Best 5 restaurants: Bangkok

Bangkok’s dining scene presents endless possibilities. The capital city is bursting with a myriad of flavours and fragrances at every corner. Here is where modernity meets traditional Thai favourites and molecular gastronomy meets Indian classics. Craving for fresh Japanese sushi or a some hearty seafood dishes? We have them pinned down too.

We show you five of our favourite restaurants in Bangkok that each score in style, ambience, quality and flavour. Even the experts agree, with two of the World’s Best 50 Restaurants making it to our list too.

Nahm
Address: Ground Floor, The Metropolitan Hotel, 27 South Sathorn Road, Bangkok 10120
How to get there:
Opening hours: Open daily from 12pm to 2pm, 7pm to 10.30pm
Contact: +66 (0) 2625 3333

It is Thailand’s most watched restaurant, and now it is the world’s. Crowned the best in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2014, Namh is helmed by renowned Australian-born chef David Thompson and is a shining example of fine Thai cuisine that remains resolutely traditional without being boring. The restaurant prides itself as a place for both “serious gourmets” and “those who desire to learn more about authentic local cuisine”. Its many flavourful offerings include a jungle curry with pla chorn, a Thai freshwater fish.
Nahm’s dinner set menu costs 1,700 baht ($66.25), while lunch is at 1,100 baht ($42.90). It may be a tad pricey for Thailand’s standards but for a restaurant that’s also ranked 13th in the World’s Best 50 Restaurants 2014 list, it will surely be worth the money.

Isao Sushi Bar
Address: 5 Sukhumvit 31 Klongtoey-nua, Wattana, Bangkok 10110
How to get there: Take the BTS skytrain to Asoke station along Sukhumvit Road. Isao is located 150m from the junction of Sukhumvit Road and Soi 31
Opening hours: Open daily from 11am to 2.30pm, 5.30pm to 10pm
Contact: +66 2 258 0645

Isao, known for its fusion Japanese creations, is a firm favourite for sushi lovers in Bangkok. Chef Isao takes the traditional Japanese sushi and presents it creatively, making it both a treat for your eyes and tastebuds.

A must-try is the Sushi Sandwich (300 baht), consisting of spicy tuna and salmon stuffed between layers of sushi rice with tempura batter, ebiko and scallion. Full of interesting textures and flavours, it definitely lives up to its hype. Isao serves sushi a la carte instead of buffet style, ensuring utmost quality in every dish. Reservations are necessary especially for dinner.

Gaggan
Address: 68/1 Soi Langsuan, Ploenchit Road, Lumpini, Bangkok 10330
How to get there: Take the BTS skytrain to Chit Lom station on the Sukhumvit Line. Walk down Soi Langsuan and turn right just after Soi 3.
Opening hours: Open daily from 6pm to 11pm
Contact: +662 652 1700, www.eatatgaggan.com, info@eatatgaggan.com

Gaggan is a progressive Indian cuisine restaurant in Bangkok, which debuted at 17 on the list of World’s Best 50 Restaurants. Chef Anand Gaggan, who hails from Kolkata, spices up simple Indian recipes with exotic reinterpretations and modernist cooking techniques. It is a molecular gastronomer’s paradise too, featuring foams, smokes and liquid nitrogen in the menu.

Gaggan’s creativity shines in many ways. His humorously named Green with Envy consists of green peppercorn chicken kebabs combined with coriander foam, while Chowpati Year 2050, is a whimsical recreation of the popular street food papdi chaat, comprising a spherical yoghurt “egg” on a fried dough chip with herbal foam and tamarind chutney. There is a 10-course tasting menu costing 1,600 baht ($62.40).

Somboon Seafood
Address: 26 Soi UdomSuk 60, Sukhumvit 103 Road, Nong Bon, Pravet, Bangkok 10250
How to get there: The nearest BTS station is UdomSuk. The best way to get there is by taxi. Be sure to give the driver the exact address and be firm, as scams can be quite common
Opening hours: Open daily from 4pm to 11.30pm
Contact: +66 (2) 746 6850 3, www.somboonseafood.com

Mouthwatering, fresh and succulent, Somboon Seafood is the go-to place to satisfy your craving for crabs. Their signature dish is the fried curry crab, doused in a delicious curry sauce cooked with eggs and spices. Costing between 260 to 1,200 baht depending on the size of the crab, messy eaters would be happy to know that they also serve the crab de-shelled.

Somboon Seafood is actually a franchise with seven outlets. Only the three in Sam Yan, Central Embassy and Siam Square One are open for lunch and dinner. The rest are open only from 4pm. The branch in UdomSuk is said to be the best in terms of quality, but the branches at Surawong, Ratchada and Bantadthong are popular too.

Isan Rodded
Address: 3/5-6 Thanon Rangnam
How to get there: Take the BTS to Victory Monument station, exit to Thanon Rangnam Road, walk down the street until you see the big King Power complex (fancy dome building) and the restaurant will be on your left hand side (opposite King Power)
Opening hours: Open daily from 11am to 10pm
Contact: +66 02 246 4579

It’s tasty, that’s for sure. Rod ded means tasty and this restaurant is best known for cooking up traditional dishes from the north-eastern region Isan. Be sure to try the som tam, a raw papaya salad tossed with tiny dried shrimps, fiery chillies and roasted peanuts. Its a perfectly balanced combination of both sweet and sour flavours, a hallmark of Thai cuisine.
Prices are reasonable, with dishes ranging from 50 to 100 baht. The place has been in operation for 30 years and is always packed.