Imagine meeting Bangkok’s most eligible bachelor/bachelorette and really hitting it off.
You’ve got similar interests. You both love that coffeeshop that looks like a chunk of Paris has been transplanted right into the heart of the Old Town. You think Wonderfruit was fun, but you’re both not really festival people. And you’re both into craft gin.
A date seems to be on the cards, and you have a feeling you’ll have an endless pile of topics to chat about, but as soon as you pick up the phone (phone calls are turning to be in vogue again, did you know?) and they ask you whether you want to head out for dinner, you freeze.
He/she pronounces it ‘raan’, and not ‘ar-haan’, when they speak about Bangkok beloved restaurant R.HAAN. Awkward.
We’re painting a cheeky scenario here, but you get the gist. With a grand slew of new restaurants and fine dining establishments opening all around town to accompany the already pretty grand slew of restaurants and fine dining establishments all around town, things can get overwhelming at times. We love a clever and creative restaurant name, but sometimes the question surrounding how to actually pronounce it is a tricky one. Here, we’ve put together a list of the city’s most famous restaurants, and how to actually say their names out loud, for when you need to say their names out loud. French, German, or Thai: we did the research for you, so you can do the flirting. Consider it a dictionary for dining — but also don’t take it too seriously. Half the fun is striking up the conversation, anyway. Bon Appetit!
[Featured image: Sühring; Hero image: Restaurant Stage]
R.HAAN caused quite some buzz when it acquired not one but two Michelin stars this year, shooting it to the very top of many a Bangkokian’s must-eat list. Yet whilst the royally Thai and beautifully presented dishes at the Thonglor haunt provide much to swoon for, there’s no denying that R.HAAN prompted quite a few cheeky chuckles or two, both between those who know how to pronounce its name, and those who don’t.
Contrary to what instinct may predict, it isn’t ‘raan’ or ‘ruh-haan’, but rather ‘ar-haan’ (like the letter ‘R’, get it?). It’s easier if you speak or understand Thai; the word quite literally translates to “food”. The cheeky touch goes even further if you converse in Thai. Ask someone which restaurant they’re going to for dinner, and if they answer “Raan R.HAAN”, the exchange could go on forever. “Which raan r-haan?”
It’s kind of reminiscent of equally wordplay-y venue names, like Nung Len or Baan Puen, except, a two-starred Thonglor version where you can actually wine and dine yourself in fine Thai style to the fullest.
R.HAAN, 131 Sukhumvit 53, Khlong Tan Nuea, Wattana, Bangkok, +66 95 141 5524. Open daily 6pm-11pm.
This one is probably our favourite of the minute. You’ll know if someone has been to Stage if they pronounce it correctly, because when it first opened and word (and image) flooded our social media, everybody was reading it, but nobody was saying it. After all, the brain initially tends to read it as ‘stage’ as in showstoppers and Broadway, but this is wrong.
Better understood in conjunction with its fuller name ‘Restaurant Stage’, put on a French accent when you’re pronouncing this one. After all, the trendy restaurant located off of Ekkamai Road serves up new French and global-inspired cuisine, put together by Chef Jay Sangsingkaew and her team at the ex-L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon (another fine one to pronounce in French, just saying).
Restaurant Stage, 359/2 Ekamai Complex, Sukhumvit 63, North Khlongtan, Wattana, Bangkok, +66 2 002 5253. Open Wed-Mon 6pm-12am.
Blue by Alain Ducasse
Blu bai Uh-luhn Doo-cass
There shouldn’t be too much trouble surrounding the first half of this newly-opened restaurant’s name. The second half, though.
Blue by Alain Ducasse opened with the world-famous and iconic chef Alain Ducasse himself here in Bangkok, serving up some of the Michelin-starred chef’s most beloved contemporary French dishes with a few local touches. We love the grilled lobster and the Apicus-style duck in particular, but imagine inviting your friends for dinner for the grilled lobster and Apicus-style duck in particular and then when they ask where, you say the restaurant name all wrong. #Embarrassing.
Listening to the man (and his French team) himself on the day of the grand opening, we learned that it is not ‘ellen’ or even ‘al-ayn’ Ducasse, but rather a fashionably French ‘uh-luhn’ Ducasse. Say it with a serious sophistication, much like that of the blue crab, tomato water gelee, and gold caviar tart. 10/10 recommend as a fine starter, just saying.
Blue by Alain Ducasse, 1/F, ICONLUXE, ICONSIAM, 299 Charoennakorn Rd., Khlongsan, Bangkok, +66 2 005 9412. Open daily 12pm-2pm for lunch, and 6pm-9pm for dinner.
It isn’t common that a German restaurant attains two Michelin stars, and even moreso, it isn’t common that said German restaurant with two Michelin stars attained is located in Bangkok. But that’s why we love Sühring.
Listed on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list (amongst many other accolades) too, the charming restaurant on Yen Akat is a must-try for anyone who is curious about modern German fare, combining the essence of traditional dishes with Central European influences. The two little dots above the letter “u” (or umlaut for language nerds) is adorable to look at, but how do you pronounce it?
Quite simply: like a long “uu” or “oo”. Combine this with a good old-fashioned hard German ‘S’ that feels like a close relative to the English ‘Z’, and there you have it. Sühring.
Sühring, No.10 Yen Akat Soi 3, Chong Nonsi, Yannawa, Bangkok, +66 2287 1799. Open Mon-Fri 5.30pm-9pm, and Sat-Sun 11.30pm-12.30pm for lunch, and 5.30-9pm for dinner.
Flûte — A Perrier Jouët Bar
Floot — a pe-ree-er joo-et bar
This one is overwhelming to look at, so it’s best you head immediately there, order a glass of Perrier-Jouët champagne, and then get started.
Located on the 64th floor of the lebua hotel, Flûte — A Perrier Jouët Bar has long been a beloved destination to enjoy a flute or three of bubbly against a highly ‘grammable view of the cityscape. How do you say the words and tell your date to meet you there, though?
In first line, don’t be thrown off by the French accents atop the ‘u’ and the ‘e’. They’re stylish visual additions to the vowels, and aid a lot in the pronunciation. Emphasise the ‘oo’ in ‘flute’ (the way your date will ‘ooh’ when they see you), and definitely sound out the ‘et’ in ‘Jouët’. Above all else, say it with an elegant flair, and then order from the Exclusive House of Caviar to suit.
Flute —A Perrier-Jouët Bar, 64/F, State Tower Bangkok, 1055 Silom Rd., Bang Rak, +66 2 624 9555.
This article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Bangkok on 15 January 2020.