Michelin revealed on November 12 the winners of Michelin Star and Bib Gourmand distinctions for the newest edition of the Michelin Guide Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Phang-Nga 2020. Featured in this latest edition are 282 dining and 74 lodging establishments – with a total of 5 two-star, 24 one-star, and 94 Bib Gourmand eateries.
The idea of a Michelin Guide for Bangkok was mulled out in 2017 and since its first edition in 2018, the guide has been going from strength to strength. In 2019, Bangkok surrounding provinces as well as Phuket and Phang-Nga were added. In 2020, for the first time, the Michelin Guide edition was extended to cover Chiang Mai, the northern capital of Thailand. Although Chiang Mai does not have for the time being a Michelin Star but it showed a high number of BIB Gourmand Eateries with 17 restaurants, more for example than Phuket with its 14 eateries!
Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of Michelin Guides, revealed: “This year, the locavore movement, or the use of locally-sourced ingredients, are becoming the true stars of Thailand’s foodscape. The trend indicates Thailand’s rich diversity and high quality of local produce. In addition, we see the glorious rise of traditional Thai cuisine, as – for the first time ever globally – two traditional Thai restaurants, both promoted from one star, are on The Michelin Guide’s two-star list.”
For Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the Michelin Guide Bangkok is recognizing rising standards of the culinary experience in the Kingdom.” We feel happy that the Michelin Guide helps us to promote Thailand as a world class gastronomy destination,” he highlighted.
The 2020 Michelin Guide selection welcomes two new additions to the two-star category: R-Haan, where food captures the authentic essence of both regional and royal Thai cuisine, using fresh, high-quality ingredients from all over the country; and Sorn, a restaurant with a focus on long lost recipes and the art of Southern Thai cuisine, using ingredients sustainably sourced from a trusted network of farmers and fishermen, as well as refined and sophisticated cooking techniques. Both restaurants have been promoted from their previous one-star rating. Three two-star restaurants – namely, Le Normandie, Mezzaluna, and Sühring – have retained their distinction.
Of the 24 one-star establishments in this latest edition, Khao, a restaurant offering traditional Thai dishes that pay tribute to locality, is the only one promoted from a Michelin Plate to one-star status; while three are completely new entries. These three new entries are: Chef’s Table, a restaurant serving contemporary French menu, using premium quality ingredients, curated by chef from a 3-Michelin Star restaurant; 80/20, where its imaginative contemporary Thai cuisine is a result of the perfect fusion between the best local ingredients and internationally refined cooking techniques; and Table 38, a chef’s table restaurant with very limited seating, serving reinterpreted and updated Thai street food and ancient dishes. In addition, it is of note that all previous one-star holders that are still in business, retained their status – including PRU, the only one-star restaurant in Phuket.
As for the Bib Gourmand list, a total of 94 establishments are featured, 61 of which are located in Bangkok, 17 in Chiang Mai, 14 in Phuket, and 2 in Phang-Nga. Chiang Mai emerges in its very first year covered by The Michelin Guide, with an impressive number of Bib Gourmand eateries. Among them are Ginger Farm Kitchen, a restaurant specializing in Northern Thai food that embraces a farm-to-table concept with most produce coming from its own farm; Huan Soontaree, where authentic fare made with high-quality local ingredients is what makes this place a great dining spot; and Khao Soi Mae Manee, a well-known street food vendor serving the iconic Khao Soi (egg noodles in coconut-based curry broth) for over 30 years.
What could be the further development of the Michelin Guide in Southeast Asia. According to Michelin, more destinations are under study while the company is also strengthening its commitment to a more sustainable approach, including by supporting initiative to reduce food waste.
For Thailand, TAT Governor Yuthasak Supasorn hopes that the guide will integrate further destinations. ” We would like to eventually see Chonburi province- including Pattaya- but also Samui Island. In Isan, cities such as Korat, Khon Kaen or Udon Thani could also be part of the selection in the future,” he said.