For innovation: Sra Bua at Siam Kempinski, Bangkok
The molecular food movement isn’t as rife in Thailand as it is in the rest of the world. However, after the success of Danish chef Henrik Yde-Andersen’s Michelin-starred Thai restaurant, Kiin Kiin, in Copenhagen, Sra Bua was opened in Bangkok. Serving up frozen red curry with baby lobster salad and lychee foam, it’s Thai food with a deliciously unique difference.
What to order: The taste, temperature and texture explosion that is the warm banana cake, salted ice cream and caramelized milk. A sweet tooth’s promised land.
For street food: The Maeklong Railway Market, Samut Songkram
Thailand is awash with wonderful food markets selling delicious and local delicacies. The Maeklong Railway Market not only offers up wonderful fare but interestingly, finds home on an active railway line. With trains passing through eight times a day, watching the excitement vendors collapsing their stalls in 30 seconds flat is alone worth the visit.
What to order: All the classic street food dishes are at hand here to wok your world but keep your eyes out for our favorite, pad si eiu – noodles, pork, vegetables and egg pan fried in dark sweet soy sauce. Ask for the sen yai wide noodles for added yum factor.
For the view: Zense, Bangkok
Perched high upon a downtown building, there are few better views in Bangkok to soak up the essence of this hustly bustly city than at Zense. With four kitchens serving up distinctive fare including Thai, Japanese, Italian and Indian, there’s sure to be something for everyone (as long as you’re hungry).
What to order: Go with the flavorful puffed salmon with a tart green mango and avocado salad for a dish to match the amazing view.
For beach side: Floating Kruvit Raft, Koh Maphrao
For a truly unique and off the beaten track beach side eating experience, Kruvit Raft – a floating restaurant off Coconut Island (Koh Maphrao) off the east coat of Phuket – will deliver some of the freshest and best seafood in the country. Accessible only by long-tail boat from Laem Hin, Kruvit Raft is truly a local secret.
What to order: We’ll have the hoi wan – sweet and spicy shellfish, fresh from under your very table.
For authentic food: Huen Phen, Chiang Mai
Renowned as being a must visit for seriously delicious and authentic Northern Thai food, Huen Phen is simple in appearance. Lunch is served out of an open street side kitchen, dinner in an antique clad house at the back. Appearances aside, chef Khun Garab serves up local favorites like nam phrik ong (ground pork and chili dip served with raw vegetables and pork crackling).
What to order: Take advantage of a northern specialty and order the sai ua – pork sausage, loaded with herbs and spices and grilled over charcoal. Team with sticky rice and green chili sauce and you’re onto a local gem.
For tradition with a twist: Paste, Bangkok
The recently-opened Paste is making waves on Bangkok’s restaurant scene for its modern take on royal Thai dishes, using locally sourced fresh produce. Run by an Australian-Thai culinary power couple bolstering quality and attention to detail, Paste also shakes up some dangerously irresistible cocktails using home-infused spirits that go along almost too nicely with the delicious ‘contemporary chic’ cuisine.
What to order: Decisions are no easy thing when it comes to the temptingly imaginative menu but one of the winners is definitely the jasmine and cinnamon smoked wild sea bass fillet with black Chinese vinegar, mint and crushed peanuts.