Although Bangkok’s local art scene is vibrant and thriving, the real creative wellspring in this city is the chef community – made up of both Thai natives and talented transplants from abroad. This week’s trio of restaurant recommendations straddles both those territories, while also including a new fine dining venue where a Thai and non-Thai chef have joined forces to creates something utterly unique.
(Hero image: King mackerel with fermented chili and rose apple at Potong)
Potong’s ‘Acid & Texture’ set menu combines zero waste with amazing taste
Potong is still going strong, and has, over the past few months, amassed a slew of prestigious awards and accolades; including landing a spot on ‘The Best New Restaurants in the World: 2022 Hot List’ from Condé Nast Traveler, and being nominated for the Asia’s Best New Restaurant 2022 prize from the World Culinary Awards. For anyone who hasn’t visited Chef Pichaya “Pam” Utharntharm’s multi-level Chinatown restaurant – or can’t wait to return – her current ‘Acid & Texture’ 20+ course chef’s tasting menu (THB 4500++) is definitely a suitable temptation. Chef Pam continues to elevate the overall dining experience, and now works with 100 percent local produce, while employing an overall zero waste concept wherever possible. This, in turn, is reflected in many of the new menu items, which include: a 4-bite ‘Coconut Course’, using coconut husk, coconut apple, coconut milk, and coconut meat; a locally-caught, pomfret fish course that incorporates the meat, bones, and offal in one dish; and an aged duck main course which serves the whole bird – gizzard, heart, liver, and breast. And, of course, don’t miss the expertly curated 6-glass wine pairing (THB 2,900++).
For more information and reservations, visit Potong restaurant.
Newly opened, Vilas restaurant offers an imaginative 12-course tasting menu
Vilas restaurant quietly opened its doors just last month in a private second floor section of the Mahanakhon Cube building. Paying homage to Japan’s clean aesthetic of subtle, natural elements, the interior blends an earthy palette of warm taupes, and wooden accents, contrasting the boldness of ingredients and flavours being showcased. Defying all notions of traditional Thai cuisine, the imaginative 12-course tasting menu here (THB 4,500++) adopts new ways of both eating and cooking, combining carefully sourced ingredients from other lands with those from Thailand. The visionary mastermind behind it all is Chef Prin Polsuk (Samrub Samrub Thai) who has appointed Pepe Dasi Jiménez as the restaurant’s Head Chef. Born and raised in a small town in Valencia, Spain, Chef Pepe has worked in some of the best fine dining restaurants in Spain, including Martín Berasategui (3 Michelin stars). Together the chefs combine their unique cooking styles, introducing such unique items as: Charcoal-grilled sea eel and fish roe; Steamed preserved krill with coconut cream; Grilled sticky rice served with a pla-raa relish and bottarga (cured fish roe sac); and Beef cheek curry paired with coconut Japanese rice.
For more information and reservations, visit Vilas restaurant.
Mediterra continues to serve up the best the Mediterranean Sea has to offer
Mediterra restaurant has been a solid addition to the Sukhumvit Soi 23 dining scene since it launched back in the summer of 2020. Inside, cool white stucco walls, arched passageways, and tiled floors evoke the look and feel of a Southern Italian seaside home, as does the sunny outdoor seating area decorated with prickly pear cacti. The lunch and dinner à la carte menus offer fresh, handmade, delicious dishes, with standouts from the “raw corner” that include the Tonno (THB 520++), a mix of raw tuna loin hand cut tartare with confit tomatoes, olives, and a caper and anchovy pesto, and the Ricciola (THB 480++), which pairs hamachi carpaccio with salad, citrus, and caper dust. Cheese lovers, meanwhile, will want to try the Andria (THB 480++) with 125gr of fresh burrata cheese served alongside heirloom tomatoes, anchovies, and basil. Finally, don’t miss the pastas, which include the Nero (THB 590++), a black ink tonnarelli with imported clams, yellow tomato sauce, white wine, chili and herbs, and the eye-catching Sarde (THB 560++), with egg tagliolini, fresh sardines, dill, onion, raisins, pine nuts, saffron, and almonds.
For more information and reservations, visit Mediterra restaurant.