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Bangkok's Top Restaurants Guide 2014

BK Magazine, Bangkok's leading lifestyle publication, has just published its Bangkok Top Restaurants Guide 2014. The list include about 100 of the Thai capital's leading restaurants. No surprises in the list. Here are the top 10:

#1 Le Beaulieu, Witthayu (Wireless) Road - French
#2 Nahm, Metropolitan Hotel, Sathorn - Thai
#3 Gaggan, Soi Lang Suan - Indian molecular gastronomy
#4 Apia, Soi Sukhumvit 31 - Italian
#5 Water Library Thonglor, The Grass, Sukhumvit Soi 55 - International
#6 La Scala, The Sukhothai, Sathorn - Italian
#7 Opposite Mess Hall, Sukhumvit Soi 51 - International
#8 Little Beast, Thonglor Soi 13 - Modern-American
#9 Supanniga, Sukhumvit Soi 55 - Thai
#10 Paste, Sukhumvit Soi 49 (opposite Samitivej Hospital) - Thai

The restaurant I'd really like to visit is Water Library Thonglor, as the chef, Muhammad Haikal Johari, is Singaporean. Chef Haikal is Malay-Muslim, but his cooking's international, having trained at the Raffles Hotel Singapore, before working in a succession of popular Singapore fine dining restaurants: Coriander Leaf, Les Amis and Pierside Kitchen & Bar.

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  1. Unfortunately not on their on-line site yet.

    Are their more Thai places further down the list? I do want o try Gaggan one day - although I fear novelty rather than substance if some of the car crash dishes I have eaten in Delhi area anything to go by.

    Paste is a new one to me - any reports?

    7 Replies
      1. re: PhilD

        Very few Thai entries (as you can see from the link provided by JonU) and, in fact, none of the places/casual eats which local families would frequent are listed here. BK usually targets expat/foreign crowd and Thais willing to experiment with hip/trendy places.

        1. re: klyeoh

          Actually the same magazine has good lists for mid-range Thai places and street food as well :



          1. re: shakti2

            Krua Apsorn and Baan Phueng Chom are two of my favorites.

          2. re: klyeoh

            We have just launched our Thai Restaurants Guide (http//:www.thairestaurantsguide.com) which lists all Thai restaurants around the world (well, it will when we have inputted them all - about 10% currently listed (1400+) :) ) and we are currently focusing on Bangkok so we should have plenty for you to review next time in Bangkok.

          3. re: PhilD

            As Klyeoh said, BK is mainly oriented at the expat/hiso community, so its unlikely many local Thai places would make it on that list, but their mid-range/street food guides are quite helpful.

            I've been to Gaggan, Nahm, Appia, and Supanniga.

            Gaggan I felt was definitely style over substance. I won't say much more than I didn't feel it was worth my time or my money. I probably won't go back.

            Nahm was good, but it didn't leave me rushing to return either. It may be good for a special occasion perhaps. I'm a big admirer of Thompson and all he has done for Thai food. The food was good, very good, but with a set menu almost twenty times the price of an average Thai meal, I couldn't say the food was in another culinary dimension. And no, I'm not one of those inverse snobs who believes all good Thai food can only come from a tin cart and a plastic stool on the side of the road.

            Appia I loved. Not necessarily for the food itself, which is good, but for what it represents. Most Italian Bangkok joints are either super refined hotel eateries, or fairly generic bolognese and pizza parlours. (We won't even talk about the Pizza Company) Appia is a great neighborhood restaurant, with a short, focused, and well executed menu, and for Bangkok that's a real novelty.

            1. re: eljnwin

              Ref Nahm, I think it's great void let down by an average restaurant. I wouldn't mind the price if it had atmosphere and the room felt relaxed and comfortable.

          4. i like Le Beaulieu very much, this together with Krua Apsorn are my favorite places to eat in my recent trips to BKK.

            1. Yup; not surprising … although one might actually be considered Thai.

              This list kinda illustrates the socio-political situation that has been facing the country for some time.

              1. Any suggestions for a vegetation friendly special occasion restaurant for our tenth wedding anniversary? For this, we'd desire luxury. Visiting the city with someone watching the kids for the evening. Thank you!

                4 Replies
                1. re: bclare

                  For Thai food: Though Nahm definitely exudes luxury (inside the Metropolitan hotel), I thought the food at Bo.Lan was a bit more interesting, and also a nice environment. Most Thai restaurants are very vegetarian friendly.

                  www.firstbite.tv / www.youtube.com/firstbitetv

                  1. re: bclare

                    You'll need to take into account the restrictions on movement after 10pm due to the current martial law in place.

                    1. re: klyeoh

                      Update: Curfew hours in Bangkok under martial law has been reduced to between midnight and 4am.
                      Feedback from Singaporean travellers there has been positive so far.

                      If you go out at night and may not make it back to your hotel by the time the curfew kicks in, just make sure you carry some form of photo ID for positive identification by army personnel manning the roadblocks.

                      1. re: klyeoh

                        Although I wouldn't suggest violating curfew, the army and police aren't in "shoot first ; ask questions later" mode. Odds are one will simply be questioned and told to get back to your hotel.

                        At this time, one should have their passport in their possession.

                  2. I will be in Bangkok next month. I am not looking for fancy but just good authentic Thai food restaurant recommendations. Also I was told that if Thai's think Americans are dining they always add sugar to cut the spice - has anyone heard of this. I appreciate any input for some good Thai food. Thank you.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: sunniew

                      I was reading on the SF board recently about Thai places having dishes that were too sweet. Will be interested in reading about this.

                      1. The problem with recommendations is that they are so personal and dependent on so many factors such as price, location, atmosphere, occassion, etc, etc...
                        Thai food is the fastest spreading cuisine in the world and according to many reports (particularly in america) the food is over-sweet. This is not Thai Cuisine.
                        The singular feature of Thai Cuisine is "balance". Balance of the four main flavours; sweet-sour and salty-spicy.
                        I suggest a good walk around a food market area and sample a selection of dishes. The food is good, cheap and if you are adventurous, most rewarding.
                        Take a foodie tour if you want to be guided and educated at the same time. This is a great way of discovering not only great dishes but areas to return to after on your own.
                        Our site is only a month old so we are not in a position to direct you to any tour guides at this time but keep checking back to our site - http://www.thairestaurantsguide.com - as we will be adding them soon. good food hunting!

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: ThaiRestaurantsGuide

                          Thank you ThaiRestaurantGuide. You are so right making recommendations are tough and very subjective. It seems to me the most Chowhounds are Foodies and having said that I think first and foremost quality and taste have precedence over fancy and price. I love your Food Tour suggestion. I have done this in both Paris and Rome and it was wonderful and they did take us to the non-tourist type places which I prefer. I do consider myself a "foodie" and although I am a "tourist" I prefer to stay away from those establishments and find the small local restaurants. I will look into a food tour in Bangkok to see if something good is offered.

                          1. re: sunniew

                            Hi Sunniview - I have been looking into the Food tours and located a few that might be of interest. They have been added to the database but will show up once the owners have replied so in the meantime here are the direct links to the tours:
                            Chili Paste Tours
                            Eating Thai Food
                            Taste Of Thailand Food Tours
                            Bangkok Food Tours
                            Also a cooking school which also starts with a tour of a Thai wet market followed by cooking classes:
                            Cooking With Poo

                            I produce an online newspaper - Thai Restaurants Guide Daily - which features some of them today as well as some videos. Jamie Oliver did 2 videos with Poo which are well worth a look. The paper can be found here - https://paper.li/RestaurantsThai/1408...

                            I hope this was of some use.

                            1. re: ThaiRestaurantsGuide

                              This is great information. I had started researching as well. I appreciate the information and the time your put forth to assist. I went to your website as well. Looks like you are doing a great job for just getting started. Thanks again.

                              1. re: sunniew

                                Agreed. This is going to make planning for our Bangkok time next year so much easier and better. My thanks also.

                            2. re: sunniew

                              I'm leaving for Bangkok on Tuesday! Not food related, but I'm getting tourist in Thai tattooed on me!!! This is my second trip and no one dumbed down the food for us. When you are smiling, happy to order everything and excited, they are happy to serve you too!!! I don't even recall eating anything average, food was fresh and delicious everywhere we went. In fact, my biggest disappointment was Nahm, it was still good, but I prefer unchartered territories. I will make a video diary on my return, find me on FB poprockphotography

                              1. re: waitress

                                Why not post here? Have a GREAT trip!

                          2. I have been reading many inquiries about "authentic" Thai lately. What I found amusing is the how many people are concerned about the food being "dumbed down" or somehow otherwise adjusted to "foreign" taste.

                            I have never found this to be the case. However, I never eat in restaurants that typically cater to a foreign clientele, such as many "nice" places along Sukhumvit or Silom.

                            Some Thai dishes are "too sweet". Some are "too salty", "too sour", "too spicy" or "too fishy". Some are over-the-top on all counts. Sometimes, that's what makes the dish!

                            What is hilarious is that, after demanding "authentic" Thai, the poster will typically inquire into how to fine tune the dish to their personal tastes.

                            With the exception of somtam, Thais will rarely voice their opinion to the chef. Thais will usually pick an eatery based on the way the cook cooks what they cook. If they think it should be different, they find a place more to their liking. They don't tell the cook what to do. Bad form.

                            As I previously stated, the one restaurant I would recommend is Krua Apsorn. It's a modest eatery with fantastic food. Even David Thompson, the creator of Nahm, #2 on Bangkok's Best list, says Krua Apsorn is his favorite Bangkok eatery,

                            Definitely order up their curry crab, some veggies, and rice to soak up the overflowing goodness.

                            The 2 most accessible branches are on Dinsor Road, just south of Democracy Monument, and Samsen Road, just south of soi 9 and north of the National Library.

                            My other rec is Baan Phueng Chom. It's a short walk from the Ari BTS. Baan phung Chom offers some unusual dishes, like steam beef with mangda sauce and woonsen with 3 smelly vegetables.