Jennifer Gampell
868/75-76 Soi Vanich 2
Songwad Road
Bangkok 10100 Thailand
Tel/Fax: (66) 2-237-3362
Mobile: (66) 81-925-7187
Web site:




August 2008

by Jennifer Gampell

Bangkok offers some sensational restaurants. Those listed here are no flash-in-the-pan hits - they have been popular for years and the synergy between food and ambiance in each of them creates a unique experience.

Open since 2002, this is Bangkok's premier dining/bar experience. The restaurant portion of this minimalist futuristic pod on stilts is an innovative amalgam of club, art gallery and performance space. Barefoot diners eat while reclining against the white pillows behind the "table" area-wide white-covered mattresses that line both walls and the two upstairs galleries. The multi-sensory dining experience includes chef Paul Hutt's Asian-influenced contemporary Mediterranean cuisine enjoyed against a background of constantly changing hip contemporary art (visual, plastic, multimedia and installation) and music. Sunday through Thursday, diners choose one of the three-to-five options for each of three courses. At weekends, dinner is a set four-course "surprise".
26 Sukhumvit Soi 11, +66 2 651 3537,

This restaurant has built a reputation over the past 40 years on one-dish-the ubiquitous national staple phad thai. Noodles, tofu, bean sprouts and Chinese chives are stir fried to achieve a multi-textured sublimity. From 5:30 pm until 1:30am crowds gather at this this unassuming open-fronted restaurant for its five variations of the dish: basic, shrimp, wrapped in egg, no noodles, and the ultra deluxe with crabmeat, cuttlefish, shredded mango.
313 Maha Chai Road, +66 2 221 6280,

The journey to this peaceful riverside restaurant on the northern outskirts of Bangkok adds to its allure. Take a riverboat express boat from near the Saphan Taksin BTS skytrain stop and relax during the 45-minute trip to Nonthaburi. Then it's short taxi ride to the heart of an old-fashioned Thai neighborhood and a 50-meter jaunt in the restaurant's own motorcycle with wooden side car. The menu includes Thai favorites such as five-flavored fried snapper with herbs and cashews. The return taxi journey by freeway takes only 20 minutes.
Soi 23 (Wat Khae Nok), Nonthaburi 1 Road
(near Ministry of Commerce)
+66 2 9681481


First timers to Imoya look askance while climbing the balustrade-less stairs covered in frayed carpet. Once through the sliding wooden doors into the small Japanese eatery modelled after Tokyo cafés of the 1960s, they inevitably fall under its quirky spell. The tapas-sized snacks-sushi, soups, vegetables (grilled, fried, barbecued)-listed on the two-sided plastic tablemat menu won't win any culinary awards, but its narrow dining area, adjacent booths and private rooms are constantly filled.
3F Terminal Shop Cabin, 2/17-19
Sukhumvit Soi 24, +66 )2 663 5185


Eating in a 2,000-seat restaurant cum microbrewery/Thai-style variety theater housed in a huge two-story structure that resembles a gigantic beer barrel is intense-and great fun. The restaurant captures the essence of Thai sanuk-the national commitment to having fun accompanied by copious quantities of food, drink and music. The menu features northeastern Thai classics such as fried and grilled meats, fish and salads and wacky interpretations of Brauhaus standards. There are even nightly variety shows.
462/61 Rama III Road, +66 2 678 1114

Sandwiched between Sukhumvit 3 and 5, the frenetic two-block pedestrian lane Soi Arab feels more Middle East than Southeast Asia. The Thai waitresses wear pastel-coloured hijabs and the 10 tables at tiny Petra are crammed with diners enjoying pita fare such as bread baked in a traditional brick over and succulent grilled and stewed lamb dishes. Nowhere else in the neighborhood welcomes its patrons with the boisterous congeniality of the paunchy Find Petra by the purple-and-white sign across the second floor of a building on the left near the main road.
75/4 Soi 3/1, North Nana,
+66 2 655 5230

Copyright 2008 Jennifer Gampell