Foodies Travel Destinations (Part 2)
Foodies unite once again! Asia is packed with a diverse array of exciting food experiences so one newsletter was never going to be enough. We are here to help you discover some truly authentic and creative cuisine when you are next in Asia at our pick of the restaurants. Travel for the Secret Retreats concierges begins in the stomach! We believe that in order to experience the culture, learn about the people, and immerse in what makes a destination unique, one also has to explore the local cuisine. All the stories of a destination can be found on the plates of the locals. So, when you are next in these destinations take a look at our pick of the best places to dine or call our concierges to have them book you a table. No matter the length of your trip or the extent of your journey, there is an endless variety to keep your palate excited and satisfied during your next Asia Tour.
Thailand is known for its rich, flavoursome and delicious food, where every spoonful is bursting with flavour and combinations of spices and sauces such as chili, ginger, garlic, lemongrass and fish sauce excite every palate. Cuisines here blend sweet and spicy with ingredients such as coconut milk and kaffir lime leaves. While Pad Thai is one of the most popular dishes, you also really cannot go wrong with Tom Yum Goong (a spicy hot and sour soup) followed by a dessert of mango sticky rice.
Bangkok is at the center of it all with thousands of street food vendors and restaurant options, ranging from budget-friendly to luxury fine dining and everything in between. As with all things great dining, a little local knowledge goes a long way so be sure to consult the Secret Retreats concierges for their tips on what to taste and where to taste it.
At the heart of the restaurant, a large greenhouse wraps around the two-storey structure, giving guests the impression of a grove within a rainforest. Chef DK’s deep respect for nature is delivered through his mission to be waste-free and carbon neutral and only serving what they grow from within their urban farm backyard in certified organic soil. He brings the freshest organic Thai ingredients and produces and high-quality sustainable meats to your plate, with impeccable flavours and plate presentations inspired by Chef DK`s Indian roots.
LE DU WINE BAR & RESTAURANT
‘Le Du’ means “season” in Thai, and this not to be missed Bangkok favourite serves à la carte and tasting menus which offer modern Thai food showcasing Thailand’s rich produce and centuries old culinary cultures. The menu is complemented by an intriguing and well-designed wine list – one of the partners is a trained sommelier and passionate about his wines. The seasonal menu includes incredible local flavours with marinated oysters, ant larvae, prawns cooked on a hot stone at the table, corned venison, pork tongue and pork blood pudding all making an appearance when the season is right.
SUPANNIGA EATING ROOM
Nestled in the heart of Bangkok, Supanniga Eating Room serves authentic, savoury Thai cuisine using premium ingredients from Thailand’s seaside towns including fish sauce, kapi (dried shrimp paste), and salted fish. With recipes that have been passed on for more than 80 years from the owner’s grandmother, Khunyai Somsri, the cuisine showcases delicacies from Thailand’s Trat and Chantaburi provinces, with a slight Isaan (eastern Thailand) touch. The restaurant has a comfortable and casual yet traditional style with décor reminiscent of the atmosphere of Supanniga Home, located in Khon Kaen, the family home where Khunyai lived and very much where this delicious celebration of local dining began.
DINING AT CHAKRABONGSE VILLAS
Chakrabongse Villas serves truly authentic Royal Thai Cuisine using original family recipes from the palace kitchens. Really, where else can you dine on dishes from the royal table while sat within a royal villa – still the home of the Chakrabongse family today. Be enchanted by the spectacle of Wat Arun (the Temple of Dawn) by night directly across the Chao Phraya river from the restaurant’s riverside terrace while you dine. Or delight in a romantic table setup for two in the gardens. We suggest the daily menu de degustation dinner as a perfect introduction to the complexities and exquisite taste sensations at the heart of Thai cuisine.
THAI LAO YEH AT THE CABOCHON HOTEL
Thai Lao Yeh Restaurant serves some classic Thai dishes and some delectable ethnic specialties from the Isan and Laos cuisines, lesser known cuisines perhaps to visitors but very much favourites of Thai foodies. The chef follows original recipes full of integrity nicely presented on a carefully curated collection of traditional blue and white Thai ceramics. The restaurant comfortably seats 50 people and the 2 private dining rooms can accommodate respectively 6-8 and 10 -12 diners.
EMPTY PLATES BANGKOK
Empty Plates serves a 7 to 9 course tasting menu of modern Bangkok cuisine. The restaurant offers a private dining experience with beautiful views over the Bangkok skyline, and is suitable for enclosed groups or public tasting events. The menu showcases the best and the freshest seasonal Thai ingredients. An ever-changing menu that makes the best of the local produce.
The dishes here are inspired by the chef’s childhood memories, clearly influenced by the rich variety of fresh produce they source in their local markets and in their collaborations with organic farming communities in Chiang Mai. Creative dining, very Thai, with the freshest and most exciting local produce brimming with flavours, Empty Plates are guaranteed after dining here!
After many years of cooking exclusively Thai food professionally, husband and wife team Chef Bee Satongun (Thai) and Australian-born Chef Jason Bailey opened their first outlet of Paste Bangkok Thai restaurant in 2013. Their reinterpreted Thai menu quickly became one of the best tables in Bangkok earning them many accolades. The decision to open Paste in Luang Prabang in 2018 stems from a strong desire to pay tribute to the origins of Thai food, and engage more closely with Chef Bee’s roots hearkening back to the hill tribes of Laos.
Paste in Luang Prabang is a deeply emotional experience for Chef Bee as the hill country of Laos is her true ancestral home. The next step to open in Vientiane in 2019, was simply a logical continuation. With three award-winning restaurants across Thailand and Laos, the chef duo aim to push further and deeper into uncovering regional cuisine, leveraging the systems, creativity and loyal teams they have built over the years.
This jewel of a Malaysian island has so much to offer the discerning traveller, and the Penang gems that Secret Retreats shares with its travellers as places to stay really are the ideal base to explore this fascinating island. Steeped in history, Penang spent centuries as a central trading post between the Far East and the West and its wide cultural influences still colour the Penang experience to this day. Arabic, Dutch, English and Chinese influences have all rubbed shoulders with the local culture and stamped their fantastic and unique identities on the cuisine, architecture and art of Penang to this day.
Serving New Malaysian cuisine, gēn 根 is a place where quality local produce is combined with passion, culture and creative techniques into incredible dining experiences. Each dish is a celebration of Malaysia’s distinctive flavours and cultures.
The creators and chefs behind gēn 根, Johnson and Javi, returned to Malaysia after a long journey of cooking experiences around the world. Their mission at gēn 根 is to showcase their love for Malaysia’s local ingredients and create and share beautiful dishes in their Modern Malaysian Community Restaurant.
INDIGO RESTAURANT AT CHEONG FATT TZE
Indigo restaurant is inspired by Cheong Fatt Tze himself, offering a marriage between East and West not just in the setting, but also the cuisine. The interior was designed to complement and enhance the cuisine which it serves, acting as a reflection of Penang’s ever- evolving culinary palette interpreted and presented by Chef Jack Yeap.
Take your tongues on tour! And excite your palates and invigorate your Chi (Qi) with some of the most creative, authentic and wholesome dining in Asia. Don’t miss out, contact the Secret Retreats Concierges now and start planning your next Asian holidays!