Category Archives: Bangkok

The MICHELIN Guide Bangkok 2018 has arrived!

Michelin is pleased to unveil the first selection for the MICHELIN Guide Bangkok, which features a total of 98 restaurants. This selection highlights how the city embraces international dining without abandoning its own heritage and authentic cuisine – which draws millions of visitors worldwide.

Three restaurants obtain two stars in the MICHELIN Guide Bangkok 2018: Gaggan, where the Chef-owner Gaggan Anand takes Indian cuisine to a level rarely seen, and one that has a truly unique signature. His artful dishes are original and creative, with a wonderful blend of textures, flavours, and delicate spices.

Le Normandie, located in The Mandarin Oriental Hotel, also gains two stars. Opened in 1958, the restaurant offers a sophisticated French cuisine based on superb ingredients, refined techniques, and well executed combinations of flavours and textures. Also awarded two stars, Mezzaluna is perched on the 65th floor of the Lebua Hotel, and the chef and his team deliver European delights with Japanese precision in five- and seven-course set menus.

The first selection of the MICHELIN Guide Bangkok also award 14 restaurants one star, highlighting the quality of local cuisine, as 7 of these one star restaurants offer Thai cuisine prepared by local Thai chefs, like Chim by Siam Wisdom, where the chef revisits traditional Thai recipes to create dishes that strike a balance between the old and the new, and between Thai and foreign influences; Bo.lan; Saneh Jaan, a restaurant offering Thai dishes which are a mix of classics and hard-to-find recipes like kaengranjuan, a hot and spicy soup.

Innovative modern Thai cuisine is also well represented in Bangkok with Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin, where the chef respects traditional Thai flavours and ingredients but transforms them to produce something truly creative and original. Of particular interest, one street food vendor also obtains one star: Jay Fai, where the owner-chef insists on staying at the tiny open kitchen with her homemade charcoal stoves, continuing what her father started 70 years ago, making crab omelettes, crab curries and dry congee.

International cuisine is also recognized in the MICHELIN Guide Bangkok 2018 with establishments awarded one star such as Ginza Sushi Ichi, a sushi restaurant where ingredients are delivered straight from markets in Tokyo every 24 hours, or Sühring, where brothers Mathias and Thomas Sühring deliver their very own style of modern German cooking that is sometimes playful, sometimes classic and always prepared with care. L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, J’AIME by Jean-Michel Lorrain, Elements and Savelberg, both gain a star in this first selection, with these restaurants serving French contemporary cuisine.

This year’s selection also features a total of 35 restaurants awarded a Bib Gourmand, a distinction as popular with chefs as it is with gourmets, which recognize favorite establishments selected by the
MICHELIN inspectors for their good value for money, as they serve a quality menu for a maximum of THB 1000.

On the ground the inspectors unearthed all kinds of delights: from street food like Baan Yai Phad Thai, one of the best place for Phad Thai, or Guay Tiew Kua Gai Suanmali, a long-standing stir-fried chicken noodle shop, to more traditional restaurants offering local and delicious Thai cuisine.

For example, Jay Oh serves local style seafood and dishes in a very local rustic, casual ambience where long queues are seen every night, and also obtaining a Bib Gourmand, Baannai, located in a beautiful Thai style wooden house with a well decorated garden serving traditional and delicate Thai food, or Soul Food Mahanakorn which serves modern Thai food.

Reflecting the impressive diversity of street food in Bangkok, which is one of the most attractive spots for visitors from around the world, the MICHELIN guide selects a total of 28 street food stalls.

View the full selection of the MICHELIN Guide Bangkok 2018 on the website www.guide.michelin.com in English and Thai.

The selection of the MICHELIN Guide Bangkok 2018 features:
✓ 3 two-stars restaurants
✓ 14 one-star restaurants
✓ 35 Bib Gourmand restaurants

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Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Announces 2017 Winners

Before an audience of the region’s most celebrated chefs, industry VIPs and international media, the list of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, was announced at an awards ceremony at the W Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand. The 2017 list welcomes 10 new entries, while China, Japan, Singapore and Thailand each count 9 restaurants on the list.

Gaggan in Bangkok claims the No.1 spot for a third consecutive year. Gaggan retains the dual titles of The Best Restaurant in Asia, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, and The Best Restaurant in Thailand, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna. Chef Gaggan Anand is renowned for his creative twists on Indian cuisine, reinventing traditional dishes through contemporary techniques.

Also representing Thailand are familiar favourites Nahm (No.5), Issaya Siamese Club (No.21), Eat Me (No.31) and Bo.Lan (No.19), the latter making a welcome return to the list. 2017 marks the debut of four Bangkok restaurants: Sühring (No.13), The Dining Room at The House on Sathorn (No.36), Le Du (No.37) and L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon Bangkok (No.40).

Individual Country Awards:

Rising one place to No.2, chef André Chiang’s Restaurant André retains the title of The Best Restaurant in Singapore, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna. Other Singapore entries in the top 20 include Burnt Ends (No.10), Les Amis (No.16) and Waku Ghin (No.20).

Amber (No.3) in Hong Kong is again named The Best Restaurant in China, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna. The seven Hong Kong restaurants in the 2017 list include longtime favourites, such as Lung King Heen (No.17) and The Chairman (No.47), as well as newcomer Ronin (No.45).

Narisawa (No.6), one of six Tokyo-based entries in the top 20, is named The Best Restaurant in Japan, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, for a fifth successive year. Florilège, the 2016 recipient of the One To Watch Award, debuts on the list at No.14.
Maintaining its No.15 ranking, Mingles in Seoul retains the title of The Best Restaurant in Korea while Gallery Vask (No.35) in Manila keeps The Best Restaurant in the Philippines honour.

At No. 30, Indian Accent is awarded The Best Restaurant in India for the third time. The winners’ circle also includes RAW (No.24), winning The Best Restaurant in Taiwan title, Ministry of Crab in Colombo (No.29) securing honours as The Best Restaurant in Sri Lanka.

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Other award winners announced include:

Highest New Entry Award, sponsored by Mekhong:
Odette, Singapore

Launched in November 2015, chef-owner Julien Royer’s restaurant at the iconic National Gallery Singapore debuts at No.9, the highest new entry in the history of the list. Serving Asian-inspired modern French cuisine, each dish at Odette is presented with impeccable style and characteristic perfection.

Asia’s Best Pastry Chef:
Kazutoshi Narita, Tokyo

Japanese chef Kazutoshi Narita began his career alongside the ‘Picasso of Pastries’ Pierre Hermé -currently The World’s Best Pastry Chef Award holder – before honing his skills at Joël Robuchon restaurants in New York, Las Vegas and Tokyo. At Esquisse and the recently opened Esquisse Cinq, both in Tokyo, the award-winning pastry specialist combines the delicate artistry of Japanese cuisine with the nuances and creative flair of French pâtisserie.

Chefs’ Choice Award, sponsored by Peroni:
Dave Pynt, Singapore

An apprenticeship at Asador Etxebarri in Spain helped spark Australian-born Dave Pynt’s passion for playing with fire. Since 2013, Pynt has been turning up the heat at Burnt Ends, a gourmet barbecue restaurant in Singapore. Pynt’s mastery of various cooking techniques – from smoking and slow roasting to grilling – has earned him the respect of his regional peers. Burnt Ends debuted on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2015 at No.30 and this year Pynt is the recipient of the Chefs’ Choice Award, sponsored by Peroni.

The Art of Hospitality:
Den, Tokyo

Rising 26 places to No.11, Den delights in surprising and entertaining its guests, making it a worthy recipient of the inaugural Art of Hospitality Award in Asia. The approach is playful, personable and inventive, reflecting the personality of Den’s chef-owner, Zaiyu Hasegawa.

Highest Climber Award:
Locavore, Bali

Celebrating Balinese culture and using only sustainably sourced local ingredients, Locavore rises 27 places to No.22, earning the title of The Best Restaurant in Indonesia.

Other award honourees include chef-restaurateur May Chow of Little Bao in Hong Kong and Bangkok, who is named Asia’s Best Female Chef 2017. TocToc in Seoul earns the Miele One To Watch Award for its creative use of seasonal Korean ingredients and refined French-influenced menu. Celebrated Italian chef Umberto Bombana of 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana is this year’s recipient of the Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award.


Source & images: Catch On

Chef Umberto Bombana is the 2017 Winner of The Diners Club Lifetime Achievement Award

Umberto Bombana, the renowned Italian chef of 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana in Hong Kong, is the 2017 recipient of The Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award. Honoured for his ability to push the limits of traditional Italian cuisine, Bombana will be presented with his award at the fifth annual Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony on Tuesday, 21st February 2017, hosted at the W Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand.

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Part of the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards programme, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, The Diners Club® Lifetime Achievement Award is voted for by members of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants Academy, comprising over 300 leaders in the restaurant and culinary industries throughout Asia.

A native of Bergamo in Northern Italy, Bombana’s culinary talents took him around the world, eventually leading him to Hong Kong in 1993 where he was appointed Executive Chef at Toscana at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel. His creative flair and passion for refined Northern Italian cooking made Toscana an iconic destination on Hong Kong’s fine-dining scene. Showcasing his mastery of Italian cuisine and seasonal ingredients, he earned the title, ‘King of White Truffles’. During Bombana’s 15-year tenure at Toscana, he was named ‘Best Italian Chef in Asia’ in 2002 by the Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners (ICIF) and appointed Worldwide Ambassador of the White Truffle by the Piedmontese Regional Enoteca Cavour in Italy.

Following the 2008 closure of Toscana and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Hong Kong, the Italian maestro launched 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana in 2010. Inspired by Italian film director Federico Fellini’s 1963 movie 8½, the restaurant pays homage to Bombana’s native cuisine, serving refined Italian food with the finest seasonal ingredients sourced from around the world. Otto e Mezzo Bombana debuted on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2013 at No.39 and ranked within the top 10 of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list for three consecutive years. Since 2012, the restaurant has also boasted a coveted three-star ranking in the annual Michelin guide, the first and only Italian restaurant outside Italy to receive such a distinction.

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Extending his culinary influence in Asia, the popular chef launched 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana Shanghai in 2012 and Opera Bombana in Beijing a year later. In December 2013, he opened Hong Kong’s first refined Italian trattoria, CIAK – In The Kitchen, and has since expanded to a second outlet. More recently, he opened a further branch of Otto e Mezzo Bombana at Galaxy Macau.


Credit: Bombana & Catch On

Appetti, That Friendly Foodie Guide You’ve Been Waiting For

Teringat masa dulu ketika kabar munculnya restoran atau kafe baru masih berasal dari bisik-bisik seorang teman atau bahkan temannya teman. Kalau beruntung, bisa saja saya menemukannya sendiri dan mencobanya atau ketika saya melewatinya dan mendapati bahwa gejolak untuk mengunjunginya tidaklah terhindarkan!

Kini masa-masa itu telah berlalu. Seiring kemajuan teknologi dunia maya; sepertinya para pemilik usaha restoran, kafe, hingga hotel berbintang lima tidak sulit untuk mengenalkan kehadiran mereka ke dunia luar. Namun demikian justru persaingan antar aplikasi atau website direktori kuliner serta segala tetek bengek fitur social media-nya seolah menjadikan semuanya jagat raya ini keruh.

Berbicara sebagai user, di satu sisi ada kemudahan serta kecepatan akses yang ingin dinikmati para pengguna. Namun di sisi lain kita terkadang enggan dibanjiri terlalu banyak fitur yang bikin ribet maupun update yang konstan terjadi. Keruhnya persaingan antar website/aplikasi inilah yang justru mendorong satu layanan ini untuk tampil berbeda dengan lainnya.

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Di sinilah saya terkesan dengan kehadiran Appetti, sebuah platform yang cocok untuk dimanfaatkan di PC maupun secara mobile serta ringan dan cepat. Uniknya Appetti tidak berniat untuk menciptakan aplikasi khusus demi memenuhi memuaskan kedua sisi yang end-user cita-citakan tadi.

Memasuki www.appetti.comuser langsung disodori sebuah search box yang membebaskan mereka untuk mengisi langsung nama restoran, lokasi, ataupun jenis makanannya secara spesifik. Namun bisa juga sekiranya kita membutuhkan overview jagat dunia kuliner secara utuh, maka cukup untuk mengganti nama kotanya. Sementara ini Appetti sudah membuka opsi untuk Singapura, Jakarta, Bali, Dubai, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, serta Bangkok. Hmmm.. Destinasi-destinasi kuliner yang menarik bukan?

Okay, marilah kita memasuki Singapura sebagai contoh termudahnya. Mengapa demikian? Ada satu hal geeky yang saya senangi dari fitur selanjutnya yang disuguhkan Appetti.

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Contohlah satu masa saya pernah berkunjung ke Singapura khusus untuk mencicipi restoran sushi yang bersertifikasi halal – satu hal yang sungguh sulit ditemukan justru di Jakarta. Adalah menuju Hei Sushi yang berlokasi di Bedok. Memasuki page berikutnya yang lebih spesifik, kita bisa melihat overview dari outlet milik Hei Sushi yang satu ini.

Seperti yang bisa dilihat dari laman ini, ada kesenangan tersendiri dari saya ketika melihat informasi yang detil. Misalkan saja keberadaan deskripsi mengenai restoran tersebut hingga hal-hal lain seperti jam buka selama seminggu, tipe masakannya secara detil, ataupun stasiun MRT terdekat untuk mencapai tempat ini. Selain itu tentunya terdapat alamat jelas dengan koordinat GPS serta no telpon dan alamat website. Satu hal yang menjadi kekurangan di sini menurut saya adalah kehadiran menu, harga ataupun foto-foto makanan serta tempat yang lebil banyak lagi. Padahal Appetti pasti akan senantiasa update dengan status buka tutupnya ribuan restoran yang terdafta, sehingga tentu menambahkan tampilan menu makanan/minuman tidaklah sulit.

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Kembali menuju laman search results, kita akan dibawa menyaksikan sederetan restoran serta fitur untuk menyaring pilihan kita agar menjadi lebih rinci. Menariknya, navigasi pemilihan restoran tidak perlu selalu didasarkan pada daftar panjang namun juga bisa didasarkan pada peta. Cukup dengan klik fitur tombol berbentuk pinpoint di kanan atas maka kita dapat melihat secara keseluruhan lokasi restoran yang tersedia di sebuah kota dari berbagai penjurunya.

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Dengan melakukan zoom in pada peta, maka semua akan menjadi lebih spesifik. Fitur ini terasa bermanfaat sekali bagi saya yang memang pengguna aplikasi peta dan gemar membaca peta, sehingga saya bisa memilih harus menuju arah mana ketika tengah terdampar di satu sisi kota Jakarta yang tidak saya kenal ataupun merencanakan makan malam hari ini bersama istri.

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Fitur utama lainnya yang menarik dari Appetti adalah adanya simbol kupon Top Offer di restoran-restoran yang terdaftar. Memang tidak semua memiliki penawaran khusus namun Appetti akan ‘menyundul’ restoran-restoran yang memiliki kupon ini ke bagian paling depan. Langkah yang tepat menurut saya karena tidak hanya restoran-restoran ini mendapatkan promosi khusus namun juga merangsang para foodies untuk memanfaatkan privilege ini.

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Sebut saja Harlow Brasserie di Jakarta yang per saat saya review website ini tengah memiliki 3 Top Offers. Setiap penawaran ini cukup di-klik saja dan akan terlihat segala detilnya dan persyaratannya. Misalkan saja tawaran Lunch Specials seharga IDR 100,000 nett dengan minum yang cocok banget untuk mereka yang mencari makan siang enak di daerah Kuningan. Ataupun satu penawaran lainnya untuk sekadar kopi sore asyik.

Di tengah-tengah bergeloranya semangat para foodies untuk berburu tempat makan dan segala kelebihannya, Appetti dengan cukup cermat sekaligus casual datang dan menghadirkan segala kemudahan itu. Mari kita nantikan kelanjutan Appetti yang mudah-mudahan akan juga hadir dengan fitur menarik lainnya serta pilihan kota yang lebih banyak lagi. I’m so ready to dine out now!


APPETTI – www.appetti.com

QuikSkoop™: Icedea

Icedea is an interesting ice cream parlor theme created by a local ice cream designer that goes with the name Prima Chakrabandhu Na Ayudhya. Icedea’s idea is ‘Idea in Ice Cream’, so in short the company’s not only opens stores for itself but also provides the idea in ice cream parlor concept and flavors for any investors. Waw.. Ideas all over one sentence! Well, I suppose so but do correct me if I’m wrong about Icedea.

So just across Tea, my new favorite coffee shop in BACC, there lies Icedea with its eccentric appearance of tables separated with glass. Not only that, there were also small plates and Oreo divided with the glass. What’s that for? God knows, but it’s funny nonetheless. They got also this interactive trash bin with TV on the side of it. In it, a guy looks above as if looking for something, but if you trash something in it… well.. I shouldn’t be tell the spoiler but again it’s funny. So you’d better come to Bangkok just to see it! Well.. actually for the ice cream though!

Although under the threats of flu, in which my wife had succumbed to it, I decided to just not let this opportunity slips away. Indeed, Icedea offers interesting flavors for its products. Flavors such as Tokyo Banana, Global Warming, Caramel Latte, Earl Grey Tea, or just the usual flavors and some even in Thai language are available. After some sampling on Tokyo Banana and Caramel Latte which ended up not to well for my taste, I decided to pick Toffee Nut instead.

Toffee Nut Ice Cream

A generous one scoop only costs around THB 60. The Toffee Nut flavor was rich and nutty of course. The milky texture and some caramel in it were those among that gonna make your day! I was forced to finish the ice cream since she had a flu but I was happy. All the fatigues just fade away. The ice cream parlor also attracts foreigner visitors, partly of course thanks to the direct access to BTS station.

So in the end, I got the flu. Even if I already got sick that day, I’d be a very curious boy and would still against mama’s or doctor’s order even for just a scoop of ice cream and becomes happy! ^^

LOCATION:

Pathumwan Intersection, facing MBK and Siam Discovery Center. The 3rd floor entrance is connected to National Stadium BTS Station. Tea is located on the 4th floor.

Opening hours: 10 am – 9 pm (closed on Monday)