Sorn led by superstar chef Supaksorn “Ice” Jongsiri has made its debut at the prestigious World’s 50 Best Restaurant 2022 at No. 39, making it the first Thai cuisine restaurant on the list. We speak to Chef Ice, known for his ‘gems on crab stick’, to find out more about this win.
Sorn: The First Thai Cuisine Restaurant at the World’s 50 Best Restaurants
For the first time in history Sorn, a southern Thai cuisine restaurant debuts as the first Thai cuisine restaurant to make it to the World’s list at No. 39. Previously, only Gaggan has placed on the World’s list, but the cuisine served has only been Indian fine dining. The southern Thai restaurant only uses ingredients found in the south of Thailand, which distinctive cuisine is known for their seafood and curries.
“We are delighted, but not surprised, to see Sorn make its debut on the list of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2022, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, following its ranking as No.2 in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants earlier in the year. Chef Ice’s Southern Thai cuisine is authentic, beautifully executed and truly delicious and Sorn is a fantastic representative for Thai hospitality on the global stage.”— William Drew, Director of Content for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
Sorn is known for its elaborate menu that showcases ingredients from the south of Thailand, with lobsters and crab coming from Phuket and Surat Thani. In addition to that, each dish is meticulously crafted to highlight the flavours that are distinctively southern Thai, such as the vegetal rice dish known as the khao jam.
“I only realised on event itself when I was told “you do realise you’re the first Thai restaurant that made it to the World’s list” and I was so excited. How I feel now is that Thai food usually uses Thai ingredients, but actually at Sorn, we only use southern Thai ingredients. We are so happy that it paid off, so its proof that Thai food, cooking and ingredients are worth world recognition.” — Supaksorn “Ice” Jongsiri, Chef-Owner of Sorn.
Chef Ice is known to cook from the heart, interpreting dishes that he grew up with, including sauces that are distinct to the south such as the fermented fish sauce budu and the different styles of curries.
“However, I don’t want people to think that I only think that southern cuisine is the best and that’s what got us into the list, its actually not, it’s just that we got there first. There is a lot to offer from Thailand and Thai cuisine. There royal cuisine, central cuisine, northern cuisine, Isaan cuisine, all Thai chefs are using them more and more, it’s all about Thai food, not just by region. Our ingredients come from a land that can grow anything, were surrounded by oceans so we have a lot to offer.”
Known best for this gem on crab stick, the dish sees giant blue swimmer crab forelegs covered in a yellow curry and topped with a generous amount of crab tomalley, a stunning dish that has seen many iterations.
“My philosophy is you got to remember what you’re cooking for, just go back in time, and think of the first time you cook, when it was not for fame or money, not accolades, you cook for love. You cook for someone you love, when I think about when I cook for my grandma and family, and not for money, I just want to see people I love happy. So, it took a long time ago, but I still always remember the feeling, all that dedication, not for any wow factor, just cooking.”
Sorn is a prime example of the great provision of ingredients by the Thai landscape and terroir, which is know to produce one of the highest quality of ingredients in South East Asia, which is evident in the curries created.
“I actually like my curries, but the few signature dishes are the khao yam and the crab stick but the thing is even when we change the menu, its already at its 50th or 100th version, the signatures may look the same but we are constantly trying to perfect it. People come back all the time and tell me it tastes better and better each time, I think it comes from my OCD, there is no perfect for me. But personally, my favourite would be the curries because I love it when its freshly pounded, freshly scraped coconut, it’s just incredible.”
Sorn continues to celebrate not only southern Thai cuisine, but the cuisine as Thailand as a whole. We can’t wait to see what their next menu entails.
For our previous Instagram review, See Sorn Review.
For our thoughts on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, see Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.
For our thoughts on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, see The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
For all 50 Best related content, see 50 Best.
| PHOTOGRAPHY: 50 BEST & NICHOLAS NG | SORN |