Renowned for its street food scene, Bangkok has always been a big hit with the tourists — foodies or otherwise. This year, however, the Thai capital finally has hit the big time, racking up a string of Michelin ratings and stars from the coveted French food guide. Once focused on a certain kind of fine dining establishment, Michelin has finally widened its net, and there are now a string of Thai food hubs earning their place in the spotlight. Fine dining and street food need not be two different tales; in Bangkok, they’re simply two sides of the same story.
Here are the five Bangkok establishments the passionate foodie must visit:
If you’re into noodles, broth, and crispy pork belly, set your sights on Mr Joe. Its signature soup dish pulls in the punters from all across the city, who come for the fragrant broth and stay for the tender-cooked meat. Served up in generous quantities with accompaniments on the side, the food here is done simply and right. Take your pick of meaty extras or just let the peppery broth do all of the talking. Once you take your first bite, you might just be hooked.
Fine dining meets comfort food in Baan, the Michelin-rated restaurant by chef Thitid Tassanakajohn. Taking influence from Le Du, his other refined restaurant, the chef uses exquisite flavor and nostalgia to put together a menu of his favourite dishes, and you’re bound to fall in love. Try any of the fresh salads, giant stir fries, or sharing curries. The food is beautifully prepared and presented, thoughtfully flavoured and so, so delicious. Leave room for Baan; one plate of food isn’t going to be enough.
Want to continue on your tour of Bangkok’s Michelin-starred restaurants? Chim has everything you want and more. Chef Siam Wisdom’s restaurant recently earned its very first star rating, and it’s not hard to see why. Offering plates of sugar-cane smoked duck breast and sumptuous crab and mango salad, Chim does Thai cooking the right way. If you really can’t whittle down the menu’s incredible choices, try booking a place for the three course lunch menu. Serving up a selection of Chim’s best recipes, the lunch session is one of the restaurant’s most popular, giving you a taste of Michelin-rated cooking at a steal of a price.
Already a living legend in Bangkok, chef Jay Fai recently went one bigger, bagging a Michelin star for her eponymous restaurant. As well as being the third street food restaurant ever to pick up a Michelin star, Jay Fai is practically a Thai institution. Fai’s charcoal powered woks are put through their paces on a typical day, serving up countless bowls of Thai-Chinese stir fry. Quality ingredients put Jay Fai head and shoulders above the competition, and once you get a taste of the sweet crab, omelette, and curry, you’ll understand the hype.
The restaurant where locals go to splurge, Paste was practically guaranteed a Michelin star rating on the recent round of consideration. Making the sleepy Gaysorn Village its home, Paste was initially frequented by locals and diners in the know, but now everything is about to change for the restaurant. Taking ancient recipes and giving them very contemporary twists, Paste’s owners Bee Satongun and Jason Bailey aren’t afraid to go off the foodie track a little, and it’s all in the name of great flavour. Dishes are authentic, well sourced, and unquestionably delicious. Put your name on the waiting list; Paste is about to go off the charts.