Home to some of the best restaurants in Asia, Bangkok’s food scene covers it all—from street food basics to gourmet extraordinaire; from traditional to molecular; from haute French to fusion Indian.
Bangkok has become a fixture on the tourism calendar for most upwardly mobile Indians. On the one hand, there is a category of tourists who go there for a very specific, often seedy, purpose, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that Bangkok has everything, from beautiful temples to extraordinary shopping to great hotels to food—heavenly food. Home to some of the best restaurants in Asia, Bangkok’s food scene covers it all—from street food basics to gourmet extraordinaire; from traditional to molecular; from haute French to fusion Indian. Name a mood, and you'll likely find a restaurant that caters to it across price ranges—now that you can’t put a price on it.
Malaika Arora has left for Bangkok, and we can’t wait to let her know our favorites. Malaika, if you’re reading—we know you’re reading—here’s what we would do if we were in Bangkok. Instead of giving you the usual "Best of Bangkok" lists of restaurants, where more often than not one skews somewhat French or continental, we’ll give you our favorites across cuisines and price points. "Gin khao laew ruu yaang?" as the Thai would ask you... "Have you eaten yet?" Here we go then.
1. SUPANNIGA EATING ROOM
Thai comfort food at its simplest and creative best is what we start off with. The idea of Supanniga started with a reminiscence of the owner’s grandmother’s home-cooked meals, which brought traditional cooking formulas back to life at Supanniga Home Khon Kaen, where they have been well received. What Supanniga—across branches—hopes to do is just that: bring back homecooked deliciousness and memories in bowl after bowl of extraordinary food. If you want authentic recipes passed down from a Thai khunyai (grandma), this is the place to start.
2. JAY FAI
In 2022, only 30 restaurants—out of an estimated 320,000—in Bangkok were awarded a Michelin star. Jay Fai was one of them. In fact, it’s the second star the restaurant has gotten; it got its first one back in 2018. You may be thinking, sure, plenty of haute designer restaurants get Michelin stars; what's so special about Jay Fai? Well. It’s special because it’s one of only two street-food stalls in the world to have the ". Tai Hwa Pork Noodle in Singapore is the other one, if you’re wondering. And when you eat at Jay Fai, you will know exactly why it has two stars. Just as Russell Crowe and even Martha Stewart would tell you. Some of you may even have seen Jay Fai being profiled on the Netflix show ‘Street Food.’ Now, just because it is street food, we must warn you, does not mean it comes cheap. In addition to being booked out months in advance, the restaurant is also not exactly the cheapest. But if you love great food, we cannot recommend enough the creations of chef Junsuta and her little army of mostly women assistants. Crab omelet is the way to go.
Gaa is a matter of personal pride for us Indians. A modern Indian fine dining restaurant situated in a traditional Thai house in the heart of Bangkok, Gaa is a glimpse into how Indian cooking and cuisines have influenced Thai cooking and cuisines and vice versa. Through geographical and cultural proximity, over millennia, the two regions have exchanged spices and stories. The new Rasa menu introduced just about a month ago is to die for. Chef Garima Arora became the first Indian female chef to earn a Michelin star at the age of 32. In March 2019, Restaurant Gaa made its debut on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list at No. 16 with the Highest New Entry Award, and shortly after, claimed its place at No. 95 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Gaa is currently ranked No. 33 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022 list.
These are, of course, just our introductory courses to food in Bangkok across three price ranges. We need hardly mention the many extraordinary restaurants in Bangkok. Sorn is not only one of Bangkok’s best, but was also recently adjudged one of the world’s best. Le Du, Sühring, Nusara, Blue by Alain Ducasse, Sushi Masato, and Samrub Samrub Thai are in fact among the top 50 restaurants in Asia as of last year. All in Bangkok, all offering great variety. But more on those in the coming days. For now, Malaika, go to these three and tell us what you thought.