It’s Haute: How The Sühring Chefs Made German Food Fashionable

Two Michelin stars and seventh place on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list later, Thomas and Mathias—owners and chefs at Sühring in Bangkok—are not looking back.

Published On Aug 11, 2022 | Updated On Mar 07, 2024


On a roller coaster trip to Bengaluru, the ‘Sühring Twins’—owners and chefs at the two-Michelin star restaurant Sühring in Thailand—didn’t forget to talk about the sheer versatility in the various cuisines of India, and how it would take multiple trips for them to just understand it. This is not their first time in India. They've had pop-ups before, one in Mumbai and another in Delhi.

It's difficult to not gloat here a little; after all, German food is essentially known to be 'boring' with not much beyond potatoes, sausages, and more potatoes. And the sauerkraut of course.

“While being surrounded by culinary destinations such as Italy, Spain, and France, it’s not unnatural for people to think our food to be boring,” Mathias (one of the Sühring twins) says. 

German food is anything but plain, culturally speaking. Their cuisine reflects the effect of war, extreme weather conditions, availability of resources, cultural and culinary influences from other countries, rediscovering their identity, and more.

Therefore, from a time when the Germans thickened their sauces with bread (because of the sheer shortage of cream) to a generation where chefs such as the Sühring brothers are dishing out delicate flavours such as a duck that is aged for a week and smoked in hay and presented in such a way that it could almost be a painting—it’s about time we end the joke on the potatoes and beer.  


So, if you do manage to find your way to this vintage bungalow in Chongnonsi, Yannawa in Bangkok, you’ll be walking into a space surrounded by plants, warmth, and intimacy. The restaurant is designed to make you feel at home; you could be sitting in a living room or eating at what would have been a dining space. It is the experience that brings people back time and again. “For us, it was important for people to feel it from their first visit. When we started, and to start German food in Thailand, people might have thought ‘oh these guys are stupid’, we were taking a chance, but Thailand is a cosmopolitan country. People from all over the world live here and visit. And they want to experience new cuisines and can be experimental,” says Thomas, adding that nearly 60-70 per cent of their customers are local Thai people. 

It’s not entirely surprising. The menu at Sühring is anything but predictable. They’ve got wild cod, delicious tenderloin, blue swimmer crabs, and herring and duck liver on the menu. And vegetables (yes, the Germans do have those too). From white asparagus and spinach to mushrooms—the Sühring menu is an orchestra of flavours and innovation. It therefore comes as no surprise that they are occupy the seventh spot on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list.


“We wanted to bring back to life food that we remember from our childhood, from our grandmother’s farm when we used to visit. Having said that, it’s not a ‘copy paste’ job. We have been deeply influenced by the various processes and techniques the family adopted. And we have used ingredients that we used to really enjoy. But the dish per se, is what we have created. You can say it is presenting German food as we knew it from our perspective,” the two explain.

It’s the same story when they travel to other countries and eat at other restaurants. “We find inspiration in different things; we might find a cooking technique that we don’t use and try to see if it can be. But we don’t take ideas from one place and use it as ours,” they say.

What they do however is source locally to a large extent. “Thailand has changed over past 14 years. We definitely source locally because these produces are available here. Unless we want something such as black truffles or white asparagus, which we then import. But now farms are also focusing on ingredients that might have traditionally gone into western cooking. I would say 70 per cent of what we use in our kitchen is locally sourced,” the twins explain. 

Thomas and Mathias Sühring have been in Thailand for nearly 17 years. Ironically, they used to cook Italian food, both of them, at the Mezzaluna restaurant in Hotel Lebua in Bangkok. And they excelled at that too! After seven years of Italian food, the brothers decided that they had had enough with that and decided to look closer to home. And so in 2016, they put their minds together and founded Sühring—a visually tempting restaurant, tucked away in a lane in Bangkok, with a delightfully appetising German menu.


Their strategy worked, albeit the fact that while they were putting their restaurant together, they went broke, and were not quite sure how to take things forward. “But we had no alternative plan. For us it was either Plan A or nothing,” they say.

It was then that Gaggan Anand—another award-winning chef, and friend and colleague—came through. Anand gave them the support they needed to fuel their project to its finishing line. Plus the twins had an excellent track record, having worked with some of the most skilled chefs in Europe—from Sven Elverfeld in Aqua to Heinz Beck in Rome’s La Pergola.

The stars aligned for the twins and within a year of being open, Sühring won its first Michelin. And then the next! Today, this approximately six-year-old restaurant continues to hold on to its two Michelin stars. The twins work together, think together and execute together. “It’s how we work,” they say with pride.

The Sühring Ttwins were in India as part of the Masters of Marriott Bonvoy and Culinary Culture pop-up held at The Ritz Carlton Bengaluru. 

Photo: RItz Carlton