Michelin starred restaurants are growing in numbers in Asia, and this is a good sign for us gourmands. In 2017, it was only Bangkok that was on the gourmet Michelin list. However, I can imagine how hard it must be to choose the restaurants for a Michelin rating in a city like Bangkok. It is Asia’s food mecca, with many fantastic restaurants, like Saneh Jaan at almost every step. Please enjoy our Saneh Jaan Review.
Not to mention new ones opening all the time. For this reason in 2019 the Michelin guide is titling 7 new restaurants, out of a total of 27 Michelin awarded restaurants in Bangkok. One of those 27 Michelin eateries happens to be Saneh Jaan with its traditional Thai cuisine. We tried their traditional recipes and here is our Saneh Jaan review.
Saneh Jaan is in busy Bangkok’s area near Lumpini Park, where is always something going on. A few traffic lights from the US embassy is Saneh Jaan restaurant. It is part of a big building named Glasshouse@Sindhorn, right behind the glass structures. When we opened the doors, a hostess welcomed us instantly. Only a few steps away, our table was ready in a big dining room with a lit dimmed ambiance.
A so-called moody ambiance induces a rather suave feel, which is ideal when it comes to fine dining. This idea is scientifically proven – people sit longer, feel more relaxed and yes, spend more in this type of environment. It is also perfect for a romantic getaway, but not so great for Ian’s photos.
On the bright walls are pinned many mirrors and photos from around Bangkok. Another light addition to the Saneh Jaan dining room are white orchid flowers. The place is very spacious with dark wooden tables where you won’t find a tablecloth. A modern setting for traditional Thai dishes – I am excited already!
In addition to the big dining room, they also have three separate spaces, where they serve smaller functions and a bar area. In the smaller rooms, there are big log tables made out of a single wood trunk and fashionable lighting. The modern style bar and lounge area connect everything.
Saneh Jaan Menu
Saneh Jaan is the right place for lovers of Thai cuisine, and by this, we mean the authentic traditional Thai dishes. The same as were served to a royal family back in the olden days. At Saneh Jaan you will find classics from southern and northern Thailand. All made with the finest local ingredients. With this in mind, for the appetizer, you can choose from a traditional sweet and sour crispy rice vermicelli with river prawn or the famous fried shrimp ball with sweet and sour sauce.
North and South
We could not skip over the great offer of spicy Thai salads or traditional Thai soups. They have a huge selection of northern and southern style curries as well. You can even try their free-range Tanaosri chicken with wild basil curry. We have already come across the traditional Thai desserts at the Erawan Tea Room and the Authors’ Lounge, and we wanted more. The tasting at Saneh Jaan could only enrich our experience of Thai sweets. Here they have some less known desserts and also classics like Khao Niew Si Nha, which is a form of sticky rice, a favorite in Thailand.
This traditional Thai fine dining with a contemporary twist is also possible to enjoy with business lunch sets or the so-called Saneh Jaan lunch sets. That is not an ordinary practice for the Michelin star restaurants, but it makes sense for Saneh Jaan. Considering the location, which is in the heart of Bangkok’s financial district. What could be better than having a tasty lunch break in the middle of a long workday?
The drink list here at Saneh Jaan is the same style as the food menu: extensive. They serve some classics and also some of their signature cocktails. Given the length of the drinks list, I don’t doubt that you will find something to your liking. If you don’t, then turn your focus to the spirits list and check out their abundant collections of whiskeys. The wine list has respectively good European coverage and some other country labels. Only note that a few of them are available by the glass.
I decided to go for a non-alcoholic drink this time, and the Mekhong Jaan Horm came highly recommended. This signature mocktail is exceptional – I dare say that it’s a must-try here at Saneh Jaan. The inspiration for this mocktail came from a Thai dessert known as Som Chun or fruit in syrup, in English. It was fruity and refreshing because of the citrus with surprising seasoning: caramelized garlic. Truly a pure delight to taste the intense characters even when the ice melted.
Saneh Jaan’s Michelin star is well-deserved for the successful mission of reviving ancient knowledge. The high-end standard consists of quality ingredients and recipes made for Thai royal cuisine. Despite our focus on the traditional dishes for this Saneh Jaan review, we had a taste of contemporary twists with the most pleasing mixed drink.
The amuse-bouche got our palate excited with the pork-shrimp ball and green curry sauce. The excitement wasn’t caused by the chili heat but rather by a tasty bite. It demonstrated to us that the food at Saneh Jaan is taken seriously!
Our appetizer plate consists of four bite-size parts. The first one was a crispy fried dumpling with soft minced chicken filling. The second crunchy bite was a rice cake with pork floss and curried fish. Usually, I’m not a pork floss fan, but this one was different, because it was not overpowering. Although, I liked the curried fish ball with pineapple next to it more.
The moist fish ball got a sweet juicy embrace from pineapple and coriander. A combination of sweet and salty flavors dominated the petite Thai crepe with shrimp and coconut. Pleasantly marinated coconut extended the crepe crunch and got kefir lime refreshment.
Chef’s Selection of Thai Appetizers
The Chef’s selection of Thai appetizers is another recommendation that we highly suggest you go for. It is eye candy on a golden three-layer stand, where each dish looks royally glamorous.
Gracefully presented at the bottom are steamed dumplings, all beautifully shaped and stuffed. The first one that I tried was the Chor Muang, or Thai flower dumpling. The purple flower colored by butterfly pea flowers and stuffed with fish was absolutely delicious! Another good one was the bird-shaped dumpling with a pleasantly sweet mix of shrimp and peanuts filling.
Thai Appetizers are Amazingly Delicious
The next bite had soft crab meat wrapped in an egg yolk net. Seasoned with garlic, pepper and coriander root or as they call the marinade “the three musketeers”. This egg yolk wrap was a salty snack where all the flavors blended well with one another. The last one on the bottom was a half-moon shaped dumpling. Stuffed with fish and refreshing raw coriander leaves.
Next was a crunchy deep-fried dumpling filled with juicy chicken and bamboo. The filling was slightly sweet but still very meaty. Crispy Thai crepe with coconut and sour plum punch was a good combination. However, the final one was a kefir lime fish ball, to which I added some fried garlic and plum sauce. Three tiny matching saucers had plum sauce, sweet and salty rose sauce and pickled cucumbers with peanuts. On top of the stand were vegetable condiments that went great with this Thai delicacy.
Soup of the Day
The daily soup for business lunch was a bitter melon soup with mushroom and pork. The strong stock indicates that this soup is meant to be eaten with the main dish. Despite that, I loved it on its own. Mainly because it is not too bitter and compact mushrooms fit well with the coriander. Inside the bitter melon is a pork ball, which keeps the meaty flavor. By no means can I understand how local people normally don’t finish their soups – the stock is the best part! That’s what makes the soup a soup, right?
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It’s a good thing I’ve gotten used to the chili heat by now. For that reason, I was eager to taste the green curry made with the traditional Thai recipe. To point out, all the curries at Saneh Jaan are made with traditional recipes. In order to respect the originality of the dishes sometimes the spiciness can’t be adjusted. With that being said, I must admit that it wasn’t as spicy as I expected it to be. The rich coconut sauce was well rounded, although it wasn’t very aromatic. I got it with roti and a bowl of wonderful steamed rice.
The fried rice with pork rinds and egg was Ian’s main dish. The first thing he liked was the rice itself: it was cooked to perfection and not too greasy. Ian especially liked the pickled shallots mixed with the rice and the bowl full of crunchy pork rinds served separately. From across the table, I noticed the beautiful food carving. Especially the cucumber, which was an edible work of art.
I kept an open mind about the sweets and the dessert of the day sounded spot on. Ian, on the other hand, is different. When it comes to food, he is not a fan of surprises, so here at Saneh Jaan, the coconut ice cream was his pick. He was blessed not only with mouthwatering ice cream but also the side desserts. Especially the jasmine infused rice, cooked in coconut milk: amazing!
My desserts were more adventurous with royal roots. It started with a pandan cube. A pleasant start of slightly jelly-like pastry with a mild pandan taste. Then there was a flower shaped Khanom Kleeb Lamduan. Lovely slightly smoky shortbread cookies.
The most unusual bite for me was the baked coconut custard pudding with caramelized onions on top. The History of this dessert dates back to the Ayutthaya kingdom and it’s known as Khanom Maw Kaeng. It was inspired by the Portuguese and unlike the western custard, it is made from egg whites, resulting in a lighter texture. The shallots are an interesting addition to the dough, which can be described as something between a very moist cake and flan.
I ended my Thai gourmet journey at Saneh Jaan with the owl shape candy. It miraculously melted away despite that it is mostly made of flour. The most notable thing was the aroma while the taste was just slightly sweet.
The Royal Thai cuisine bases itself first and foremost on the fresh ingredients, which is well-reflected in Saneh Jaan. In this establishment, they are willing to preserve tradition and serve it in a modern way. We admire that, and this is just one of the reasons why we recommend this fantastic Thai restaurant.
The last time we reviewed Thai classics at the Erawan Tea Room. Anyway, it is hard to say which dishes are better. I think both have some amazing bits and advantages. Well, Erawan has one amazing bonus – outstanding afternoon tea. On the other hand, Saneh Jaan is a bit more authentic… I think the best option is to visit both options ;).
Saneh Jaan Review Card
- ATMOSPHERE – 9.1/109.1/10
- SERVICE – 9.2/109.2/10
- PRESENTATION – 8.8/108.8/10
- FOOD – 9.5/109.5/10
- DRINKS – 9.3/109.3/10
- VALUE – 9.1/109.1/10
Price and Location
Here is a link to Saneh Jaan restaurant location, if you decide to try out Thai traditional treats. For two persons, a nice meal like ours will cost you about 140 USD.