A Wholesome Bangkok Guide
MyMaha’s resident jet-setter Anabel Chew shares 6 of her favourite spots for keeping it clean while enjoying all that Bangkok has to offer.
Thai food is so delicious, so full of flavor and pretty good for you, in moderation. Dishes like satay gai, som tam, fresh spring rolls, clear tom yum soup, larb gai are so delicious and healthy that any trip to Bangkok would turn into a foodie trip! Good Thai food can be found everywhere, and here are some of my picks if you’re looking for wholesome dining and lifestyle options in between snacking on street food and shopping to your hearts’ content.
This casual café/restaurant located near Asoke is high on my list and it’s a great choice if you want to have 100% vegan Thai food. I’m always at loss what to order here but of my 4 visits to this place, I’ve found the Tom Kha soup, pad krapow, fresh spring rolls and the Thai green curry really good. The complete menu is very extensive and includes Japanese, Western and Italian pasta options, but I think it’s best to stick to the local cuisines, especially since they do it so well. A big bonus to vegans who love Thai Milk Tea: they make a kick-ass dairy-free Thai milk tea for just 400 baht a pop. A new addition to the restaurant is the dessert section – they serve vegan cakes (try the strawberry butter cake and the lava cake) and ice cream flavours like mocha and thai milk tea.
I stumbled upon this place while going for my massage appointment along Lang suan and was impressed. Be Organic specializes in organic and macrobiotic foods. The floor-to-ceiling windows and breezy interiors make it a perfect spot for lunches and people watching. Attached to the restaurant is an impressive grocer that stocks locally produced organic fresh foods, frozen seafood, organic grains, cereals, rice, sauces and pastries. The food here is fresh, the service is friendly and attentive and prices are reasonable.
I’m super excited about this place because not only is it a fantastic restaurant, bar, café in one, it is also located next door to Casa Pagoda, a candy store for furniture and homeware lovers. The atmosphere is laid-back and the beautifully designed space is industrial yet chic. It turns into a romantic and sexy joint come nighttime and is a fantastic choice for a date night with its fantastically curated wine list and cocktails. The concept here is European (particularly French) food that is casual, fresh and clean that is designed for sharing with the table. The menu is tweaked according to seasonal produce that is available, their ingredients are sourced from local food artisans and farmers who make it a point to practice sustainable farming methods, to use natural and ethically treated ingredients. Some delicious and healthy menu picks were the black fig salad, wild cod fish, roast pumpkin with a side of roasted carrot quinoa, and for brunch, the superfood porridge and a hearty Shakshuka.
There are two Pilates and Barre studios in this section because I really can’t decide which to pick! As you might have known by now, I always try to pack in a workout whenever I’m travelling, be it a long hike, a yoga class or a barre class. I’ve been to both studios on separate occasions and love how the Pilates and barre community in Bangkok is so strong! The Pilatest is located in one of my favourite streets on Thong Lor Soi 49 where lots of amazing Japanese cafes and shops lare located. It is no surprise that classes at the Pilatest are offered in both English and Japanese to cater to the Japanese expat community. I attended the Total Barre class: The 60-minute workout is based on Pilates and fuses elements of ballet and yoga. The workout got me breaking a sweat just 5 minutes into the class. I loved the energy, the moves were hard but fun, the music was great… In all, a fantastic workout! Physique57 needs no introduction if you are a barre addict like myself. The gorgeous studio in Chit Lom just opened earlier this year and I attended a couple of Julie’s classes and really got wiped out by the end of each session. The signature Physique57 workout packs in cardio, strength training and flexibility stretches that will give you that extra burn. In their own words, “Best You Ever” – I couldn’t agree more.
Rocket Coffeebar is an easy choice for brunch, delicious cocktails and good coffee. Their scandinavian-inspired menu, though not super extensive, covers all your cravings from breakfast choices, sandwiches, pastas, freshly baked sweets and pastries. The outlet in Sukhumvit is a true Instagrammer’s dream come true: industrial copper piping in double storey terraced space, marble counter tops, lots of beautiful natural light and beautifully plated dishes, in true Scandinavian style. A plus for me were the details in their rustic earthenware, are produced locally in Northern Thailand. I prefer the Sathorn joint for a slightly more understated elegant feel. It was a perfect afternoon working with the free WIFI available, sipping on cold pressed juices and savouring the highly-raved cinnamon buns.
There are so many good hotels in Bangkok, but if you’re looking for a retreat in a city, look no further than the Metropolitan, managed by the Como Shambhala group that’s located near the Silom/Sathorn area. The biggest draw for foodies is the highly regarded restaurant Nahm, that is located right here – you will not regret ordering the crispy catfish with red curry paste and ginger! That aside, what I really like every time I stay in this hotel is the free daily yoga/pilates classes, a fully equipped modern gym, heavenly smelling bath amenities from Como, and dining at Glow restaurant. The restaurant serves up the freshest immunity boosting, energy-giving juices, and light meals that are focused on wellness. The menu responds to the diversity of fresh ingredients available locally and is inspired by both Thai and international flavour combinations. Most ingredients are organic, with a strong emphasis on raw combinations. To take it to another notch, the wellness centre also provides cleanse programmes (that includes a massage, cleansing juice and a light meal from Glow), and visiting consultants to further support your wellbeing.
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