Pioneer of top-quality takeout

For those wanting a varied fine-dining experience, Athenee's 'To Go Menu' lets you taste dishes from the many restaurants on its premises

Southern Thai-style crab curry with rice vermicelli and deep-fried softshell crab.

Ever since Thailand's first lockdown in April 2020, The Athenee hotel has been Bangkok's pioneer in top-quality takeouts.

Up until today, it is one of the very few 5-star hotels in the city to always remain operational, although it is mostly serving long-stay residents.

Thus, kitchen crews at its outlets are always ready to provide great service. Regular customers of Athenee know they can rely on a full range of dishes from their favourite restaurant whenever they want to do a takeaway.

There is a fine selection of dim sum and seafood delicacies from The Silk Road Cantonese restaurant, a myriad of international cuisines and light bites from Rain Tree Cafe, and pastries, cakes and desserts from The Bakery, to name just a few.

However, the hotel has also created a special "Athenee To Go" menu for new customers. It's an accumulation of best-selling dishes from The Allium Bangkok, The Silk Road, The House of Smooth Curry, Rain Tree Cafe, and the newest addition, Kintsugi Bangkok by Jeff Ramsey.

The dishes in this menu are not only popular but also retain fine-dining quality even when consumed at home.

The sour and spicy saeng wa salad with grilled river prawn.

Delivery service is offered by third-party service providers. If you want to pick up the order yourself, you can do so in the hotel lobby or at the drop-off point.

It's a Thursday afternoon and I arrive home with two large paper bags from the Athenee, only a 10 minutes' drive from my house.

In them were a lobster burger set (730 baht); southern Thai-style curry with crabmeat and betel leaves (630 baht); palace-style sour and spicy prawn salad (480 baht); unagi donburi rice bowl (850 baht); honey-glazed barbecued roast pork (390 baht); and a Hokkaido-style burnt cheesecake (170 baht).

The lobster burger was from The Allium, the hotel's European haute cuisine restaurant launched in mid-2019. The large and luxurious burger featured a cake-like crab patty with sauteed mushrooms, steamed lobster claw and a generous garnishing of caviar on a brioche bun. Accompanying the burger were three pieces of mac-and-cheese croquette with dipping sauce.

Below The Allium's lobster burger with mac-and-cheese croquette.

The yellow-hued crab curry, aka gaeng pu bai cha-phlu, is a creation of The House of Smooth Curry Thai restaurant as is the multi-coloured prawn salad or seang wa goong.

The aromatic and peppery curry, to be eaten with rice vermicelli, built its impressively thick consistency from top-grade crabmeat and chopped betel leaves. Both the crabmeat and medicinal leaves gave the dish a naturally sweet and supple taste. Providing a crunchy complement to the creamy curry was a deep-fried softshell crab that came on the side.

Bottom Unagi donburi with kobayaki-styled glazed grilled eel from Kintsugi by Jeff Ramsey.

Frankly, I did not expect much from the saeng wa salad. Any yum (Thai-style salad) dish should be eaten within minutes after preparation otherwise the dish becomes soggy and loses its flavour.

But The House of Smooth Curry's rendition, showcasing a grilled large river prawn with fresh herbs and lime dressing, stood the test of time.

The prawn, which came underneath a spread of fresh lemongrass, ginger, shallots, red chillies and Malabar spinach buds, was well-cooked, firm and full of flavour. A pleasingly pungent lime dressing was provided on the side for the diner to mix in and the salad was given an extra crumbly feel through a helping of deep-fried minced fish meat.

The Silk Road is one of my favourite Chinese restaurants in Bangkok. I treasure its exquisitely crafted dim sum as much as I like the Cantonese fresh fish maw soup, Peking duck and several wok-fried dishes.

But for take-home pleasure, I was recommended the char-grilled and honeyed BBQ pork. The red-glazed pork offered a succulent texture and flavoursome taste complemented by blanched green asparagus and vinegared soy sauce dipping.

From the progressive Japanese restaurant Kintsugi by Jeff Ramsey, my order was rather classic though sumptuous. It was a rice bowl topped with two fatty filets of kobayaki-styled eel glazed with teriyaki sauce and grilled over a charcoal flame. The dish was indeed delicious and value for money.

The Hokkaido-style burnt cheesecake.

The dessert was also from Kintsugi and a silkier, lighter and, perhaps, sweeter version of the widely popular Basque burnt cheesecake.

The Athenee's To Go Menu is available online at Home delivery, as well as self-pickup service, is offered daily from 11.30am-8pm. For more information or to place your order, call the Athenee Bangkok at 02-650-8800 or Line: @theatheneehotel.

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