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#EatOutRIS: Alumni Eateries

RIS affiliation inexplicably reaches far and wide, and through the decades, food and beverage is but one of many industries you’ll find RIS alumni thriving in. One of the perks of living in Bangkok is the seemingly endless array of fine-dining choices spread out across the city. So the next time you’re looking for an exemplary eatery with ambience, Instagram-worthy dishes, and stellar reviews, why not try one of these venues by our very own RIS alumni?

Surface Kitchen and Garden Lab

Chalee Kader (RIS Class of 1998), executive chef & co-owner; Roshan Alwani (1998), co-owner; Rika Dila (1983), co-owner & designer.

Surface Kitchen, one of the more popular go-to hangouts for the young, trendy Thonglor (Sukhumvit 55) crowd, combines classic French cuisine with elements of fusion and molecular gastronomy in a mostly alfresco vibe. Yet despite an array of inventive signature dishes, Surface offers a wide range of classic Euro bistro comfort food, not to mention vegetarian options, old-school desserts, and an enormous selection of fine wines. Fresh ingredients are also often cultivated from Surface’s own seasonal garden.

Chalee Kader, a former head chef at the French embassy, is one of Bangkok’s most buzzed-about young chefs and restaurateurs, what with happening eateries such as The Beer Bridge, Holy Moly, and the recently opened 100 Mahaseth all within his circle. “RIS has given me a lifetime support system, taught me to pick myself up and keep moving on, even through failures,” says Chalee. “I’m still failing—and still learning today—with support from the friendships I made over two decades ago.”

Surface Kitchen & Garden Lab
Thonglor Soi 11 (across from Audrey’s Café)
Open daily from 6:00 pm to midnight

For reservations or more info, call 02-258-2858

Instagram: @surfacekitchen

Via Maris

Debby Huei-Yun Tang (RIS Class of 2000), operational director & co-owner of Foodie Collection; Chotipong Leenutapong (RIS Class of 2000), managing director & co-owner of Foodie Collection.

Via Maris, which is Latin for “way of the sea,” is aptly named given its number of signature seafood-centric and Mediterranean-inspired dishes. Located on Convent Road in Silom, Via Maris showcases a mix of flavors from North Africa, Spain, and Southern Italy. The head chef, Sardinian-born Francesco Deiana, takes a unique approach in experimenting with herbs and spices, such as harissa, za’atar or ras el hanout, all of which are not common to Bangkokians. He also works with local fishermen to guarantee top-quality, sustainable produce.

Via Maris is the fourth project of Foodie Collection restaurateurs Debby Tang and Chotipong Leenutapong. It was inspired by the couple’s many trips to the Mediterranean region and is a slight departure from their new Portuguese fine-dining restaurant, il Fumo, and their Italian eateries La Dotta Pasta Bar and La Dotta ‘La Grassa.’ Their award-winning Vesper cocktail bar is also adjacent to Via Maris, making for a convenient hangout for the couple’s RIS friends. “I am hugely grateful for the wonderful support of my RIS friends,” says Debby. “Ever since day one of opening our first restaurant, both close and long-lost friends have continuously visited our place. Not to mention, three of our business partners at Via Maris are from the same class at RIS!”

Via Maris 
Convent Road, Silom
Open weekdays from noon–2:30 pm and 5:30–11:00 pm; Saturdays from 5:30–11:00 pm; and Sundays from 11:30–4:00 pm and 5:30–11:00 pm

For reservations or more info, call 02-236-5558

Instagram: @viamarisbkk

Sourced Grocers

Veena Srikuruwal (Class of 2007), co-owner; Chet Srikuruwal (2008), co-owner.

The Commons, hailed as “foodie paradise,” is a community mall located in Thonglor that features some of Bangkok’s foremost restaurateurs and artisan producers, and one of its staples since its inception has been Sourced Grocers, a delicatessen located on the Market floor. Owned and operated by siblings Veena and Chet Srikuruwal, Sourced Grocers takes pride in providing not only quality produce but being honest and diligent about the way they’ve been sourced as well. Veena and Chet continually support smaller, independently run companies; frequently update their shelves; and welcome customers to sit and chat about the items. “Our specialized grocery section ranges from nuts and seeds to artisanal teas and many other healthy products,” shares Chet. “We offer a wide variety of cheeses and cold cuts, along with a hot kitchen, and also do catering and delivery.”

With its adherence to quality produce, it’s no surprise that the Sourced Grocers kitchen offers up some of the best meals that can be found at The Commons. “We only make food we want to eat—recipes with real flavor and without the shortcuts,” say the siblings, and indeed, urbanites can often be found at The Commons enjoying freshly cooked pasta dishes, healthy plant-based salads, or New York-style deli sandwiches. Frequenters of The Commons often enjoy pairing their drinks with Sourced Grocers’ customizable cheese platters and charcuterie boards, or taking home wholesome granola bars, healthy energy balls, and craft kombucha drinks, among other items.

Sourced Grocers
The Commons, Thonglor Soi 17
Open daily from 11:00 am–10.30 pm (closes at 11:30 pm from Friday–Sunday)

For reservations or more info, call 094-526-4416

Instagram: @sourcedgrocers

Paris Mikki

Carol Boosaba (Class of 1997), head pâtissière & owner.

Those in the know looking for authentic French pastries and viennoiseries in Bangkok tend to look no further than Paris Mikki and its two outlets in Sukhumvit 19 and on the sixth floor of Central Embassy at Open House. Head pâtissière and owner Carol Boosaba spent almost a decade living and training in Paris. There, she trained at the hallowed grounds of Le Cordon Bleu and honed her craft with world-class names such as Ladurée and Angelina before moving back to Bangkok to open the first Paris Mikki dessert atelier near Asoke.

Carol bakes a limited supply of cakes and pastries using seasonal ingredients and adhering to French tradition. She comes highly recommended among the RIS community, many of whom are regular patrons. “I still keep in touch with my RIS friends,” she shares. “I’ve even made new RIS friends since relocating back to Bangkok. But whether RIS or not, all of my friends come and support Paris Mikki—we do make the best croissants and pastries in town!” And Carol certainly didn’t just make that up. BK Magazine, as well as several of the city’s top food blogs, have all showered Paris Mikki with accolades. Carol’s list of awards include Best Pastry 2015, Best Croissants 2016, and Best Pastry Chef 2017, among others.  

Paris Mikki
Sukhumvit Soi 19 & Central Embassy 6th floor (Open House)

Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10:00 am–9:00 pm

For more info, call 088-870-0020 (088-870-0021 for Central Embassy branch)
Instagram: @parismikki