Bangkok, Thailand, December 9, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / To drum up hype prior to the Michelin Star Revelation and the release of The Michelin Guide Bangkok, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Chiang Mai, Phuket & Phang-Nga 2022 publication, slated for 16 December, Michelin today unveiled the 2022 Bib Gourmand selection, whereby 133 restaurants and street food establishments are featured. Out of the total number, 71 are located in Bangkok, 23 in Chiang Mai, 29 in Phuket & Phang-Nga, and 10 in Ayutthaya – Thailand’s historic city to be covered for the first time in the fifth edition of The Michelin Guide in Thailand.
Spanning a mix of restaurants, street food venues and hawker stalls, the 2022 Bib Gourmand selection highlights 33 first-time entries (9 in Bangkok, 10 in Ayutthaya, 6 in Chiang Mai, and 8 in Phuket & Phang-Nga), plus 6 promoted entries (2 in Bangkok, 2 in Chiang Mai, and 2 in Phuket & Phang-Nga). Notably, the number of Bib Gourmand eateries under the “Street Food” category outnumbers that of those under the “Restaurant” category in Bangkok (39 street food establishments vs. 32 restaurants) and Ayutthaya (6 street food establishments vs. 4 restaurants).
The Bib Gourmand distinction, symbolized by the famed ‘Bibendum’ or ‘Michelin Man’ licking his lips, is awarded to eateries that offer quality cuisine carefully prepared and reasonably priced with very good value-for-money at a maximum of THB 1,000 (a three-course meal: starter, main course, and dessert – exclusive of beverage).
Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of Michelin Guides, revealed: “This year’s Bib Gourmand selection enjoys having Ayutthaya as an additional gastronomic city of focus that reflects Thailand’s vibrant culinary scene. This charming city made its grand debut, with 10 Bib Gourmand recipients – 4 of which are restaurants and 6 are street food venues. The outnumbering of Bib Gourmand entries in the street food versus the restaurant category in Ayutthaya, as well as in Bangkok, signifies that both cities – the former and the current capital cities of today’s Thailand – are perfect destinations for good-value street food.”
The 33 new additions to the 2022 Bib Gourmand list include:
Bangkok: Kaeng Pa (Loong Sa-Nga), a restaurant featuring game meats prominently with the generous use of herbs and spices of the forest as seasoning – such as the succulent stir-fried deer with cumin leaves, and the jungle curry soup with hand-minced fish; Koa Chun Huad, a restaurant on the Thonburi side that has been around for five decades, serving classic Thai-Chinese dishes – such as the boiled pork slices complemented by soybean sauce, and the Chinese vegetable stew with an alluring amalgam of sweet and bitter natural flavors; Thien Duong, a Vietnamese restaurant serving authentic, nicely crafted Vietnamese dishes – such as the skewered minced prawns with sugarcane and the grilled pork sausage that are a mouthful of juicy flavors and complex textures; and Ket O Cha, a street food establishment that specializes in aromatic noodle soup with a peppery fragrance and mild sweet and salty taste, plus a fantastic choice of tender slow-cooked beef, juicy blanched beef slices, and bouncy homemade beef balls.
Ayutthaya: Baan Ta-Koh-Rai, a restaurant serving delectable dishes made with ingredients carefully selected from produce grown within the community and fish from nearby rivers as the catch of the day – such as the herb-scented fish cakes and the stir-fried Chinese kale with deep fried salted fish; Baan Ton Sai, a restaurant serving tasty Thai-Chinese dishes infused with herbs and spices, using fresh, quality ingredients; Here Kae Pork Satay, a street food eatery offering charcoal-grilled pork satay, well-marinated and aromatic from nine spices, with the accompanying rich peanut sauce; and Roti Sai Mai Abeedeen-Pranom Sangaroon, a popular street food venue for the same flawless plain pandan rotis with fluffy candy floss that has been a family business for 70 years.
Chiang Mai: Krua Lawng Khao, a Northern Thai restaurant, offering fresh and flavorful dishes – including the Northern Thai spicy pork salad, and the Northern Thai hot and spicy soup with fish and morning glory; Tune in Garden, a restaurant serving a fixed-price menu for first-timers, and special dishes from the owner’s cookbook – including highly recommended dishes like the roasted pork ribs with cabbage and the fermented pork with fermented bean curd relish; and Khao Soi Lung Prakit Kad Kom, a street food eatery serving Northern Thai-style curry noodle soup – including its famous Beef Khao Soi – for over 40 years.
Phuket & Phang-Nga: Krua Tonfon, a roadside restaurant serving authentic Southern Thai recipes with local ingredients – including stir-fried pork with shrimp paste and bitter bean, and curry with crab legs and betel leaves; Mook Manee, a restaurant famous for fresh seafood menu with highlights such as the steamed blue swimming crab, the Phuket lobster and spicy dip, and the stir-fried mantis shrimps with garlic and chilli; Pathongko Mae Pranee, a street food stall that satisfies its customers for years with Pathongko (deep-fried dough sticks) and Salapao Tod (deep-fried buns), among other treats.
The 6 entries promoted to the 2022 Bib Gourmand list are: Bangkok: Por. Pochaya, a street food eatery, offering unwavering quality and rare dishes for over 30 years, with its crab omelette and stir-fried beef with cumin leaves as its top-sellers; and Sri Trat, a restaurant that brings the coastal province of Trat’s famed cuisine to Bangkok via the owner’s family recipes and expertly crafted dishes; Chiang Mai: Baan Landai, a restaurant serving pan-Thai dishes such as flavorful pork ribs with red wine sauce, that can be paired with flower tea, mocktails or cocktails of choice; and Magnolia Café, a restaurant that offers tasty, well-presented fare from across Thailand, distinguished by its vivid and gutsy flavors, with a complimentary pandan pudding in lieu of a dessert menu; Phuket & Phang-Nga: Krua Kao Kuk, a restaurant serving notable dishes among the homely authentic Paranakan-style offerings – such as the lemongrass soup with sweet clams, the dry stir-fried minced pork with holy basil, and the fried kingfish with soy sauce; and Kha Mu Boran (Kathu), a 3-decade-old street food eatery that serves above-the-average version of rice with pork legs, braised until falling off the bones, with Thai kale and pickled mustard greens, plus sipping broth that comes with meaty bones and innards of choice.
“During these challenging times for the restaurant industry, support and encouragement are very important. We hope that the Bib Gourmand distinction will help strengthen the soul of restaurant entrepreneurs, food stall vendors, and all workers in the industry, to adapt and increase their resilience to overcome all the challenges. For foodies, we hope the Bib Gourmand selection inspires them to discover or rediscover the pleasure of dining high-quality food at budget-friendly prices, which – on the other hand – serves as a great encouragement for those in the restaurant industry,” concluded Mr. Poullennec.