This month, we’ve been eating our weight in Bangkok’s stellar restaurants and bakeries. The city boasts an abundance of restaurants, cafes, bars and bakeries to choose from, not to mention new venues that continue to pop up like wild mushrooms every month. Although we would love to mention them all, here are the ones that we highly recommend you have on your radar.
For those who want to channel your inner Emily in Paris spirit, Café Claire in Oriental Residence Bangkok will be your temporary City of Light.
Here, l’ambiance and la musique scream French bistro aesthetics. The menu full of delectable bistro fare makes the venue all the more swoon-worthy. Don’t get us started on the booths by the windows that immediately bring us back to bistro scenes in romantic films – a perfect spot for lovebirds who fancy french fare.
With a menu covering an array of French bistro classics that can be enjoyed at any time of the day and by people of all ages, Café Claire makes for a perfect gathering spot for a catch-up session with friends, or a meal with colleagues and family. Whether you covet breakfast, brunch, lunch, a Ferris wheel-themed afternoon tea, dinner or just a drink, Café Claire has you covered.
Recently, the venue has added new additions to its menu and here are a few dishes that we recommend.
First, set up the grand tone for your meal with starters like Scallop Salad (seared Hokkaido scallops with balsamic mushroom, rocket salad and chorizo sauce) and Tartare de Boeuf, a dish prepared tableside by the restaurant’s executive chef.
For mains, opt for the fork-tender (literally “fork-tender”) Duck Leg Confit that is served atop a bed of hearty truffle barley risotto. The fall-apart texture of the duck goes so well with the al dente barley.
Seafood enthusiasts, pick the Pavé de Snow Fish. It is a thick cut of fish that is seared and then served on a cloud-like dollop of mashed potatoes. Our favourite part about the whole thing is that it gets showered in TWG tea-infused lobster bisque sauce.
To finish off your meal, consider the sweet-and-sour Strawberry Mille-feuille. If you are not a fan of fruity or saccharine desserts, opt for the bittersweet Coffee Crème Brûlée.
One of the top-tier Chinese haunts in Bangkok, Pagoda Chinese Restaurant within Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park is a sacred place for those who worship dim sum, succulent Peking duck and authentic Cantonese dishes.
The surefire way to guarantee that you make the most out of your dining experience here is to follow our last visit’s orders. First things first–appetizers. Bless your table with their signatures, like the swan-like Deep-fried Purple Sweet Potato stuffed with shrimp and pork; and mushroom-shaped Steamed Mushroom Buns. These two dishes alone are capable of making everyone at the table go ooh and ahh with their cuteness. Other items you should order include Crispy Roasted Pork Belly (a must-try for pork belly lovers), Steamed Rice Rolls with Crispy Prawn, and Steamed Pork, Shrimp and Shiitake Mushroom Dumplings.
That was just a pregame. Kick off the main part of your meal with Steamed Mud Crab Sticky Rice, which is wrapped in lotus leaf and steamed – it’s deliciously hearty as well as instagrammable. Also, get the Double-boiled Black Chicken Broth with Pink Rose and Wolfberries that is stewed low and slow for over 48 hours. The roses lend refreshing notes that, to our surprise, bump up the flavour of the savoury soup.
The climax of the meal, of course, comes with the sight of the Peking Duck being rolled into the room on a cart. You can’t first but notice its crème brûlée-like cracking skin, what a thing of beauty. Watch your appetite increase back on as the server expertly carves the skin and wraps it together with cantaloup, cucumber, spring onion and sweet bean sauce in chun bing (Peking duck pancake). And no fret about the leftover duck meat going to waste. It will then be transformed into a dish of Stir-fried Duck Meat with Ginger and Spring Onion. Delicious.
Now on to sweet, we love the Chilled Mango Pudding to end the meal on a bright, cool note. Fried Pancake filled with Chinese Dates should also be your go-to if tangy dessert is not your cup of tea. And that, our friends, is the 101 guide on how to have the best feast at Pagoda Chinese Restaurant.
One of the hottest and latest venues at the moment is the modern Nordic restaurant and bar, Villa Frantzén. The restaurant is run by Chef Björn Frantzén, who has made a name for himself by creating a unique version of contemporary Nordic cuisine. However, at the Bangkok location, Chef Frantzén serves up Nordic fare with an Asian twist to keep it relevant to its diners.
Swedish Executive Chef Martin Enström, who runs the kitchen, has been living in Thailand for a long time and speaks fluent Thai. Chef Enström brings to the table an innovative take on Nordic food that is intertwined with his love for Thai culture and its cuisine.
Following the success of Acqua in Phuket, Chef Alessandro Frau has finally launched his new Bangkok location, Acqua Restaurant Bangkok.
Known for revitalising Italian fare and adding a touch of his native Sardinia to it, Chef Frau offers a one-of-a-kind Italian dining experience that has a wallop of flavour.
Patisserie Bianco e Nero
If you’re a Chef’s Table fan – like us – and have long been wanting to hit up Caffè Sicilia (a celebrated Sicilian bakery by the pastry legend, Corrado Assenza), sing hallelujah for Patisserie Bianco e Nero, a Bangkok bakery with limelight on an assorted array of Italian desserts and pastries. Taking its cue from the time-tested, authentic dessert-making traditions of Italy, the bakery churns out a splendid selection of mignon pastries that will satisfy your craving for sugar-laden Italian delicacies.