| 11am-10pm Wed-Mon; ; Surasak exit 3)
Resembling grandma’s living room, this homey restaurant serves predominately
Western-style vegan and raw dishes.
EAT ME $$$ INTERNATIONAL OFFLINE MAP GOOGLE MAP ( 0 2238 0931; www.eatmerestaurant.com; Soi Phiphat 2; mains 340-1350B; 3pm-1am; ; Si Lom exit 2, Sala Daeng exit 2) The dishes at this longstanding restaurant, with descriptions like ‘fig & blue cheese ravioli w/walnuts, rosemary and brown butter’, or ‘beef cheek tagine w/saffron and dates’, may sound all over the map or perhaps even somewhat pretentious, but they’re actually just plain tasty.
A buzzy, casual-yet-sophisticated atmosphere, good cocktails and a handsome wine list, and some of the city’s best desserts, are additional reasons why this is one of our favourite places in Bangkok to dine.
D’SENS $$$ FRENCH OFFLINE MAP GOOGLE MAP ( 0 2200 9000; www.dusit.com; 22nd fl, Dusit Thani Hotel, 946 Th Phra Ram IV; set lunch from 800B, set dinner from 3100B, mains 1300-1800B; 11.
30am-2pm & 6-10pm Mon-Fri, 6-10pm Sat; ; Si Lom exit 3, Sala Daeng exit 4) Perched like an air-traffic control tower atop the Dusit Thani Hotel, D’Sens doesn’t only offer the best restaurant views in Bangkok, it’s also one of the city’s best fine dining experiences.
The progressive menu draws its influences from the traditions of the south of France, emphasising high-quality imported ingredients.
SOMBOON SEAFOOD $$$ THAI OFFLINE MAP GOOGLE MAP ( 0 2233 3104; www.somboonseafood.com; cnr Th Surawong & Th Narathiwat Ratchanakharin (Chong Nonsi); mains 120-900B; 4-11.
30pm; ; Chong Nonsi exit 3) Somboon, a busy seafood hall with a reputation far and wide, is known for doing the best curry-powder crab in town.
Soy-steamed sea bass ( Ъ lah grà·pohng nêung see·éw ) is also a speciality and, like all good Thai seafood, should be enjoyed with an immense platter of k?w pàt Ъ oo (fried rice with crab) and as many friends as you can gather together.
LE DU $$$ INTERNATIONAL OFFLINE MAP GOOGLE MAP ( 09 2919 9969; www.ledubkk.com; 399/3 Soi 7, Th Silom; mains 220-1200B; 11.
30pm & 6-11pm Mon-Fri, 6-11pm Sat; ; Chong Nonsi exit 2) A play on the Thai word for season, Le Du, not surprisingly, emphasises fresh, seasonal ingredients that blend east and west.
But don’t call it fusion: dishes such as ‘spaghetti with smoked duck, poached egg, tomato, bacon and basil’ are just plain tasty.
For the full experience, including the wonderful desserts, come for the four- to seven-course tasting menus (from 990B to 1590B).
INDIGO $$$ FRENCH OFFLINE MAP GOOGLE MAP (6 Th Convent; mains 390-1850B; noon-11pm; ; Si Lom exit 2, Sala Daeng exit 2) Set in a former schoolhouse, the charming atmosphere appears to be the main draw here.
But the food actually delivers.
Think your neighbourhood French place, if your neighbourhood French place had oysters flown in from Les Halles on a weekly basis and an interesting cheese selection.
Lumphini & Around KAI THORT JAY KEE $$ THAI OFFLINE MAP GOOGLE MAP (Soi Polo Fried Chicken; 137/1-3 Soi Sanam Khlii (Soi Polo); mains 40-280B; 11am-9pm; ; Lumphini exit 3) This Cinderella of a former street stall has become synonymous with fried chicken.
Although the s?m ?am (green papaya salad), sticky rice and lahp (spicy ‘salad’ of minced meat) give the impression of a northeastern Thai-style eatery, the deep-fried bird is more southern in origin.
Regardless, smothered in a thick layer of crispy deep-fried garlic, it is none other than a truly Bangkok experience.
NGWANLEE LUNG SUAN $$ CHINESE, THAI OFFLINE MAP GOOGLE MAP (cnr Soi Lang Suan & Th Sarasin; mains 50-900B; 7am-3am; Ratchadamri exit 2) This open- air staple of copious consumption is going strong after decades.
If you can locate the entrance, squeeze in with the postclubbing crowd and try some Chinese-style street dishes you never dare to order elsewhere, such as jàp chài (Chinese-style stewed vegies) or h?y lai pàt nám prík p?w (clams stir-fried with chilli sauce and Thai basil).
ISSAYA SIAMESE CLUB $$ THAI OFFLINE MAP GOOGLE MAP (www.issaya.com; 4 Soi Sri Aksorn; mains 150-580B; 11.
30pm & 6-10.
30pm; ; Khlong Toei exit 1 & taxi) In a charming 1920s-era villa, Issaya is Thai celebrity chef Ian Kittichai’s first effort at a domestic outpost serving the food of his homeland.
Dishes alternate between somewhat saucy, meaty dishes and lighter dishes using produce from the restaurant’s organic garden.
The restaurant can be a bit tricky to find, and is best approached in a taxi via Soi Ngam Duphli.
NAHM $$$ THAI OFFLINE MAP GOOGLE MAP ( 0 2625 3388; www.comohotels.com/metropolitanbangkok/dining/nahm; ground fl, Metropolitan Hotel, 27 Th Sathon Tai (South); set lunch 1100B, set dinner 2000B, mains 180-700B; noon-2pm Mon-Fri, 7- 10.
30pm daily; ; Lumphini exit 2) Australian chef-author David Thompson is behind what is almost certainly one of Bangkok’s best Thai restaurants, and if you believe the critics, the best in all of Asia in 2014.
Using ancient cookbooks as his inspiration, Thompson has given new life to previously extinct dishes such as ‘smoked fish curry with prawns, chicken livers, cockles and black pepper’.
Dinner takes the form of a multicourse set meal, while lunch features kà·n?m jeen (thin rice noodles served with curries).
If you’re expecting bland, gentrified Thai food meant for foreigners, prepare to be disappointed.
ZANOTTI $$$ ITALIAN OFFLINE MAP GOOGLE MAP (www.zanottigroup.com; 21/2 Th Sala Daeng; mains 190-1600B; 11.
30am-2pm & 6-10.
30pm; ; Si Lom exit 3, Sala Daeng exit 4) Zanotti has a well-deserved reputation as one of Bangkok’s best destinations for Italian.
But we also fancy the dark woods and framed paintings of the gentlemen’s club–like dining room, not to mention the professional and confident service – the latter a rarity in Bangkok.
Come midday from Monday to Friday for the amazing-value set lunch that starts at only 350B.
CHOCOLATE BUFFET $$$ INTERNATIONAL OFFLINE MAP GOOGLE MAP (www.sukhothai.com; Sukhothai Hotel, 13/3 Th Sathon Tai (South); buffet 900B; 2-5pm Fri-Sun; ; Lumphini exit 2) If you love the sweet stuff, the Sukhothai Hotel offers a unique, almost entirely cocoa-based high tea.
TOP SIGHTS LUMPHINI PARK Named after Buddha’s birthplace in Nepal (Lumbini), Lumphini Park is central Bangkok’s largest and most popular park.
Its 58 hectares are home to an artificial lake surrounded by broad, well-tended lawns, wooded areas, walking paths and the odd scurrying monitor lizard to complement the shuffling Bangkokians – it’s the best outdoor escape from Bangkok without leaving town.
The park was originally a royal reserve but in 1925 Rama VI (King Vajiravudh; r 1910–25) declared it a public space.
In the years since it has matured and, as the concrete has risen all around, become the city’s premier exercise space.
One of the best times to visit is early morning, when the air is (relatively) fresh and legions of Chinese are practising t’ai chi, doing their best to mimic the aerobics instructor or doing the half-run half-walk version of jogging that makes a lot of sense in oppressive humidity.
A weight-lifting area in one section becomes a miniature ‘muscle