Australian-born chef David Thompson opened the first incarnation of Nahm in London in 2001. The success of this Michelin-star restaurant led to the opening of this second branch in Bangkok in 2010. Featured in San Pellegrino’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2014, the menu reflects Thompson’s fine-tuned understanding of Thai cuisine’s delicate balance of sweet, salt, spice, and sour. The restaurant’s décor draws on ancient Thai temples with its simple wooden tables and rugged brick pillars.
Nang Gin Kui – Bangkok Private Dining
Nang Gin Kui is a unique dining venue overlooking the famous Chao Phraya River. The elegant yet homely environment, which can accommodate up to 30 people, recreates the atmosphere of a home-cooked dinner with friends. Meals are prepared in an open kitchen, while diners sit around traditional low tables on comfortable floor cushions. The restaurant serves set menus of Thai-fusion cuisine, complimented by wine pairings, beer, desserts and seasonal fruits.
One of Bangkok’s most successful Italian restaurants, Enoteca Italiana focuses on traditional Italian cuisine, including many regional dishes rarely found outside of Italy. In addition to the well-prepared a la carte menu, the restaurant offers a set menu which changes weekly. The interior is warm and welcoming, with red-tiled floors, wooden ceilings and flooring, exposed brickwork, and an entire wall stocked with the restaurant’s excellent selection of more than 400 wines.
Enoteca Italiana, 39 Sukhumvit Soi 27, Bangkok, Thailand, +66 02 2584386
Issaya Siamese Club
Issaya Siamese Club presents a modern menu that draws on chef Ian Kittichai’s childhood in Bangkok, as well as his experiences working in restaurants across the USA and Europe. A veritable Thai ‘celebrity chef’, Kittichai hosts a weekly cooking show that airs in more than 70 countries, in addition to appearing regularly on Iron Chef Thailand. The restaurant’s contemporary Thai menu incorporates local herbs and vegetables, many of which are grown in Kittichai’s own organic garden.
Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin
Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin is the sister restaurant of Copenhagen’s Kiin Kiin, fronted by Danish chef Henrik Yde Andersen. Kiin Kiin in Copenhagen is one of only two Michelin-star Thai restaurants in the world, and with Sra Bua, Andersen brings his world-renowned modern Thai cuisine back to its country of origin. Sra Bua presents a bold interpretation of classic Thai cuisine, including inspired reinventions of red curry, pad thai, and tom yam soup.
Café Chilli opened with the goal of bringing the taste of northeastern Thai street food to a more elegant setting. Try the steamed river fish with local herbs, or the tasty pork ball lahb salad mixed with ground rice and herbs. Portion sizes are a little small, reflecting the restaurant’s philosophy of healthy eating, but more than make up for their size with their flavor.
Nara Restaurant serves traditional Thai cuisine in a stylish, high-end setting. The restaurant is particularly popular with tourists seeking a mild introduction to Thai flavors. Try the kao nua nammanhoi (stir-fried beef in oyster sauce with jasmine rice) or the gai tord kapi (deep-fried chicken with a Thai shrimp paste marinade).
Nara Restaurant, Lower Ground Floor, Erawan Bangkok, Thailand, +66 (0) 2250 77078
Long Table is named for its distinct 24-meter-long central table, which can seat 44 people and is said to be the longest table in Thailand. Aside from the long table, the restaurant’s décor is minimalist and chic, including video art on several screens, and warm accented colors. The sophisticated Thai-fusion menu compliments the stylish décor and Long Table is well known for its superb selection of wine, beer, and cocktails, making it an equally popular stop for after-work drinks.
Seven Spoons offers generous portions of Mediterranean and vegetarian cuisine in a laid-back, retro setting. The restaurant has a vintage 1920-30s feel, with an ornate mirror behind the bar, high ceilings, exposed brick, and industrial concrete. Ingredients are sourced locally and vary according to the season, with typical dishes including halloumi tikka kebabs; cardamom spinach risotto with tamarind syrup; and smoky roast eggplant stuffed with a rice and barley pilaf and topped with buffalo mozzarella.
Seven Spoons, 211/8 Chakkrapatipong Road, Bangkok, Thailand, +66 2 628 4588
The Living Room
Known as one of the best places to hear live jazz in Bangkok, The Living Room offers a varied international menu in a timeless setting. The restaurant hosts top international jazz musicians every night, typically beginning with easy-listening jazz, and later progressing to contemporary jazz.
By Jessica Dawdy