Getting a foothold in the restaurant business can be considerably easier with the backing of an affluent family, which is possibly why some struggled to take Cordon-Bleu-trained playboy Jra Zirathana seriously when he launched his Belgian beer and molecular gastronomy concept in downtown Bangkok in 2010. However, chef Zirathana has, to an extent, quieted his critics by moving on to far more adult pastures, with his focus shifted away from faddish molecular fare to a more nuanced use of quality ingredients like Japanese fish, Australian meat, and herbs grown in their new rooftop garden.Now closer to the city centre, the rechanneled restaurant also boasts a far lovelier 3-storey setting – a smooth cement shell mostly obscured by a tangle of steel lattice overrun with climbing greenery – with a warm red-brick ground floor bar hosting an impressive wine selection (from heavy hitters Mouton-Rothschild to boutique vineyards Viña Almaviva), and an upstairs open kitchen-diner serving up a European-inspired 5-course degustation menu. Simple and seasonal plates include raw Hokkaido scallop with sea urchin, nasturtium, and a soy-sake emulsion; tiger prawn, mentaiko capellini, and Japanese seaweed; and Yarra Valley lamb in a red wine jus, with a tomato and eggplant paste. And best of all, not a drop of molecularity in sight – phew!
68 Sukhumvit soi 31 / +66 (2) 102 2323 /
Sun dinner only 6:00 pm-1:00 am / astonbkk.com