Famous Thai Chef Opened a Casual Wine Bar with Thai Street Food Favourites | Foodies OFFICIAL Asia

Chef Thitid Tassanakajohn aka. Chef Ton from Le Du [ฤดู] means “season” in Thai, a Modern Thai fine dining restaurant, opened a natural wine bar that serves with exceptional bar food, called Mayrai [เมรัย] Bar at Tha Tian District.

          Tha Tian District is a touristic destination, known for temples, shrines and Royal Palace. The district is displayed with Thai-Colonial architecture flourished during the era of King Rama V. Mayrai Bar turned one of the historic buildings into a place where people could come and enjoy selections of quality natural wine and Chef Ton’s more edgy dishes.


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           The interior of Mayrai Bar is basked in a red light filter and it gives an almost sensuous vibe, not dissimilar to a scene in Wong Kar-wai’s movie, “In the Mood for Love”. If you haven’t watch Wong Kar-wai’s movie then this is your opportunity to do so, there’s a strong resemblance in the decor and atmosphere. 


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             Chef Ton is no stranger on the culinary accolades circuit, he earned his first star in 2018, Le Du was ranked No.14 in Asia’s 50 Best restaurants 2018 and in the year 2019 at No. 20. His has always been inspired by his grandmother’s cooking so he went to the States where he pursued his dream on becoming a chef and graduated from The Culinary Institute of America with the highest scores in his class. 

            Compare to Le Du and Baan [บ้าน] (another establishment under Chef Ton’s expanding empire), we could say that Mayrai Bar is the cheapest joint under Chef Ton’s jacket. Well, Pad Thai Mayrai, one of his signature dishes costs only 79 THB NET and Chef Ton uses only local and organic ingredient, so, comparitively the price is very fair.


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          A lesser-known dish which the curious foodies will appreciate is the Khao Soi [ข้าวซอย]. Khao Soi is a Northern native dish. You will find it in the form a noodle curry soup, with either could chicken, beef or mutton. Chef Ton is passionate about recreating local Thai dishes, with an acute amount of creativity, and this one is no exception. 


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          Remember when we mentioned local ingredients? Thai “Wagyu” is one of the main ingredients in this Khao Soi concoction which utterly make your mouth water. The curry soup is deeply flavourful, the aroma of the turmeric and fingerroot emanate from the hot stone mortar to which it is served. What truly makes this Khao Soi special are two things; the degree of coconut milk, a perfect balance without oiliness, a common practise that other restaurants tend to over-do. Secondly, and the not-so-secret ingredient is the rich and thick bone marrow which is cooked within the soup.  

          Even though this bar has quite a selection of natural wine from Australia, New Zealand, South America, for wine lovers to enjoy and pair with the noodles, but you should also try — at least just once —  Mayrai Bar’s Ya-Dong [ยาดอง]. Ya-Dong is a Thai elixir, contains herbs and botanicals. It can be also be used for medicinal use.

          What so unique about Mayrai bar’s Ya-Dong? Well, this potion isn’t hard to consume as common Ya-Dongs compared to your typical Ya-Dong stalls on Bangkok’s streets with snakes and creatures fermenting inside. This Ya-Dong is rather sweet and aromatic, filled with ginseng which you can detect without sipping it, plus other 11 herbs and botanicals. Believe it or not, the recipe is certified by the Chinese Medicine Association of Thailand!


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            Another factoid you may not know about our Chef is that he’s actually a trained sommelier. After graduation, Chef Ton worked at many Michelin-starred restaurants in New York City, including Eleven Madison Park, The Modern, and Jean Georges, where he developed his passion for wine and received the Certified Sommelier recognition from the most prestigious organization, the Court of Master Sommelier during his time in New York City.   

            When asked why did he open this bar, he just simply replied, “I just want people to enjoy quality Thai food at a reasonable price. ” He continued, “Well, many Thais have a bad perception of Thai food that it is cheap and plain. In Japan, comfort food there has value because chefs and cooks there using only quality ingredients and respect the art of cooking. I want Thai food to have this value, this is why I opened this bar.”


Mayrai [เมรัย] Bar
22 Maha Rat Rd, Phra Borom Maha Ratchawang,
Khet Phra Nakhon, Bangkok, Thailand 10200

Tel: 081 432 4050
Email: mayraibkk@gmail.com

Author: Wariya I.

Wariya has a strong passion for cocktails, and you may have met her several times but she likes to keep it casual and low-profile. She also likes to enjoy quality tea, especially Japanese green tea.


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