Location & Interior
Nestled in the heart of Bangkok’s growing Talad Noi district, the ever-popular Michelin star restaurant 80/20 underwent a fresh transformation in 2019 but continues to set itself apart as an exploration of the possibilities of Thailand’s cuisine.
The restaurant’s casual layout follows trendy industrial design, with licks of exposed concrete and steel coupled with colorful decals on its back wall. Often this contemporary gastropub style comes with a heightened decibel level but 80/20 manages to maintain its relaxed atmosphere through its seamless and unobtrusive kitchen. Guests can feast with an open view of the culinary process at the counter, or choose seats in the dining area.
80/20 is immediately recognizable for its core concept: the use of 80% locally sourced and 20% imported ingredients. Since its reopening, however, the restaurant is creating fresh approaches to familiar dishes by utilizing almost 100% local produce sourced from every region of Thailand.
The Chef And The Team
This passionate journey of Thai cuisine is heralded by Chef ‘Joe’ Napol Jantraget and Chef Saki Hoshino, who both spent 10 years in Montreal, Canada honing their respective crafts – Joe learning modern techniques in a French Restaurant, with Saki owning and operating a well-regarded cupcake shop – before returning to Thailand and establishing 80/20 as chef-patron and pastry chef, respectively. Their culinary backgrounds are immediately apparent in the restaurant’s monsoon seasonal menu, selecting novel ingredients such as Asian watermeal and innovative fermentation techniques to design a nourishing and exciting set of dishes.
Service is professional and relatable, with staff coming from many different parts of Thailand and each given an opportunity to explain about the ingredients and the philosophy behind the dishes. It was a great way to gain a better understanding of the dishes and allow each cook a chance to shine.
Highlights include Chef Joe’s Gaeng Som, combining conch, clams, fermented gooseberry, chakrob and jellyfish as a sumptuous and textured base, before drizzling it in a thyme and curry paste broth for a heart-warming finish.
It sits alongside 80/20’s beef tartare, featuring an immediate refreshing kick aided by a grilled chili and onion smash that finishes with subtle sour aftertones, as well as the Yum Aunk Wa : an entirely unique take on mung bean salad with grounded coconut rice and water vegetables balancing the dish’s heat, topped with infused coconut juice and Thai seaweed. Equally impressive are Chef Saki’s desserts; in particular, her fresh Pumpkin and Eggplant mousse featuring pandan, white chocolate and pepitas uniting to create the perfect closer.
It is easy to see why the Michelin-rated 80/20 is internationally recognized as at the forefront of Thai cuisine. Applying modern techniques to fundamental Thai flavours with the freshest local produce, the restaurant’s exploratory dining experience is exceptional and one of the most enjoyable in Bangkok.
Written by Jules