New feasts for your palate
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New feasts for your palate

The last few months have seen the arrival of new restaurants in Bangkok

New feasts for your palate

Bangkok, a city that never sleeps, at least in the restaurant department. Blink and you’ll miss another new restaurant opening. Guru By Bangkok Post is making sure that even if you blink, you don’t miss out on the new openings that are worth mentioning.

Bella Sera

Italian cuisine never seems to go out of style in Bangkok, and adding to that is the new Bella Sera at the Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit. 

Though this isn’t your run-of-the-mill hotel restaurant; it is helmed by chef Fabio Colautti (of the now-closed Giusto) and serves “homestyle Italian cooking”. The concept, “Cucina Di Mamma Mia”, embodies a harmonious fusion of authentic flavours inspired by the chef’s culinary heritage of his hometown, Udine in northeastern Italy. The menu also celebrates the artistry of chef Colautti's mother, paying homage to her beloved recipes. 

“We are farmers and using that know-how I have tried to implement a variety of vegetables from Thai farms,” says the chef. The signature dishes also feature a lot of vegetarian, like the Melanzane al forno come sempre. Chef Colautti uses his mother’s recipe to make the dish, which has baked aubergine with mozzarella, Grana Padano cheese originating from the Po Valley, and is similar to Parmigiano Reggiano, and tomato sauce. It’s been ages since I’ve had a good Caesar salad and Bella Sera’s did not disappoint. The la mia insalata versione cesare is the chef’s version, naturally, and has smoked chicken, anchovies, croutons and garlic mayo. 

Perfect for the Bangkok weather is the refreshing Insalata di finocchi, arancia, noci or fennel and orange salad with walnuts and lemon oil. “My mother loved chilli but my father did not so she tried to balance it in the Cappellini con polpa di granchio. When I found the noodles that were akin to the pasta used for this dish in Bangkok, I was ecstatic,” says chef Colautti. The angle hair pasta is served with jumbo crab meat, garlic, chilli, olive oil, parsley, cherry tomato in a rich tomato sauce. The classics can also be found in Risotto ai frutti di mare, which is a traditional seafood risotto from Lombardy, and Tagliatelle alla bolognese, a rich Bolognese pasta, which may be a tad too heavy for our climate. The Lasagna matta (matta translates as “crazy”) is a dish that the chef’s mother used to cook for family reunions. 

Bella Sera also serves pizzas and traditional desserts like tiramisu. The open kitchen with the hot pizza oven adds to the ambience of what would otherwise be another hotel restaurant. With direct access to the BTS, it is worth a stop, especially for the chatty chef!


Another new Italian restaurant on the Silom side of the world is Cento, which is “inspired by the art of all things simple”. 

While the concrete facade may seem a tad cold, once you enter, the warmth of the interiors makes up for it — the lack of windows not withstanding. The menu is served sharing style and changes weekly, though not entirely. The focus is on live-fire and the menu includes bread, crudos, pasta and the grill. The “Solo Amici’’ menu is tailor-made for each diner where the team prepares an array of dishes from the menu, though the entire table needs to choose this.

While the Hamachi crudo with its house rub, lemon, yuzu, soy and EVO may be a crowd pleaser, if I see veal on the menu, I am going for that. The Vitello tonnato with thinly-sliced veal with tuna mayo was good, though it begged for a squeeze of lemon. The Sourdough with porcini and wild mushrooms and stracciatella is served like a pizza. 

From the Small plates, try the Clams, which come with pieces of crusty bread. The clams are tossed in white wine, garlic, parsley, nduja and chilli, though I would have preferred more of chilli kick and a few wedges of lemon with it. The Pici, which is made in-house, is served with crab, lemon and butter. However, it is the Agnolotti with river prawn, seafood stock and clams that is a popular dish here.

I see octopus on the menu in the grill section and you know I’m going to order it. At Cento, it is served with with tomato, garlic, basil, dry chilli and a herbs dressing. No prizes for guessing where in Italy a Pork chop Milanese is from. Serving something Milanesa style usually means dredging thin slices of meat (traditionally veal) in flour, eggs and seasoned breadcrumbs, before frying them. At Cento, the chop is served with Pecorino Romano, fennel, dill and balsamic and it’s pretty hard to get the dish wrong. A nice accompaniment to this dish is the Burnt carrots from the “Sides”. These are charcoal-grilled with mascarpone and house spices. 

Desserts are a choice of three: Chocolate mousse with olive oil, salt and vanilla gelato; Lemon tart, which is described in the menu as “delicious, period”… you’ll have to take their word for it; and the last but not least is the Espresso martini, which should go down a treat, because you’ll be well full before dessert!

Gigi Ekkamai

While Gigi Eatery & Café isn’t technically new to Sukhumvit, it is new in Ekamai, and is already showing signs of being the neighbourhood hotspot.

The renovated 70-seater boasts a colourful and quirky interior, a vivid and eye-catching facade on the ground floor, a terrace and a takeaway kiosk. Its signature Italian comfort fare is served in the form of all-day breakfast, quick lunches, long brunches and fun get-together dinners.

Though the establishment offers pizzas by the metre, I would skip them and head straight to the lighter sides of things. The all-day brekkie items are the usual Bacon and eggs; Avocado and asparagus; Eggs alla Fiorentina; and Eggs alla Parmigiana, they also serve a Gigilicious granola bowl for the days when eggs just won’t do it. The bowl is filled with supergrains, fresh fruits and homemade coconut yoghurt, though one can always ask for normal yoghurt.

Gigi also offers a selection of croissants and savoury pastries. Think Croffle burrata, which is a honey-pressed croissant, burrata, pistachios, Parma ham and honey drops; or Salmon-spinach or Ham-cheese puffs. Good for the elevenses or just savoury breakfasts. There are also focaccia sandwiches for the light lunches, but I would make headway for the signature Cauliflower power, which is a Sicilian-style wood roasted cauliflower served with sweet and sour raisins, pine nuts, spicy bread crumbs, dill and saffron sauce. Delish! 

The Orange and fennel salad seems to be having its Bangkok moment with more than one Italian offering it. To be fair, it is properly best suited for the current weather conditions. Crisp fennel is tossed with orange, radish, mint, grain mustard, honey, lemon juice, EVO, goat cheese and pistachios. What’s not to love?! The Holy vongole with linguine, fresh clams, white wine, garlic, parsley, cherry tomatoes and olive oil makes for a splendid light lunch, as does the Avocado and kale pesto fusilli with pine nuts and Parmesan. 

Though the best dish I ate was the Billy Bass, which is a grilled sea bass served with cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives, capers, parsley and garlic spinach. Desserts are a difficult choice between the highly indulgent, like the “Banofflee”, to the healthy Chia pudding. Though when has one ever complained about being spoilt for choice in Bangkok?!

Chisana Nami 

Immersive teppanyaki is now being served at the newly-refurbished Erawan Bangkok. Reflecting Nami Teppanyaki Steakhouse at the JW Marriott Bangkok, the restaurant promises an experience for the senses.

Chisana Nami, meaning “small wave” in Japanese, draws inspiration from the harmonious fusion of fire and waves, offering a distinctive teppanyaki experience that prepares fresh seafood, meats and vegetables with a modern twist. The restaurant’s zen interior boasts a sleek, contemporary design with a sophisticated ambience. The space is characterised by a monochromatic colour palette is accented by the warm tones of wood and leather chairs around a stylish marble counter. A variety of seating options caters to every occasion, be it at the sake bar or the three dining areas, each accommodating up to 16 guests. There are also two private teppanyaki dining rooms, each seating 10.

Chef duo Panumas Chaisalee and Watchara Watthanasiri helm the restaurant. The menu boasts an array of signature dishes, including the A3 Oguma beef striploin with sake-inspired sauce and the Grilled Hokkaido scallop with miso butter. Diners can also indulge in lighter options like the yellowtail with jalapeno, iceberg and yuzu olive oil dressing or the Chisana Nami open maki, bursting with flavours of prawn tempura, Japanese sushi rice, shiso leaf, cucumber and spicy mayo sauce. Signature desserts include Chisana Nami caramelised banana with vanilla ice cream and the White miso ice cream with peach coulis. 

Though cocktails also take centrestage here with the likes of Raichi martini made with sake, gin, lychee, citrus and Sakura bitters; Hana Blossom with Roku gin, mixed berries, rose, cranberry and citrus; and the Nihonjin Fashioned with Japanese whiskey, Honjozo sake, kombu and umami bitters.


Chef Dimitrios Moudios is no stranger to Bangkok and neither is his few-months-old ōre. The eight-seat chef’s table is all about live fire cooking on Sathu Pradit. 

“The food is going to be just me cooking and three or four cooks helping me. I am most comfortable in a live fire kitchen, which is why I will be doing all the cooking. This will also mean that the restaurant will be closed when I am not around. The grilling will be different to what is commonly seen in Thailand or elsewhere. I will make it more Japanese in terms of being minimalist and extracting the best from the produce, not Japanese in taste,” says Moudios.  

The restaurant only uses water from Sai Yok Springs, in the food and to brew their teas. That also leads into 95% of the produce being sourced in Thailand. Director Domink Jurasz serves an alcohol beverage pairing, with a focus on spirits produced in Thailand. Organically produced wines and ethically sourced teas make up the rest of the drink menu, which may burn a hole in the pocket. Since it first opened a few months ago, the price of the more than 20+ course menu (water is a course here) has increased. 

I’ve been told its currently hard to get a seat at the table, but with only eight seats available each night, five days a week, it would be hard. 


Showcasing the delights of coastal India is Nila at the Amari Bangkok, under the helm of executive chef Bharat S Bhat. 

With a focus on seafood (the Indian coast is vast as it is abundant, but I may be biased), culturally rich flavours of India’s maritime trading heritage is reflected in recipes that come from the Portuguese influence and from the European presence on the east coast, particularly the Bay of Bengal. 

Nila, which means “blue” in Hindi and in other Indian languages, is designed to resemble the interiors of old mansions in Goa influence by Portuguese architecture. The restaurant offers a substantial menu, though I must warn you that not all dishes are from the coast. 

There are dishes like Hyderabadi biryani, which chef Bhat says is to cater to people who are fans of the popular dish. Other dishes include Saar, a zesty char-grilled and smoked red chilli, garlic and fresh tomato soup paired with a prawn salad from the coastal region of Maharashtra. 

One of chef Bhat’s signatures has made it onto the menu at Nila; Flame-grilled peri-peri marinated prawns, which are tangy, spicy and delicious. Meat dishes included the Truffle Madras lamb chop curry and Lamb prepared “Kolkata style” with mustard oil. Desserts are a choice that aren’t the usual fare.  

Jharokha by Indus

Another Indian entering the Bangkok culinary scene is Jharokha from the same family that runs Indus. Though it’s in the name.  

Heading the kitchen is executive chef Sanket Hoskote, who specialises in modern Indian dishes. The focus of Jharokha is fire pit cooking, though fear not… there is no actual fire pit in the restaurant. At Jharokha, the kitchen makes full use of its tandoori ovens and Kopa, a charcoal oven. The interiors draw inspiration from a Rajasthan polo club. 

Jharokha which translates to an ornate window in English, refers to the intricately designed windows, adorned with carvings, often spotted in palaces throughout India, though most prominent in Rajasthan. Here, it is used to symbolically mean a window to Indian cuisine.

Signature dishes include Bhuna kaleji, which is a achappam (rose cookie) filled with Indian spiced chicken liver pate. One of my favourites dishes is presented in a modernised version — the Bheja pav. Goat brain is topped over a pain perdu and garnished with salli, which are fine potato sticks. The Himalayan gucchi and khumb is stuffed morel and tandoori king oyster mushroom served with a morel yakhni. The Charcoal fish is a masala-rubbed whole sea bass served with fennel and homemade pickled pear salad. 

Shikari maas ke sule is a dish from when hunting was still a thing. At Jharokha, it is served with Australian lamb striploin, instead of game, marinated with Mathania chillies from Jodhpur, Rajasthan. Traditionally this dish is cooked in a fire pit so that the chillies lend the dish their fiery red colour and sweetness. Here, it is served with a mustard mint dip. 

Sigdi is a stove that is usually fuelled with coal, dried cow dung or wood, quite popular in north India. The Sigdiwala murgh is a spiced organic baby chicken from Klong Phai farms and served with the same salad that is served with the fish. A dish with roots in Champaran, Bihar, is one that is popularly known as “handi meat”.  At Jharokha, the Champaran gosh is six-hours, slow-cooked mutton in a claypot with mustard oil, fried onions and garlic.

The cocktails here are also given an Indian twist with the Ganggu Bai Tangy, which is a tequila with homemade tamarind herb syrup. Though the Taj Lychee Zest, which is gin, cranberry juice and elderflower syrup, appealed more to my palate. 

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