Two Michelin stars have been awarded to restaurants Gaggan, Le Normandie, and Mezzaluna, the highest distinction given out in Thailand’s very first red guide this year.
The results for the first Michelin Guide Bangkok have just been released, with a total of 17 restaurants being given the distinction of boasting Michelin stars. There were no three Michelin-starred restaurants in this inaugural selection.
The three restaurants with two Michelin stars are: Gaggan, where chef-owner Gaggan Anand signs off his dishes with a creative combination of textures and spices; Le Normandie in The Mandarin Oriental Hotel, which has been around since 1958 and serves refined French cuisine; and Mezzaluna in the Lebua Hotel, a restaurant that focuses on European cuisine executed with Japanese precision.
Street food also finds a place in this year’s starred selection, as Jay Fai is given the distinction of one Michelin star. The modest street food stall is known for its tiny open kitchen where tasty crab curries, dry congee, and crab omelettes are cooked over homemade charcoal stoves (as homage to a 70-year-old long tradition).
Other one Michelin-starred restaurants such Bo.lan, Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin, and Chim by Siam Wisdom, are also recognised for their takes on traditional Thai cuisine. International cuisine is also recognised in the other one-starred restaurants, such as Ginza Sushi Ichi, Sühring (where twin brothers Mathias and Thomas Sühring dish out their interpretation of modern German cooking), L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, J’Aime by Jean-Michel Lorain, Elements, and Savelberg.
Said Michael Ellis, International Director in charge of the Michelin Guides: “We are proud to launch this first selection of the Michelin guide dedicated to Bangkok, highlighting the richness of the city’s gastronomy. Our inspectors were thrilled to find a local culinary scene with an amazing vibrancy, myriad new restaurants, and an astonishing variety of wonderful street food, but also Thai cuisine served in different forms.”
In total, Michelin reviewed 126 distinguished restaurants in Bangkok, in all categories and serving all types of food. The good point about Michelin’s selections is that some of the awarded eateries — in the non-star secondary categories — are very affordable, with a single dish starting sometimes as low as TH40 (US$1.25). A total of 35 restaurants were awarded a Bib Gourmand, a distinction which recognises eateries as “good value for money”, with a quality menu under THB1,000. On the list are street food stalls such as: Baan Yai Phad Thai; Guay Tiew Kua Gai Suanmali, a long-standing stir-fried chicken noodle shop; and Jay Oh, which serves seafood dishes in local, rustic ambience.
The Michelin Guide Bangkok has arrived at just the right time, as the Tourism Authority of Thailand selected gastronomy as a major theme for its 2018 tourism campaign.