Jumping into Bangkok’s Hyper-Local Scene

Chloe Tong
26 May, 2020

Farm-to-table is no longer just a gimmick to attract customers, it has become a message that restaurateurs are wanting to send: Support your local restaurants! This meaningful message has given rise to a new term: Hyper-Local. Even though it sounds like a sci-fi concept, its meaning is very simple. A hyper-local restaurant simply means that the restaurant sources all of its ingredients from local food communities, creating a sustainable supply chain that supports both the eatery and its partners.

Thailand, with its rich and ample farmland and resources, has allowed the hyper-local scene in Bangkok to grow into one of Asia’s finest. You should definitely go try and support these hyper-local restaurants in Thailand’s capital when you have the chance!

Bo.lan

Bo.lan is definitely the pioneer in the hyper-local scene in Bangkok. Chefs Bo and Dylan created the restaurant to advocate using biodiversified produce and works to support local fishers, farmers and artisans, as they are the true backbone to the restaurant and its success. The chefs have continually risen up to the challenge to come up with the menu to follow what is available seasonally and locally.

The restaurant strives to provide you with a truly Thai experience. Their dishes combine the freshest produce with inspiration from Thailand’s rich heritage of street-food and home cooking traditions as well as palace-style cuisine. Staying true to Thai culture, all dishes are served family style rather than in courses, and you eat with a fork and spoon.

While the interior of the restaurant feels contemporary with its glassware and untreated wood furniture, it also exudes a traditional Thai ambience through its decor. A thing to look out for is the garden at the back of the restaurant: some of the ingredients are actually grown there!

Bo.lan; 24 Sukhumvit 53 Alley, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

TAAN

TAAN is the restaurant that has first proudly dubbed themselves as a ‘hyper local’ restaurant. Chef Monthep, the young executive chef of the restaurant, wants to serve Thai food where they bring in lots of ingredients from local communities. However, that doesn’t stop him from being innovative.

Even though all of the dishes have distinctly Thai flavours, the way we experience these flavours are strikingly novel. We can experience this young chef’s creativity and his French cuisine-training through his interpretation of traditional Thai dishes like curries or marinated skewers.

Sitting on the top of Siam@Siam Design Hotel Bangkok, the hotel’s quirky designs serve almost as a prelude to the fun and modern cuisine that you are about to taste at TAAN. While the interior of the restaurant is simple, the dishes served immediately catch the eye with its delicate and artistic plating. And while you have your meal, you can also enjoy a panoramic view of Bangkok!

TAAN, 25/F, Siam @ Siam Design Hotel, 865 Rama I Rd, Wang Mai, Pathum Wan District, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

80/20

80/20, like all of these restaurants on the list, started out with a vision to produce dishes that champions local produce. The name 80/20 signifies that 80% of the restaurant’s ingredients are sourced from Thailand. Since the restaurant’s opening, they now are able to source 100% of their ingredients locally, which is an impressive feat.

Chefs Napol and Saki have searched far and wide for unique local ingredients to create enticing and modern versions of regional Thai cuisine. For example, the Asian watermeal (a small aquatic plant found in rural ponds) and black chicken from Northeast Thailand are featured prominently in their menu. It’s no wonder they gained a Michelin star for their innovations.

The restaurant is situated by a busy road in an old-school and hip neighbourhood, with an industrial, minimalistic interior. You will be able to see their fermentation lab, where they create condiments such as a koji-fermented fish sauce to add to their dishes.

Seeing passersby while enjoying your meal can remind you of how these dishes are paying homage to traditional dishes that are cooked in Thai households everyday. You can also sit by the counter, so you can see the chefs at work, preparing your meals. You will be able to taste 80/20’s respect and love for local ingredients during your visit!

80/20, 1052-1054, 26 Charoen Krung Rd, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand

Haoma

Haoma is helmed by Chef Deepanker ‘DK’ Khosla, who wanted to open a restaurant that expanded his life and career as a chef. Haoma is a zero waste restaurant that endorses an initiative called ‘Carbon Free Dining’, where guests are encouraged to plant an environmentally friendly fruit tree for every dish served. Chef DK believes that by giving back to the environment, it prolongs his career as a chef.

It is amazing to see Chef DK’s relationship with the environment through the Neo-Indian cuisine that he creates through locally sourced ingredients and ingredients that he grows in his very own farm. Haoma is truly unique and unlike any hyper-local or farm-to-table restaurant. You don’t only experience the restaurant in Haoma, but the mini farm and ecosystem that Chef DK has created around the site, growing thirty different kinds of vegetables and two varieties of fish, using recycling water and food waste.

While situated in the heart of Bangkok, the restaurant has a cosy and serene atmosphere, which elevates the delectable dishes served at your table. Dining at Haoma is definitely a temporary escape to nature in the middle of a bustling city!

Haoma, 231/3 Soi Sukhumvit 39, Khlong Toei Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok 10110, Thailand

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