Photo: Sorn / Facebook
Photo: Sorn / Facebook

BANGKOK — For the first time, the Michelin Guide awarded two-star ratings to Thai restaurants in Thailand, as well as recognizing eateries in the northern city of Chiang Mai.

The 2020 edition of Michelin’s Guide for Thailand gave two-star ratings to Sorn and R-Haan, Thai restaurants that had previously gotten one star, and for the first time included eateries in Chiang Mai.

“I cried tears of joy today. But this past year, the farmers in the south didn’t cry of joy, but they cried because they can’t sell the mangosteen they grew. That’s why my menu has Thai cuisine,” Chef Supaksorn Jongsiri of Sorn said. “Sea urchin from Japan sells for 20,000 baht per kilo, but mangosteen sells for 3 baht per kilo. … I couldn’t be here without the farmers of Thailand.”

Chef Chumpol Jangprai of R-Haan said he was proud to have elevated Thai cuisine, by Thais to the two-star rank.

“It’s the proudest day in my life as a Thai chef, to bring Thai food to this number one rank for the first time,” he said. “I feel so fulfilled. I believed in the knowledge of our ancestors and their varied cooking skills that were passed down.”

Restaurants that had won two-star ratings in previous years, such as modern German restaurant Suhring, were not Thai restaurants.

Sorn, R-Haan, and four new one-star ratings are all located in Bangkok. The guide for the first time also includes Chiang Mai province, and awarded 17 restaurants there a distinction award for good value.

A total of 24 restaurants, four of which are new entries, received one star. All the new entries are located in Bangkok, including Thai restaurant Khao in Ekkamai.

Perennial favorites such as street food joint Jay Fai, home of the famous crab omelet, and Bo.lan continued to retain their one star. Jay Fay continued to be the only street food shop with a star.

Both Gaggan, which received two stars in both 2018 and 2019, and L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, which received one star for those two years, are now closed.

Here’s the full list:

Two stars

R-Haan and Sorn, which each received one star in 2019, got a star upgrade for 2020.

Both are Thai restaurants, with Sorn serving Southern Thai cuisine. Le Normandie, Mezzaluna, and Suhring all retained their two stars from 2019.

One star

Chef’s Table, 80/20 Eighty Twenty, Khao, Table 38, were the new four restaurants in Bangkok to receive one star.

The following 20 restaurants that won one star last year retained their award: Bo.lan, Canvas, Chim by Siam Wisdom, Elements, Gaa, Ginza Sushi Ichi, J’aime by Jean-Michel Loran, Jay Fai, Le Du, Methavalai Sorndaeng, Nahm, Paste, Pru, Ruean Panya, Saawaan, Saneh Jaan, Savelberg, Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin, Suanthip, and Upstairs by Mikkeller.

“Most certainly the most famous street food restaurant in the world!” Poullennec said as Supinya “Jay Fai” Junsuta received her award.

Pru, in Phuket, is still the only restaurant outside of Bangkok to have a star.

Bib Gourmand:

There are 94 restaurants with the Bib Gourmand award, with 27 new entries:eight in Bangkok, 17 in Chiang Mai, and two in Phang Nga.

Bangkok: Bangkok Bold Kitchen (Central Embassy branch), Here Hai, Klang Suan, Konchong Konprung, Plu, Prama 9 Kaiyang, Siam Charming, Tung Sui Heng Pochana (Stadium One branch)

Phang Nga: Kin-Kub-Ei, Naam Yoi

Chiang Mai: Gai Yang Cherng Doi, Ginger Farm Kitchen, Han Theung Chiang Mai, Huan Soontaree, Huen Muan Jai, Khao Soi Mae Manee, Khao Tom Yong (Suthep Road), KruaYa, Kuakai Nimman, Meena Rice Based Cuisine, Na Chantra, Racharos, Rote Yiam Beef Noodles, Saiyut and Doctor Sai Kitchen, Sanpakoi Kanomjeen, SP Chicken, The House by Ginger.

The Michelin Guide 2020 awards ceremony on Nov. 12, 2019 at The Marriot Bangkok The Surawongse Hotel.
The Michelin Guide 2020 awards ceremony on Nov. 12, 2019 at The Marriot Bangkok The Surawongse Hotel.

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