When I used to eat cooked food, I used to love Thai food, so I was a little worried I would slip up going to Thailand after becoming raw.
I was in for quite a surprise, as in the middle of all the fried foods on the streets and the general craziness of Bangkok, I found a hidden gem – the best 100% raw restaurant I’ve been to so far!
Rasayana retreat – raw restaurant and the only place worth eating at in Bangkok
Located just 10-15 min from Phrom Phong sky train station (by foot), Rasayana is a stop you will not want to miss on your trip to Bangkok, even if you aren’t raw or vegetarian. The food here is just incredible, I’ve been to quite a few raw places in Europe and Asia, and this one stood out for me as the founder was trained in the United States and you can really tell that from the dishes.
The menu was really big compared to most raw food restaurants; there was a large selection of soups, salads, small dishes, mains and desserts.
Having only 4 nights in Bangkok this time round, I was determined to try as much as possible on the menu. If you are short on time, my recommendation would be to not go for the salads or soups as you can have that anywhere.
What I would recommend eating at Rasayana, Bangkok:
- Live pizza
- Mushroom marinara pizza (same base as the live pizza, but with really yummy dehydrated mushrooms)
- Mushroom burger
What I would not recommend eating if you’re short on time:
- Sun burger (it’s not actually a burger, it’s a blob of almonds in a cabbage leaf – very dry)
We also had the pleasure of trying some of the incredible raw chocolates they have in the cafe, as well as meeting the beautiful raw chocolatier behind them – Anna Suvorova. Some advice: try the “chocolate silk” and the “oompa-loompas” – they’re just spectacular!!
Try the strawberry cheesecake too, you will be surprised at the dense texture, and the fact that it has no sweeteners besides dates!
*Update* – Anna has moved on, so I have no idea what kind of chocolates they have there now.
Where to find raw food in Siam shopping area
Siam is a long street of huge shopping malls, so if you’re in Bangkok you will probably end up there at some point.
In Siam Paragon, in the food area, there is a cafe called Dressed where you can basically make your own salad. There are many options available (probably around 30 vegetables, 10 different nuts and dried fruit and over 15 kinds of dressings). For those who are more flexible, you can also make your own wraps or sandwiches.
There is only one other restaurant we tried in Siam Paragon, it was called Kloset cafe. They had no vegetarian salads but we asked them to take out the meat in the Japanese salad and put carrots instead. The reason why I mention this place is because the ingredients were fresh and it came with a wasabi dressing which was very yummy.
Other restaurants that support raw food in Bangkok
There is a tiny vegetarian restaurant on 175 Samsen Road called Tham Na Home Restaurant. We ended up there by accident (don’t trust the drivers here, if they look hesitant then there is a good chance they don’t know where they’re going) but they turned out to have really tasty salads there. I would recommend the sesame dressing, although I don’t know exactly what’s in it as the guys there speak no English whatsoever, but at least it’s a vegetarian place so Im sure it wasn’t fish sauce. What I really liked were the lotus roots in their salad, it’s not a taste we are used to in the west, but the texture is really quite fun (I’m honestly not sure if they cook that to make it soft or if they marinate it).
What about breakfast?
I don’t know about you, but I am not a fan of salads for breakfast. A nice bowl of fruit is the perfect way to start the day, and thankfully, Bangkok is a great place for a fruity breakfast!
The capital city is filled with street markets, big and small. Don’t worry about buying fruit from them, generally fruit are safe to eat since most things will come with the skin on, and you can peel it yourself when you get home. The quality of the fruit is amazing, and much cheaper than in supermarkets.
You will want to get to the Thai markets early (between 5:30am to 7:00am) as that is when you will get local prices, and have a bigger choice of food. Don’t be surprised if they don’t want to serve you so early though as they don’t want to sell you fruit so cheap, but if you persist then they will give in.
In December, Thailand has plenty of great jackfruit, rambutan, durian and dragon fruit. Bananas were a little harder to find, but we did manage to get a few nice bunches of the tiniest kind, those are nice and sweet.
If you walk around you will surely find a food market close to your hotel (just ask the concierge). We stayed on Lang Luang road, and there is a great little market on that same street, just East of the Phadung Krung Kasem river, close to the Paris Theatre.
Rasayana may seem like it’s far from the centre, but its totally worth it, plus the sky train is really fast and a much more efficient way to travel around Bangkok. We travelled there everyday, and only occasionally ate at Siam Paragon when we were shopping.
A little advice – be careful with drivers in Bangkok, there is a big chance they won’t know where a particular restaurant is, so when they ask you “what is it, is it a restaurant?” don’t say something like “yes it’s a vegetarian”. We did that on our first night and got taken to a vegetarian restaurant – the only one the guy knew. After that we mostly used them to get to a particular train station.
Also, watch out for their sauces if you’re eating in a non-vegetarian place. It’s not uncommon for them to serve you fish sauce with your meal if you ask for it to be “vegetarian”, so you should double check things, or carry a piece of paper with some Thai words written on them (or even pictures). Better yet, stick with what you know – olive oil, soya or Tabasco.