Looking for great Thai and Asian food but don’t want to eat on the streets? Bangkok certainly has something to suit, whether you’re here on a layover or solely to explore the frenetic metropolis.
Opened just in October 2012, this newcomer located in a cozy-chic upgraded shophouse has made a quick impact on the Bangkok dining scene. Don’t expect your usually curries and pad thai here — be ready to embrace true Thai home-cooking dishes from the countryside like fried cabbage in fish sauce and a salad of beef tendon.
Issaya Siamese Club: Whether you choose a colorful bean-bag spot on the lawn, a table on the shady porch or a seat inside this vividly furnished mansion, Issaya is sure to please. Chef Ian Kittichai takes pride in his ever-changing market menu and his chef’s garden on premises. Expect traditional Thai dishes like glazed meats and seafood, and be sure to save room for dessert. Think Thai tea meets crème brulee.
The Local: The Local makes its home in a 100 year old Thai house and serves up tasty traditional dishes like southern fish curries and Thai salads. The khao soi, a dish of noodles in a northern style curry sauce, gets particularly good reviews, and the homemade ice cream in coconut, mango or Thai tea is quite the treat.
Nahm: Nahm is currently #32 on the list of the world’s top 50 restaurants, and it’s located in a dimly lit, modernly furnished room in the Metropolitan Hotel. The World’s 50 Best lists the restaurant’s stand-out dish as the Chiang Mai-style relish with quail eggs and pork crackling, but I’d spring for the set menu to take in as many flavors as possible. The surprisingly reasonable pricing is just a bonus; the set is 1800 baht per person, or about USD $60.
If you’re looking for noodles, check out Crystal Jade for their homemade la mian: hand-stretched noodles. This place is a Singaporean chain, but don’t let that deter you from stepping inside. Try the tender braised beef with knife-sliced noodles, and don’t forget that the restaurant is also named for their soup dumplings! You can’t skip a steaming order of juicy and flavorful xiao long bao.
The chefs at Smith don’t focus on Asian flavors, they just focus on meat. “Nose to Tail, Farm to Table, Nothing is Wasted,” is their slogan, and when you check out the menu, you’ll see why. From calves tongue to pigs tail, they basically cover everything. No need to be super adventurous, though, tamer cuts like glazed pork belly and slow-roasted lamb ribs abound. Be sure to book ahead!
If you have a hankering for these tiny Cantonese bites, The China House is the spot for you. Eat your weight in delicious, translucent-skinned dumplings with delicious fillings and enjoy your beautifully decorated Art-Deco surroundings. Word on the street is that the weekend buffet has great value.
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