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Dining Out 2 minutes 29 November 2019

5 MICHELIN-Recommended Restaurants In Bangkok’s Heritage Buildings

Take a step back in time when you dine at these restaurants housed in historic homes and colonial mansions in the Thai capital.

Bangkok is home to well-preserved heritage buildings and traditional wooden houses that evoke memories of the the country's glorious history as the kingdom of Siam in the 20th century. Some of these elaborate mansions have been restored and opened to the public as colonial-style restaurants, where diners can enjoy intricate meals while soaking in the nostalgic charm of the Thai capital. Here are five MICHELIN-recommended restaurants housed in Bangkok’s historic homes for a taste of Thai tradition.
Blue Elephant (Pic: Chope)
Blue Elephant (Pic: Chope)

Blue Elephant
MICHELIN Plate, MICHELIN Guide Bangkok, Phuket and Phang-nga 2019

The dazzling century-old, mustard-yellow mansion on bustling Sathorn Road is home to Blue Elephant, a prestigious establishment serving royal Thai cuisine. Crystal chandeliers, polished teak floors, wood shutters, Thai art and handicrafts, and dark rattan furnishings offer a refined ambience - and throwback to its former life as the Chinese-Thai Chamber of Commerce. The menu — authentically Thai, moderately spicy and exquisitely presented — is a palette of traditions and novelties. Each dish is made from carefully selected fresh, seasonal local ingredients like free-range chicken and duck, Thai-produced Charolais and Wagyu beef, as well as organic vegetables and herbs from the Thai Royal Project farms, an initiative started by Thailand’s late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Issaya Siamese Club (Pic & Banner Pic: Chope)
Issaya Siamese Club (Pic & Banner Pic: Chope)

Issaya Siamese Club
MICHELIN Plate, MICHELIN Guide Bangkok, Phuket and Phang-nga 2019

Hidden in an alley away from the busy streets of Bangkok, Issaya Siamese Club is set in a historical 1920s Peranakan-style mansion surrounded by lush tropical gardens. Issaya, which is the ancient Thai word for the rainy season, is the flagship Bangkok restaurant of Thai celebrity chef Pongtawat “Ian” Kittichai, who is known for creating authentic Thai dishes with progressive cooking techniques.

His inventive cuisine harks back to his childhood memories of Bangkok’s wet markets and his experiences working in Thai restaurants around the world. His signature dishes include Massaman Gae that features fall-off-the-bone lamb shank simmered in rich massaman curry, and Kradook Moo Ob Sauce, a dish of spice-rubbed pork back ribs glazed with chili paste. End your meal with the Kanom Dok Mali, a jasmine-scented panna cotta served with jasmine rice ice cream and jasmine rice tuile that tastes as exquisite as it looks.


The Local by Oam Thong Thai Cuisine (Pic: Chope)
The Local by Oam Thong Thai Cuisine (Pic: Chope)

The Local by Oamthong Thai Cuisine
Bib Gourmand, MICHELIN Guide Bangkok, Phuket and Phang-nga 2019

This restaurant housed in a 100-year-old mansion exudes a sultriness with its dimmed interior, wooden furniture and antiques that set the stage the moment you walk through the door. The food focuses on regional Thai ingredients and secret family recipes handed down over generations. Try the selection of rare savoury local dishes such as Thai mackerel with coconut milk and lotus stem, which is a traditional dish from the Samut Songkram Province. The Thai local fish is stewed in sugarcane, ginger and a special sauce for 30 hours, while the popular southern-style Gang Tai Pla fish curry boasts complex flavours. A word of warning: this polarising dish is intensely spicy and pungent, so make sure you eat it with steamed rice to temper the heat.

Chakrabongse Dining (Pic: Chope)
Chakrabongse Dining (Pic: Chope)

Chakrabongse Dining
MICHELIN Plate, MICHELIN Guide Bangkok, Phuket and Phang-nga 2019

Formerly the residence of HRH Prince Chakrabongse in 1908, this is one of the Chao Phraya River’s most beautiful places where diners can enjoy great views of the famous Wat Arun across the river and savour the authentic taste of royal Thai cuisine using original family recipes from the palace kitchens. The restaurant is located by the river in the ultra-exclusive luxury Chakrabongse Villas, offering a tranquil haven from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Chakrabongse Dining only serves a set menu that changes daily, but you can expect a section of Thai classics such as tom yum goong and massaman curry. For special occasions, reserve the table for two on the riverside terrace or have the table setup in the romantic lush gardens to celebrate in style.

Patara Fine Thai Cuisine (Pic: Chope)
Patara Fine Thai Cuisine (Pic: Chope)

Patara Fine Thai Cuisine
MICHELIN Plate, MICHELIN Guide Bangkok, Phuket and Phang-nga 2019

If you’re craving home-cooked food just like grandma used to make, this is the place to go for home-style Thai dishes in an inviting, cosy atmosphere. The two-storey property was built in the 1960s just steps from the main Thonglor street. The house was converted to a restaurant by Patara Sila-On, one of Thailand’s leading restaurateurs who has been bringing the taste of Thailand to the world for over four decades. The Thai dishes are filled with unexpected layers of flavour, warmth and fragrance. A must-try signature dish is the Southern-style Crab Meat Yellow Curry With Wild Betel Leaves. After the initial spicy hit, the curry reveals a depth of flavour best enjoyed with rice or rice noodles. For sides, order the moreish green peppercorn relish, which is served with seasonal steamed vegetables for dipping.

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