Ahead for dining heights
You rack your brains year after year trying to decide on the perfect spot for your Christmas and New Year celebrations, you scour the dining guides for a hint of inspiration and you are still not sure, whether you are going to get the right balance of components to ring in the New Year with Sounds familiar? Read on
It is the perfect time of year for outdoor dining in Bangkok and if you are spending your Christmas and New Year in the city, then Banyan Tree Bangkok, has a myriad of festivities, to suit your wining and dining desires. One of their ultimate venues for sophisticated eats and drinks is located 62 storeys up, with 360 panoramic views to boot. Vertigo Restaurant & Moon Bar conspire to bring together all of the elements you need to dine in style under the stars, over the festive season.
Any time of year, the night sky and cityscape seen from Vertigo is a memorable affair, add in the New Year fireworks, being set off at will all over the city on New Year's Eve and you have something truly spectacular. It becomes an added bonus that the food and drinks menus offer up extraordinarily good choices, as the city lights twinkle and dance before you and majestic colours crackle and boom, across the black canvas of the horizon.
On any given day, although best to book in advance, you can stroll into the hotel, take an express elevator up to the restaurant floors and then mount the steps to Vertigo, for a luxury meal, complete with complimentary souvenir photograph to take home, cementing the experience into your archive of outstanding evenings. The 'regular' menu is made up of both a la carte and set tasting menu options, already devised for you, to take the quandary out of selecting what to eat. Having said that, there are a number of set menus to choose from too, with differing numbers of courses and compositions, under such names as 'Jupiter', 'Venus', 'Pandora, 'Vegetarian' and 'Mio Amore' (a 7-course lovers' set menu for two), all available with or withoutexpert wine pairing, except the vegetarian set, which has no preselected vino. Meat lovers will be ecstatic over the 'Carnivore Set' (4,500Baht, or 5,600Baht with wine), which sees the signature tataki of Wagyu beef, followed by foiegras, then a flame-grilled Black Angus rib-eye, and a fresh fig tart with goat cheese to round it all off.
Shifting focus to the a la carte menu, the breakdown is fairly simple: signature dishes, warm appetisers, salads, soups, vegetarian classics, seafood and meats - the dessert menu is separate and is handed to you later. Under the signature items, peruse the swordfish carpaccio, with chilli and young ginger (850Baht), as well as the lobster spring roll, with mango cinnamon chutney and crispy watercress (850Baht). The salad of Peruvian white asparagus, with poached free-range egg and truffle (750Baht) is a very light and delicate accompaniment to your seafood or meat mains. From their Fruits of the Sea selection, the snowfish (1,550Baht) is absolutely to die for, and easily the best to be found in Bangkok, in my humble opinion. Whatever fish you choose, it will come divinely grilled and presented with a lemon butter sauce, Chiangmai mountain baby potatoes and young haricot beans, as well as the assurance that the seafood emanates from sustainable sources, with a low carbon footprint.
As well as the meats on the main menu, with pan-roasted free-range chicken (1,350Baht), duck tagine (1,700Baht), massaman lamb shanks (2,200Baht), baby back ribs (1,500Baht) and the like, there is a whole separate world of steak on its own menu. Prices for the various cuts of prime beef peak at 4,500Baht, with a melt in the mouth succulent experience, cooked to your specification and not easily forgettable. At that price, you may not be cruising over every week for your red meat fix, but this is certainly something worth the expenditure, once in a while, if your pockets are not too shallow.
To kick the evening off with an aperitif or if you intend to linger at the Moon Bar for post-dinner drinks, then while you are in the mood for indulging, be sure to get their mixologist to whip you up the perfect cocktail, to fit your flight of fancy. While Vertigo opens from 6pm to 11pm, Moon Bar is already open at 5pm and continues on til 1am. This is all subject to whims of the weather, so do call ahead to confirm. Reservations and information can be obtained by dialling 02 679 1200.
Speaking of reservations, now is also the time to book your preferred spot for Christmas and New Year. Tables fill up fast and with a capacity of only 150 guests spread among the different dining tiers, it is no surprise to learn that avid Vertigo guests do book months in advance for their favourite, particularly the corner tables on each platform level.
Christmas is all about romance at Vertigo, as well as respite from the city hectic, and they invite you to savour a 5-course set dinner on both 24th and 25th December, at 4,900Baht, which does include a glass of bubbly. New Year's Eve is an even grander affair, set to the theatrical theme of a Venetian Carnival. With live performances including a band and a DJ, who begins at midnight until 2am, Vertigo's wish is for you to revel in a 7-course degustation menu and celebrate the arrival of 2013, as the sky lights up with celebratory colours and sounds. This exclusive rooftop carnival evening, not open for children under 12 years of age, begins at 8pm and will set you back 18,000Baht, inclusive of a welcome glass of Champagne. Admittedly, not suitable for everyone's budget, but if you have a head for heights and can afford to splurge, then definitely do!
BANYAN TREE BANGKOK
21/100 South Sathorn Road.
Tel. 02 679 1200
About the author
- Writer: Nikki Busuttil