Nordic food has been booming in Bangkok, and the hype continues with the recently opened Villa Frantzen, among others.
Bangkok has no shortage of European food — Italian, French, and Mediterranean cuisine are all well represented — but these days it seems like it’s their neighbors to the north who are making all the noise. From fusing with Japanese to Michelin purists, Bangkok’s Nordic dining scene is thriving.
Here we’ve gathered a list of six of the best places to sample Nordic cuisine (and coffee!) in the city.
From the same owners as minimalist, black-and-white-clad coffee shop Hands and Heart comes H Dining. The food — featuring a mix of Thai and Nordic touches — is naturally technique-driven while remaining simple and comforting.
The all day dining menu includes hits like the pumpkin soup (THB180) and the smoked salmon on rye bread topped with seafood sauce, sour cream, herbs, and candied kaffir lime zest (THB260). The place is also pet-friendly, so feel free to bring along some fluffy friends.
This Japanese-Nordic eatery is an eight-seat chef’s table project by chef Nattawat “Ter” Kasemwilas, who competed in MasterChef Thailand’s Season 4. The restaurant was inspired by the book ‘The Noma Guide to Fermentation’ from the famed Noma Restaurant in Copenhagen, which explores using koji in fermentation, making sake, and different kinds of sauces.
Koji-Delic offers a 10-course tasting menu at THB3,500 with highlights that include a mushroom cream-stuffed Danish donut, giant trevally tartare, and 3-day aged striploin.
The newest outpost from Swedish chef Björn Frantzén — the three-star Michelin chef and brains behind the eponymous restaurant empire from the Frantzén Group — has drummed up interest among Bangkok’s foodies. Decor-wise, the restaurant took over the space of a two-storey shophouse on Soi Yen Akat and converted it into a Nordic-style villa.
Though Frantzén isn’t physically here himself, the kitchen is helmed by head chef Martin Enström. His 5-course tasting menu (THB3,500) explores modern Nordic cuisine with a touch of Asian influence.
Soi Pridi Banomyong is surely an up-and-coming neighborhood. Elg Bangkok, a fine-dining establishment that recently opened there with a focus on Scandinavian gastronomy, is proof of that. The kitchen is helmed by owner-chef Kananon “Benz” Kondee, who spent his teenage years in Norway, attended a culinary school there and worked at a few restaurants in Norwegian cities.
Currently, the restaurant celebrates the spring season with its nine-course menu including highlights such as langoustine pale orange-pink Norway lobster, beetroot and barley risotto, and picanha steak with morel sauce and Hasselbeck potato.
Though a bit far away from the usual main street hangs, you can grab a simple but elegant cup of joe at this white coffee house in Pridi Banomyong Soi 25. Chef Kanta “Toiting” Siddidharm — who worked at fine-dining establishments including Gaa, 80/20, and Noma — oversees the food menu, which features wide influences from Nordic Scandinavian cuisine.
Try the endives and preserved nutmeg (THB245) or the fresh organic salad topped with fermented nutmeg dressing, mozzarella cheese, and ham, or chicken liver pate (THB165) served with crispy sourdough topped with free-range chicken liver pate, strawberry jam, and housemade cream cheese.
La Cabra is Denmark’s specialty coffee meister, known for its simple, Nordic approach to coffee. Their flavorful, crisp, bright roasts are made in Charoen Krung. Situated in Talad Noi, the first outpost of the Danish roastery features a handsome slow bar primed to put out a range of high-quality caffeinated concoctions, beyond the usual suspects like americanos (from THB120) and espressos (from THB110).