Asia's Hottest Tables
T+L picks some of the region’s most notable restaurants. By JENNIFER CHEN
Published on Apr 1, 2010Page : 1 2
+ NEST ANGKOR
Siem Reap is burnishing its reputation as one Southeast Asia’s hippest small towns with the opening of Nest Angkor. Co-owner Joseph Polito, the man behind style icons like Hotel de la Paix and Nest Bangkok, designed the café–restaurant to feel like the patio of a chic private home, with intimate, candlelit daybeds tucked away in a lush tropical garden. Under a canvas-tented roof, guests can choose from an expansive cocktail menu that claims to be one of the region’s best, while sampling dishes that blend Mediterranean and Asian flavors and listening to DJ-spun ambient tunes.
Sivatha Boulevard, +855-63 966 381, www.nestangkor.com
+ BAMBOO CHIC, BANGKOK
Located on the 4th floor of Le Méridien Bangkok, the jazzy, lounge-style Bamboo Chic restaurant is a standout among the city’s many pan-Asian eateries. Chef Kunihiko Hamada serves up Japanese and Chinese food with a modern twist; must-try dishes include the blanched oysters marinated in ponzu sauce; black cod roasted with Chinese five-spice, wrapped in grilled spring onions; and the rock lobster–mango–avocado roll. Diners can order half-portions — the perfect solution for trying a variety of dishes.
4th floor, Le Méridien Bangkok, 40/5 Surawong Road, + 66 2232 8888
+ CÉPAGE HONG KONG
The first foray outside of Singapore by Les Amis, Cépage is a swish eatery helmed by Thomas Mayr, the former head chef of the group’s flagship restaurant. The menu reflects Mayr’s long-held fascination with all things Japanese, ingredients such as Kagoshima beef, kobu and Japanese organic eggs make appearances. Well-executed dishes such as char-grilled prime rib and braised beef cheeks show off his French-trained finesse. Skip the sweets and head straight for the plate of French farm cheeses.
23 Wing Fung St., Wanchai, +852 2861 3130
+ BLT STEAK, HONG KONG
New York–based chef Laurent Tourondel brings his winning take on the American steakhouse to Asia at BLT Steak, a cozy, brick-lined bistro. In a city already awash in red meat, Tourondel deploys Gallic fl air on top-quality, well-aged U.S. and Australian beef. The menu does offer fowl and fish, including some Cantonese-inflected dishes. Take it from us: stick to the meat and all-American sides such as creamed spinach and mashed potatoes laced with jalapeños, and save room for the lemon meringue pie.
Shop G62, ground floor, Ocean Terminal, Tsim Sha Tsui, +852 2730 3508
+ RED SKY, BANGKOK
This urbane wine bar is perched on the 55th floor of the Centara Grand at CentralWorld. The wood-clad patio is the place to be, with a jaw-dropping, nearly 180-degree panorama of downtown Bangkok (and glass barriers to shield diners from strong winds). Service is prompt and gracious. We recommend the beef carpaccio to start, followed by the Bresse pigeon — which was meltingly tender — and the bread and butter pudding with whisky ice cream for dessert. But bear in mind that you’re definitely paying for the spectacular views here.
55th floor, Centara Grand at CentralWorld, + 66 2100 1234
+ PRIVÉ, SINGAPORE
This streamlined 88-seat spot actually opened in 2007, but it’s got a new menu courtesy of recently appointed executive chef, Wayne Nish of New York’s late, great March. Nish might have been an early proponent of fusion, but his latest outing is a return to European restraint: roasted quail with foie gras and spinach; rack of lamb with walnuts and white coco beans. There’s also an impressive cheese selection, including the prized époisses. Book well in advance: with this much star power, reservations are hard to come by.
2 Keppel Bay Vista, Marina at Keppel Bay, +65 6776 0777
+ BO.LAN, BANGKOK
Thai cuisine in a fancy setting usually means listless dishes watered down to suit Western palates. Not so at this stylish, intimate new eatery Bo.lan opened by a young Australian—Thai couple who met while working at David Thompson’s Nahm in London. On the menu are items seldom seen in most sit-down Thai restaurants in Bangkok: a surprisingly nutty coconut soup with dried fish; a curry made with grilled beef and a local bitter green; a salad with smoked rainbow trout. Eating here will change your perceptions of Thai food.
42 Soi Pichai Ronnarong, Sukhumvit Soi 26, +66 2260 2962