Hot new restau­rants mak­ing waves in Bangkok

A guide to the hottest new restau­rants and bars in Bangkok.

Time Out Singapore - - The Hot List - By Phav­itch Theer­aphong

IF YOU’RE IN BANGKOK and have al­ready made the pil­grim­age to your favourite tom yum and pad Thai joints, you might wanna check out these bright new stars of the city’s food scene.

Gaa Fine din­ing from Gag­gan’s for­mer sous chef

An aban­doned build­ing that’s been sit­ting op­po­site Gag­gan for years has been taken over by the restau­rant’s for­mer sous chef and trans­formed into Gaa, a fine din­ing des­ti­na­tion that’s poised to take Bangkok’s food scene by storm.

Helm­ing the kitchen is Garima Arora, a Mum­bai­hail­ing jour­nal­ist-turned- chef who earned her cook­ing chops at Copen­hagen’s Noma be­fore land­ing a spot in Gag­gan’s kitchen. In a homey din­ing room, Arora serves eight- ($73) and 12-course ($97) meals that al­chemise lo­cal or­ganic in­gre­di­ents into an eclec­tic mix of in­ter­na­tional flavours.

A meal usu­ally starts off with an en­tic­ing starter like grilled young corn husk brushed with chilli and paired with an ad­dic­tive corn emul­sion, be­fore mov­ing on to more sub­stan­tial fare such as pork ribs brined in ‘piso’ (split-pea miso). This dish, which plays up in­tense flavours against mild tex­tures, is topped with a colour­ful combo of shal­lots, spring onions and pome­gran­ate. à 68/4 Soi Lang­suan, Pathumwan (+66 91 419 2424). Daily 6-10pm.

Ba Hao Chi­nese-themed wa­ter­ing hole

While most of the Ori­ent-in­spired bars in Bangkok can boast amaz­ing in­te­ri­ors, their kitchens don’t ex­actly is­sue out de­cent bar chow. And this is where Ba Hao, Soi Nana’s new­est Chi­nese-themed joint, pleads a dif­fer­ence.

Co-owner Tikham­porn Chuenkit­tivo­ra­vat, equipped with culi­nary train­ing from Man­darin Ori­en­tal Bangkok, has helped put to­gether a well­cu­rated food menu fea­tur­ing Chi­nese-style street eats meant to be paired with booze. Start out with the cold tofu ($6.40) that’s im­mersed in a soup of herbal soya sauce, hoisin, and spicy sesame oil. Then move on to the duck dumplings ($8.80), ful­fill­ing lit­tle pock­ets filled with shred­ded duck and served with a gin­gery sweet and sour sauce.

The bar of­fers a se­lec­tion of craft beer in bot­tles and on tap. Mixol­o­gists from other ac­claimed spots in Bangkok have helped out with the drinks list, cre­at­ing Chi­nese-in­spired con­coc­tions with names like For­bid­den Gold (Ts­ing­tao beer with peach liquor and lime juice, and a Ne­groni (both $11.60) that’s given an Ori­en­tal twist with gin­seng and a Chi­nese en­ergy drink. à 8 Soi Nana, Yaowarat (+66 81 454 4959). Tue-Sun 6pm-mid­night.

Gaa is a fine din­ing des­ti­na­tion that’s poised to take Bangkok’s food scene by storm

Sushi Zo Bangkok out­post of Miche­lin­starred LA sushi joint

Af­ter con­quer­ing the US and earn­ing a Miche­lin star (for its Los An­ge­les out­let) in the process, Sushi Zo is set to raise the bar in Bangkok’s fine din­ing scene with its first Asian out­post.

Un­like the more pop­u­lar edo­mae style, Sushi Zo fo­cuses on dif­fer­ent kinds of ponzu and soya sauce to mar­i­nate the fish. The out­come is an in­ter­play of con­trast­ing sweet and sour notes that doesn’t over­power the fish, which are flown in daily from Ja­pan.

About 22 pieces of the fresh­est ni­giri and sashimi are rolled out through­out the two-hour-long course. Our visit kicks off with an im­pres­sive sashimi plat­ter of Hokkaido oys­ters drenched in tangy-sweet ponzu sauce, scat­tered pieces of cor­net­fish, bluefin tuna and sweet shrimp. The akami tuna is melt-in-your­mouth de­li­cious, with a slight tangi­ness com­ing from the nikiri soya sauce. And the ankimo, or monk fish liver, served luke­warm, de­liv­ers a sump­tu­ous creami­ness.

Prices av­er­age around $283, de­pend­ing on the catches of the day. And reser­va­tions, made at least a month in ad­vance, are highly rec­om­mended.

à 63 Wire­less Rd, Athe­nee Tower (face­book. com/sushi­zothai­land, +66 2 168 8490). Tue-Sun 6.15-7.45pm, 8-9.30pm.

Sri Trat Cui­sine from Thai­land’s east coast

For most Thai folks, Trat, a small prov­ince on the east­ern se­aboard, is of lit­tle sig­nif­i­cance. But for food­ies, the re­gion is home to one of the most de­light­ful cuisines in the coun­try, thanks to its abun­dance of seafood, fresh fruits and rare herbs. Hop­ing to put some of the prov­ince’s sig­na­ture dishes on the food map, Trat na­tive Wong­wich Sripinyoo, opened this restau­rant that also pays trib­ute to the two of his loves: his home­town and his mother.

The menu car­ries items that fol­low old fam­ily recipes and com­bine an ar­ray of fresh in­gre­di­ents (some of them grown on-site). It in­cludes sta­ple dishes from Trat, like pork curry with chamuang leaves ($9), and bar­racuda pieces tossed in vine­gar and served ce­viche style ($9). The fish is paired with a dip­ping sauce made of caramelised peanuts.

If you’d like to end the meal on a sweet note, don’t miss the dessert plat­ter ($14.10), which fea­tures Sri Trat sig­na­tures like khao krieb pak mor di­eng, a rare treat stuffed with co­conut and green beans, and bua loy haeng, a sweet, mochi-like dumpling dipped in aro­matic co­conut sauce. à 90 Sukhumvit 33 (+66 2 088 0968). Mon & Wed-Sun noon-3pm, 6-11pm.

Sushi Zo

Pork ribs brined in ‘piso’ from Gaa

Ba Hao

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