Dining Out 4 minutes 24 June 2022

MICHELIN Movers & Shakers: Bangkok Welcomes Villa Frantzen, Saawaan’s New Chef, And More Updates

The latest news from Thailand’s culinary world you won’t want to miss.

dining out Bangkok MICHELIN Guide Thailand

As borders near and far open up, the culinary world is running full speed ahead. Projects long on hold are now cooking with gas, to turn a phrase, offering new dining delights. And MICHELIN-recognised restaurants are revealing new chefs and, of course, new menus to keep tempting foodies with exciting flavour innovations.

And here are the latest developments that you might want to check out.

A grand house in Yen Akat as a home of the new Nordic cuisine hub. (© Villa Frantzén)
A grand house in Yen Akat as a home of the new Nordic cuisine hub. (© Villa Frantzén)

Villa Frantzén has finally opened
This Nordic transplant has been highly anticipated by Bangkok’s food scene, transforming a large house on Soi Yen Akat 3 into a culinary hotspot. Along with its two MICHELIN-Starred German neighbour, Villa Frantzén confirms Yen Akat as a haven for European deliciousness. This modern Nordic eatery is the brainchild of the Swedish former footballer Björn Frantzén, better known for Frantzén, his three MICHELIN-Starred restaurant in Sweden. His first foray into Asia, Zén, recently received three MICHELIN Stars in MICHELIN Guide Singapore 2021.

Villa Frantzén comprises a dining room and a cocktail bar. The restaurant is in the main house, welcoming diners to observe the bustling open kitchen in the centre. The contemporary interior creates a warm and inviting ambiance across its two stories and three rooms, with large windows opening to lush garden views, highlighting nature’s easy beauty. Jars of pickles, preserves, and marinades, staples in Northern European cuisine, line the walls. Executive Chef Martin Enström leads the team with Executive Sous Chef Nilas Corneliussen, serving set menus that emphasise comfort over fine dining with a blend of Asian influences featuring ingredients prepared in unique and innovative ways.

The Villa Frantzén Cocktail Bar, once a mushroom grow house, offers a beverage treasure trove (such as the Chlorophyll Highball, which has a surprising kick), overseen by mixologist and bar manager Gabriel Valdés. Selected snacks are also available to accompany cocktails at the bar.

The five-course tasting menu is 3,500++ THB per person. However, the restaurant is booked until July.

Location: 7 Soi Yen Akat 3, Chong Nonsi, Yannawa, Bangkok. Tel: +66 8 7344 8222.

Phuket-born Chef Earth Wanvichitkun is the new kitchen lead at Saawaan. (© Saawaan)
Phuket-born Chef Earth Wanvichitkun is the new kitchen lead at Saawaan. (© Saawaan)

Saawaan reveals a new chef and a new menu
Saawaan (one MICHELIN Star, MICHELIN Guide 2022) introduces its new leader, Executive Chef Saritwat “Earth” Wanvichitkun. Originally from Phuket, Chef Wanvichitkun joins the team after honing his skills at the MICHELIN-listed Nitan and various cooking competitions. Diners will taste his expertise in authentic Southern techniques such as fermentation with his tai pla sauce of fermented fish organs. He also draws inspiration from his grandmother’s recipes, as in his version of her tom kati nua khem, a coconut soup featuring flavourful French Charolais beef. And he gets academic with his green curry as he collaborates with Kasetsart University, leveraging their robust chilli varieties to round out this classic Thai dish his way. Meanwhile, Chef Arisara “Paper” Chongphanitkul, also of MICHELIN-recognised Ici, continues to delight with her desserts, as she blends opera cakes with Thai-style khanom chan for layers that fuse the best of both worlds.

Discover Saawaan’s tasting menu for 2,490++ THB per person. Add 1,990++ THB for wine pairings or 850++ THB for creative fruit beverage pairings.

Location: 39/19 Soi Suan Phlu, Sathon Road, Thung Mahamek, Bangkok. For reservations or more information, call +66 2679 3775.

Chef Accordi's new culinary playground inside the restaurant. (© Riva Del Fiume)
Chef Accordi's new culinary playground inside the restaurant. (© Riva Del Fiume)

A Tavola with Chef Andrea, a new dining concept from Riva del Fiume
Italian Executive Chef Andrea Accordi and his team invite one and all to join a fun, lively, and delicious encounter at Riva del Fiume, recommended in MICHELIN Guide Thailand 2022. His dining concept, A Tavola with Chef Accordi, eschews Riva del Fiume’s typical fine dining for a more sociable experience, where ten diners share a meal at a communal table with a view of the open pizza kitchen. Here, he serves Italian dishes prepared from seasonal ingredients from around the world not normally found in Thailand, such as Mayura Wagyu beef from South Australia. This award-winning, full-blood wagyu beef comes from cows fed on milk chocolate. Exclusively available at Riva del Fiume.

Available for 2 nights per month only, A Tavola with Chef Andrea is available to ten diners for one dinner service for 7,000++ THB per person, adding 3,800++ THB per person for a wine pairing. The experience includes sunset aperitivos hours with canapés from 6-7 pm and 7-course dinner starts at 7 pm. A special Mayura Station a la carte menu will also be available until 2 July 2022.

Location: Floor G, Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok at Chao Phraya River, 300/1 Charoen Krung Road, Yannawa, Sathon, Bangkok. Tel: +66 2032 0888.

In the mood for some kaiseki? (© Yamazato)
In the mood for some kaiseki? (© Yamazato)

Yamazato unveils its latest seasonal sensations
Recommended in MICHELIN Guide 2022, Yamazato introduces Head Chef Shigeru Hagiwara’s latest seasonal offering, ‘Fumitsuki Kaiseki’, featuring lunch and dinner menus. Diners can enjoy the best of Japanese summer flavours in such dishes as smoked duck with pan-fried scallop, grilled Spanish mackerel with corn mayonnaise, or simmered rice Fukagawa-style topped with asari clam.

Fumitsuki Kaiseki Lunch is priced at 1,700++ THB per person, and Fumitsuki Kaiseki Dinner is priced at 4,700++ THB per person. Both are available 1-31 July 2022.

Location: Floor 24, The Okura Prestige Bangkok, Wireless Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok. For reservations or more information, call +66 2687 9000.

North Sea Crab with Ajo Blanco at Mia. (© Mia)
North Sea Crab with Ajo Blanco at Mia. (© Mia)

Mia’s summer menu is here
Chefs Top Russell and Michelle Goh of Mia, a recommended restaurant in MICHELIN Guide Thailand 2022, present their latest seasonal tasting menu, celebrating summer flavours. The seven-course journey features perennial favourites like Ostra Regal Oyster with Umeboshi, Lobster Tart with succulent Sauce Choron, and Squid Ink Tuile, Taramasalata and Ikura, as well as Smoked Pork Jowl, Romesco, and Capsicum Jelly and Foie Gras with Sauternes and Prune. This time around, new seafood dishes have a central role, such as in North Sea Crab served with homemade Ajo Blanco sauce and paper-thin sliced Grapes. Diners can, of course, opt for Chef Russell’s signature Hay Aged Duck or go for the Hokkaido Kamui Gyu A4 Wagyu Chateaubriand. Then there are Chef Goh’s amazing desserts that we cannot get enough of, with her Fennel and Lychee Sorbet with Dill and Mascarpone clearing the way for her mouthwatering Mia’s Cereal Bowl with Malted Milk Chocolate and Corn or her classic Almond Financier with Cheesecake Cream and Rhubarb, with the rhubarb offered four different ways.

The seven-course tasting menu is priced at 4,550++ THB per person, and the five-course menu is priced at 3,550++ THB per person. Add 2,250++ THB for a five-glass wine pairing. There is also a plant-based five-course option for 3,150++ THB.

Location: 30 Soi Athakravi 1, Rama 4 Road, Khlong Tan, Bangkok. For reservations or more information, call: +66 2080 0080 or +66 2258 6745.

Nan Bei is ready to welcome you back. (© Nan Bei)
Nan Bei is ready to welcome you back. (© Nan Bei)

Nan Bei reopens
Back by popular demand, Chef Matthew Geng reopens MICHELIN-recommended Nan Bei with a brand new menu featuring “A Taste of Hunan” dishes that make up for the two-month hiatus. Diners can choose from flavours of north and south of China, with new tasty twists inspired by Chef Geng’s recent travels to southern China.

Location: Floor 19, Rosewood Hotel, 1041/38 Phloen Chit Road, Lumphini, Bangkok. Tel: +66 2080 0080.

Chef Horcajo's latest creations. (© Elements, inspired by Ciel Bleu)
Chef Horcajo's latest creations. (© Elements, inspired by Ciel Bleu)

Elements welcomes summer with a new menu
Gerard Villaret Horcajo, chef de cuisine of Elements, inspired by Ciel Bleu (one MICHELIN Star, MICHELIN Guide Thailand 2022) entices diners with his creative flavourful flair with the ‘Summer Guestronomic Journey Set Menu’, with four-, six-, and eight-course options. The light and natural aromas and tastes of the season’s flowers, fruits, and vegetables burst through such dishes as hamachi with sweet peas, smoked eel with kureson (watercress), wild Norwegian cod with spinach, and the signature Satsuma Wagyu A5 with pommes dauphine.

The Summer Guestronomic Set Journey is available from 29 June 2022, with Ku-Ki Experience (four courses) priced at 3,800++ THB per person, Chikyu Experience (six courses) priced at 4,600++ THB per person, and Mizu Experience (eight courses) priced at 5,900++ THB per person. A la carte options such as oyster, foie gras, and Hokkaido scallop can be added for 800++ THB per dish.

Location: Floor 25, The Okura Prestige Bangkok, Wireless Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok. For reservations or more information, call +66 2687 9000.

Hero image: © Villa Frantzén

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