Bangkok is justifiably famous for its street food, but the Thai capital is also a haven for world-class cooking. The Wireless Road neighborhood, one of the most exclusive areas of the city, boasts a roster of established and up-and-coming culinary talents. Here are four chefs who have helped put Wireless Road on the discerning diners’ must-visit list.
It’s hard to believe that a restaurant consistently named among the best in Asia was inspired by a drunken conversation among friends. But that’s the story behind acclaimed restaurant Gaggan, according to chef Gaggan Anand. After getting frustrated with previous jobs, he opened the progressive Indian restaurant in 2010—and he’s been packing in adventurous diners ever since.
Don’t expect to find the typical tandoori chicken on this menu—at least not like you’ve ever seen it before. The chef, who trained under famed Spanish chef Ferran Adria, specializes in molecular gastronomy—albeit inspired by traditional Indian flavors. His tasting menus utilize seasonal, local ingredients and include clever dishes like “edible plastic spiced nuts”—which you consume, bag and all—and a “magic mushroom” course. No wonder the restaurant often has a waiting list that extends for months.
Chamlong “Jimmy” Pewthaisong
Hotel Indigo’s on-site restaurant, Metro on Wireless, gives an upscale spin to the city’s celebrated street food, thanks to the creativity of chef Chamlong “Jimmy” Pewthaisong, who has more than 20 years of cooking experience at various upscale Bangkok hotels. “Chef Jimmy,” in conjunction with celebrity chef Ian Kitticha , has developed dishes like Moo Kluk Foon (“pig rolled in dust”) and Khao Kraya Koo (coconut cream and rice pudding).
The restaurant’s décor is sophisticated, but many of its serving containers give a nod to their humble street food inspirations. Banana leaves, for instance, are a traditional Thai style of serving food. The leaves’ natural waxy coating melts against the hot food, adding a subtle but distinct flavor. For other dishes, the restaurant uses zinc trays, hearkening the days when families gathered around meals that were served on the floor. The main dishes were presented in the center on a zinc tray, while each family member had their own bowl of rice to serve as a base for the meal.
After being awarded a Michelin star at four of his restaurants in his native Netherlands, Dutch chef Henk Savelberg decided to open his first restaurant outside of his home country. Located right next to the Dutch Embassy, Savelberg Thailand serves the chef’s signature modern French cuisine with a subtle Southeast Asian spin.
Peek into the open kitchen and you might even see the chef himself preparing dishes like whole quail with miso cream or pan-fried lobster with red curry, roasted peanuts and foie gras. The eight-course tasting menu offers a great way get a feel for the chef’s style.
When you’ve had your fill of Thai noodles, head to hot spot Lenzi Tuscan Kitchen for a different take on the carb — in the form of Tuscan cuisine. Italian chef Francesco Lenzi previously worked at some of the city’s top hotel restaurants, and competed in the Thai version of Iron Chef.
His menu includes such authentic dishes as penne Nonna Nella (Lenzi’s grandmother’s own tomato sauce recipe) and La Fiorentina (a 240-day aged, grain-fed Black Angus T-bone). Don’t forget to order a bottle (or two) of vino — the restaurant boasts one of the largest and most varied selections of Italian wines in Bangkok.