Gustatory delights from Michelin

tasty January 15, 2018 11:00

By The Nation

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With the launch of the firstever edition of the Michelin Guide Bangkok late last year, Michelin is now returning its attention to promoting its “Bib Gourmand” distinction and making it widely known among food aficionados in Thailand.

The Bib Gourmand list highlights more affordable restaurant options than those typically recognised with the Michelin Star. It was initiated back in 1954, when the Michelin Guide took the first step to indicate restaurants serving “good cuisine at a reasonable price,” reinforcing its commitment to quality for everyone. This recognition gained high popularity, and later became the ‘Bib Gourmand’ distinction, which has been presented annually since 1997.

The symbol of Bib Gourmand, featuring the famed Bibendum or Michelin Man licking his lips, serves as a label for an authentic cuisine carefully prepared and inexpensively priced. The maximum price point that identifies affordability is determined by local economic standards. In the case of Bangkok, the Bib Gourmand recognises eateries that offer quality cuisine at a maximum price of Bt1,000 (The price is for a threecourse meal; starter, main course, and dessert – exclusive of beverage).

“The Bib Gourmand plays a role as significant as the Michelin Star, in promoting Bangkok as the city of diverse and dynamic culinary scene with finedining restaurants, casual eateries, and moderatelypriced street food establishments. The Bib Gourmand not only offers local and foreign food enthusiasts to experience a Michelinrated restaurant at an affordable, valueformoney price; but also serves as a testament that a highquality, delicious meal is not always expensive,” Segsarn TraiUkos, the country director of Michelin Siam, explains.

In the debut edition of 2018 Michelin Guide Bangkok, there are 35 restaurants taking the spotlight as Bib Gourmand honourees. Among them are 18 streetfood establishments including Polo Fried Chicken (Soi Polo), a restaurant that’s been operating for 50 years and is famous for its garlic fried chicken with perfectly crispy skin on the outside and flavourful tender meat on the inside. Others are Jok Prince, a famous food stall hidden in a narrow alley offering smooth and savoury rice porridge with a smoky aroma, topped with either a raw egg or a century egg; and Yentafo Convent, a stall serving pink noodle soup, made with tomatoes and sweet potatoes, for more than 40 years.

The remaining 17 are restaurants such as Baan, where the husbandry and provenance of the ingredients is paramount: beef used in the Massaman curry is from an Islamic farm in Pak Chong, and sustainable seafood is sourced from southern Thailand; and The Local, an authentic Thai restaurant in a colonialstyle building where dishes are crafted from secret family recipes and represent all regions of Thailand.

“In the first edition of MICHELIN Guide Bangkok, the number of Bib Gourmand restaurants doubles the number of Michelinstarred restaurants. In addition, around half of the Bib Gourmand honourees are street food establishments. This signifies the charms of Bangkok as the city of good value and reasonably priced restaurants, as well as a top destination for street food,” said Yuthasak Supasorn, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

“The Bib Gourmand basically provides an opportunity for small but excellent eateries to earn recognition and fame – thus encouraging the enhancement of culinary excellence for Thailand and the growth of the local economy. Both distinctions, Bib Gourmand and Michelin Star, will serve as a magnet drawing tourists and food enthusiasts from around the world to experience the remarkable diversity of Bangkok’s dining scene themselves.”

View the full selection of the Michelin Guide Bangkok 2018 at in English and Thai.