Bee Satongun (pictured) with Jason Bailey
What makes it stand out: Paste is a study in Thai culinary history. Chef-owners Bongkoch ‘Bee’ Satongun and husband Jason Bailey have spent years painstakingly studying and chronicling the evolution of Thai cuisine, discovering century-old recipes and long-forgotten techniques in the process. Anyone following the couple on social media will have seen Bee knee-deep in a river somewhere collecting herbs, or cooking over charcoal with locals in far corners of the country.
What to eat: Menus change regularly but diners can expect intensely flavoured, colourful dishes such as the Thai-Portuguese lotus stem salad of local crayfish, poached pheasant, crispy lotus petal and gold apple powder, or the sour orange curry with fresh curry paste, drumstick shoot and caramelised black cod.
And the vibe? Don’t knock the luxury mall location. Once inside, the restaurant feels light and airy, with floor-to-ceiling windows and an elegant, soft colour scheme. Pod-like seating offers plenty of privacy.
What else? Chef Bee won the title of Asia’s Best Female Chef in 2018 and opened a new branch of Paste in Mittagong, Australia, in 2019.