Given its long reception counter with a waterfall wall behind it, you may have mistaken Great Harbour, formerly known as CP-Hilai Harbour, for a posh hotel upon arrival. It actually is an international buffet restaurant on the sixth floor of Iconsiam on Charoen Nakhon Road.
I arrived there on a weekday at noon and there was already a small group of diners waiting for the indulgent lunch. Within the vast space of this double-volume restaurant with 400 seats, you have several settings to choose from, depending on the size of your company and your mood.
If you would like to converse conveniently over a meal, obviously opt for a circular booth. If you want a bit more privacy, opt for a booth behind a waterfall wall, while those who prefer a relaxing vibe can opt for easy chairs and sofas. There are also two sizeable rooms, which can be closed off for a private event.
Living up to its name, you can expect a vast selection of seafood at Great Harbour on top of various cuisines from both sides of the hemispheres. It boasts 100 dishes on offer and, while I didn't count, you're very likely to be spoilt for choice. Also, you do need a proper walk-around to familiarise yourself with the various live cooking stations and counters. Definitely a first-world problem.
Stop by the Chinese station for the likes of Peking Duck and dim sum. Teppanyaki and pizza share the same station. Get a succulent slice of German pork knuckle or queue up at the Japanese station for ikura gunkan, salmon nigiri topped with tobiko or Wagyu nigiri whose blanket of beef completely covers the seasoned rice.
Speaking of Wagyu, the prized beef also stars as sliders for you to sink your teeth into and is also featured in guay tiew for savoury slurps. Speaking of savoury, Buddha Jumps Over the Wall is perhaps the most surprising offering of all since you don't usually expect the famous Fujian soup to be included in a buffet line. It's basically several Chinese delicacies and herbs that you can enjoy along with tender pork ribs in one bowl. Fans of river prawns should try them baked with cheese, dressed in truffle sauce or baked with butter and garlic.
River prawns baked with cheese, dressed in truffle sauce and baked with butter and garlic.
You can get all the aforementioned dishes and more at the basic price tier of B1,099++ per person (B550++ per child), however, Great Harbour launched a higher tier called "First Class Buffet" in April for those who wish to indulge in even more decadent dishes. For B2,599++ per person, you'll have access to 17 more special dishes made with prized ingredients sourced from around the globe.
Seared Hokkaido scallops with corn purée.
For something savoury, sweet and Instaworthy, try Seared Hokkaido scallops with corn purée. The bivalve was plump and juicy with a slightly crusty exterior like it should be. A Canadian crustacean meets mozzarella cheese for a delectable duet in Lobster Thermidor. Peta, please don't @ me but Seared foie gras with chestnut purée and vin chaud sauce looks as good as it tastes. The dish is presented like a minimal artwork on a plate with three pistachios between a slab of foie gras dressed in mulled wine on one side and a sizeable and sweet dollop of chestnut on the other. While lamb has its unique aroma, it became almost undetectable in Grilled Lamb chop with black garlic rosemary sauce. Can't get enough of meat? Australian Wagyu filet steak with foie gras is a decadent duo that is enhanced with truffle sauce.
Australian Wagyu filet steak with foie gras.
Sashimi stans, you can indulge in a deluxe raw set featuring melt-in-your-mouth fatty chutoro, firm and buttery hamachi, juicy Norwegian salmon, hokkigai (surf clam) and more. Sushi stans (and those who can't stand raw fish), anago eel (saltwater cousin to unagi) nigiri should please your palate with its length and the savoury sauce it's covered in. Or opt for a Japanese rice bowl (don) topped with foie gras and uni for a fusion flavour.
Steamed snow fish with minced pork and fermented black bean.
The top-tier buffet also comes with Chinese delicacies such as Abalone in oyster sauce served with a deep-fried mini bun, Stir-fried lobster with salted egg lava and Steamed snow fish with minced pork and fermented black bean. Last, but by no means, least, are Thai flavours from the likes of Spicy lobster salad and aromatic and savoury Stir-fried spicy seabass with fingerroot.
Spicy lobster salad.
Great Harbour definitely offers a big finale for top-tier diners with offerings like Baked Alaska flambe, Fruity berry panna cotta served à la mode with lemon sorbet and Sticky date pudding with toffee sauce, almond tuile and vanilla Häagen-Dazs ice cream. These are on top of a dedicated station of various cakes and sweets that you can help yourself to.
If you look to indulge in an epicurean meal, Great Harbour is a good option, given its vast selection of quality food on offer. Albeit, it comes with a price tag to match. It opens daily from noon to 2.30pm for lunchtime and 5-9pm for dinnertime. Visit fb.com/GreatHarbour.