Siam bites: Discovering the creative cuisine of Bangkok
THIS isn’t a list about the best of anything, ultimate degustation, or top eats not from the streets. It’s more. It’s an introduction to a crossroads of culinary creation, where ancient culinary ways simmer together and creative chefs shift the boundaries of taste.
So, in no particular order, here are a few of my favorite spaces to explore flavors so singular, they daze with delight, or combinations that lift memories of time and place to sight.
Chef David Thompson
Like water, the approach in Chef Thompson’s kitchen is to flow through time, bringing the forgotten back and presenting them for us to savor. Having spent endless hours wandering the provinces of Thailand, tasting history with open admiration, he presents a passport to taste transportation that at once delivers pleasure to the palate.
Chef Carlos Gaudencio
Chef Carlos cut his teeth under greats like Guy Martin and Alain Passard, and today serves up what is regarded by many as Bangkok’s ultimate fine dining experience. “It’s classic cuisine with a modern touch,” he says. Delectable flavors and the finest wines come together here, with regular guest chefs adding a pinch of variety to the menu.
Chef Duangporn Songvisava (Bo.) & Chef Dylan Jones (lan)
Honoring the ancient techniques of Thai cookery while linking them to the tastes of today, the husband and wife duo adventurously ask us to leave preconceived notions of Thai cuisine behind with Experience, a multi-course tour of time and place through culinary byways that enter the realm of undiscovered flavors.
Chef Gaggan Anand
Breaking bounds and forging through the fringes, yet never forgetting the past while focusing on the future, Chef Gaggan presents dinners with a delicious dichotomy of then and now. With molecular re-imaginations and ancestral curries, the twelve course-tasting menu of “progressive Indian cuisine” is exceptionally uncommon.
Chef Mirco Kellar
Dedication to the application of imagination is what gives Chef Mirco’s quietly confident cuisine its beguiling charm. With a minimalist flare, his kitchen prepares precise, palate pleasing plates that gently persuade us to continue the sensorial journey with another bite. The multi-course tasting menu is a dance that leans towards lofty.
Chef Haikal Johari
Trying to label what happens in Chef Haikal’s kitchen isn’t possible. Here, creating splendor with the world’s finest ingredients, he blends science and witty fiction, to unleash a hitherto unknown reality of new flavors and textural sensations. His orchestral composition of twelve tasting dishes, with wine pairings, is a coalescence of cultures.
Some may question why this understatedly hip spot, where the cocktails are spirited, is in a list of Chef-driven dining destinations. Well, you’ve not been on a shopping trip with Jarrett. Using only the freshest ingredients direct from Thai farmers and meat producers, his kitchen is not so quietly serving some the most soulful Thai food in BKK.