Bibendum, the roly-poly corporate mascot better known as the Michelin Man, is fat. But we know where he isn’t packing on the pounds, and that’s at Michelin three-star restaurants in Thailand. The tire-company-turned-cuisine-cataloger has released its second ever list in Thailand, and has deemed no restaurants in Bangkok, Phuket, and Phang-Nga worthy of the highest honor the guide bestows upon restaurants.
It’s not for lack of culinary talent in Thailand. In Bangkok, Gaggan Anand has transformed Indian fine dining with his playful, eponymous restaurant Gaggan. For four straight years, he’s been crowned Asia’s Best Restaurant, and was fifth in this year’s World’s Best Restaurant rankings. He maintains his two stars after not graduating to top honors.
This year’s he’s joined at the two-star level by the German twin brothers Mathias and Thomas Sühring. Moving up from one star in this year’s guide, the duo channel their Central European roots in a restored 1970s townhouse.
Ten restaurants have joined the single-star level. Seven of them serve Thai food, bucking the trend of Michelin generally favoring French and Japanese fare above all other cuisines.
One style of food that didn’t get much love despite Thailand having some of the best, is street food. Last year, Jay Fai, a septuagenarian, goggle-wearing, omelet-making dynamo became the only street food vendor to earn a star. That remains the case for this year’s list. But that may be just as well. Only a few months after getting the nod from Michelin, Fai wanted to give the star back, claiming she’d been swarmed by food Instagrammers who’d pushed aside her loyal customers.
“Many people come just to see and take pictures and not necessarily to eat,” she said. There are probably worse fates than taking money from food Instagrammers though.
Chim by Siam Wisdom
Ginza Sushi Ichi
J’AIME by Jean-Michel Lorrain
L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon
Le Du (New)
Methavalai Sorndaeng (New)
Ruean Panya (New)
Suan Thip (New)
Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin
Upstairs at Mikkeller