WITH Lumpini Park at one end, Chidlom BTS at the other, and a host of excellent hotels, shops, and restaurants (including Gaggan, voted number one in the prestigious Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2015 competition) along its length, Soi Langsuan is one of the city’s most fashionable, distinguished neighbourhoods. But don’t just take our word for it – look to the Crown Property Bureau, whose faith in the area has resulted in the launch of its Langsuan Village project – a huge condominium project, costing a whopping 26 billion baht, which will focus on green, luxurious living (see page 60 for the full story).
But, wait, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Back to the present. Walk along the Soi today and you’ll find all kinds of places to tempt you to part with your cash.
First, Gaggan. Securing a table for the night here has always been difficult, ten times so since it scooped the aforementioned award. Book ahead though and the rewards are worth the wait, because chef and owner Gaggan Anand boldly takes Indian cuisine where no chefs have taken it before – think dishes such as Chowpati Year 2050, a wobbly creation that resembles a peeled soft-boiled egg, made by delicately dripping yoghurt into an alginate bath, which causes a thin gel membrane to form around the yoghurt. As soon as you pop the parcel in your mouth it explodes with a riot of flavour. Amazing.
Then there’s Crepes & Co, a longtime expat favourite (it was established in 1996) specializing in traditional and creative crêpes, and delicious home-style Mediterranean recipes; aLL Six To Twelve Cafe’ & Social Bar, a trendy neighbourhood hangout serving fusion and international comfort food as well as an extensive range of boozy cocktails; Eat Meet Sweet, selling pasta and steaks and its signature pork belly; and Stonehouse Bistro & Bar, whose recommended menu includes options such as Seared tuna salad, herb crusted Australian lamb rack, and Seared Hokkaido scallop.
Le Boeuf, a new outlet that’s also calling itself the Steak & Fries Bistro, is already winning plaudits on social media for its plain and clear culinary focus. It’s located on the ground floor of the Marriott Mayfair Service Suite, half way down Soi Langsuan.
For coffee, tea and soft drinks swing by Dhalaa Coffee Shop, or The Ninth. For beers, wines or cocktails hit up the aforementioned rooftop bar at Muse, or head to The Portico Langsuan, where you’ll find Wine Loft and D’Orsay French Restaurant (which also offers reasonably priced dishes made using fine imported ingredients). Alternatively venture to the top of the Mercury Ville Mall (which has many Japanese restaurants), where you can sit outdoors and enjoy a splendid view of Chidlom while sipping a beer or two at Roof 409 Bangkok Bar & Bistro.
Some great dining experiences await inside the fabulous Hotel Muse, an award-winning boutique hotel with a striking design (think turn-of-the-century grandeur given a contemporary, whimsical twist), the most recent of which, Babette’s The Steakhouse, opened just last month to much fanfare and now serves some of the finest slabs of imported grilled meat in Bangkok. The hotel’s rooftop bar, The Speakeasy, is a great spot for a date, and its Italian restaurant, Medici Kitchen & Bar, manages to be opulent and laid back at the same time, the hallmark of any good restaurant aping the cuisine of the country shaped like a boot.
Other interesting options on the Soi include Triplets Brasserie, serving French-inspired dishes and a selection of pastas; No. 43 Italian Bistro at Cape House Bangkok (a luxury serviced apartment and hotel), which lives up to its name by serving, you’ve guessed it, Italian bistro items (daily buffet lunch is a bargain at just B390 per person); and Per Te, a cozy Italian Restaurant and bakery serving home-cooked comfort food.
BAD: We can’t afford to live there!