The Issaya Tradition

We have become, somewhat, creatures of habit: lunch Issaya Siamese Club is what really starts the annual vacation. It has become a tradition that we do not want to miss, even if the menu is already more than familiar to us. The old Thai-villa, turned into a restaurant is a wonderful experience with modern Thai cuisine and a relaxed atmosphere, colorful decor and extremely friendly service. Issaya also features Chef’s garden where guests can see aromatic Thai herbs grown year-round.  I have written about it several times (here and here), and cannot help myself writing about it again. The beautiful dishes contribute to great food-photography. 

Issaya is the restaurant of Thailands first “celebrity chef” Pongtawat “Ian” Chalermkittichai. From a street kitchen in Bangkok to becoming the first Thai national to serve as executive chef at the five-star Fours Seasons Bangkok. He also has a popular TV show that is broadcast in more than 70 countries. Chef Kittichai is a pioneer in farm-to-table dining in Thailand.

We always head to Issaya for lunch, reason being, it is better value for money. Issaya serves their signature lunch menu for around 1500 TBH per person, which includes tasters of his best dishes Mussuman curry lamb shank, banana blossom and palm heart salad, crispy shallots and roasted peanuts in a chilli jam dressing and Jasmine flower flan. The dishes include three starters, three mains, a pot of brown and white rice with beans and roast garlic (the side) and a dessert. The kitchen also treats guests with an amouse buche and palate cleanser. One can argue that it is an expensive lunch to be Thailand, but I say it is great value for money. Issaya is no. 19 on the list of Asia’s 50 top restaurants and I would be happy to compare it to a one or even a two Michelin star restaurant (as Thailand is not included in the Michelin guide).

I am also a fan of Issayas cocktails. Even though we are talking lunch, I am always tempted to try at least one drink from the menu. Last year I had the coriander Mojito, and this year, the Pandan cooler (with Gin, elderflower and Pandan leaf). M chose a non-alcoholic lemongrass and ginger iced tea. What bothers me a little bit is that the cocktail list hasn’t really changed in three years. I wish there were some seasonal specials at least (for hot or hotter weather).

So here you go, photos from this years Issaya lunch tradition. Enjoy!

xx Soile

The terrace at Issaya is a bit too warm for having lunch
Coctails at Issaya, Pandan Cooler and Lemongras ice tea
Amouse at Issaya
Tomato, cucumber with beef and chili
banana blossom and palm heart salad
Brown and white rice with beans and garlic
Palate clenser, black currant ice cream
Flambeed chicken with curry
Mussuman curry lamb shank
Jasmine flower flan




2 thoughts on “The Issaya Tradition

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