How Bangkok became an affordable fine-dining hub, drawing tourists with luxury experiences costing less than in cities like Hong Kong and New York
Bangkok’s fine-dining scene is thriving, with a growing number of Michelin-star restaurants and rankings on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants listThe city’s top restaurants are also cheaper than their counterparts elsewhere, and are drawing increasing numbers of culinary-minded visitors to the Thai capitalFood and DrinksBloombergPublished: 7:15am, 3 Oct, 2023Why you can trust SCMP
When chef Thitid Tassanakajohn first opened his Thai fine-dining restaurant, Le Du, in Bangkok in 2013, his four-course set menu cost 990 baht.
At about US$33 at the time, it was a steal compared to fine-dining establishments worldwide, but a fortune in a city where Thai cuisine had for decades been characterised as street food.
Thitid was told he’d be forced to close within months for charging so much for food made with local products. On nearby pavements, dishes featuring similar ingredients were available for less than the equivalent of one US dollar.
The chef, of course, prevailed. Le Du currently has a Michelin star and topped this year’s Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Thitid also has a second restaurant, Nusara, a classic Thai eatery – named after his grandmother and near the royal palace – that ranked No. 3 on the 2023 Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list.
Le Du and Nusara are two of a cluster of upscale restaurants in the Thai capital that are climbing up international and regional best restaurant lists.