Villa Toscana: A Hidden Italian Gem in Bangna Critique by
Written by Christopher Menning
September 10, 2022
As a gastronomic hub of South East Asia, Thailand is fast becoming a top destination for fine dining, with both old and new restaurants thriving in this city. The pandemic has caused some institutions to close in the past few years, saddening many food lovers. In any case, things are beginning to look up, and more people are feeling confident about going out, so Gastronomer Lifestyle has put together a list of Bangkok’s best fine dining restaurants in 2022.
But what is fine dining? Despite the rise in restaurant standards, have consumer expectations risen? The concept of fine dining extends beyond the food itself. A perfect synergy between storytelling, atmosphere and service must be achieved to coincide with a well curated beverage program, meticulous sourcing of ingredients and an artistic or minimalist approach to presentation.
In the lead up to our first ‘Print Edition of Gastronomer Lifestyle’ focussing on fine dining in Bangkok, we’ve curated this list of the top venues leading the way in gastronomy.
IGNIV Bangkok has crafted a unique sharing concept of culinary delights under the helm of Chef David Hartwig and his team. The Internationally acclaimed IGNIV brand already boasts an acclaimed three-Michelin star restaurant in Switzerland. With a seasonally changing menu, the fine dining experience is set in a stunning open plan venue in the heart of the St. Regis hotel.
In spite of being listed as four courses, each course features four to five well-presented dishes to enjoy. Some highlights for us were the BBQ Pork Neck with pork belly and onion. The Toast Deluxe with tartare, egg yolk and Caviar and the fluffy soufflé for dessert.
The restaurant also offers A La Carte for its guests and the venue is perfect for business lunches or family gatherings. Some of the signature add-ons are also worthy of note including the IGNIV Chicken Nuggets with BBQ Sauce. A super premium version of the fast food classic!
After dinner, each guest receives a small box to fill with sweet treats from the Candy Store.
In a culinary deep dive into China Town’s rich history, Chef Pichaya “Pam” Utharntharm lets her life experiences guide you in a celebration of progressive Thai-Chinese cuisine. In a stunning renovated family property, she tells the story of her heritage through a 20-course tasting menu.
A Le Cordon Bleu graduate and former chef at Jean-Georges restaurant in New York, Pam has made a name for herself on the international stage. The venue pays tribute to Chinatown, sourcing ingredients from local vendors and serving dishes inspired by the area’s famous street food.
Without doubt, POTONG is one of the most memorable dining experiences in Thailand with the pinnacle of the meal being the Hay Aged, Roasted Duck. Carved table side, served with traditional accompaniments and some mouthwatering charsiu pork ribs.
Sainisa “Jay” Sangsinkeaw has spearheaded STAGE’s growth and flourishing with her extensive experience at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon Paris & Bangkok. The team have pushed their exploration of the world in terms of culinary techniques and ingredients further, to showcase ‘Menu 8.0’.
The restaurant’s interior is a cross between Scandinavian minimalism and Parisian chic. Up to 30 people are seated in the dining room, and there is also a semi-private chef’s table that looks out on the open kitchen.
The menu highlights a series of modern, exquisite dishes with a contemporary twist and playful combination. From start to finish, each dish is unique and enjoyable. The floor to ceiling glass that encloses the kitchen gives you a clear view of the culinary team at work. Two unique creations of note would
In addition to this gastronomic journey, Stage offers a carefully curated selection of fine wine and champagne. Furthermore, Stage offers cocktail and whiskey tableside service to start and end your meal, as well as a beautiful champagne trolley ready for you to enjoy. There is no better way to end the meal than with the Stage Dessert Trolley a signature of Pastry Chef Ja Limpichart.
Mia restaurant is set in a striking stand-alone house off Sukhumvit soi 26. The unique venue offers intimate fine dining from the dynamic duo, Chef Pongcharn ‘Top’ Russell and Chef Michelle Goh. With a passion for creativity, they combine European cooking techniques and Asian ingredients with the best available produce in Thailand.
We had the opportunity to test out Mia’s new summer menu and we like the changes. The latest seven-course meal features premium ingredients from around the world, as well as those sourced locally.
Throughout the meal, the duo deliver their dishes frequently and their fun characters and humour shine through.
There are several star dishes you can look forward to at the restaurant. Such as the North Sea Crab dish with Ajo Blanco sauce and paper-thin sliced Grapes. Hay Aged Duck is a rich, fruity dish served with Red Endives, Summer Apples, and Blackberries. Finally, one showstopper that is consistent on the menu is Chef Michelle’s deconstructed Cereal Bowl.
Mia also champion the humble ‘vegetable’ by offering a vegetarian and vegan taste of Mia experience.
A sophisticated gastronomic destination, Baan Tepa serves guests meticulously prepared fine dining experiences by Chef Chudaree “Tam” Debhakam. The concept is a reflection of Chef Tam’s approach to cooking and her philosophy on sustainability. At Baan Tepa it is clear to see the ingredients are at the heart of their cuisine.
The twelve course journey starts with an unsung hero of Thai cuisine, Nam Prik served in three distinct variations. Crab, Crab, Crab! Is an inspired dish with two servings. First being a blue swimmer crab custard, three orange vinaigrette and paddy rice field fat emulsion. Secondly, a Trang soft shell crab, yellow curry and fermented bamboo aioli with black crab brittle.
The tenth course, a dish that could feature on any Michelin starred restaurant, is a recipe from a 1940’s cookbook. Than Pu Ying Gleeb’s Stuffed Duck breast with pork, lotus seeds, wood ear mushroom, ginger duck jus and green lettuce. A rich, complex yet utterly flawless dish.
Using seasonal ingredients from small farming communities with a shared philosophy for sustainability and the environment they curate and cook with the highest quality Thai ingredients. The restaurant experience rivals many internationally renowned fine dining establishments. Particularly with its advanced beverage program featuring a journey through orange wines, powerful old world labels and coconut aged negronis from Head Sommelier, Giuseppe Cola.
Chef Shunsuke Shimomura takes the stage with the newly opened Resonance. The young, talented Chef Shimomura heavily uses local seafood, some unknown to even Thai locals, and combines Asian – centric ingredients to give a unique flavour experience. The innovatie menu shows a lot of promise in an expanding fine dining culture. The tea pairing is very innovative with a range of green and white tea from Taiwan and Japan used.
One notable dish is “Khao man kai”. A rendition of the classic dish, yet served has a reconstructed chicken leg, stuffed with rice. You can also find meatier options here, such as their marinated lamb served with rich Indian curry, rice, and pickles to complement the meat’s tenderness.
For dessert, their outstanding Mozzarella Cheese Ice Cream is a must-try, blending a perfect mix of savoury and sweet. Served with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt It’s an unforgettable taste.
While Blue by Alain Ducasse is a relatively recent addition to Bangkok’s culinary landscape, it has established itself as a premier gastronomic destination. Under the helm of executive Chef Wilfrid Hocquet, guests are treated to contemporary French fine dining with panoramic views of the Chao Phraya River. Nestled in the prime mega mall of ICON SIAM, this is a perfect spot for lunch or dinner after a long day of shopping.
The Ducasse brand is famous for high quality, consistent dining and the Bangkok venue is no different. A stunning array of the finest produce the world has to offer is presented elegantly for your enjoyment.
Blue Lobster from Brittany is served with potato, back and a consommé reduction. Bresse Chicken, probably the only chicken in the world registered as a Protected Designation of Origin, is married to celeriac and black truffle and the ultimate indulgence is Gold Caviar and Blinis, but the treat is probably best saved for special occasions.
The set lunch menu is very affordable for the venue, giving Bangkokian’s a taste of Chef Alain Ducasse’s monumental legacy.
In an elegant room in the SIAM@SIAM Design Hotel, TAAN may be the best example of Thai cuisine, fine dining including the best valued. ‘PRODE’ (meaning ‘favourite’ in Thai) offers guests a nine-course journey while pushing the boundaries of Thai cuisine.
TAAN Executive Chef Monthep “Thep” Kamolsilp curates a selection of dishes that span the last three years of the restaurant. In addition to showcasing the best of local cooking wisdom and ingredients, Chef Thep revitalises his most memorable dishes with innovative techniques, new presentation, and creative tweaks.
The Lobster Chae Nam Pla, raw lobster, caviar and freshwater fish sauce is an outstanding dish worthy to be an ‘a la carte’ option in any top dining establishment. The Black Chicken Congee is a worthy main course with surprisingly tasty dishes such as Deep-Fried Braised Pork Belly and frog legs with grilled banana-wrapped sticky rice building up to it. Natural and biodynamic wines will complement your dining experience and satisfy your palate.
Tucked away in Yenakart, CLARA isn’t your typical Italian restaurant in Bangkok. This Bauhaus gallery restaurant, decorated with various local art pieces, serves modern Italian fine dining.
Customers have three menu options to choose from where each course honours Italy’s traditional culinary regions. From Friuli-Venezia Giulia in the northeast to Puglia in the south. Furthermore, the restaurant offers a vegetarian menu featuring seven regions to cater to vegetarians.
We particularly liked the duck breast served with potato mille-feuille, drops of saffron sauce and Montepulciano wine reduction representing Abruzzo. A medium-rare cooking method is recommended for the duck breast.
To experience CLARA to the fullest, we recommend the signature menu for a full gastronomic tour of Italy.
From its inception in 1958, Le Normandie has been at the forefront of quintessential fine dining in Thailand. Celebrated Chef Alain Roux of The Waterside Inn is the restaurant’s Chef Patron and brings his family recipes of classic French cuisine to the Mandarin Oriental.
Even the most discerning guests will be delighted with the exquisite cuisine and impeccable service expectations will not be disappointed. Timeless signature dishes from world-renowned The Waterside Inn are included such as pan-fried Canadian lobster Medallions and ginger flavoured vegetable julienne with white port sauce.
Various set menus are available for lunch and dinner from Tuesday to Sunday, as well as a la carte.
Whilst the fine dining landscape has evolved rapidly for a more modern approach, It appears that the legacy of Le Normandie continues to live on.
It’s impossible to exclude Le Du from our list. The multi-awarded restaurant has received recognition not only nationally but internationally. For almost a decade, Chef Thitid “Ton” Tassankajohn has poured his heart and soul into elevating Thai cuisine and local produce. Combining techniques he learned in New York working in Michelin-starred restaurants such as Eleven Madison Park, The Modern and Jean-Georges, Chef Ton has helped push Thai cuisine further on the global stage.
Currently ranked no. 4 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022, Le Du means “season” in Thai with its menu changing every few months It has become a representation of the new era of Thai restaurants that use 100 percent local ingredients.
Haoma is a stunning escape from the urban chaos of Bangkok. A fine dining restaurant with sustainability at its core, Chef Owner & Successful Restaurateur Deepanker “DK” Khosla has created a modern approach to Indian food with a garden to table concept. Its stylish interior has a refined air as each detail has been carefully considered.
It has to be said, there is a level of serious professionalism that runs alongside the experience. The staff are attentive, the chefs introduce each course explaining in detail each element and you really can feel the passion resonating from the place.
The latest menu of 10 courses focused on heritage, culture and roots is a systematic display of visually stunning, and damn tasty, dishes each displaying a high level of technique. The Tandoori Melon is locally sourced caviar, burnt feta and citrus sorbet served in a custom made Haoma Caviar tin, and the Cheese Sandoz is a delightful Paneer bite size version of a cheese toastie.
A special mention should also be made of the drink experience. F&B Director Vishvas Sidana’s beverage pairings are among the best in the city with a dazzling display of supplier admiration and understanding of wine production beyond the normal suspects.
At Sühring, a green and serene ambience isn’t the only thing they could offer. Twin Chefs Owners Thomas and Mathius also offer exquisite contemporary German food for their guests to enjoy. Since opening in 2016, the brothers have made waves in the Bangkok fine dining scene setting a precedent of exquisite food presented with a minimalist aesthetic. Their repertoire of family recipes includes fermentation, pickling, smoking, drying and curing, rooted in the German tradition, as well as childhood memories that contribute to the quality of their food. At Sühring, the duo embraces local, seasonal products and luxury ingredients.
We’ve been a fan of Chef Dan Bark since Upstairs at Mikkeller, and his most recent ventures of Cadence and Caper are up there with the best in the city. In an open kitchen venue with two distinct concepts, guests can enjoy a formal dining experience or an intimate cocktail and small bites area. Having maintained a Michelin Star with each successful venue and year of operation, the talented chef has much admiration in the industry.
In order to create masterfully crafted artwork on a dish, Chef Dan incorporates memories, favourite flavours, and stories about his life into the menu. There is a delicate balance of flavours and aromas in a beautiful presentation to stimulate your senses.
We love feedback and we especially love finding out about places that we don’t know about but deserve some recognition. Give us a comment if there is a restaurant we missed and stay tuned for our next round up.
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