From a floating bar to new hotel openings, we have it all.
By Ashima Sethi and Shaan Bajaj
Last month, Angsana Laguna Phuket introduced an exciting new outlet called ATOLL (pictured above). What makes the al fresco venue so unique is that it floats in the centre of their famed lagoon and can be accessed via a quick boat ride. With the aim to curate a menu of food and drinks that blend Western and Asian flavours, guests can expect to tuck into a menu of dishes such as Sai oua with taiyaki kimchi and Prawn toast served with a zesty citrus, coriander and mint mayonnaise. Finish your meal with their selection of desserts with tempting options like Leche flan with burnt mango. For drinks, you can fi nd wine, beer and classic cocktails as well as a list of six signature cocktails including their Atoll iced tea and spicy and sour Tom yum cocktail. A great place to take in one of Phuket’s famed sunsets, ATOLL is definitely one of the most unique venues the island has to offer.
Small Dinner Club
Small Dinner Club has opened its doors inside of community space, Charoen 43. Led by Chef Sareen Rojanamatin who just returned to Thailand after working at Nora Melbourne, the restaurant aims to showcase unfamiliar Thai ingredients, utilising them in fine dining dishes that marry premium ingredients with contemporary cooking methods. The restaurant itself boasts a gallery-like atmosphere complete with dim lighting, and dark wood and leather elements, all of which contribute to creating an intimate ambience. Currently, the restaurant is serving a multi-course tasting menu (THB 4,500++) that features innovative creations like the Daft Punk is playing in my mouth, which reimagines tom yum as a frozen delicacy and She put de lime in de coconut, which mimics coconut meat but is actually a unique, layered seafood dish. The restaurant serves only a handful of customers a day so get booking if you’re interested!
Now open on Sukhumvit Soi 49, Bendito Taco is a restaurant that takes pride in serving high quality, street-style Mexican fare for affordable prices. Founded by Oscar Perez Garcia who hails from Mexico City, there is a wide-selection of authentic items on the menu ranging from tacos to chips and dips, nachos, enchiladas, salads, rice bowls, and more. Some of their recommend dishes include the Mexi taco, crafted from your choice of veggies, chicken or slow-cooked Australian beef; bell peppers, onions, and coriander; the Yankee tacos that combines your choice of meat with mixed cheese, lettuce, corn, tomatoes, and sour cream; and the Bendito rice bowl where a bed of Mexican rice is topped with guacamole, cheese, sour cream, zucchini, refried beans, corn, lettuce, bell peppers, jalapeño, and pico de gallo. The restaurant also offers affordable set meals with sides, and delicious original or glazed churros for dessert.
Located on the fourth and fifth floor of Chef Pitchaya ‘Pam’ Utarntham’s POTONG, Opium is a new hidden bar that aims to combine the opulent cocktail culture of New York City with the spirit of Bangkok’s Chinatown. The bar holds sentimental value to Chef Pam, as it was originally an opium den that her ancestors used to smoke in. It has since been remodelled but still boasts plenty of old-world charm thanks to its marble counters, intimate lighting, and antique fixtures. The bar boasts a staggering 17-page menu so it’s an experience in itself trying to pick your poison. To make it easier, the drinks are listed from apertifs to digestifs, light to strong, and include 20 signature cocktails like the Opium fashion (THB 450) crafted from lapsang souchong infused Rebel Yell Bourbon, palmyra sugar, Yaowaraj chestnut, and Thai-Chinese remedy porkun eabor. A drink that pays tribute to the area’s heritage.
Santiaga Mexican Cuisine
Now open above Billy’s Smokehouse in Ploen Chit, Santiaga is a new restaurant currently in its pre-opening phase. From the same founders as popular Mexican joint La Monita, the restaurant serves up modern Mexican cuisine crafted using only the freshest produce. The restaurant itself boasts a room and terrace for à la carte dining, as well as a seven-seat chef’s table where diners can tuck into regional Mexican cuisine served in an omakase-style format. From what has been teased so far, many of these dishes cannot be found anywhere else in Bangkok. Highlights include the Aguachile made from giant Pacific octopus, botan ebi, and Hokkaido scallops; the Sopes, which are tortillas topped with cactus and chicken; the Consome de limon, a comforting consommé infused with lime, jalapeño, and chicken; and fresh Guacamole served with a giant tlayuda (crunchy toasted tortilla).
Datang Hot Pot
In Thailand, hot pot has become so popular, it’s now the go-to choice for office outings and group dinners. With so much choice, you’re probably wondering how any new entrants can even cause a stir, but we’d like to direct your attention to newly-opened Da Tang Hot Pot, which spices things up with their use of mala. Founded by the team behind Nice Two Meat U, the restaurant features three floors, each centering on a different theme: the first is decked out with neon red letters; the second is fitted with blue walls and white lanterns; and finally, the third is adorned with floral motifs and gold accents. On the menu are four soup options: their famous mala, a black pepper soup, vegetable broth, and stewed rice. To enjoy with your hot pot, you can order items like wagyu beef, kurobuta pork slices, meatballs, seafood, noodles, veggies, and much more.
Taking inspiration from the voodoo culture of New Orleans, Something Wicked should be your next evening haunt if you’re into the supernatural. One of the city’s most unique cocktail experiences, the bar sits tucked away in On Nut behind a bold red door lit up by lanterns. Hover on the terrace long enough and the sound of frogs croaking will transport you straight to the Louisiana bayous. Inside, jazz and blues plays over the stereo while the wooden bar, which gives off an antique feel, is adorned with skulls and voodoo dolls, and is where the bar team serves up their punchy cocktails above Ouija boards. Each of their spirit-forward ‘potions’ boast unique colours like absinthe green, blood red, and bright yellow, but you’ll also find classic tipples on the menu. Definitely the place to visit if you’re looking for an Instagram-worthy drinking hole.
Samut is a new venture by Chef Thitid ‘Ton’ Tassanakajohn, the talented gastronome behind restaurants Le Du and Nusara. His first establishment in Phuket, the restaurant sits as part of the Chivitr Wellness Retreat on Rawai beach and puts a focus on the ‘Coastlines of Thailand,’ particularly the incredible local produce that is found in the oceans that frame the Kingdom. Therefore, the 16-dish, Southern-inspired menu that is now available hopes to support local fishermen all over the country and features incredible ingredients such as fresh razor clams, Phuket lobsters, wild red snapper line caught hundreds of metres beneath the Andaman Sea, tiger prawns, scallops, squid, blue crab, ocean snails, and much more! The current menu is priced at THB 2,290++ per person and reservations are recommended.
No Name Noodle
For fans of ramen, the opening of No Name Noodle should stir some excitement. Located in Sukhumvit Soi 26, this new ramen spot is helmed by Chef Shin Inoue who hopes to bring to the table a style of ramen that hasn’t been seen in Bangkok before. With no signage in front of the shop, hence the name ‘No Name,’ Chef Shin spends hours crafting perfect bowls of ramen for diners who are keen to sample authentic tastes. With years of experience working in kitchens and perfecting his ramen recipe, he is incredibly meticulous with his approach to cooking, using over 30 ingredients, many of them hard to fi nd. Initially the restaurant only served two types: Shio soba and Kombusui tsuke soba, both of which are quite special. The chef explains why when the bowls are delivered to your table. The chef only serves 30 bowls of ramen a day so bookings are necessary.
Open the second floor of 100 Mahaseth, Mahaniyom is the brainchild of the mixologists behind Find the Locker Room, Ronnaporn ‘Neung’ Kanivichaporn and Chennarong ‘Janz’ Bhumichitr. To make things even more exciting, chefs Chalee Kader and Chaichat ‘Randy’ Nopprapa have also collaborated to create a unique food menu to pair with the cocktails. Currently the talk of the town, Mahaniyom is styled in a way that can be described as Thai-inspired rococo, complete with draped fabric on the ceilings, patterned furniture, and neon lights. The drinks menu includes 12 signature drinks, each named after their main ingredient, such as the Pineapple (THB 390) where pineapple peel is used to make tepache, additional peels are soaked in vermouth, and then mixed with gin that has been infused with herbs. For those who seek savoury flavours, Squid (THB 390) combines mirin, ginger cordial, and tomato juice that’s been infused with dried squid.
Avani+ Khao Lak
Known for its vibrant and contemporary approach to luxury resorts, Avani has opened a new property in Khao Lak. The Avani+ Khao Lak is an oceanfront resort housing several different types of guestrooms ranging from their cosy deluxe rooms to pool access rooms, suites, and pool suites with private pools. The sprawling 327-key resort has amenities fi t for all travellers including the AvaniFit gym, the AvaniSpa, an onsite skate park, a tennis court, swimming pool, and much more. The resort also houses five dining outlets, including Elements for breakfast; the Pantry for deli favourites; pizza and all-day cuisine at poolside Splash; fresh juices and healthy refreshments at Aqua Juice Bar; and The Beach House for evening drinks and dinner. A leisurely drive from Phuket International Airport, this new property is a great choice for families or groups of friends looking for a restful retreat.
Courtyard by Marriott North Pattaya
The world-renowned Marriott hotel group expands their portfolio with a new opening in one of Thailand’s most popular beach towns. Located only a few minutes away from North Pattaya Beach, just a stone’s throw from attractions and shopping destinations like Terminal 21, the Courtyard by Marriott North Pattaya provides an escape that’s perfect for travellers who still want to see the best that Pattaya has to offer. A modern retreat, the hotel is equipped with a rooftop pool, a fitness centre, Kids’ Club, and plenty of versatile event space. Guests can also choose between five guestroom options ranging from their superior room to the spacious courtyard suite. In regards to cuisine, the hotel houses several outlets like Café 22, the Lobby Lounge, and Pool Bar. A great choice for a quick escape from the city, the hotel is a welcome addition to Pattaya’s impressive list of properties.
The Standard Bangkok, Mahanakhon
Set to open its doors in May as part of the city’s iconic Mahanakhon building, The Standard, Bangkok is bringing its unique approach to hospitality to the City of Angels. With boutique properties in leading destinations like NYC, Miami, London, and the Maldives, The Standard is best known for its contemporary décor, top-of-the-line dining experiences, and ever-changing social events. Their Bangkok outpost will offer a range of rooms spanning their Standard room all the way to the 144sqm Penthouse. The hotel will also house a terrace pool, fitness centre, and meeting rooms. Guests will also be able to dine and drink across several unique venues including The Parlor, which offers a casual dining menu in the day before transforming into an event venue-cum-bar in the evening; Tease, which serves up an ‘expect the unexpected’ afternoon tea; Mott 32, which serves award-winning Cantonese cuisine; The Standard Grill, the hotel’s NYC-style steakhouse; Ojo Bangkok, Chef Francisco Paco Ruano’s Mexican bar and restaurant; and Sky Beach, which will become the city’s highest rooftop bar.
VLCC at Avani+ Hua Hin Resort
Minor Hotels have partnered with India’s leading wellness, beauty services, and products brand, VLCC to pioneer the concept of wellness in its truest form with the launch of VLCC at Avani+ Hua Hin Resort. Here, guests can choose to immerse themselves in holistic retreats that focus on providing head-to-toe aesthetic and medical treatments during multi-night residential packages. The programmes will combine traditional approaches with modern medical diagnostic treatments, tailored exercise plans, and nutrition regimens to deliver all-encompassing results. These treatments can help guests tackle specific conditions related to medical and chronic health issues, aesthetics, IV therapy, and pampering related to body, skin, and hair. This introduction reaffirms the much-loved Avani+ Hua Hin Resort’s reputation as the perfect destination to relax and recuperate.
Byredo’s Mumbai Noise
Founded by Ben Gorham, Byredo crafts perfumes, home fragrance, body care products, and accessories, all focused on high quality. Gorham is the son of an Indian mother and French-Canadian father, influences that he draws in with the introduction of his new unisex fragrance Mumbai Noise. Through the development of the fragrance, Ben reflects on the sensorial multitudes that contribute to his childhood nostalgia for the city of Mumbai where he used to visit family. The fragrance comprises of notes of rich, warm woods and amber; plummy Davana and leather; bitter coffee stirred with sweet tonka beans; labnadum, sandalwood, and agarwood. The multifaceted fragrance aims to bring to mind a smoky haze of incense combined with streetside coffee carts.