Three two-star restaurants, 14 one-star restaurants and 35 Bib Gourmand restaurants selected by the first-ever Michelin Guide Bangkok, 2018.
Three of Bangkok’s finest restaurants have each been awarded two Michelin Stars by the inaugural Michelin Guide Bangkok 2018, which was unveiled at an awards ceremony hosted at the Grand Hyatt Hotel Bangkok today.
Indian restaurant Gaggan, French restaurant Le Normandie at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and MezzaLuna, a French restaurant with a Japanese chef, were recognised for their particularly impressive culinary achievements. Two stars have only been allocated some 400 times by the famous foodie guide since the accolades of two and three stars began in 1931.
This is the first time Michelin restaurant inspectors have visited Thailand to create a guide for the capital city. The world-famous little red book (more capitalist than communist) is branded with an instantly recognisable tyre-bellied mascot who certainly looks like he enjoys his food.
Some 300 restaurateurs, foodies and press attended to witness the first selection for the Michelin Guide Bangkok, including many of Bangkok’s celebrity chefs who looked visibly nervous, knowing how much this brand means to their careers. Would they receive one, two or three stars?
Fourteen Bangkok restaurants celebrated the award of one star, seven of whom offer Thai cuisine prepared by local chefs, such as Chim by Siam Wisdom. Bangkok restaurants serving international fare, meanwhile, are also well represented on the roadmap, including the popular German brothers at Suhring who only established their restaurant two years ago.
One of the highlights of the event, hosted in the impressive environs of the Grand Ballroom of the Grand Hyatt, was the award of one Michelin Star to a street food vendor named Jay Fai.
The 2018 guide describes Jay Fai as “a place both taxi drivers and foodies wax lyrical about”. Her street stall located in Phra Nahkon, Jay Fai is a local legend who has continued the legacy her father started 70 years ago, specialising in crab omelettes, crab curries and dry congee.
Reflecting the impressive diversity of street food in Bangkok, which is one of the most attractive spots for visitors from around the world, the Michelin guide recognised a total of 28 street food stalls among its Bib Gourmand restaurants, those who provide excellent value for money. To be listed in the guide, vendors must have a physical address.
The Tourism Authority Thailand has backed Michelin’s work here in Thailand in an effort to elevate Thailand’s food scene to a new level of global recognition and to promote the diverse range of culinary dining experiences on offer here.
The selection of worthy restaurants for the guide relies on a team of undercover inspectors who assess the quality and freshness of ingredients, quality of presentation, mastery of cooking technique and flavours, chef’s personality, consistency and value for money.
The Michelin brothers created the first guide in 1900 for French motorists containing road maps, and listings of car mechanics, petrol stations and hotels.
It may just be one of the most brazen undertakings to boost demand for a product. The idea was to make it easier for drivers to navigate their way around the country, thus increasing the car’s popularity and the mileage on tyres.
But it worked. Today, Michelin stars are synonymous with elite fine dining and the guide is the world’s most revered collection of restaurant reviews. In its 118-year history, some 20,000 addresses have been recognised by the premier foodie guide across 28 countries.
The motorists’ guide defines one star as “high-quality cooking, worth a stop”, and two stars as “worth a detour”.
Michelin Guide Bangkok 2018. Restaurants awarded Two Michelin Stars
- Gaggan (Indian) by Indian chef Gaggan Anand. Despite significant previous success and three consecutive number one awards in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, Gaggan was visibly excited to be up there on stage and humbly said he is just one of the lucky ones to live in amazing Thailand.
- Le Normandie (French) by Chef Arnaud. The riverside restaurant opened in 1958. Chef Arnaud explained it was initially a challenge teaching Thai staff French cooking techniques but the award is a “victory for the staff”.
- MezzaLuna (French) by Ryuki Kawasaki. The Japanese chef cooking French food in Bangkok demonstrates the diversity of influences in this metropolis.
Michelin Guide Bangkok 2018. Restaurants awarded One Michelin Star
- Bo.Lan by Duangporn Songvisava (Bo) and Dylan Jones (Lan) – royal Thai dishes served by the Thai-Australian chef couple.
- Chim by Siam Wisdom – traditional Thai recipes.
- Elements – enjoy a fusion of French and Japanese cuisine with impressive city views from the 25th-floor terrace.
- Ginza Sushi Ichi – sushi restaurant located in the Erawan mall started in Tokyo with branches in Singapore and Kakarta.
- J’aime by Jean Michel Lorain – creative French cuisine in a dining room that features a grand piano hanging from the ceiling and upside-down chandeliers.
- L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon – the latest award to Chef Robuchon whose chain of fine French dining restaurants has been awarded well in excess of 25 stars worldwide.
- Naam by David Thompson – very humbly, David said “thanks to the Thais for their great food and the hard work and skills of the Thai chefs at the restaurant. Me? I just go to the awards”
- Paste – Thai cuisine in the Gaysorn shopping mall.
- Saneh Jaan – Thai dishes crafted from ancient recipes.
- Savelberg – eponymously named after the Dutch chef-owner, serves modern French dishes.
- Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin – one of the original purveyors of modern and innovative Thai cuisine.
- Suhring by the Suhring brothers – exquisite German fare with humour and decadence in intimate, homely surroundings.
- Upstairs at Mikkeller by Korean-born chef Dan Bark – a perennially popular beer bar with just 20 seats for dinner.
- Jay Fai – a local legend who “both taxi drivers and foodies wax lyrical about”. Her street stall is located in Phra Nahkon and specialises in crab omelettes, crab curries and dry congee. Asked how it felt to win, Jay said, “I was excited from the very first step I made into the event”.