Wining and dining in Bangkok

The Scirocco offers one hell of a view

The Scirocco offers one hell of a view

By Pimkarn Kometsopa

A thriving oasis for food lovers, Bangkok is packed with a great number of restaurants offering various kinds of food. The restaurants here are also known for their outrageous, stylish and authentic décor. You can sit in one of the renowned Italian places and feel like you are dining in Rome or munch on a piece of nan bread in an Indian eatery and feel like you are in Delhi. Some even say that food is reason enough to visit Bangkok.

If you are in Bangkok for a special occasion, perhaps some of the best venues to check out are the rooftop restaurants. Nothing beats dining al fresco, where you can gasp at breathtaking views of the city and the beautiful Chao Phraya River. Try the famous Sirocco (tel: +66 2 624 9999) on the 64th floor of the State Tower on Silom road, serving tasty Mediterranean and international cuisine among lovey-dovey couples and local kids with thick wallet, while Vertigo (tel: +66 2 679 1200) on the 61st floor of Banyan Tree Hotel on Sathorn road is famed for its delectable Italian dishes and signature cocktails.

Another must-try can’t be anything else but tasty Thai cuisine. You can find an array of quick Thai dishes such as a plate of chicken fried rice and spicy tom yum kung at any food vendor along the street. However, it is highly recommended to try refined Thai dishes with exquisite decoration once you are in Bangkok.

Royal Thai food is usually the kind of food served in the palace both, in the past and at present, and is marvelously garnished with beautifully carved pieces of vegetable. The favourite Bangkok restaurant venues for this kind of food include Baan Khanitha (tel: +66 2 675 4200), with captivating Thai decoration, and the world renowned Blue Elephant Cooking School & Restaurant (tel: +66 2 673 9353), which serves a wide range of royal Thai dishes and fabulous cocktails at the Blue Bar.

Asian food is generally spicy but tasty

Asian food is generally spicy but tasty

Other Asian cuisines are also not to be missed if you are willing to try new things. Those wishing to have their first taste of Japanese grub should visit Tsu (tel: +66 2 656 7700) at JW Marriott Hotel or Keyaki at the Pan Pacific Hotel (tel: +66 2 632 9000), both boasting authentic taste and feel.

Fans of Chinese food can find a wide selection of tangy dim sum and other palatable dishes at the China House at the Oriental Hotel (tel: +66 2 659 9000), and Bai Yun at the Banyan Tree Hotel (tel: +66 2 679 1200).

Indus on Sukhumvit 26 (tel: +66 2 258 4900) and Royal Indian in the old town (tel: +66 2 221 6565) feature spicy Indian dishes known for their authenticity and optimum quality of ingredients, while Rang Mahal at Rembrandt Hotel (tel: +66 2 261 7100) and Tandoor at Holiday Inn Hotel (tel: +66 2 238 4300) are a bit more upscale, oozing remarkable Indian-styled interior and live music.

Even if you claim to have tasted the best steak in your life somewhere else in the world, it doesn’t hurt to try Bangkok’s most famous steakhouse, New York Steakhouse in JW Marriot Hotel (tel: +66 2 656 7700). The prices here are a bit high, but the premium imported steaks and well-prepared side dishes are definitely well worth it. Another steakhouse quite popular for both locals and ex-pats is Great American Rib (tel: 66 2 258 5942) with Texas-inspired vibes, mouthwatering ribs and yummy margaritas. The restaurant is very homey and perfect for a family dinner.

Bangkok restaurants are home to a dizzying array of European cuisine, with the majority of European restaurants being Italian. Italian restaurants are scattered across the city, all claiming to be authentic. Some of the notable ones include the 11-year-old Gianni Ristorante (tel: +66 2 252 1619); Biscotti (tel: +66 2 255 5443) at the Four Seasons Hotel, renowned for their risotto and gnocchi, while Scoozi Pizzeria (tel: +66 2 391 5113) and Bella Napoli (tel: +66 2 259 0405) have been pizza lovers’ favourites for quite some time.

Al fresco dining is popular in Bangkok

Al fresco dining is popular in Bangkok

French cuisine isn’t as popular as Italian, but represented at restaurants in Bangkok all the same. Try Le Normandie at the Oriental Bangkok Hotel (tel: +66 2 659 9000) and Le Vendôme (tel: +66 2 662 0530) on Sukhumvit 31, both boasting refined French food amid a stylish and chic atmosphere. The German bunch will feel so at home at Bei Otto (tel: +66 2 262 0892), the self-claimed best German restaurant in town with lots of authentic dishes. You can also find a wide range of German beer and a bakery here.

Just like anywhere else in the world, Bangkok also has a number of street vendors selling after-party snacks. Sukhumvit road is packed with plenty of street vendors selling BBQ chicken, pork and beef as well as meatballs and sausages when all the clubs are closed. Soi Nana (Sukhumvit soi 4) is home to scrumptious kebab places, while noodle soups are available everywhere for those needing a big meal after a late-night dancing session.

Most Bangkok restaurants listed here have an extensive drinks menu so you can also get boozed up on a variety of yummy cocktails, whisky or wine. There are also numerous Bangkok bars and pubs to enjoy. The prices of food and drinks in Thailand are usually cheaper than in most countries, while the quality is second to none. See for yourself if it’s true that food is reason enough to visit Bangkok. Well, besides starry-eyed go-go girls, mega shopping sessions and other hedonistic things, that is.

About the Author

Andrew Bond is a travel writer who has been living in Thailand and writing about the region for more than 10 years, contributing to numerous local magazines and major web travel brands. He travels around South East Asia by tuk-tuk, bicycle, cyclo, jeepney, taxi, moto, elephant or foot in search of new smells, sounds, sights, and atmosphere. Share your travel bits with him on Google +

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