As many of the city’s restaurants cautiously re-open, a few brave restaurateurs are opening their doors for the very first time. Here are the new restaurants in Bangkok to check out this June.
As everyone rallies to return to their tried and true favourite restaurants – at least those that have reopened their doors since the city’s post-pandemic lockdown measures have eased up – it’s worth noting that there are also some brand-new (and new-ish) dining options out there to try this month. And while it’s probably one of the most challenging times in living memory for a new restaurant venture to launch, you can’t help but marvel at the optimism and adventurous spirit of these restaurateurs, most of whom are seasoned veterans of the BKK dining scene and therefore used to unpredictable scenarios.
Sink your teeth into delicious down-home Tuscan trattoria fare, courtesy of Chef Manuelo Pintore (formerly, La Bottega di Luca and Peppina), and Paolo Vitaletti (Appia and Peppina), at the recently launched Giglio Trattoria Fiorentina. Conveniently located on Sathorn Soi 12, the restaurant focusses on simple, classic Tuscan cooking, whipping up dishes such as: pici pasta, served in a rich ragu of sausage and mushrooms; classic countryside ribollita, a soup of Tuscan bread, beans, and vegetables; fresh salads using Tuscan kale and olives; and cold cuts and cheeses from the area. Of course, no Tuscan eatery would be complete without the iconic Bistecca Fiorentina, a dry-aged T-bone steak, cooked over wood. And because Tuscany is Italy’s most prestigious wine region, the list of vinos here will solely feature wines from the area (although there’s also a great little cocktail bar specialising in classic Italian cocktails as well).
Born in Chiang Mai, chef Phattanant “May” Thongthong first made a name for herself after her successful run on TV’s Top Chef Thailand, and later she gained fame with her winning turns on Iron Chef Thailand. And while she already has acclaimed restaurants in her hometown in the north, her recently opened Maze Dining (May’s = Maze, get it?) located in the Phaya Thai area, is now poised to take Bangkok by storm. The chef’s 9-course Tasting Menu dinner – 6-courses available at lunch – combines flavour profiles from Thailand’s northern regions with techniques and presentations from around the world. Seating is a bit limited at present, with just six kitchen bar seats, or a maximum of 12 seats in dining area, but that may increase after the Covid-19 restrictions become a thing of the past. In the meantime, make your reservation for what is soon to become the talk of the town for fervent foodies.
In January of this year, chef Thitid “Ton” Tassanakajohn (of the Michelin-starred Le Du restaurant, among others) and his sommelier brother joined forces to open Mayrai Padthai, a new wine bar and casual food restaurant located in the old town, just a short walk from the new Sanam Chai MRT station. Nusara, which just opened this month, is the chef’s table fine dining room located directly above Mayrai, and it already has local tongues wagging… as well as drooling. Named after the chef’s late grandmother, this intimate eating area is designed to be a tribute to her memory. The dishes lean towards traditional Thai – think thinly sliced squid with lemongrass and chili, crab curry served over crisp betel leaf with local caviar, and pork jowls served with fresh chili paste – and during the soft opening phase the outstanding 12-course tasting menu is priced at just THB 1,990. However, the restaurant accepts just one seating per night, for 6-10 people, starting at 5:30pm, so be sure to book ahead.
Mo-na Teeratada might be known to TV fans as the winner of the Iron Chef Thailand 2019 competition, but local pasta-philes also now know him as the chef and owner of the recently launched 00 Pasta. Charmingly old-school, this two-storey eatery in Samsen (Old Town) welcomes diners with around 20 seats on the main floor and a few more tables on the small, soon-to-be-opened 2nd floor mezzanine. Chef Mo-na, who is all of 21-years-old, is also the man behind Na-Oh Bangkok, the fine dining restaurant housed inside a reclaimed airplane hull at Changchui Art Market. However, at this new venue, which opened officially about two months ago, it’s all about homemade pasta – and affordable pasta to boot! “We make the pasta by order, so that it’s always fresh,” explains the chef, and from the menu diners have over a dozen fresh pastas to choose from, which they can mix and match with various delicious sauces. So, if ravioli ox tongue, tortelli stuffed with pork, or a plate of campanelle pasta with squid ink, prawn, tomato and basil sounds good right about now, you know where to go.
There’s yet another adorably Instagrammable café in Ari, this one run by the father-daughter team of Robin and Sara Martin (along with plenty of help from Robin’s girlfriend Noi). The name, Martin’s English Café, says it all – Robin was born in Birmingham – and the menu is one that Betty Windsor would no doubt surely approve of. The lite-bite menu options run the gamut from classic English scones with jam and butter, to an afternoon tea set, homemade quiche, traditional lemon drizzle cake, carrot cake, apple tarts (more like pies), cheesecakes, and more. Also de rigueur for any Bangkok café these days is a selection of coffees, teas, iced sweet drinks, and ice cream, all of which you’ll find right here at this bright and airy venue; located just a hop skip and a jump from the Ari BTS station.