Park Hyatt flexes its muscles
The new kid on the block quickly moves to the top of the Sunday brunch buffet scene
When it comes to weekend lunch buffets, most brunch hunters in Bangkok look for culinary extravagance.
But there's also a good number of keen epicures who revel in a small homely feast that's rather subtle than sizeable.
For the latter, one of the city's best bets is offered by Park Hyatt Bangkok.
Its Sunday Brunch at the Embassy Room, launched a few months ago, combines gourmet meal quintessence with buffet-styled generosity.
Under the helm of the hotel's American executive chef Christian Hinckley, the affair showcases the finest of Asian and Western cuisines with a selection of dishes being well thought out and nicely presented.
Guests can help themselves at buffet stations, set in the pantry zone, where a repertoire of salad, appetisers and chilled seafood are displayed.
Seafood on ice here was some of the best offerings a Sunday buffet could offer. Of it, Alaskan king crab legs, Canadian lobster, tiger prawns and Atlantic oysters exhibited their fresh, firm and meaty quality with genuine sweet taste, almost needless of condiments.
Hokkaido scallop risotto with truffle cream and shimeji mushroom.
The appetisers and salad came in Italian, Thai and creatively contemporary styles.
Among items on offer on the day that I visited were smoked salmon with horseradish cream in crispy wafer cones; beetroot and candied lemon cream cheese in charcoal cones; green pea tartlet with Parma ham and pomegranate; spicy Thai-style grilled beef salad; and green mango with dried shrimp and caramelised fish sauce dipping.
In the pantry also awaited a variety of prime charcuterie and cheese (including 24-month-aged Comte, Brie de Meaux and Fourme d'Ambert), as well as freshly-baked pastries and desserts. The sweet treats here, the likes of nine-layered chocolate cake; mango and coconut mousse; soft-baked cookies with salted caramel; and chocolate marshmallow bark, proved delicious and praiseworthy.
More food is set at the live kitchen in the middle of the dining room.
There, a selection of warm dishes featured recipes such as Slone's porchetta, egg noodle soup with shrimp wonton; gaeng thepho (tamarind-based red curry with morning glory and pork belly); gaeng om Isan-styled chicken and herb soup; and sautéed softshell crab with black pepper sauce.
I also found there the most delicious pumpkin veloute I've ever had. My triple return to it should prove my point.
Grilled Ayutthaya river prawn with spicy mango salad.
For the upcoming Sunday, the line up will include beef Wellington.
To offer a more refined dining experience, there's a selection of hot dishes prepared a la minute to the guest's order.
Although the Embassy Room is not the first brunch venue in town to offer all-you-can-order a la carte menu, but it has impressively proved to be one of the very few best.
A total of 14 gourmet dishes, of which the selection changes weekly, are offered from the kitchen and the outdoor fire grill.
The Embassy Room's open kitchen, which takes centre stage of the restaurant, is manned by its French chef de cuisine Pierre Tavernier, an alumni of several Michelin-star establishments and resident of Bangkok since 2015.
Hokkaido scallop risotto and pan-seared Rougie foie gras are the two dishes the chef said are very popular and could not be removed from the menu.
Flame-grilled beef brisket with pumpkin mash and mini pickles.
Both dishes live up to their reputation.
A plump Japanese scallop, pan-seared to a slight brown crust, came on a hearty helping of al dente risotto prepared with truffle cream and shimeji mushrooms.
Tavernier's rendering of all-you-can-eat foie gras made those at other leading hotel buffets look sickly.
Served on celeriac purée with a brush of sangria reduction, which was perfect should you wish for a dressing that's not too sweet nor fruity, the duck liver was provided in a nice substantial piece, and showcasing a firm but silky character tightly encased in a crisp skin.
I could hardly resist going for the second round on miso black cod, another delicious dish from the menu.
A small fillet of cod, with its caramelised pan-seared exterior and rich white meat centre, was served with brown rice and bok choy, blanched in stock to offer a bracing mouthfeel yet retain the vegetable's genuine sweet taste.
A dish of spaghetti and tiger prawns sautéed Thai-style with green peppercorns and kaffir lime leaves that I also sampled was fine though not memorable.
Another a la minute item I really loved was the beef brisket, cooked over a charcoal flame at the outdoor grill station.
Served in a neat slice with pumpkin mash and mini pickles, the slightly seasoned beef presented just the right proportion of chewable meat and juicy fat. Thinking about it makes my mouth water.
Also from the grill were Australian lamb chop with chimichurri sauce and Ayutthaya river prawn with spicy mango salad -- both are permanent offerings.
The brunch buffet is priced at 2,700 baht per person including soft drinks; 4,000 baht per person with wines and curated beverages; and 5,100 baht per person inclusive of Champagne.
- Sunday Brunch at the Embassy Room
- Park Hyatt Bangkok, 9th floor
- Call 02-011-7430
- Open at noon on Sunday
- Park at the hotel’s car park
- Most credit cards accepted