One night in Bangkok and the world may be your oyster, but where would you head if you wanted to eat oysters, one night in Bangkok?
Not one for lyrics but definitely one for fine seafood and drinks, we’re lucky to live in a country that is able to shell out oysters fresh from our own shores, as well as imports from all around the globe. Yet whilst there are many top restaurants that provide the precious salt water fare, there’s also a myriad of specialty spots that put fresh focus on oysters alone, serving them classic alongside a glass of champagne, or creative with a range of curious sides. After all, an oyster bar is not your typical seafood experience. There’s an eye for detail required while ordering, a delicacy required in its handling, a sip of something sparkling for company, and ultimately quite an art to the shuck.
Whilst the precise oyster selection may vary depending largely on season and sustainability, we’ve put together a list of our favourite oyster bars around town. From rare Japanese and French awarded oysters, over to an exclusive oyster masterclass (you’d be surprised), here are the best spots to get shucking in the city, while also getting your Fine de Claire on.
Hero image credit: Crab & Claw
Lobster & Oyster by Chef Marian Baranek
Specialising in the two things its name entails, it comes as no surprise that the restaurant run by ‘King of the Ocean & Grill’ Chef Marian Baranek is a must-visit. The menu boasts everything from Canadian lobsters to Hokkaido king crab and Spanish fish, with a variety of premium oysters imported from Europe weekly. Feast on everything from the creamy and fleshy Pacific oyster (from THB 110 a piece), over to the critically acclaimed and highly awarded Cabanon oyster (from THB 170 a piece). Paired with an exquisite selection of toppings such as a Caviar or Beurre Blanc sauce, Lobster & Oyster provides a refined seafood experience, for true lovers and seekers of the city’s best catch.
Lobster & Oyster, J-Avenue Thonglor 13, 251/1 Soi Thong Lo 13, Vadhana, Bangkok, +66 92 662 5555
The Oyster Bar Bangkok
Nestled deep into a soi off the buzzing business district’s Narathiwas Road, The Oyster Bar comes as a small and yet lively eatery centred around a concept of sustainable seafood. Boasting one of the largest selections of oysters in the city, diners can enjoy everything from Japanese Iwagaki to British Columbia oysters prepared fresh at the raw bar here. Imported twice weekly from across the globe, chat to the oyster shucker about all things under the sea as you sample an impressive seafood selection. Amongst a no-frills and an ocean easy breezy atmosphere, beyond live oysters, diners can also enjoy specialties like the Smoked Oyster Pasta (THB 450), consisting of house smoked Willipa Bay oysters with spaghetti in a white wine garlic sauce. Yum.
The Oyster Bar, 395 Narathiwas Rd., Soi 24, Bangkok, +66 2 212 4809
A haven for much of the European community in Bangkok, El Mercado is the local delicatessen outlet of all our deepest foodie desires. And whilst the place that literally translates to ‘The Market’ from Spanish is largely home to imported seafood, charcuterie, cheese and a wine store, city dwellers have been flocking to the Sukhumvit hot spot to sit and enjoy a laid-back meal here, too. An oyster experience much like one we would enjoy off the coasts of France, the brasserie at El Mercado sits within a vibrant patio. Head to the bar to enjoy a fresh selection of oysters, ranging from the classic French Fine de Claires N.2 (THB 89 a piece), over to the Speciales Gillardeau N.3 (THB 165 a piece) or the Irish Specialties Fines d’Irlande N.3 (THB 99 a piece). Pair these with a selection of imported French white wines, and you’ll be back faster than you can say, ‘j’aime’.
El Mercado Bangkok, 490 Soi Phai Sing To, Klontoey, Bangkok, +66 99 078 3444
The Raw Bar
Knowing that raw is the most rad way to dine at the moment, Thonglor’s The Raw Bar welcomes diners to enjoy a specially curated menu of fresh oysters, lobsters, and mussels. The two-storey outlet features the infamous raw bar downstairs, with more formal table seating upstairs. Decked out in what looks very much like a port’s dock decor, take your pick amongst the exquisite oyster selection from the charmingly presented ice beds. There’s everything from French Cancales (THB 1560 for one dozen) to American Barron Point oysters (THB 1940 for one dozen), or for those who love a handful, massive Perle Blanc oysters (THB 250 a piece). For a fun bite, order the Dirty Oysters (THB 990 for half a dozen), topped with wine and shallots, for a shockingly good raw experience.
The Raw Bar, 6/F, Central Embassy, 1031 Ploenchit Rd., Pathumwan, Bangkok, +66 2 605 5704
Crab & Claw
Instinctively, a shopping mall may not seem like the most glamorous of locations to enjoy oysters and sparkling wine, yet if the Emquartier’s Crab and Claw is any exception to the rule, it’s turning out to be quite the hit in the city. Since its opening in May 2015, the adorably decorated eatery that specialises in all kinds of crustaceans and shell fish has opened a second branch at Siam Paragon, much to the excitement of avid shoppers looking for a spot to unwind. Indeed, beyond the extremely popular Maine lobsters imported on the daily, the menu also features an impressive selection of oysters, inclusive of a small guide on levels of meaty, creamy, briny, or sweet flavours for each type of oyster. Order the Kumamoto oysters from Kyushu, Japan (THB 1800 per dozen) or the briny Cherry Stone oysters from the American East Coast (THB 2500), and enjoy a sip and a forkful of quality bites within Bangkok’s favourite bustling environments.
Crab and Claw, 7/F, The Helix Quartier, Emquartier, Sukhumvit Rd., Bangkok, +66 096 197 5769
For our final must-visit spot on the list, here’s an oyster experience unlike any other. Located atop the Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld, urban rooftop bistro Red Sky is offering up a special oyster masterclass entitled ‘Open Up – All About Oysters’. Running from September through November of this year, the class (THB 2955++ per person) gives guests a chance to taste a variety of oysters, from Cap Horn to Tasmanian, and witness various preparation techniques alongside champagnes, white wines, and a classic Bloody Mary cocktail. Test your oyster shucking skills with an exclusive oyster opening challenge, and be sure to frame the oyster shucking certificate you receive at the end. Not only a great way to learn something new and try oysters in a variety of forms, but do all this with some of the best views of the city. The class is quite possibly Bangkok’s best secret pearl of the moment.
Red Sky Bar, Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld, 195 Phayathai Rd., Pathumwan, Bangkok, +66 2100 6255