Bangkok, Thailand

Modern fermentation techniques meet exclusively Thai ingredients


On the Pass

Napol Jantraget

Pastry Chef

Saki Hoshino

A numbers game: So named due to the ratio of Thai ingredients used compared to those sourced overseas, the 80/20 brings 100/100 in terms of big Thai flavour. A 2019 relaunch saw the restaurant return touting the use of 100% local produce, sourced from small-scale purveyors nationwide,  although it has chosen to keep the original 80/20 moniker. It is now one of Bangkok’s most in-demand destinations and 2020 sees it break into Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list for the first time.

Love at the pass: The restaurant is owned by husband and wife team Napol Jantraget and Saki Hoshino; the pair spent 10 years cooking in Canada where Hoshino had a cupcake shop and Jantraget worked in a French restaurant. Returning to Thailand by way of her native Japan, Hoshino took a sabbatical to extend her knowledge of wagashi Japanese sweets before the couple launched 80/20. They now divide responsibilities equally, with Jantraget working on savouries and Hoshino running the pastry section.

France meets Thailand: In Montreal, Jantraget was trained in modern French technique and he now applies this to traditional Thai ingredients, with many of his dishes showcasing his penchant for fermentation. Goat tartare and rice coconut crêpe sees the meat aged for three days and served with a smoky fish sauce, caramel and masala aioli. ‘A dream of Trang BBQ Pork’ is the must-order main plate, served with fermented chilli sauce and seasonal mushroom-infused sticky rice. The fermentation room is well worth a look if you’re making a booking.

To drink: The cocktail list here is curated by Asia’s 50 Best Bars stalwart and fellow Bangkokian, Vesper, which has provided a typically globetrotting list. A take on the espresso martini called ‘Kopi’ that includes pandan, coconut liqueur, Thai coffee and jackfruit syrup makes an ideal digestif.

The space Located in an industrial-chic converted shop house in Bangkok’s trendy Talad Noi district, 80/20 is equal parts casual and edgy. Raw concrete and black metal structures mix with colourful murals, and guests have the choice between seats in the main dining room or along the counter facing the open kitchen.