Inside Bangkok's hottest and hippest food district

Australian celebrity chef Marion Grasby lives in Bangkok and reveals where she goes for high quality authentic local and international food.

The intoxicating smell of street cooking in Bangkok is only bettered by the taste of the food.
  • Justine Costigan
  • August 2018

A finalist on season two of MasterChef Australia, Marion Grasby quickly became a firm favourite with fans of the show.

After the TV show ended, she went on to publish cook books and filmed a TV series, Marion’s Thailand, for Foxtel, but her biggest project has been Marion’s Kitchen, an internationally successful range of gourmet Thai food products using family recipes and authentic ingredients.

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The business began in her Australian kitchen with then fiancé, now husband, Tim Althaus, in 2010, but in 2012 the couple moved to Bangkok to be closer to the brand’s key suppliers. Marion’s Thai heritage ensures she is at home in Thailand’s buzzing capital.

“It’s the South-East Asian version of New York,” she says.

Thonglor is one of her favourite Bangkok hangouts.

“Thonglor means ‘golden alley’ and it’s where the Chinese merchants used to sell gold. It’s a hot pocket of authentic local and international food, and it’s where I spend most of my eating and drinking time.”

The intoxicating smell of street cooking in Bangkok is only bettered by the taste of the food.
The intoxicating smell of street cooking in Bangkok is only bettered by the taste of the food.

Here are Marion’s must-dos.

Khua Kling Pak Sod

98/1 Thonglor 5,
Sukhumvit Road 55
Khua Kling Pak Sod is the place for authentic traditional Southern Thai food, which is hard to get in Bangkok. It’s mild and fragrant – we bring family members here who can’t stomach chilli – and their yellow crab curry served with rice noodles is my all-time favourite Thai dish.

Little Bao

72 Thonglor 16-18,
Sukhumvit Road 55
Hong Kong’s Little Bao opened in Bangkok last year and, as the name suggests, it specialises in Chinese bao (buns). I love the amazing fried chicken served in a soft, white bun. The restaurant’s owner, May Chow, was also named Asia’s Best Female Chef 2017.

Thonglor with the Marriot Executive Apartments at night.
Thonglor with the Marriot Executive Apartments at night.

Octave Rooftop Lounge and Bar

Bangkok Marriott Hotel
57, 2 Sukhumvit Road 55
One of the really cool things to do in Bangkok is go to a sky bar. The Octave Rooftop Lounge and Bar is on the 57th floor of the Marriott and you can see right across the Chao Phraya River to a view of the city’s buildings. Get there just before sunset and grab some cocktails. It’s always warm in Bangkok, so it’s a great spot to catch a breeze too.

The Commons

335 Thonglor 17,
Sukhumvit Road 55
The Commons is one of Bangkok’s community malls and here you’ll find kiosk-style restaurants featuring local producers. You order the food you want and then eat in the communal area. All the restaurants are really cool but my favourite is Soul Food Mahanakorn. They took the flavours of a traditional laksa soup and turned it into a burger, complete with fried crispy noodles in the bun.
It’s totally amazing and worth a special trip.

Iron Fairies

402 Sukhumvit Road 55
Iron Fairies bar looks dank and dark from the street but when you open the door it’s a huge, cavernous space. It’s decorated in a weird and whimsical way with strange statues and apothecary bottles. The bar has lovely intimate spaces too and it’s a great spot for a cocktail and a burger.

Thanglor District comes alive at night and it is becoming the hippest district in Bangkok.
Thanglor District comes alive at night and it is becoming the hippest district in Bangkok.

Supanniga Eating Room

160/11 Sukhumvit Road 55
Supanniga Eating Room is the place for amazing Thai dining. You can eat classic Thai food but they also have some great off-the-beaten-path dishes if you’re feeling adventurous. Try the jungle curries – spicy curries from inner Thailand that don’t include coconut milk – and the spicy crab relish, a dipping sauce for eggplant and green beans.

Emquartier

689, 693 and 695
Sukhumvit Road 55
Asia’s super-luxe shopping malls are something to behold. The EmQuartier, next to Benchasiri Park, includes a department store, shopping mall, luxury cinema, food halls and supermarkets, five levels of dining terraces plus offices and a hotel. It even has its own five-storey waterfall.