Famous street food eatery Jay Fai, which is known for its Thai-style crabmeat omelette priced from Bt800 to Bt2,000, is one of 14 Bangkok restaurants that earned one star in the debut edition of the Michelin Guide Bangkok that was launched on Wednesday afternoon at the Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok.
Three luxury establishments – Gaggan, Mezzaluna and Le Normandie – earned two stars, but no restaurant received the highest accolade of a three-star rating.
“I didn’t expect to get a star because we’re just a small eatery. This is the most memorable experience in my life,” says Supinya Junsuta, 72, the owner of Jay Fai. “Today, I still cook with a charcoal stove and maintain the highest local ingredients.”
The inaugural edition awarded 14 restaurants one star, highlighting the quality of local cuisine, as seven of them – Bo.lan, Nahm, Saneh Jaan, Chim by Siam Wisdom, Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin, Paste and Jay Fai – offer Thai food. The other one-starred restaurants are Japanese eatery Ginza Sushi ichi, three French establishments – L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, J’Aime by Jean-Michel Lorrain, Savelberg – as well as Suhring, Elements and Upstairs at Mikkeller.
“Thai food is recognised around the world. Everyone knows tom yum, pad thai and satay,” said Michael Ellis, international director of Michelin Guides.
“The intense seasoning is unique to Thai cuisine, as it mixes all tastes to the palate. Thailand also has incredible street food that should be included in the selection. The first-ever Michelin Guide Bangkok will a shine spotlight on Thai foods and their dynamic culinary evolution.”
This year’s selection also features 35 restaurants that have been awarded a “Bib Gourmand” – a distinction that is as popular with chefs as it is with gourmets. It recognises favourite establishments selected by the Michelin inspectors for their good value for money, as they serve a quality menu for a maximum of Bt1,000.
On the ground, the inspectors unearthed all kinds of delights: from street food places such as Baan Yai Phad Thai, one of the best place for pad thai, and Guay Tiew Kua Gai Suanmali, a long-standing stir-fried chicken noodle shop, to more traditional restaurants offering local and delicious Thai cuisine.
For example, Jay Oh, which serves local-style seafood and dishes in a very rustic, casual ambience and where long queues are seen every night, also obtained a Bib Gourmand.
Also recognised was Baannai, located in a beautiful Thai-style wooden house with a well decorated garden serving traditional and delicate Thai food, and Soul Food Mahanakorn, which serves modern Thai food.
The Michelin Guide, first published in France more than a century ago to promote automobile travel, now covers 28 countries and is the world’s most-recognised restaurant reference guide. The Michelin Guide Bangkok will make Thailand the second country in Southeast Asia after Singapore and the sixth in Asia to have its own culinary reference.
A gala dinner to celebrate the Michelin-starred restaurants and chefs will be streamed and broadcast live from Siam Kempinski Hotel from 7.30pm on Michelin Guide Thailand’s official Facebook page.
The book will be available in both print and digital versions. View the full selection of the Michelin Guide Bangkok 2018 at www.guide.michelin.com in English and Thai.