Thailand is famous around the world for its cuisine. And of course MICHELIN is the most prestigious food guide, so the two go very well together.
MICHELIN has just announced their latest guide, which is the fourth one on Thailand, and it promises to be the most interesting, controversial and comprehensive one yet.
Featured in this latest edition are 299 dining establishments – with a total of 6 two-star, 22 one-star, 106 Bib Gourmand, and 165 MICHELIN Plate eateries.
Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of MICHELIN Guides, revealed: “This edition was prepared in 2020 – a year full of challenges, but also a year of innovation and creativity. The selection thus reflects the courage and resilience of chefs that have given their best to face this unprecedented crisis. During this tough period, the desire of our MICHELIN Guide team to keep on encouraging and supporting Thailand’sculinary scene is even stronger than ever.”
“While the impact of the pandemic creates new norms in the food industry, many chefs and restaurants in Thailand tend to put more attention on the environment and sustainability. Therefore, we are particularly proud to newly introduce the MICHELIN Green Star, highlighting exemplary establishments at the forefront of the sustainable gastronomy approach, as well as the MICHELIN Guide Young Chef Award and the MICHELIN Guide Service Award, as both awards recognize the work and involvement of contributors in the sector – in other words, an entire ecosystem which impacts the overall dining experience. This latest edition of MICHELIN Guide in Thailand thus serves as the ultimate testament to the country’s gastronomic prowess, excellence, and vibrancy in overarching aspects,” said Mr.Poullennec.
One Addition Promoted to Each of the Two-Star and One-Star Lists, While Two Earn Their First One Star
In the 2021 MICHELIN Guide Thailand edition, Chef’s Table – a French contemporary restaurant using first-class and exclusive ingredients sourced worldwide with accurate execution – is the only addition promoted from one-star to two-star status. Together with 5 restaurants retaining their two-star distinction, this brings the total number of two-star restaurants in the Guide to 6.
The one-star selection welcomes two new entrants: Blue by Alain Ducasse, a French contemporary restaurant that offers diners a chance to savour world-class dishes using top quality ingredients, well executed with classic French cooking techniques; and Cadence by Dan Bark, an innovative restaurant that brings together Western and Asian cuisine, plus features Korean arts through modern and innovative dishes. Another addition to the one-star list is promoted from the MICHELIN Plate: Sushi Masato, a sushi bar serving omakase menu in an intimate Chef’s table setting, where a team of inspired Chefs use the finest ingredients sourced from Japan. Nineteen other establishments retain their one-star rating, bringing the total one-star count to 22*.
32 Eateries Making Their Debut in This Year’s Guide with a MICHELIN Plate
This year, of the 165 establishments with the MICHELIN Plate – a distinction that recognizes eateries providing a good meal, capably prepared with fresh ingredients and good cooking; 32 are new entrants (12 in Bangkok & Surrouding Provinces, 9 in Chiang Mai, and 11 in Phuket & Phang-Nga). Among them are Banrimbung (Nakhon Pathom, a nearby province of Bangkok), a restaurant in operation since 2001, serving family-style Thai cuisine, with fresh fish and other seafood; Kiti Panit (Chiang Mai), a restaurant that serves authentic Lanna food in a traditional setting; and Beach Grill and Bar (Phang-Nga), where Mediterranean fusion cuisine and fresh local seafood are served from the grill, and most dishes are cooked in a wooden charcoal oven, giving them a pleasing smoky flavour.
PRU Named Thailand’s First Restaurant to Earn the MICHELIN Green Star
PRU, the one-MICHELIN-star restaurant in Phuket, is also awarded the MICHELIN Green Star – a distinction that highlights the efforts of restaurant(s) operating at the forefront of their field with sustainable gastronomy practices, as well as fulfilling a role in bringing forth their vision. Setting an exemplary role in sustainable gastronomy, PRU strives to promote a “Dine Good, Do Good” philosophy by minimizing its carbon footprint, chemical use, and food waste. The restaurant also uses only seasonal ingredients from Thailand, including line-caught seafood and free-range animals. In addition, its research team even created a seedbank to preserve local agricultural biodiversity.
First Time in Thailand with the Young Chef Award and the Service Award
This year, the MICHELIN Guide presents, for the first time in Thailand, the MICHELIN Guide Young Chef Award, given to a young starred chef with exceptional talent and great potential; and the MICHELIN Guide Service Award, given to a restaurant personality, who has a genuine passion for service, in making all customers feel special and enjoy a truly wonderful dining experience. Winners of these awards are selected based on researches and data collected from the MICHELIN Guide inspectors’ fieldwork.
- 2021 MICHELIN Guide Young Chef Award:
Sujira “Aom” Pongmorn, Chef de Cuisine of Saawaan (Bangkok)
Born into a family of cooks, she grew up around food and professional cooking. Following her education at the School of The Oriental Hotel Apprenticeship Program (OHAP) at the Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, she had a lot of opportunities to work with various Michelin-starred chefs, such as Juan Amador and Thomas Keller, during their guest appearances at Le Normandie. Then she continued her fine-dining experience at Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin at Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok, equipped herself with molecular cooking techniques. In 2016, Aom together with restaurateur Frederic Meyer opened Baan Phadthai, which has been awarded Bib Gourmand since 2018. Saawaan is the culmination of Aom’s culinary journey and her personal tribute to Thai cuisine.
- 2021 MICHELIN Guide Service Award:
Guillaume Barray, General Manager, Chef’s Table (Bangkok)
Relying on efficiency, sincerity and passion for good products and traditions to deliver the best experience possible to all guests, Mr.Barray has led the professional and engaging servicing team at the Chef’s Table for impeccable service. From the host to the manager, from Thai or international, they make a great team with their professionalism, politeness and friendliness, offering accurate protocols with recognition to customers in a warm and hospitable manner.
The complete selection of The MICHELIN Guide Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Phang-Nga 2021 is now available in a bilingual digital edition (Thai and English) on the websiteguide.michelin.com/th/en; and a print version, available at leading bookstores for 650 Baht from 23 December 2020.
The 2021 selection at a glance:
- 6 two-star restaurants (1 promoted)
- 22 one-star restaurants* (2 new, 1 promoted)
- 106 Bib Gourmand restaurants (17 new, 4 promoted)
- 165 MICHELIN Plate restaurants (32 new)
- 1 Green Star restaurant