My move to Bangkok came just six days after getting married, and it didn’t take me long to realized that romance in Bangkok in a convoluted subject. Missing here are the wide sidewalks of Europe that make handholding and leisurely strolls possible. Add a heavy dose of pollution, traffic, and political instability, and date night gets pretty complicated. But all those ticks in the not-so-romantic category make a night at one of these five restaurants even more special. In my house, we save booking a table at Celadon or Issaya Siamese Club for special occasions and birthdays. In contrast, a reservation at The Oyster Bar or Scarlett makes any day of the week feel fancy. And I frequently feel the pull to eat the incredible Indian food at Rang Mahal. So while Bangkok certainly won’t be topping traveler’s list for romance these picks will help dissolve the chaos of the day.
Crisp table clothes, attentive servers, and nearby lotus ponds all add to the romance at Celadon. The menu is a wonderful representation of Thai food from around the country and waiters pass out iPads loaded with photos of the artful dishes to help you narrow your decision. Northern favorite khao soy and the steamed snow fish are top picks.
The Oyster Bar Bangkok
At first glance, the industrial vibe and concrete floors of The Oyster Bar don’t radiate a romantic setting, but you’ll fall in love as soon as you swish back a few orders of fresh bivalves. The rotating menu focuses on sustainably harvested oysters that are delivered fresh from North America and Indonesia on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Rang Mahal is one of the few Indian spots that has matched the flavorful and authentic cuisine that I fell in love with when I was living and working in India. Enjoy the live music, and request a tucked-away table by the window for floor-to-ceiling views of the fast-paced Sukhumvit Road.
Issaya Siamese Club
In a two-story house off Rama IV, this well-hidden restaurant is a top contender for my favorite Thai food in the city. Before dinner, cozy up on an oversized beanbag on the front lawn, then head inside for bright décor, not-to-be-missed desserts, and couples mastering the self-timer function on their cameras.
Scarlett is frequented by Hi-So (high-society) diners and has a laidback European vibe with sweeping views of the city that will leave you starry-eyed. Two-Michelin Starred restaurant owner, chef Manuel Martinez, designed the menu to feature an innovative mix of tapas, ravioli and top-notch beef dishes. On the weekends, step outside for digestifs and DJs.