It’s no secret that the F&B scene in Bangkok has been in a bit of a limbo since the New Year began but, none-the-less, here’s a few new, and recently launched, restaurants and cafés to keep February interesting – and give a much needed kick start to 2021.
February includes two special holidays that have brought some much-needed traffic into Bangkok’s multitude of valiantly struggling restaurants, namely Chinese New Year (February 12th), and Valentine’s Day (February 14th). But now that those anticipated dates have come and gone, take some time to check out some of the city’s newly opened eateries, which this month range from eminently elegant fine dining venues, to cool and casual cafés and bistros. And to make things extra easy, three of these new dining spots are located in the same recently opened luxury hotel.
Hero image: Market Café by Khao
When the Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok at Chao Phraya River officially opened in mid-December, 2020, it unveiled not one but three new dining spots. Bringing a touch of colonial Gallic charm to the hotel’s F&B line-up is Brasserie Palmier, the riverside restaurant – designed by AvroKo – which puts the emphasis on fish and seafood dishes that still adhere to classic recipes, but with lighter preparations better suited the tropical weather of Thailand. A live oyster and wine bar take centre stage at here, allowing diners to discover new and exciting tastes. As for the main menu, highlights include signature seafood towers, daily le plat du jour specials, and, of course, savoury and sweet palmiers (butterfly-shaped French pastries). On weekends don’t miss trying the scrumptious à la carte breakfast, from 8:30am to noon, with fresh baked pastries, breads, crepes, and a croque monsieur par excellence.
YU TING YUAN
Designed by Jean-Michel Gathy, Yu Ting Yuan is the recently opened signature Chinese restaurant at the new Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok at Chao Phraya River. This fine dining venue features floor-to-ceiling windows that reveal a gorgeous backdrop of gardens and a shimmering water reflection pond. Traditional Chinese architecture, expressed in a modern style and complemented by ornate chandelier fixtures and contemporary artwork, embellish the sumptuous interior. In the kitchen, Head Chef Qiu Xiaogui and his team – including Chinese BBQ Chef Liu Guokun and Dim Sum Chef Wang Yucheng – serve authentic Cantonese cuisine and regional favourites, prepared with the freshest ingredients and presented in a way that creates a multi-sensory dining experience. And to go with your unforgettable meal, the restaurant’s sommelier invites guests to explore unconventional wine pairings, with more than 300 suggestions from the old and new world on his carefully curated list.
RIVA DEL FIUME RISTORANTE
Executive Chef Andrea Accordi takes diners on a flavourful journey across Italy at Riva del Fiume Ristorante, an authentic, seasonally inspired Italian dining spot which opened in mid-December at the new Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok at Chao Phraya River. The restaurant’s atmosphere exudes the carefree attitude and timeless charm of Lake Como, while the menu items bring to life the history and innovation happening in kitchens throughout Italy. Start by sampling a selection of crudo (raw dishes), which display both the skill of the kitchen team and the depth of flavour found in the fresh ingredients. Then, move on to handcrafted pastas, freshly baked schiacciata, gourmet pizzas, risotto plates, and more – all of which encourage sociable dining and sharing. As for the vino, wine curator Marino Braccu has handpicked an approachable selection of indigenous Italian grape varietals and aperitivos, while the restaurant’s signature homemade small-batch limoncello, distilled from Sicilian lemons, provides the perfect cap to each meal.
The Siam@Siam Design Hotel Bangkok has just opened Chim Chim, a vibrant and colourful new eatery on the hotel’s ground floor. Within this delightfully decorated, high-ceilinged, two-level space you’ll find breakfast favourites to start the day, as well as sourdough pizzas, burgers, artisanal sandwiches, scrumptious desserts like the yummy brioche toast, and so much more. For drinks there’s coffee from Roots and tea from Monsoon, plus nutrient-packed smoothies, devilish milkshakes, and decadent specialty cocktails. By day the floor-to-ceiling windows flood the interior with natural light, while the crisp whitewashed walls and terrazzo floors provide the feeling of an art gallery – which it kind of is, as artworks from locally-based talents will be displayed on a rotating basis. The name of the restaurant itself refers to the Thai word “chim”, which means to taste or try out something new, so drop in, peruse the wide-ranging menu, and surprise yourself with a hearty breakfast burrito, the not-to-be-missed crab pesto with homemade pasta, the grilled daily-caught fish from Chumphon, or the Beef of the Week, sourced directly from Thailand’s Isaan region.
MARKET CAFÉ BY KHAO
The Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit has just opened the doors to Market Café by Khao, in which the amazing authentic recipes from the one-Michelin-starred Khao, on Ekkamai 10, will now be prepared and presented by the talented team at the hotel’s already popular Market Café restaurant on the 4th floor. Those already familiar with the mouth-watering menus at Khao can still expect some surprises though, as several items are unique to this newest branch. Among the highlight dishes at the VIP opening night dinner launch were: Crispy sago crackers with spicy prawn dipping sauce; Crab satay with curry sauce, cucumber and chili relish on chargrilled bread; gourmet Pad Thai with tasty river prawn; Massaman curry with a hearty lamb shank; and a magnificent spicy clear shrimp paste soup with sliced beef. The restaurant will be open for dinner only, from 6pm till 10:30pm daily.
Following an extensive renovation, Sundance Lounge at Seenspace Thonglor (sister venue to the Sundance Lounge in Hua Hin) has officially transformed itself from a brunch spot and tearoom into a full dinner menu restaurant. Diners can now enjoy an exquisitely handcrafted French-Asian dining experience, where each dish is prepared with meticulous detail, utilising fresh, carefully sourced ingredients. Bask in the romantic ambience of the restaurant’s glamourous setting as you tuck into fusion food with flair – a perfect example being the Beef Tataki, a premium grade Australian cut topped with a wasabi tuile. Also of note are the foie gras crêpes, a delightful combination of savoury and sweet, and the seared French duck breast, which is slow-cooked and adorned with the chef’s unique pineapple gastrique. Round out the meal with a vanilla mousse pavlova, with passionfruit sauce and fresh berries, and don’t miss trying one – or two, or more – of the creative cocktails from the bar (circumstances permitting).
Langsuan Road recently welcomed Mickey’s, a wonderfully retro American-style diner which is helmed by the always inventive chef Chalee Kader (100 Mahaseth). Located in the spot previously occupied by Beer Bridge, at the Portico building, the menu here is inspired by the chef’s years spent in San Francisco. If you ever lived, or perhaps studied, in the US, and miss the kind of comfort food classics America is famous for, then tuck into menu items such as tuna melts, fried chicken and waffles, Cobb salad, buffalo wings, New England clam chowder, pecan pie, and more. Another American tradition lovingly resurrected here is the all-day breakfast menu, where cooked-to-order eggs, Canadian bacon, home fries, sausage patties, French toast, buttermilk pancakes, corned beef hash, and even biscuits and gravy all make an appearance. As for drinks, they run the gamut from over-the-top milkshakes to over-the-top Bloody Marys.
This under-the-radar café and specialty tea shop opened late last year, and has been slowly building its reputation by word of mouth. Located at the Sathorn end of Thanon Pan, Flâneur Tea boasts a beautiful garden setting in which customers can enjoy lovely jazz playing in the background as they sip on crafted teas, hot and cold coffee concoctions, and healthy juice boosters. The food menu, meanwhile, features baked goods such as fresh croissants, grilled sandwiches, salads, soups, granola bowls, pastas, and more. And for the sweet tooth, there’s loads of gorgeous looking tea-inspired treats and desserts. The word flâneur, by the way, is a French term referring to a passionate wanderer who strolls through the city, a figure emblematic of nineteenth-century French literary culture, so stroll on by and take a break at this delightful daytime dining spot.
Located in a 200-something-year-old corner Chinese house in the historic Talad Noi area, Patina Bangkok is a new café in town that provides – if nothing else – incredibly atmospheric Instagrammable backdrops. The house itself is a beautiful example of the unique architecture of the era, while the cracks in the walls, the flaking paint, and the off-kilter furniture add to the “blast from the past” ambience. The conversion into a modern café left all of the building’s crumbling beauty intact, making it a wonderfully evocative space in which to enjoy the specialty coffees and baked goods currently on the menu. Patina is still in its opening phase, so keep an eye out for new additions to the menu in the coming months (including wines and other bar beverages).