Tatler Thailand's Top 20 Best Restaurants of 2020
It has been a strange experience producing the 19th annual edition of the Tatler Thailand Best Restaurants dining guide—a somewhat delayed and truncated version given the circumstances caused by the outbreak of Covid-19. Nevertheless, we felt it important to press ahead with the book because the restaurant business in Thailand will need all the help it can get as it starts to recover—and we believe that dining out in the ‘new normal’ will offer exciting culinary journeys as restaurants adapt to new consumer habits and mores.
Once again it is worth pointing out that it is a signal achievement to be listed in this annual guide and so our congratulations go to the 121 restaurants in Bangkok and the 80 provincial eateries that made it into the edition. As always, the restaurants were reviewed anonymously and appraised and rated in four categories—food, setting, drinks and service. This year’s Top 20 restaurants by rating feature some familiar names—heavyweights Le Normandie, Mezzaluna and Suhring among them—but also a clutch of sparkling new arrivals such as Chef’s Table, White Lies, Nan Bei and Blue by Alain Ducasse. They are among the many fine eateries across the kingdom gearing up to delight eager palates once again.
1/20 Chefs Table [98/100]
Since opening in March 2019 Chef’s Table has become the glittering centrepiece in lebua’s dazzling crown of spectacular dining outlets. Chef de cuisine Vincent Thierry and his team create classic French fare with a finesse that is every bit the equal of the sophisticated setting.
2/20 Suhring [98/100]
Setting up on their own four years ago, Suhring brothers Mathias and Thomas made it their mission to put modern German fare at the top of the culinary charts. With their technically brilliant takes on homeland favourites elevated with contemporary twists, it’s a case of mission accomplished.
3/20 Mezzaluna [97/100]
You know you’re in for a superlative dining experience at Mezzaluna and as always, chef Ryuki Kawasaki’s divine European-inspired cuisine, the amazing wine list, the brilliant service and the astonishing views make for a memorable evening.
4/20 Le Normandie [96/100]
Chef Arnaud Dunand-Sauthier keeps the tradition of excellence alive at Le Normandie with outstanding modern French cuisine. Impeccable service from maitre d’hotel Cedric Vinckier and his team in plush surroundings by the river complete the haute cuisine dining experience.
5/20 Elements [95/100]
Executive chef Hans Zahner has picked up the baton from chef Alvaro Roa and maintained award-winning standards at The Okura Prestige Bangkok’s flagship restaurant. His sophisticated French cuisine with Japanese influences graces tasting menus that change to reflect premium seasonal produce.
6/20 Sirocco [94/100]
Another of lebua’s dining jewels and possibly the world’s highest al fresco restaurant, ultra-chic Sirocco offers magical modern Mediterranean cuisine prepared by renowned French chef Romain Dupeyre and equally magical views of the city below.
7/20 White Lies [94/100]
Chef Maurizio Menconi, former head chef of La Scala at The Sukhothai Bangkok, offers a unique culinary take on Roman favourites with an ever-changing multi-course ‘Italian omakase’ fine dining menu in which the surprises keep on coming.
8/20 Acqua [93/100]
Considered by many to be the best restaurant on Phuket, Acqua at Patong is a showcase for talented Sardinian chef Alessandro Frau’s beautifully presented refined Italian fare. The cuisine is complemented by an exceptional wine list and great service.
9/20 Pru [93/100]
Pru—for plant, raise, understand—at the exclusive Trisara Phuket resort uses seasonal produce grown in its own extensive kitchen garden and the very best of fresh local seafood in chef Jim Ophorst’s fine dishes.
10/20 Haoma [93/100]
From the urban farm in the grounds outside straight to the dining table. Owner-chef Deepanker Khosla uses organic produce and ultra-fresh ingredients grown hydroponically on-site in healthy, beautifully presented innovative dishes that are sometimes inspired by India.
11/20 Keller [93/100]
An elegant modern setting in which to enjoy contemporary international dishes featuring premium products and carefully crafted sauces created under the watchful eye of chef Mirco Keller. An extensive wine list includes German and Austrian classics.
12/20 Blue by Alain Ducasse [92/100]
The illustrious French chef’s fine dining outlet at IconSiam is helmed on a daily basis by executive chef Wilfrid Hocquet, who pays homage to authentic French tastes using premium imported ingredients and Thailand’s exceptional supply of fresh produce.
13/20 Fireplace Grill & Bar [92/100]
For over five decades the legendary Fireplace Grill & Bar at InterContinental Bangkok has been delighting loyal patrons with its refined setting, slick service, extensive wine list and chef Sebastian Reischer’s fantastic grilled meat and seafood dishes. Great for celebrations, intimate dining or business dinners.
14/20 J'Aime [92/100]
Renowned French chef Jean-Michel Lorain’s restaurant at U Sathorn continues to prosper under the guidance of his daughter Marine Lorain and chef Americo Sesti. Sesti’s vibrant cuisine displays a masterful grasp of classical-meets-modern cooking. Top-notch service and an excellent wine list.
15/20 Jahn [92/100]
Conrad Koh Samui’s jewel of a restaurant, Jahn serves contemporary Thai cuisine that highlights traditional techniques and the best of seasonal ingredients. The views of the Gulf of Thailand from the candle-lit restaurant are as spectacular as the cuisine.
16/20 Kintsugi Bangkok by Jeff Ramsey [92/100]
Kintsugi Bangkok by chef Jeff Ramsey at The Athenee Hotel is one of the finest Japanese restaurants in Bangkok. It serves opulent a la carte dishes and set menus starring premium seasonal Japanese produce backed by top international wines from the hotel’s extensive cellar.
17/20 Le Du [92/100]
Chef Ton Thitid Tassanakajohn’s modern takes on classic Thai dishes consistently hit all the right notes. Based on sustainably grown local seasonal produce, offerings are pared down but bursting with flavour. A trained sommelier, chef Ton has also assembled a very good wine list.
18/20 Nan Bei [92/100]
Talented chef Matthew Geng serves incredibly authentic Chinese cuisine covering recipes from all points of the country. Elevated with the best ingredients available and great technical twists, the fare is complemented by a superb international wine list, Asian-themed cocktails and premium Chinese teas.
19/20 Paste [92/100]
The age-old familial Thai recipes prepared by husband-and-wife duo Australian Jason Bailey and Bongkoch Satongun continue to dazzle. Showing exemplary cooking techniques and pungent flavour profiles based on sometimes rare local produce, this is heirloom cuisine at its best.
20/20 R-Haan [92/100]
Celebrity chef Chumpol Jangprai is dedicated to preserving the wisdoms of Thailand’s rich culinary heritage. His multi-course Samrub set menus use tried and tested recipes and both traditional and modern techniques to bring out the very best of seasonal ingredients.
The Tatler Thailand Best Restaurants guide 2020 is available now at Asia Books nationwide.
See also: Here Are Thailand Tatler's 20 Best Restaurants Of 2019