I was very reluctant to visit Bangkok again for the past few years due to some unpleasant experiences in the past. But all those have been erased after our recent trip, and all I can think of now is “when are we going back there again?!”. It was meant to be a work trip but somehow turned into a gluttony weekend as we did so much eating! There’s heaps of good food I couldn’t resist! Don’t ask me what happened to the work part though. It’s a stressful and long story, so that makan weekend was well deserved. Mr Gadget also thought he could spoil us to a fancy Thai dinner instead of just street food and cafés. I did a bit of research and landed at Issaya Siamese Club.
I read in reviews that the restaurant is a bit hidden. With Uber and Waze these days, this is no longer an issue though I must say the sign wasn’t very obvious.
Issaya Siamese Club is listed in Asia’s Top 50 Best Restaurants (sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna) for 4 consecutive years. Similar to last, it stayed as 19th best in 2017. Consider ourselves lucky to secure a table last minute, moreover a Friday night. Don’t even bother if it was a Saturday or Sunday. In fact, Issaya Siamese Club wasn’t my first choice but it was the only restaurant available out of the three I wanted to go. The others were actually booked out. You know lah, just like any other top restaurants in the world, most require booking weeks or even months in advance.
Issaya Siamese Club is housed in a villa surrounded by tropical trees with both out and indoor sections. The outdoor/garden was lounge-like and occupied with bean bags, while indoor was the dining area in colourful interior. It spreads a very warm, cozy, feel at home feeling. It was an eclectic mix of traditional yet hip and stylish decor. Unlike some of the atas restaurants, especially those in hotels, they didn’t have a very strict dress code which was something I liked.
Choose between à la carte or Chef Ian Kittichai’s Tasting Menu. Chef Ian Kittichai is the founding partner of Issaya Siamese Club and also a renowned celebrity chef. Issaya Siamese Club Thailand is the flagship home of the many restaurants he owns around the globe such as New York, Mumbai, and Barcelona. We quickly decide on the 10-course tasting menu (THB2,500++). Notice that Mr Gadget and I normally go for sets/degustation ’cause we prefer not to spend too much time thinking what to eat but quickly get food into our tummies. Moreover, we just wanted to eat all out this trip.
I will just briefly go through all the courses in the tasting menu. Service was very fast. Before the first course, we were served 4 different amuse bouche; lobster spring rolls, fresh oysters, savoury glutinous rice cake, and omelette. You could’ve guessed which was my favourite by now (oysters!!), and I had two of them! Loved the dainty presentation.
So our first course was Sai Klok Talay – house-made fresh shellfish sausage with Hua Hin style seafood broth chilli paste. I never heard of the term “shellfish sausage” and was looking around, and then to find out it was the tangy “fishball” looking thing that’s made of shellfish. This mildly spiced broth was a great “appeteaser” too kick-start our 10-course journey.
Second course up was Yum Nua – grilled imported tender beef, fresh herbs, organic charred bird’s eye chilli vinaigrette chilli-tamarind dressing. It’s basically Thai beef salad. It was quite bland despite all the herbs and chilli-tamarind dressing.
The third course was my favourite of all. Seangwa Phoo – blue swimmer crab salad, “Namdokmai” mango, and seaweed caviar in a chilli-coconut dressing. So light, so refreshing. The pieces of crab meat were sweet and juicy.
Our final appetizer was Kradook Moo Aob Sauce – spice rubbed pork baby back ribs glazed with Issaya house-blend chilli paste. The meat was good, but I think the spices and paste were too heavy, thus made it salty.
We were served a beautiful sorbet to cleanse our palette before we continued with main courses.
The first main was Hor Mok Goong Mung Korn – steamed whole fresh maine lobster, lobster curry custard, fresh coconut milk and sweet basil. The taste of the curry custard reminded me a lot of otak-otak (grilled fish cake with tapioca starch and spices). I absolutely enjoyed it. However, Mr Gadget thought it was okay since he’s the chilli/baked lobster kind of person.
Our stomachs were pretty stuffed before our next course was served. Geang Nua – Australian grass-fed veal cheek ‘A La Presse’ simmered in house-blended curry spices, hand-pressed coconut milk, and kaffir lime leaves. The meat was tender and goes so well with their curry.
My second favourite of the whole course was Choo-Chee Salmon Rom Kwan – slow-cooked smoked salmon with Jerusalem artichokes from Chokchai farm in a homemade red curry sauce. The only salmon I love eating is salmon sashimi. I’ve never really enjoyed the baked/grilled ones. But this, the salmon texture and the curry sauce together were perfect.
We didn’t finish the Wok Sautéed Short Grain Rice with Hed Por – Asian multigrains, Chiang Mai mushrooms, and garlic sprinkled with mushroom-scented oil. Not only was our food level up to our neck already, but the rice was also served in big portion. We wanted to make sure we saved enough room for dessert.
Our last course before dessert was their seasonal vegetables that were fresh and crispy. Just some greens to balance out the entire meal.
And to complete the course, we were presented Issaya Ruem Mit – assorted house-made desserts. I absolutely adored how the petit-four was plated to us; coconut mochi ice cream with young coconut shavings, pandan macaron, Thai ice cream sandwich with Jackfruit semifreddo, and jasmine flower panna cotta. My favourite was the mochi, followed by the pandan macaron.
What was good about Issaya Siamese Club Thailand:
- Farm-to-table dining concept – using home-grown ingredients in dishes
- Beautiful place/location – housed in a colonial villa off the bustling city centre
- Warm and cozy restaurant – an eclectic mix of traditional yet hip and stylish decor
- Great hospitality – staff were friendly and service was fast
- No strict dress code – our next table were casually dressed
- Authentic Thai food with a modern flair
- Price was very reasonable for Chef Ian Kittichai’s Tasting Menu (10-courses at THB2,500++ with high quality ingredients)
- Amuse bouche and assorted desserts were beautifully plated to us
What was bad about Issaya Siamese Club Thailand:
- Yum Nua was quite bland despite all the herbs and chilli-tamarind dressing
- Spices and paste for Kradook Moo Aob Sauce was too heavy, making it salty
- The food, place, and people were beautiful overall, but still missing the “WOW” effect in the entire experience
MISSGETABOUT SCORE: 8/10
Issaya Siamese Club Thailand’s Details:
Website: Issaya Siamese Club Thailand
Facebook: Issaya Siamese Club
Address: 4 Soi Sri Aksorn, Chuea Phloeng Rd, Thung Maha Mek, Sathorn, Bangkok 10120, Thailand.
Tel: +66 2672 9040
Reservation: Issaya Siamese Club Thailand