As connoisseurs of fine cuisine licked their lips in anticipation of learning which Bangkok restaurants have been awarded the accolade of Michelin stars, we asked four prominent personalities for their reaction to this thrilling development in Bangkok’s dining scene.
Firstly, Sandeep Batra, Head of Credit Cards and Loans, Citibank Thailand, shared his enthusiasm for this new alliance of trend-setting organizations.
“In recent years, Bangkok’s culinary scene has become much more sophisticated and as a result, there are many more venues that offer fine dining. At the same time, savvy diners are increasingly using credit cards that enable them to take advantage of tempting offers and promotions. Here at Citi, it has been our mission to offer the most attractive deals with coverage of over 1,000 specially curated restaurant outlets, including those listed in the new Michelin Guide Bangkok."
- Sandeep Batra, Head of Credit Cards and Loans, Citibank Thailand
"Since Michelin awarded their first star to a restaurant in 1926, the well-known guide has been hugely instrumental in boosting culinary travel worldwide, and they have continued to expand their coverage in over 28 countries, with Bangkok being the most recent addition. On a similar note, as the number one credit cards issuer in the world, Citi offers lifestyle privileges that also extend internationally in over 50 different countries, via “Citi World Privileges”.
"With this program, card members can “shop and dine like a local” at almost 10,000 global destinations. This is the 19th year that we have provided card members with remarkable dining offers.
"It is a great honor for us to be the first financial institution to establish an alliance with Michelin Guide Thailand, which further emphasizes Citi’s commitment to being an integral part of the dining landscape in the country. I would like to thank our card members for their continued support and to inform them that Citi team remains committed to delivering memorable and exclusive dining privileges in years to come.” said Sandeep Batra, Head of Credit Cards and Loans, Citibank Thailand.
Next we spoke to Chonlathip Rayamas (Bowling), the owner of Facebook & Instagram “Eat & Shout”, who was voted Top Food Influencer in the Influence Asia Awards 2015.
“People often ask me for dining tips, and I usually say that when you are in a new restaurant, you should go for their signature dish because it’s what makes the restaurant unique, and it could become your new favorite."
- Chonlathip Rayamas (Bowling), Digital Reviewer
“My lifestyle and work revolve around food and restaurant reviews on my Facebook and Instagram page Eat & Shout. I find that the Citi credit card answers my needs both personally and professionally, as it always offers discounts and special promotions for restaurants, especially the hip and new joints in town.
"The credit card is partnered with a variety of venues, from stand-alone bistros to chain restaurants and fine dining venues. Moreover, the offers are not only in Thailand but also worldwide. Before leaving for Singapore, I would take a moment to check out the Citi World Privileges website for special promotions there. Citi doesn’t offer just restaurant discounts, but also special rates at many top hotels, which means more value for money during my trips." Said Chonlathip Rayamas (Bowling), Digital Reviewer.
Then we chatted with Krirkphol Masayavanich (Fluke), an actor who has dined at over 1,200 Michelin-starred restaurants in locations all over the world.
"When choosing a new restaurant, I go to the Michelin Guide website to check out reviews of a particular restaurant, then I also check the same restaurant on Instagram, where you know that the photos are genuine because they are from actual customers."
- Krirkphol Masayavanich (Fluke), Actor
“I love collecting points and redeeming travel awards from credit cards. When I eat out, I usually pay with my Citi Royal Orchid Plus Preferred card, as it offers such good deals. Did you know that you earn one mileage point for every 15 Baht that you spend? What’s more, this card doesn’t just have good deals for accumulating miles—it also provides special discounts at selected restaurants.
“As a dedicated foodie, I’m often asked how I approach my dining experience. When I go abroad, I use the magic ratio of 70/30 to plan my meals. The 70 percent part refers to places I love and would like to revisit. The other 30 percent are places I’ve never been. In that way, I can be sure that at least 70 percent of meals will be pleasant and the other 30 a brand new experience.
“Who you eat with is also important. In Western restaurants, two to four people is the ideal number, as the food is not shared, so you can pay more attention to the meals than friends so can truly taste the food instead of food being just part of conversation.” Said, Krirkphol Masayavanich (Fluke), Actor.
Finally, we talked to Piyada Punnakitikasem (Pam), entrepreneur and owner of the Instagram page “ppgallery”, who has over 470K followers to her account.
"Where I sit in a restaurant makes a difference to my overall enjoyment. If I can look out over a lovely view, or watch the chef at work, that will definitely enhance my dining experience, and give me something to write about."
- Piyada Punnakitikasem (Pam), Entrepreneur
“When I dine out, I always take my Citi credit card with me because I can use it worldwide with special discounts for restaurants both in Thailand and abroad. What I like especially is that I get the privilege of reserving tables at fine dining places in every country through Citi’s concierge service.
"The 24-hour ‘Personal Assistant’ service offered by Citi Prestige can give me recommendations about restaurants, reservations, prices and related promotions.
"Citi never fails to amaze me when it comes to providing its clients with extraordinary experiences. Once, I had to take a business trip just before my birthday, and the restaurant I wanted to eat at had been fully booked, but it turned out that Citi’s Personal Assistant managed to get me a table. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was great. Then, to my surprise, after I finished my meal at the restaurant, the staff appeared at my table, sang happy birthday, and gave me a card and the warmest wishes. After such memorable experiences with Citi, I can say that not only does a Citi card offer great privileges when dining out, but it also maintains excellent standard in client services down to the smallest detail.
"Since I always eat out, friends often ask me for dining tips. As I love traveling and eating, my preparation for a journey involves gathering information on various types of restaurants in the towns I will visit. If it’s a fine dining place, and I know exactly when I’m going to be there, I book a table. But if it’s street food place or a hip café, I check their opening times, and visit during their slow hours if possible. I sometimes even join a queue to get in a popular place." Said, Piyada Punnakitikasem (Pam), Entrepreneur.
We’ve read a lot of great insights from key influencers about their tips on making the most of culinary explorations, and hope this makes you hungry to join us in celebrating Bangkok’s elevation to Michelin status by checking out some of the new guide’s recommendations with your Citi credit card in hand.
For more information on Citi Credit Cards, please visit: www.citibank.co.th