After garnering acclaim from their previous work at Bangkok’s Two-Star Michelin, Mezzaluna, identical twin chefs Mathias and Thomas Sühring set out to showcase their German heritage in their new hometown of Bangkok, Thailand. We sat down with the twins to find out how they used their unique vision of mixing countries and cultures to bring their concept of a modern German dining experience to life.
Restaurant Sühring sits in a glass garden villa in the heart of the city with a surrounding garden inspired by the twins’ childhood memories of cooking at their grandparent’s farm in Germany. The modern German fare utilizes traditional techniques of baking, pickling, and smoking, and the house also serves as their home. A place where they can host all their guests to partake in Gemütlichkeit, loosely translated as german for coziness.
What got you both started in the restaurant business?
Our passion for food developed at an early age. As kids, we always went to our grandparent’s farm during school breaks, and there we learned old-school cooking techniques like fermentation, pickling, smoking, drying, and curing.
What inspired you to become business partners? How do you handle working with family?
As twins, we always had a deep connection with each other, and we started working in the same kitchen at a very early age. After running the same kitchen in one of Bangkok’s finest restaurants, it was very natural for us to open our business together.
How far back does the black/white shirt go back, and how did it start?
It started with Restaurant Sühring two years ago. Although most days we are wearing different colours, we both have some white and black jackets, so it does happen that some days we are wearing the same colours!
Opening Sühring — How did you come up with the idea and how long did it take from concept to reality?
Opening our own restaurant was always a dream, just like other chefs and restaurateurs. It did take us a couple of years to find the location we wanted. The concept came very naturally as we wanted to go back to our own roots and showcase German cuisine in a different way.
How did your partnership with Chef Gaggan Anand happen, and how have you mutually developed from it?
We worked with Gaggan in the same hotel when we first arrived in Thailand. Very quickly, we created a bond and became more than just colleagues. Gaggan then left the hotel, but we always stayed in contact. When we were looking for partners, he was the first one we could think of, and it took only a five-minute conversation before the magic happened.
What kind of data do you rely on to prepare for service and business in general?
It is imperative for us to keep track of our guest’s preferences, likes, or dislikes. We also archive all of our menus so that we can give returning guests a different experience than the last time they came.
Is the clientele tourists or locals? And how do you make sure the guest experience is at its highest?
The clientele has changed from the first to the second year. We’ve gone from 90% locals and expats to only 50% as more diners and foodies from Asia are making reservations. Guest experience and satisfaction is our highest priority. To achieve it, we ensure all our guests receive the same level of care throughout their experience with us.
In what way has the opening of Sühring affected you as chefs and people?
As chefs, opening our own restaurant made us find our identity and personality. As people, it is a dream come true.
Describe your relationship with the city of Bangkok. Why did you choose to work in Bangkok?
We were invited to Bangkok 10 years ago to run a restaurant in one of the city’s most luxurious hotels. We fell in love with Thailand and settled in the capital. When it came to opening our restaurant, it could not be any other city in the world.
How did you handle introducing a twist on a new culture into the Thai gourmet scene? What were your primary concerns in doing so?
We wanted to have a concept that was not yet introduced in Thailand or South-East Asia. One that would give us an identity. We knew it was a risk, and we did not know how customers would react to this novelty, but we were glad to have those customers, Thais, and expats, who really loved our food and they would come again and again.