The latest Michelin Guide for Thailand expanded the list of starred restaurants in Bangkok, and recognised one in Phuket for the first time, but none won the top accolade of three stars.
Sühring, which serves modern German food in the capital, moved up from one to two stars, joining Indian restaurant Gaggan, French eatery Le Normandie and European restaurant Mezzaluna in the latter category.
Some 23 restaurants achieved or retained a one star rating, including PRU in Phuket and Bangkok street food vendor Jay Fai.
A first Michelin Guide to Thailand’s best restaurants was rolled out last year for Bangkok, long a food-lover’s paradise for everything from street stalls to fine dining.
The latest version goes beyond the capital to assess eateries in the southern tourism hot spots of Phuket and Phang Nga, part of the country’s efforts to keep attracting visitors.
The goal is to cover the whole nation by 2021 under a five-year agreement with Michelin, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
While tourism growth has waned recently after a slide in Chinese holidaymakers, the industry still makes up about a fifth of the economy.
“We have to get away from mass tourism and promote what’s unique about us and that’s food – it’s art, ” said Tanes Petsuwan, deputy governor for international marketing at the tourism authority.
Indian restaurant Gaggan, which was set up by Kolkata-born chef Gaggan Anand, has also been voted Asia’s best restaurant for the past four years.
Michelin introduced the guide in Thailand as part of a broader effort to boost the company’s appeal in Asia, joining the likes of Tokyo, Hong Kong, Macau, Seoul, Shanghai and Singapore.
The company’s reviewers anonymously award stars based on criteria such as quality of ingredients, flavour, cooking techniques and the personality of the chef in the cuisine he or she creates.
Three stars are given to restaurants where the food is exceptional and “worth a special journey”.
Two stars are given to those “worth a detour,” while one star is awarded to establishments considered to be good restaurants in their category.
Three Stars – None.
Two Stars – Gaggan, Le Normandie, Mezzaluna, Sühring.
One Star – Bo.lan, Chim by Siam Wisdom, Elements, Ginza Sushi-ichi, J’aime by Jean-Michel Lorain, Jay Fai, L’atelier de Joël Robuchon, Nahm, Paste, Saneh Jaan, Savelberg, Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin, Upstairs at Mikkeller, Canvas, Gaa, Le DuMethavalai Sorndaeng, PRU, R-HAAN, Ruen Panya, Saawaan, Sorn, Suan Thip.