gourmet choices." - I think that is a dangerous half truth. There are a couple that have invested in chefs who aim to deliver great food (some agree they do, some don't) like The Metropolitan and The Kempinski but others have fairly neutral restaurants targeting the less ambitious tourist.

                1. re: PhilD

                  Phil - I agree but thought the point was made clear in my post above. St. Regis & 4 Seasons are pleasant but certainly not top gourmet options. I can't opine about other high end hotels except Sra Bua at the Kempinski (thumbs down for me) and Nahm at the Metro which has admiring reviews.

        3. I am in the same position as the OP: Visited BKK as a backpacker some years ago and am soon passing through for just one night, but this time with a budget that doesn't limited me to farang Phat Thai on Khao San Road or noodles in Chinatown. I'd like to check out one of the new breed of Thai restaurants I've heard so much about. Leaning toward Bo.lan. Looking forward to more replies in this thread.