Think romantic and spicy. Expensive and fashionable, Rang Mahal is the Indian place to take a date to impress. Located in the chic Rembrandt Hotel with great views over Bangkok, you'll feel like you are dining in the time of the Raj here, surrounded by divans, cushions and oozing ambience. But it is not just the decor that sets Rang Mahal apart. The food is extremely rich, with a sauce laden Northern Indian menu the focus. Standouts include the Kashmiri Rogan Josh, a heavenly goat curry, and the Makhanwalla chicken, which is thick with the flavor of ghee (clarified butter). The garlic naan right out of the tandoori oven is also a common favorite. Yes, you will be paying for the food and experience here, but the atmosphere, location, and sumptuous meals are well worth the splurge and make reservations, as you won't be alone.
Recommended for Romantic Dining because: For Bangkok's most pampering Indian splurge, the romantic Rang Mahal is one of a kind.
Dave's expert tip: A good way to really enjoy all that is on offer at Rang Mahal is to come on weekends for the buffet brunch, where 850 baht will allow you to sample all the dishes and eat like a Maharajah!
For fine over the top gastronomy and incredible views, a night at Park Society will be romantic and dazzling. This chic rooftop restaurant on top of the new Sofitel So Bangkok combines superb French styled haute gastronomic dining with bird's eye views of Lumpini Park through the full length windows (with outdoor seating available at the neighboring bar). There is an Asian Pacific set menu featuring Hokkaido scallops, pan seared foie gras with pear puree, Wagyu beef, and snowfish, and an even more extensive Chef's Table with 5 courses for 5000 baht. Other delicacies include roast pigeon and Canadian lobster. Don't forget to leave room for some Cream Brulee or souffle for dessert. Chef Paul Smart presides over an stylish kitchen and all the set menus are available with wine pairings. The views of Lumpini Park are the best you will find in Bangkok, and it's worth coming at sundown for a drink in the bar to watch the park change colors.
Recommended for Romantic Dining because: For rooftop romance and fine dining over Lumpini Park, Park Society is a perfect choice.
Dave's expert tip: Reservations are essential. The bar adjoining the restaurant also has a section called Hi So, where for an extra 500 baht, you can have a private rooftop cabana all to yourself to enjoy the views, drinks, and each other.
The sala rattanakosin eatery and bar brings the concept of "waterfront dining" to a whole new level. Reserve one of the front tables by the window here and you will face directly out to the Chao Phraya, with Wat Arun, the iconic "temple of dawn," directly in front of you. It's a hopelessly romantic setting and the intimate dining room in the classy sala rattanakosin Bangkok hotel delivers not only on the romantic atmosphere, but on the food as well. The menu has a melange of both Thai and western dishes, with superb seafood dominating the list. Dig in to some tiger prawns with chorizo, tikka spiced salmon filet, or soft shell crab in yellow curry. Healthy western or fusion dishes often fall flat on their face in Bangkok, but not here. The roasted quinoa salad with black olives and feta cheese is divine, as is the ahi tartare, in which ahi tuna gets marinated in fresh herbs and lemon juice and served up with avocado relish over sesame wonton crisps. There is an excellent selection of wine and signature cocktails to go with the food, and if you get here early, the vistas and vibe continuously change, with the orange sunset hues out the window giving way to blue hour, and then the temple lighting up in gold as the night arrives. Just make sure to score one of those coveted up front tables if you really want to wow your date.
Recommended for Romantic Dining because: For one romantic evening right in front of the Chao Phraya River, sala rattanakosin is a great choice!
Dave's expert tip: Get here most conveniently by taking the Chao Phraya River ferry to the Tha Tien Pier, from where it is a 5-minute walk over to the restaurant.
Decorated in a colorful retro style, this 60 year old traditional Thai house is the setting for one of Bangkok's hidden gems, and is an excellent spot for a romantic sunset dinner. It is tough to find and a bit far out, but well worth the effort, as Steve's Cafe and Cuisine serves up good Thai food in a great setting, right out on the Chao Phraya River in a spot well away from the crowds. The menu is Thai, and in fact "Steve" the owner is a Thai too. While the dishes are toned down for tourist palates, they are still tasty, and you can try some harder to find southern dishes like kua kling (spicy minced pork with herbs) or the fragrant gaeng luang sai bua gung (lotus stem soup with shrimp), as one of the owners is a southerner. It's a relaxed place in a quiet setting, and one of Bangkok's more enjoyable riverside spots. The fabulous views of the Rama VIII Bridge at sunset and the lovely traditional old Thai home that the restaurant is housed in also enhance the experience.
Recommended for Romantic Dining because: For a romantic setting from a hidden spot looking out at the river, Steve Cafe is lovely.
Dave's expert tip: It is hard to find Steve's. Take the river ferry to the Thewet pier and make sure to copy the walking directions from the restaurant's website.
If you can foot the bill, the staggering views at Vertigo make for one fine romantic evening. The seafood grill here, led by roasted snow fish served with capers and butternut squash as well as the Appetizer Plate featuring seared bay scallops, seared foie gras, tuna tartar, and lobster spring rolls make the journey worthwhile, but the top reason to come to Vertigo is to dine with the best view in Bangkok. The restaurant is perched on the rooftop of the Banyan Tree Hotel on the 61st Floor, and the views are unmarred and open air. Besides seafood, Vertigo also does high end meat dishes, such as Wagyu beef and roasted rack of lamb. If you arrive early, you can have a drink at the neighboring Moon Bar. Be prepared to blow the bank here, it isn't cheap, but for a magnificent splurge, one of Bangkok's true highs!
Recommended for Romantic Dining because: For the ultimate romantic treat, dining above the clouds at Vertigo can't be beat.
Dave's expert tip: reservations are absolutely essential here, and there is a dress code. No open shoes or shorts for men. There are 4 course set menus available for 3500 baht without drinks
The House on Sathorn is an innovative new restaurant that combines creative Asian accented cooking by a talented chef in an atmospheric setting in an old colonial mansion. The restaurant, along with its accompanying bar, upstairs club lounge, and outdoor bistro and afternoon tea courtyard, is housed in a 126 year old charming colonial building that has been amongst other things, an elegant hotel and then the Russian Embassy. These days, it has been restored to its former glory, and is the setting for some literally storybook meals. Chef and culinary director Fatih Tutak, a Turk from Istanbul who has worked at the prestigious Bellbrook in Hong Kong, Marina Sands in Singapore, and the 3 Michelin-starred Nihonryori Ryugin in Tokyo, takes memories from his life as a chef and turns them into fun and creative dishes, creating a thorough theatrical dining experience. Take for example, The Hunting. A plate of duck breast with sorrel leaves that is surrounded by pomegranate sauce. The dish is inspired by memories his father-in-law's hunting trips, and the sorrel leaves are positioned to serve as the duck wings, while the pomegranate sauce represents the blood, and the burnt onion powder on the side showing up as the gunpowder. On the Way Home to Silom is a dessert dish featuring fried bananas that was born via Tutak's return trips home along Silom Road, seeing an old fried banana vendor and her customers. Every dish has a story, which is meant to match the history of the beautiful house, which features intricate wood carved stairs, art paintings and photographs, and has a real vintage and timeless feel to it. The restaurant is a welcome new addition to the gourmet Bangkok foodie scene, and both food and decor are worth a night out.
Recommended for Romantic Dining because: For an intimate night in a gorgeous colonial home, the House on Sathorn is classic.
Dave's expert tip: There are set lunch menus which are good value. The best way to get here is via the skytrain to the Chong Nonsi Station and then follow the signs in to the W Hotel, which the restaurant sits right adjacent to.
Mezzaluna is Bangkok's most swank restaurant, and dining up here 65 floors above the Chao Phraya River and the Bangkok skyline is one of the top experiences one can have while in town, especially as the restaurant has been awarded two stars by the Bangkok Michelin guide, and features the palate-boggling cooking of chef Ryuki Kawasaki, who has manned Michelin kitchens in France, the U.S., and his native Japan, and was named Chef of the Year by the Escoffier Society while working at Twist by Pierre Gagnaire in Las Vegas.
Taking over the helm at Mezzaluna in 2015, Kawasaki has combined his superlative French cooking techniques with some of the most exclusively sourced ingredients to be found in Asia. Take the Niigata Murakami Wagyu beef for example, which Kawasaki brings exclusively to Thailand from Japan. The beef comes from a small breed of carefully selected, high-quality calves from Niigata Prefecture, which are raised on rice straw, hay, and premium compound feed, giving the beef a silky texture and absolute melt in the mouth taste. It is served here at Mezzaluna with black truffles and grilled over binchotan charcoal, and is the signature dish headlining an incredible seven-course tasting menu
Everything about the dining experience at Mezzaluna is done to utmost perfection. A bevy of staff hover around your table, never failing to notice whether you need more bread or water, constantly bringing palate refreshers before dishes, and giving detailed explanations of all the captivating creations. An expert sommelier comes out to explain each wine pairing served with the food, not only giving the origins of each bottle, but complimenting its highlights and flavor profiles, and the cellar here is one of the finest in all Bangkok, with several of the wines served being exclusive to Mezzaluna.
The menu at Mezzaluna is seasonal, changing every three months, although dishes like the Wagyu beef are always featured. Chef Kawasaki says, "My passion is to create experiences that inspire and leave lasting memories for the people I share them with, and our culinary journey at Mezzaluna consists of various textures, flavors, artisinal seasonal products, and cooking techniques."
This is an entire dining experience at its finest, from chef to server to table to ambience. At this point, the sky (and possibly even a coveted third star) is the limit for Mezzaluna and its all star chef.
Recommended for Romantic Dining because: For the best city lights view in town and to impress a date, Mezzaluna charms.
Dave's expert tip: Reservations are essential here, and it is worth coming early for a sunset drink at the Distil Bar, located just below the Mezzaluna.
Urbani Truffle Bar and Restaurant, perched up on the 39th floor of the Sathorn Square building, occupies a superlative piece of real estate, facing the Bangkok skyline and boasting large windows from every table from which to look out on the city. Given the lofty position the truffle occupies on the food chain, it's a worthy pairing, and one that will certainly fit the bill for that special romantic night out.
The Urbani family is legendary, dating back six generations and controlling over 70% of the world truffle market, with shops in 68 countries around the globe. Here at their first and Bangkok's first restaurant dedicated solely to the truffle, diners are treated to a variety of five-course tasting menus in which they get to design their own dinners, choosing between an array of courses that all show off the fragrant imported truffles. The finest quality meats and seafood are used here, from Japanese Kobe beef to imported Spanish sea bass, halibut, or Australian tenderloin, all beautifully presented on creative plates in which the truffles have been grated, topped, or weaved into.
If you happen to be here during the fall season, when the prized white truffle becomes available, make sure to sample it, served best here in a homemade tagliatelle carbonara, served with sous vide egg yolk, bacon, and white truffle slices. As they don't shave the truffles at your table, it's worth asking to go up to the open chef's kitchen to watch the truffles being grated under bright lamps just before they are served. The earthy and pungent aromas and flavours of the truffles are released by the heat of the pasta, tasting heavenly enough to justify their Italian nickname of the "truffle of the white Madonna."
Chef Toey Saharat Tangthai heads a large team of cooks here (the lineup needed to create the outstanding and meticulous presentations is quite impressive), all of whom are visible in the bright open kitchen. Chef Tangthai is a young (33) rising star, who already has stints at two Michelin-starred Gaggan and Mezzaluna under his belt, as well as the Skye Beach Club at the Laguna, Phuket, before taking over as the Group Executive Chef here at Urbani.
In addition to the tasting menus, you can also opt for a la carte, and Urbani also serves a small lunch tasting menu for those who want to sample the wonders of fresh truffles without going all out for a dinner splurge.
Recommended for Romantic Dining because: For a romantic and classy night in Bangkok, Urbani Truffle Bar and Restaurant stands out.
Dave's expert tip: To get here, take the BTS Skytrain to Chong Nonsi and walk down into the Sathorn Square Building. Urbani has a greeting desk here and will get you into the elevator, which requires a security card.
If you want a truly romantic Bangkok meal, forget about going to a restaurant with a river view, better to actually go out on the river itself and eat like a king! Supanniga Cruise, run by the Laorauvirodge family, who operate Supanniga Eating Room, a charming Thai eatery with traditional recipes (that now boasts two branches), along with the Michelin-starred New York Thai restaurant Somtum Der, now have a dinner cruise with the same knockout cuisine that has made the restaurants so famous, serving up fresh giant prawns, along with the Supanniga staple, moo chamuang, a thick pork stew made with flavourful chamuang leaves, a specialty of Trat on the Eastern seaboard. Other items included in the sumptuous six course feast include hor mok puu steamed crab in curry paste, and mangoes with sticky rice. Supanniga has also teamed up with Vesper, one of the city's best cocktail spots, for some outstanding signature drinks. You can choose a sunset cruise with cocktails or champagne served with savouries, which lasts an hour, or go for the six course meal and champagne dinner set, which goes for two hours. The venue is intimate, as the boat can only accommodate 40 guests, and it feels far more like a private dining experience out on the water than a large cruise. The combination of cuisine, locale, and presentation make this one of Bangkok's most romantic options.
Recommended for Romantic Dining because: For sumptuous cuisine in Bangkok's romantic river spot, Supanniga Cruise is as amorous as it gets.
Dave's expert tip: Cocktail cruises start at 4:45pm, while dinner cruises start at 6:15. Give yourself enough time to get to the River City pier if coming to the latter, as there can be rush hour traffic. It's best to take the ferry from Saphan Taksin to access River City.
For that rare special romantic evening, a dinner at suave Le Normandie is at the top of the Bangkok dining scene. This classy French restaurant on the top floor of The Oriental Hotel is a Bangkok institution and had been awarded two stars by the Bangkok Michelin Guide. Fois gras and roasted Sisteron rack of lamb are just some of the menu highlights prepared by the visiting French master chefs in residence here, all taken in amidst elegance with views of the Chao Phraya River to boot. While dinner here is an absolute bank breaker, the set lunch provides a way for paupers to dine like princes and indulge in Bangkok's most sophisticated restaurant. A three course set menu goes for the steal of 1050 baht and introduces you to some world class cuisine.
Recommended for Romantic Dining because: For a romantic splurge, fancy French on the river at Le Normandie is one of a kind.
Dave's expert tip: Reservations well in advance at Le Normandie are essential. If you aren't staying at the Oriental, the best way to get here is to take the Skytrain to the Saphan Taksin station and then hop aboard the Mandarin Oriental's free boat service along the Chao Phraya from the ferry pier.