Planning a visit to the newly minted Michelin-starred restaurants in Bangkok?
Since the 1920s, tyre company Michelin have been sending anonymous food critics to make sneaky reviews of restaurants all around the world.
Posing as just another ‘regular’ customer, these critics sample what the restaurant has on offer and writes up a report on their experience which is then discussed with a panel of other anonymous food critics who then decide which of the world’s restaurants deserves a coveted Michelin star.
Why are Michelin stars so coveted? Because the highly qualified reviewers really know their stuff, and they judge the restaurant’s cuisine based on the quality, consistency, personality and mastery of technique of the food, and the awarding of stars — or their removal — can make or break a restaurant. The winning restaurants are then given an entry in that year’s Michelin Guide which is updated annually.
Finally, the Michelin Guide has come to Bangkok.
Although the Thai capital has long been renowned for its dining scene, and has many Michelin starred chefs creating gourmet cuisine in the city, December 2017 marks the first official Michelin stars awarded to actual restaurants which are included in the Michelin Guide for 2018 — and Bangkok’s gastronomic sky is studded with them (17 of them to be exact).
Here’s the lowdown on the cream of the crop of the restaurants that have made the grade in the Bangkok Michelin Guide…
- 1 2 Star Restaurants
- 2 1 Star Restaurants
2 Star Restaurants
Awarded not just one – but two – Michelin stars, these three Michelin starred restaurants in Bangkok are sure to dazzle the senses of even the choosiest of foodies…
Indian restaurant Gaggan is a well established favourite on the Bangkok dining scene.
Eponymous chef Gaggan Anand creates progressive, constantly evolving menus out of this chic location in Lumpini, just a stone’s throw away from Lumpini Park, the city’s largest urban park.
The multiple course set tasting menus (5000 THB) are inspired by seasonal ingredients, the freshest produce, and the amazing diversity of India’s regional cuisines and street food.
Dramatic dishes are presented with flair, and may include offerings such as grilled spiced oysters, rich lamb curries, scallops with coconut and curry leaves, foie gras with spiced red onion chutney and cold raspberry hazelnut praline, or hot carrot mousse with saffron and silver.
The home of French fine dining in Bangkok on the banks of the Chao Phraya river, the opulent Le Normandie at the Mandarin Oriental hotel is where pure and precise flavours, superb taste combinations and subtle herbs and seasonings offer a genuine and unique experience of sophisticated haute cuisine.
Chef Arnaud is originally from Savoie in the French Alps, and has over 20 years culinary experience in some of France’s finest restaurants.
Both lunch and dinner feature set menus with wine pairings (priced upwards from 3450 THB ) and a la carte options (starting at around 2000 THB per course).
Menu highlights include Oscietra caviar with sea urchin and potato, yellowtail kingfish with oyster and crabmeat, and Lamb allaiton with eggplant and black garlic.
Sky high Mezzaluna teeters above Bangkok on the 65th floor of the illustrious Lebua in Silom — also home to the legendary Sky Bar.
The restaurant offers breathtaking 180 degree city and river views and exquisitely innovative European cuisine overseen by chef Ryuki Kawasaki.
Seasonally inspired tasting menus (starting at 5000 THB ) are reinvented each day, and are served with optional wine pairings for an unforgettable culinary experience.
Ingredients are sourced from local organic artisanal producers. Sample dishes include Loire Valley Suckling Pig with lentil gnocchi, wild mushrooms, swiss chard, pickled mustard seeds, and wasabi rocket; Nova Scotia Lobster with coffee flavoured sweet chestnut, prune, and celeriac; and Japanese Scallop with frog leg fricassee, shimeji, baby leek, and chorizo.
1 Star Restaurants
Chef team Duangporn Songvisava and Dylan Jones pride themselves on working closely with local farmers and the use of their bio diversified produce, and this passion is evident in the ever-changing Thai menu.
Situated on Sukhumvit soi 53, the menu at Bo.lan showcases the interplay of the contrast of flavours, textures and aromas within Thai cuisine, creating the finest contemporary Thai dishes firmly rooted in tradition.
Choose from set menus (1200 THB upwards) or a la carte options (400 THB upwards). Expect tasty treats like Grilled Cha Chengsao herbal duck with bio-diversified beans; curry of grilled fish with pickled bamboo shoot, summer melon and pumpkin; and Doubled cooked chonburi rabbit with chilli jam dressing and green peppercorn.
Chim by Siam Wisdom
Situated in Phrom Phong, Chim by Siam Wisdom is a fine dining restaurant dishing up authentic Thai cooking.
Chef Chumpol Jangprai crafts set menus inspired by either ancient, classic or innovative (think fusion food) Thai cuisine.
High quality ingredients are sourced locally, and archetypal dishes such as Massaman curry and Tom Kha Gai (chicken and coconut soup) are available starting at around 300 THB per dish.
There is also a good range of affordable beers such as Singha (160 THB) and cocktails or wine by the glass start at around 350 THB.
Elements at Okura Prestige
A fusion of gourmet Japanese and French cuisine awaits diners at Elements restaurant at the exclusive Okura Prestige hotel in Ploen Chit.
À la carte dishes (420 THB upwards) or set menus (1900 THB upwards) are skillfully prepared using only the finest local and international ingredients, and guests can watch culinary theatre unfold thanks to the open kitchen that puts the chefs on show.
Wine by the glass starts at 375 THB, and cocktails at 360 THB.
Signature dishes include foie gras topped scallop with shimeji scented miso consommé and crispy skin soy marinated duck breast and leg croquette with smoked eggplant, ginger, pumpkin, coriander, and a yuzu jus.
Ginza Sushi Ichi
At the peak of Bangkok’s sushi scene, Ginza Sushi Ichi flies fish direct daily from Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market. The food here is fresh, it’s authentic, and it’s exciting.
Best accompanied with sake (starting at 390 THB) or an Asahi beer (190 THB), the extensive omakase-style menu features delicately prepared dishes with incredible attention to detail and subtlety to give a complex blend of flavours.
Prices for a multiple course Omakase dinner start at 5000 THB, and highlights such as live Hokkaido taraba crab, sea urchin and sea eel all feature on the menu.
Ginza Sushi Ichi is situated opposite the Gaysorn mall on Ploenchit Road.
J’Aime by Jean-Michel Lorain
Chef Jean-Michel Lorain is one of the most highly esteemed chefs in France, and he has brought all his culinary wizardry to his Bangkok restaurant J’Aime set in the chic hotel U Sathorn on Sathorn Road.
The eclectic and classic menu showcases stunning French dishes such as verbena scented lobster bisque served with pineapple; frog legs served with morel mushrooms and black cardamom emulsion; and pan-seared fillet of venison served with parsnip purée, glazed chestnuts, Salicornia and sea urchin foam.
A set dinner tasting menu is available for 2600 THB (add 2000 THB for some excellent wine pairings), and a la carte dishes range from 300 – 2790 THB.
Bangkok street food is famously good, but street food seller Jay Fai takes it to another level after being awarded with her very own Michelin star.
It’s largely thanks to her signature dishes of juicy and chunky khai jiew poo (crab omelette, 1000 THB), pad kee mao (prawn noodles), and other traditional offerings, all of which boast generous helpings of rich, fresh seafood.
Prices start at around 500 THB for a main dish. Jay Fai can be found on the Maha Chai Road in the Old Town.
L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon
Chef and diners interact at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon (who himself has a total of 28 Michelin stars awarded to his restaurants all over the world), which creates an immersive dining experience as well as inspiring the chefs to better their craft.
Located in Sathorn on the 5th floor of MahaNakhon CUBE, guests at L’Atelier are invited to sit at the open kitchen and observe the preparation of fine French food with rich flavours and unique tastes.
The à la carte menu is bursting with tasty delights like lobster salad in gourmet symphony of vegetables with guacamole and fine herbs (1,450 THB); Free range quail stuffed with foie gras served with potato purée and herb salad (1,800 THB); and Imperial caviar, crispy poached egg and smoked salmon (2,800 THB).
Tasting menus are available from 5000 THB, and a selection of fine wines is available at upwards of 400 THB per glass.
Overlooking the pool on the ground floor of the COMO Metropolitan Bangkok hotel on Sathorn Road in central Bangkok, the team at Nahm combine robust ingredients to create sophisticated and elegant Thai cuisine with surprising tastes and textures.
Curries, salads, relishes, soups and stir-fries vie for attention on the à la carte menu. Coral catfish curry with sand ginger, green peppercorns and deep fried shallots (650 THB); Stir-fried clams with Thai samphire and spring onions (660 THB); and Clear soup of roast pigeon, crab and tapioca (310 THB) are just a few of the sensational dishes on offer. A set menu (2500 THB) is also available.
In Gaysorn Village at the hub of Bangkok’s Ratchaprasong district, Paste Thai Restaurant showcases the very best native northern Thai produce sourced directly from local farms, rivers, seas and forests.
Acclaimed Chef Bee Satongun composes creative dishes using traditional techniques to deliver an innovative interplay of Thai flavours and textures. Noodles are taken to new levels with ingredients such as red spanner crab, dried scallop floss, and black ginger. Free range duck is slowed cooked to perfection with Thai ‘mah kwan’ pepper, fresh som-jid citrus, pickled shitake mushroom and preserved lemon.
There is also an excellent wine list and inventive cocktails. Expect to pay anywhere around 1000 to 4000 THB per person for dinner.
Traditional Thai fine dining inspired by ancient recipes is a sure way to tantalise your taste buds, and that’s exactly what diners love about Saneh Jaan restaurant in Phloen Chit.
Expect authentic, traditional dishes such as green curry, massaman curry, stir-fried crispy pork and more, prepared using only the finest natural and native ingredients, herbs and spices, to create real masterpieces served up in the swanky contemporary setting of the Glasshouse at Sinhorn in the centre of Bangkok’s financial district.
The cocktails here are also highly recommended, and there is an excellent range of whiskies. Prices start at around 350 THB per dish.
Dutch Chef Henk Savelberg brings his superb modern French gourmet culinary creations with a Dutch touch to Bangkok at his Savelberg restaurant at the Oriental Residence hotel in Lumpini.
Delicate, beautifully presented dishes have a bias toward seafood, with lobster, langoustine, oysters, caviar and fresh fish all playing starring roles.
Meat lovers won’t be disappointed however, with delights such as pheasant filet with sauerkraut, black trumpet mushrooms, potato, artichoke and five-spice on the menu. Choose from à la carte dishes priced at around 1500 to 2700 THB, or indulge in one of the extravagant set menus at 3000 THB upwards.
A selection of casual and vintage wines from the Old and New Worlds are available to accompany your dining experience,
Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin
The luxurious Siam Kempinski Hotel in the heart of Bangkok’s premier shopping and entertainment district on Rama 1 Road is the home of Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin restaurant where modern Thai fine dining takes centre stage.
Bold combinations of basic Thai ingredients transform the familiar flavours of traditional Thai cooking into something truly sublime.
The 10 course set menu (upwards of 3,100 THB) is a real delight, with a seemingly endless parade of exquisite dishes such as thin-sliced, sugar-coated, crispy lotus root with crushed lime leaves, Scallop tartare with lemongrass and coconut milk, Miso flan, and Beef with oyster sauce, or alternatively choose from one of the many a la carte options.
Situated in tranquil leafy gardens on Yen Akart Road, Suhring is the brainchild of twin German brother chef team Thomas and Mathias Suhring.
Their aim is to invite guest to discover their renewed vision of German gastronomy elevated to the level of haute cuisine. Both set menus (starting at around 2000 THB) and à la carte options are available, and signature dishes include Himmel und Erde — crispy potatoes, black pudding and green apples, and Brotzeit — soft pretzel served with obatzda cheese dip, pickle, Black Forest ham and dry-aged beef.
At 380 THB, the fantastic selection of old and new world wines by the glass are affordable.
Upstairs at Mikkeller
In Ekkamai, Upstairs at Mikkeller — an incredible and surprising American fusion restaurant — Korean Chef Dan Bark has teamed up with Mikkeller Bangkok bar to present unique a Progressive American 10-course tasting menu complemented by the best imported craft beers in the city (4600 THB with beer pairings, 3300 without).
Seafood bisque with bamboo and guava, Wagyu beef with sherry, truffle and chive, and coconut, cucumber and coriander tortellini are just some of the temptations on offer. The excellent food, fun location and incredible beers make this an experience unlike any other in Bangkok.
To discover which Bangkok restaurants were awarded the Bib Gourmand, check here, and for the 76 restaurants awarded The Plate Michelin, see here.
Have you visited any of the Michelin-star restaurants in Bangkok yet?