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 is 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.

Fireplace Grill and Bar

Building upon an already storied legacy, Fireplace Grill and Bar, at the InterContinental Bangkok, is relaunching itself as a grill and not just a steakhouse. It is also introducing a revamped menu from a fairly new executive chef. 

Complimenting its renowned selection of meats with seafood dishes, the spread also pays homage to the restaurant’s most beloved offerings — the heritage series. Since 1966, Fireplace Grill and Bar has been garnering a reputation for offering an array of meats and seafood. Think top-shelf Australian beef to fresh lobsters from Nova Scotia.

Executive chef Gaetano Palumbo has chosen dishes with great care. “Creating this menu was a step-by-step process that focuses on the three main key pillars that form the core of this relaunch. First, we thought about which heritage dishes we wanted to keep. Second, to relaunch the restaurant as a grill, we made sure to offer a balanced mix of seafood and meat options, starting with appetisers like Seared foie gras and Scottish brown crab, and continuing with main courses like Pan-fried toothfish and Stanbroke Sanchoku Wagyu striploin. It's a menu that aims to please all palates. Last but not least, our unique table-side service adds to the experience, which showcase the years of mastery among the restaurant’s staff,” he explains.

Also on the appetisers menu is chilled seafood like Kaviari Oscietra Prestige caviar and Akami tuna present novel ways to savour the ocean. 

“Though we have relaunched the restaurant as a grill, the heritage series still has the classics. Favourites include Escargots a la Bourguignonne, French onion soup, Fresh line-caught Dover sole served with sautéed broccolini and garlic oil, and the legendary Stockyard prime rib. These dishes honour the history of Fireplace,” adds chef Palumbo.

Long favoured are the Prawn cocktail and Tournedos veal Rossini. Rounding out the appetiser section are Butter-roasted Canadian lobster and Sicilian red prawns in a tagliolini. These are matched in the steak selection with prime choices from Japan, the United States and Australia. Main course choices of Charcoal half baby chicken and Australian lamb rack. 

The Stanbroke Sanchoku Wagyu beef striploin is cured in house with Stilton. “Our method of ageing beef with cheese is something we take great pride in. We've opted for Stilton for its ability to infuse the meat with a luxurious richness. This choice isn't just about the flavour but also about ensuring the ageing process is just right. The microbes and enzymes in Stilton help us achieve a perfectly aged result, striking a delicate balance that maintains moisture without sacrificing tenderness. It's a meticulous approach that guarantees every bite is bursting with flavour and succulence,” explains the chef.

Fireplace Grill and Bar also takes pride in offering the exquisite Matsusaka A5 beef from Japan to the Blackmore M8-9 from Australia and the incomparable Mayura Wagyu beef M8-9.

There are few things better than ending a meal with another classic — the Crêpes Suzette, flambéed tableside, naturally. Alongside the revamped menu is a wine list of more than 240 labels encompassing family-owned vineyards and well-known estates. Crafted cocktails are also on offer alongside a live jazz performed by Coco LaShaun every Thursday. Visit the hotel’s website.

Jyak & Lym

Having opened mid-December last year, Jyak & Lym has gained quite the fan-following with locals and expats.

 One of the few restaurants to offer Malaysian Peranakan cuisine in Bangkok, the restaurant in a shop house on Soi Suan Phlu is reminiscent of those in Georgetown, Penang. “The restaurant name comes from ‘jyak’, which means eat in Hokkien and ‘lym’ means to drink,” explains banker-turned-restaurant-owner Jonathan Goh. 

“Having been in the banking sector since I was 23, I wanted to do something different. I also dabbled in cooking on the side as it is my passion,” says Goh. Soon Goh and his business partner and friend decided to open a restaurant in a city that they both love, and Jyak & Lym was born.

“I was looking for restaurant spaces around Sathon because it is an area that I am very familiar with. It was by chance that we found this shop house with a rooftop,” says Goh. 

Coming from a Peranakan family in Penang, Goh’s menu is all of his family favourites and dishes he enjoys cooking. The menu offers dishes that one would expect. The classic Wok-charred char kway teow, I was told by a Malaysian friend, was good. The day I visited the restaurant, they had sold out of the dish, so I may have lost out on the “wok hey”.

There is also Curry kapitan chicken, which is a rich, spicy and savoury coconut milk chicken curry with potatoes. The Chicken satay (that sauce was good!) and the Asam pedas fish are also worth ordering. The Curry laksa satisfies any craving one might have. The creamy coconut milk-based broth has a good blend of chillies, nuts, spices and herbs that delivers the  distinctive Nyonya flavour. Served with silky smooth sliced chicken and a choice of noodles — either egg or rice vermicelli. 

Not too far behind is the Asam laksa, the quintessential dish from Penang. “Asam” is the Bahasa/Malay word for tamarind, which is used to give the fish stock its sour flavour. At Jyak & Lym, the dish is cooked with mackerel, sliced cucumbers, pineapple and onions complete this dish. And, to get the full essence of the broth, a good dollop of prawn paste sauce for an extra oomph! Every dish uses local ingredients and those  imported directly from Malaysia like the belachan.

Jyak & Lym describes itself as a “Peranakan vertical dining establishment”. The restaurant spans five floors, each floor designed to immerse diners in the vibrant culture of Malaysia (and Batik). Each level offers a different decor, which at times can be overwhelming. A full-service bar that seats 20 and can double up as a private space is on the fourth floor. Here, the cocktails are inspired by Malaysian flavours. The enclosed rooftop has hand-painted wall art and seats 40. Probably my favourite spot in the vertical dining space. Visit the restaurant’s website.

The Pablo Bangkok

Bangkok is hardly a stranger to unusual names that most of the time have nothing to do with the establishment. Named after the infamous Colombian, The Pablo Bangkok has opened its doors as the newest all-day dining spot in town.  

Though the concept is “brunch and bar”, the all day-dining spot is more suited to evening shenanigans. Decorated in modern vintage style, the dark blue tones contrast with soft leather couches and wood furniture.

The brunch menu comprises two pages of eggs cooked in different styles. Choose from Eggs Benedict with salmon gravlax and (an unsplit) citrus hollandaise. Though if gravlax isn’t your thing, there is Paris ham on offer, too. 

The all-day dining menu is a melange of pastas, tapas, salads, pizzas and quesadillas. This isn’t a menu with any direction but one that offers tummy comforts. The Tuna ceviche Thailandia has Thai spices, which gives it a bit of a kick. I’ve had a craving for Caesar salad since April and The Pablo’s satisfied it. 

Enter the main courses and then it gets tricky, and I was left wondering what Fish & Chips is doing on the menu. But this is Bangkok, a melting pot of cuisines, so no complaint despite the surprise. The fish used is sea bass (which would not have been my choice), but I couldn’t find fault with it or with the tartare sauce. Though someone really needs to tell the chef that said dish should come as advertised — with chips and not French fries. 

There is even a steak on the menu in the form of Grilled Australian Rangers Valley, a 270-day-aged striploin served with grilled vegetables and red wine sauce. The Pablo serves Monsoon Tea and coffee from Galyani Vadhana in Chiang Mai; Pha Lang; and Doi Chang in Chiang Rai. 

The Pablo has an extensive list for spirited drinks. The Cilantro Y Forest is a gin-based cocktail that uses coriander, while the Truffle Negroni is a more spirit forward cocktail. Visit the restaurant’s website.

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