Issaya Siamese Club, traditional Thai with a classy twist

I was absolutely excited to score last minute reservations at Issaya Siamese Club, as it came highly recommended by the folks at Pepo. They said it was better than Nahm, and as I’ve made dinner reservations there as well, I felt it was only apt to compare notes. Plus it’s currently listed as one of Pellegrino’s Top 20 Asia’s Best Restaurants List so I had to try it out.

Issaya Siamese Club by The Girl Next ShoreNot wanting to be stuck in the infamous horrific Bangkok traffic jams (and after hearing that Issaya is quite hard to find), we booked a cab and were rather too early for the reservation. However, it was quite nice to have a wander through the restaurant, whilst there weren’t much punters around. Because it is an absolutely beautiful place.

Chef Ian Kittichai, Thailand’s first international ‘celebrity chef’ is a Founding Partner of the restaurant. He’s a pioneer of farm-to-table dining and it’s reflected in the decor of plants and the restaurant’s garden of aromatic Thai herbs and produce (couldn’t see much of this when we visited because it was, erm, night time).

Issaya Siamese Club by The Girl Next Shore Issaya Siamese Club by The Girl Next Shore Issaya Siamese Club by The Girl Next Shore Issaya Siamese Club by The Girl Next ShoreIssaya Siamese Club by The Girl Next Shore“Issaya” is apparently an old Thai word for the rainy season and was chosen to pay homage to nature’s gifts. The ground floor dining outlet has an indoor and al fresco dining area, boasting of Chef Kittichai’s menu. The upper floor is a lounge-bar area inspired by traditional members clubs. The heritage house has been preserved by designer Hans Bogetoft Christensen and the colourful and contemporary decor and fabrics are all Thai made and produced.

Food and Drinks at Issaya Siamese Club

Issaya Siamese Club by The Girl Next ShoreWe are living in an era of YOLO and FOMO so it was a quick decision for us – we ordered Chef Kittichai’s 10-course menu. At 2500 Baht (or roughly £60) per set, this was absoluely a bargain.

Issaya Siamese Club by The Girl Next ShoreBut first, cocktails (350 Baht / £8 each). I had a (gigantic) Issaya Mojito which was rather refreshing and G had the Issaya Passion. Both cocktails were decent.

A trio of amuse bouche arrived, and I’m kicking myself for not finding the right angles to photograph it better. (Soz guys!) Anyway. From left to right: a teeny omelette with pork, lobster spring rolls and a floral rice cake.

Issaya Siamese Club by The Girl Next ShoreMy bouche wasn’t too amused by the other two mouthfuls but the lobster spring roll was packed with flavour.

Starters arrived at the same time, and boy it was an absolute feast.

Issaya Siamese Club by The Girl Next ShoreSai Klok Talay – a house made fresh shellfish sausage with Hua-Hin style seafood broth. Hua-Hin is a coastal town in Thailand, two and a half hours away from Bangkok.

Issaya Siamese Club by The Girl Next ShoreThis soup BLEW ME AWAY big time. The tanginess was surreal – it was addictive and brings a liveliness to the soup but its depth doesn’t overwhelm the seafood.

Issaya Siamese Club by The Girl Next ShoreYum Makur Koong Tod – crispy harbour shrimp, melting eggplant  with a tamarind dressing. I loved the lightly battered shrimp, whose flavour didn’t shy away from the generosity of the tamarind sauce. But what I really enjoyed from this dish was the smokiness of Thai eggplant. Love.

Issaya Siamese Club by The Girl Next ShoreIssaya Siamese Club by The Girl Next ShoreKradook Moo with AOB sauce – spice rubbed baby back ribs with Issaya’s special chilli paste. Presentation-wise, this dish was quite stunning. Flavour-wise I thought it was okay. I wish the ribs had a bit more meat in them to absorb all that gorgeous paste.

Issaya Siamese Club by The Girl Next ShoreYum Nua – grilled tender beef with organic veggies in a birds eye chilli vinaigrette. This was my least favourite starter – then again I like big chunks of beef. I was surprised by how mild the sauce was, considering the amount of chillies the dish had.

Issaya Siamese Club by The Girl Next ShoreAfter the starters and a berry palate cleanser, we were comfortably satiated, but absolutely ready for more.

Issaya Siamese Club by The Girl Next ShoreHor Mok Goong Mun Korn – steamed Maine lobster, lobster curry custard, fresh coco milk and sweet basil.

Issaya Siamese Club by The Girl Next ShoreI was scared, that the lobster meat would be dry underneath all that thick, warm sauce but was pleasantly proven wrong. It was succulently sweet and fresh, with the juices creating a beautiful dance with all that creamy, bisque-flavoured custard. Obsessed is the word.

Issaya Siamese Club by The Girl Next ShoreChoo-chee Salmon Rom Kwan – slow-cooked salmon with Jerusalem artichokes in red curry sauce. I’m quite a fan of choo-chee sauce and that’s a statement as 1) I’m not too big on curry and 2) when I eat curry I’m not huge on super creamy curry.

Issaya Siamese Club by The Girl Next ShoreI thought the salmon was beautifully cooked and I thought the sauce was perfectly balanced. I loved the spicy kick (which I reckon most people would classify as extra hot).

Issaya Siamese Club by The Girl Next ShorePaneang Nua – grain-fed Aussie veal cheek simmered in spices, coconut milk, kaffir lime leaves. This looked overwhelming as it seemed like an ordinary stew in a bowl but we all know that nobody should judge a book by its cover. The veal was melt-in-your mouth outstanding and the sauce had great flavour and very distinctive from the other red curry sauce we had.

Issaya Siamese Club by The Girl Next ShoreOur ‘rice’ was a big bowl (could possibly serve four people!) of Asian multigrain with ‘shrooms and fried garlic (love!!!) and sprinkled with mushroom scented oil. Overall, this was okay but I would’ve preferred a bowl of plain steamed jasmine.

Issaya Siamese Club by The Girl Next ShoreOh, and in case you’re wondering… we did have a go at veggies, too.

Issaya Siamese Club by The Girl Next Shore The dessert platter was phenomenal. It was all your favourites with a Thai twist: Tamarind macaron, panacotta with exotic fruits, coconut milk ice cream, jackfruit sponge, and something else I totes forgot. Soz again, guys. My mind was too full to concentrate.

Verdict for Issaya Siamese Club

Holy smokes, guys. I can’t recommend this enough. From start to finish, we were shown great Thai hospitality and I can’t fault service at all. Food is deliciously bold and the menu is exciting. I love the concept of growing their own herbs in the garden and the produce they used all tasted fresh. If you only have a few nights in Bangkok, make sure you put this on your list. And get reservations about a month in advance. Thank God I got lucky, else I’d’ve missed out on such an epic meal!

Issaya Siamese Club
4 ซอย ศรีอักษร Chuea Phloeng Rd, Thung Maha Mek, Sathon, Bangkok 10120, Thailand
Ave spend pp: £50 for a la carte, £80 for the superb tasting menu

4 Comments

  1. 12th July 2017 / 8:51 pm

    This is really my kind of food Honey, that lobster and in my current mood I could easily eat a whole bowl of that rice.

    • Honey de Gracia
      Author
      13th July 2017 / 8:53 pm

      It was definitely comfort food and delicious!

  2. 13th July 2017 / 5:58 am

    Love all the vibrant colors of the décor – an you now got me craving Thai! Everything looks *so good*.

    • Honey de Gracia
      Author
      13th July 2017 / 8:54 pm

      OMG Nano the place looked AWESOME! I wish I saw it in daylight!

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