Features 8 minutes 18 December 2020

What MICHELIN Guide Thailand Inspectors Said About Best Restaurants In Thailand Of 2021

Of all the 28 MICHELIN Stars, this is what our MICHELIN Guide Inspectors say.

Thailand MICHELIN Guide Thailand Michelin star

The MICHELIN Guide Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket & Phang-Nga 2021 restaurant selection has now been released. Curious to know what our MICHELIN Guide Inspectors say about the best restaurants in the latest edition? Here it is.

A List of the Best Restaurants in Thailand for 2021

Two MICHELIN Star Restaurants – What Our Inspectors Said

Chef's Table | Two MICHELIN Star | Bangkok | Newly Promoted
Start with champagne in the Pink Bar before taking your seat in this visually stunning pleasure dome soaring above the city. It’s all about the kitchen in the centre of the room – and the Molteni stove. The chef is from the Loire Valley and while his outlook is firmly global, his style is modern French. Flavours are balanced and well-judged and ingredients are superb. If you want intimacy and city views ask for table 5; to see the chefs, tables 2 or 3.

Le Normandie | Two MICHELIN Stars | Bangkok
Since opening in 1958, Le Normandie at The Mandarin Oriental has earned a reputation as a premier destination for those looking for sophisticated French cuisine. The restaurant was refurbished in 2015 but certain elements – like floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Chao Phraya River and elaborate flower arrangements filled with local flora – remain the same. Superb ingredients, refined techniques, and well executed combinations of flavours and textures ensure its reputation is deserved. Service is impeccable.

Mezzaluna | Two MICHELIN Stars | Bangkok
Perched on the 65th floor of the lebua Hotel, Mezzaluna offers sky-high and breathtaking views. Toast to the high life at Sky Bar before settling in for a gastronomic journey. The accomplished chef and his team deliver European delights with Japanese precision in seven-course set menu, along with some surprises. The flavours are balanced and sophisticated, and the food is creative and technically precise. A wine list of substantial proportions and prices accompanies.

Chef Vincent Thierry from the Loire Valley serves French cuisine with a modern touch at Chef's Table (© MICHELIN Guide Thailand / Chef's Table)
Chef Vincent Thierry from the Loire Valley serves French cuisine with a modern touch at Chef's Table (© MICHELIN Guide Thailand / Chef's Table)

R-Haan | Two MICHELIN Stars | Bangkok 
Inspired by an old Thai poem “Nai Nam Mi Pla Nai Na Mi Khao” (In the river, there are fish; In the rice field, there is rice), R-Haan aims to reflect the way in which food has influenced Thai people and culture. Relax in the lounge with a cocktail before entering the main dining room, or book the private room for up to 20 guests. Food is authentically Thai, offering both regional and royal cuisine, using ingredients from all over the country.

Sorn | Two MICHELIN Stars | Bangkok
As Southern kids, the team at Sorn always dreamt of opening a restaurant with a focus on long lost recipes and the art of local cuisine. In a reconstructed old house, Sorn is thematically inspired by the tropical forests of Southern Thailand, while ingredients are sustainably sourced from a trusted network of farmers and fishermen. Cooking is refined and sophisticated and dishes mostly slow-cooked, with even the soup double-boiled for 6 hours.

Sühring | Two MICHELIN Stars | Bangkok
Home to the talented Sühring twins is this restored 1970s villa surrounded by tropical gardens. You can sit in the Dining Room or the Winter Garden, but the prized seats are at the counter in the kitchen. Their grandparents introduced them to traditional German techniques like fermenting, pickling and curing and the beautiful dishes on the ‘Sühring Erlebnis’ menu are intricate and at times playful. The wine list focuses on biodynamic and organic producers.

Blue by Alain Ducasse and its panoramic views of the Chao Phraya River. (© Blue by Alain Ducasse)
Blue by Alain Ducasse and its panoramic views of the Chao Phraya River. (© Blue by Alain Ducasse)

One MICHELIN Star - What Our Inspectors Said

80/20 | One MICHELIN Star | Bangkok
Chefs Jo and Saki have travelled far and wide throughout Thailand, discovering novel ingredients and new cooking techniques that now inform their innovative, exciting approach to traditional Thai cuisine. Folksy ingredients such as caviar-sized aquatic flowering plants found in rural ponds, known as Asian watermeal, and black chicken from the Northeast feature prominently, along with koji-fermented fish sauce, produced in their own fermentation lab.

Blue by Alain Ducasse | One MICHELIN Star | Bangkok | New
The moment it launched in 2019, Blue by Alain Ducasse became a prime destination for gastronomy lovers from Bangkok and beyond. The restaurant brings the renowned chef’s contemporary French fine dining to Icon Siam in an elegant room with panoramic views of the Chao Phraya River. Under its executive chef, Blue offers diners a chance to savour world-class dishes using top quality ingredients. Advanced reservations are essential.

Bo.lan | One MICHELIN Star | Bangkok
There may be hints of modernity in the presentation but chefs Duangporn Songvisava (Bo) and Dylan Jones (Lan) ensure that their dishes remain true to royal Thai recipes. Boasting impressive eco-credentials, the chefs also emphasise sustainability and organic ingredients sourced from artisan producers. Their set menu is served in a private space for 10 in their lovely villa; it delivers a maelstrom of flavours and textures. Advance booking is essential.

Cadence by Dan Bark | One MICHELIN Star | Bangkok | New
From chef Dan Bark and his team from Upstairs comes Cadence. This restaurant, with its much larger kitchen, allows the chef to fully realise his culinary ideas. Bringing together Western and Asian cuisine, the set menu showcases beautifully plated, inspired flavour combos including Korean BBQ beef, and ‘Dark Chocolate’ – a chocolate mousse accented with truffles, beet gelatin, and almonds. Complementing the food are the cocktail pairings and Cadence’s modern décor.

Chef Dan Bark of Cadence brings together Western and Asian cuisine (© Cadence by Dan Bark / MICHELIN Guide Thailand)
Chef Dan Bark of Cadence brings together Western and Asian cuisine (© Cadence by Dan Bark / MICHELIN Guide Thailand)

Canvas | One MICHELIN Star | Bangkok
Chef Riley, who hails from Texas, sources the best produce from over the country to create his innovative and ambitious seasonal dishes. Using plenty of modern techniques, the dishes on the tasting menus offer a lesson in bold and captivating flavours and vibrant presentation – this is beguiling cooking. A seat at the copper-topped counter gives you a great view of the chefs in action, while a table upstairs is for those wanting more privacy.

Chim by Siam Wisdom | One MICHELIN Star | Bangkok

The kitchen revisits traditional Thai recipes to create dishes that strike a balance between the old and the new and between Thai and foreign influences. Order from the à la carte and share among friends or choose a fixed price menu to sample a dazzling variety of flavours. Ancient Tom Yam with river fish and freshly made curries are among the unmissable dishes.

Elements | One MICHELIN Star | Bangkok

With impressive city views from its terrace, this restaurant on the 25th floor of the hotel is an ideal spot for a date. Inside, the décor is chic and it’s all centred around an open kitchen with oversized industrial light fittings and walls made with charcoal – one of the ‘elements’. The modern cuisine creatively fuses the best of French and Japanese dishes, and the set menus offer a varied selection.

Ginza Sushi Ichi | One MICHELIN Star | Bangkok

Centrally located in the Erawan mall, this sushi restaurant belongs to a group that started in Tokyo and now has branches in Jakarta and Singapore. To maintain the quality, produce is delivered straight from markets in Tokyo every 24 hours. There are two dining rooms with counter seating, so every customer gets a bird's-eye view of the chefs in action. Of the four set menus, the Botan and Omakase are the most popular. Service is charming.

J'aime by Jean-Michel Lorain | One MICHELIN Star | Bangkok

Enter this hotel restaurant and your world gets a little topsy-turvy, with a grand piano hanging from the ceiling and upside down chandeliers. But one bite of the creative French cuisine and all will be right again. Choose the five, seven, or nine-course tasting menu to get the full experience. The restaurant and menu were conceived by renowned chef Jean-Michel Lorain – his daughter adds charm and one of his protégés runs the kitchen.

Jay Fai | One MICHELIN Star | Bangkok
Jay Fai is a place that both taxi drivers and foodies wax lyrical about and it’s easy to see why. Wearing her signature goggles, the local legend that is Jay Fai continues what her father started 70 years ago and makes crab omelettes, crab curries and dry congee. Reservation is mandatory.

Khao | One MICHELIN Star | Bangkok
Meaning “rice” in Thai, Khao opened in 2017, and has since flourished into a beautiful restaurant, where every detail reflects the kitchen’s passion for Thai cuisine. Interiors are inspired by rice barn design, while ingredients are premium, fresh and skilfully prepared. Favourites include roasted duck with lime tamarind sauce, and crab red curry with betel leaves. For a real culinary journey, book the Chef’s Table menu in advance.

Le Du | One MICHELIN Star | Bangkok
Using his experience from working at NYC’s Eleven Madison Park, chef “Ton” Thitid creatively re-interprets Thai cuisine, with a rotating seasonal menu – Le Du comes from a Thai word meaning ‘season’. In summer, highlights include their signature Khao Chae, as well as Khao Khluk Kapi; the organic rice, cooked with salty aromatic shrimp paste and pork jam, is served with perfectly done river prawns. A relaxed ambience makes this a welcome retreat for diners.

Pru's menu is built around dishes with ingredients sourced from ecosystems across Thailand. (© Pru)
Pru's menu is built around dishes with ingredients sourced from ecosystems across Thailand. (© Pru)

Methavalai Sorndaeng | One MICHELIN Star | Bangkok
While live ’80s Thai music, classic décor and views of Democracy Monument are what give this restaurant its unique style, the food is what has kept loyal customers coming back for over 60 years. Presentation may look plain, but dishes deliver blasts of flavours and refined complexity. Highlights are crispy rice noodles in sweet and sour sauce, spicy lemongrass salad, and crab meat and acacia red curry. Small parties should book the private room.

Nahm | One MICHELIN Star | Bangkok
After establishing her reputation in San Francisco, chef Pim is now at Nahm to pursue her passion for Thai cuisine in her homeland. Maintaining the restaurant’s legacy of quality cuisine, Pim has added her own influences and flavours, which have taken the menu to another level. Every dish also displays extra creativity and attention to detail. Must-tries include the intense and aromatic red curry duck with snake fruit and sour yellow eggplant.

Paste | One MICHELIN Star | Bangkok
The striking interior is dominated by a spiral sculpture made from hundreds of silk cocoons, floor-to-ceiling windows, and unusual curved booths that offer privacy. The designed-to-share menu draws inspiration from royal Thai cuisine and uses century-old cooking techniques with ingredients often sourced directly from local growers. Signature dishes include roast duck with nutmeg and coriander; fragrant hot and sour soup with crispy pork leg; and yellow curry from the Gulf of Thailand. Service is attentive but not overbearing.

Pru | One MICHELIN Star | MICHELIN Green Star | Phuket
Pru stands for ‘plant, raise, understand’ and it is this ethos that underpins every aspect of this sophisticated, intimate and romantic restaurant, a stone’s throw from the sea. Its menu is built around dishes with ingredients sourced from ecosystems across Thailand like Phang-Nga, Nakhon Phanom and even its own 96-hectare organic farm. Dishes are seasonal, delicate and beautifully presented. The Phuket lobster and the Wagyu beef and baby corn are marvellous.

Saawaan | One MICHELIN Star | Bangkok
‘Saawaan’ means ‘Heaven’ in Thai, which is exactly where Chef Aom wants to take you through her authentic Thai cuisine. Available only in a set 10-course menu, dishes are full of creativity and well executed, providing a truly special journey through Thai flavours, culture and art. The seasonal ingredients are locally sourced, such as organic rice paddy crab from Sing Buri, or squid from a small fishermen’s village in Krabi.

Chef Masato serves ingredients sourced from Japan at the intimate chef’s table housed on a quiet lane in Bangkok. (© MICHELIN Guide Thailand / Sushi Masato)
Chef Masato serves ingredients sourced from Japan at the intimate chef’s table housed on a quiet lane in Bangkok. (© MICHELIN Guide Thailand / Sushi Masato)

Saneh Jaan | One MICHELIN Star | Bangkok
Thai dishes crafted from ancient recipes that once impressed the royal family are the draw here but don’t discount the lovely setting, complete with vaulted ceilings and contemporary Thai touches. Dishes are a mix of classics and hard-to-find recipes, like hot and spicy soup (Kaeng Ranjuan), red curry with grilled pork, and sweet and sour coconut dip with crabmeat. Don’t miss dessert: try Khao Mao Rang – a rare creation made with young green rice grains.

Savelberg | One MICHELIN Star | Bangkok
Named after the experienced Dutch chef-owner, Savelberg serves modern French dishes prepared with care. Ingredients are internationally sourced, like meat from Tasmania and fish from Holland, and the result is mouth-watering combinations of flavours and textures. The sophisticated menu is matched by the interior, which is sleek and luxurious with monogrammed leather armchairs and a polished black marble floor. The professional service comes with a degree of formality.

Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin | One MICHELIN Star | Bangkok
There is a burgeoning love affair between Bangkok foodies and envelope-pushing cuisine, and this beautiful restaurant is one of the original purveyors of modern and innovative Thai cuisine. Order ‘Iconic Journey’ – an six-course menu – to see the kitchen’s full repertoire that respects traditional Thai flavours and ingredients but flips the script to produce something creative and original. Copenhagen's Kiin Kiin was the inspiration for the food and cooking techniques.

Suan Thip | One MICHELIN Star | Bangkok
Beyond the bustle of Bangkok’s busy streets, stepping into Suan Thip feels like entering another world. Its lush garden of trees and small ponds is peaceful and pretty, while a Thai-style pavilion is the perfect setting for weddings and celebrations. Inside, the relaxed vibe continues with views to the riverside, while the refined cuisine is inspired by royal recipes. Many of the staff have been here for decades; even the chef is second generation.

Sushi Masato | One MICHELIN Star | Bangkok | Newly Promoted
After honing his craft in Tokyo and building his reputation in New York City, Masato Shimizu opened his eponymous omakase sushi bar in Bangkok. Housed on a quiet lane, Sushi Masato is hard to find and only identified by a small sign in Japanese. Once inside, the intimate space and elegant interior create a tranquil feeling. The team of inspired chefs use ingredients sourced from Japan and share their passion for food with customers at the intimate chef’s table. Advanced reservations are mandatory.

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