Pass the mad rush of Chinese tourists, up 76 floors in the smoothest elevator ride and out into a beautiful tunnel. Through the tunnel and into an elegant space with breathtaking views of Bangkok.
- Mahanakhon Bangkok SkyBar
- King Power Mahanakhon
- 114 Narathiwat Road, Silom, Bang Rak (BTS Chong Nonsi, Exit 3)
- Call 02-677-8722
- Visit mahanakhonbangkokskybar.com
- Open daily 5pm-1am
- Last food order at 11pm
- Last drink order at midnight
- All credit cards accepted
- Parking at the Mahanakhon Square
Thailand’s highest restaurant Mahanakhon Bangkok SkyBar was designed by French interior designer Tristan Auer of Paris’ Wilson Associates. The concept is an eclectic travel experience combining French and Thai components. Authentic French antique books, a bull’s head sculpture, stuffed tropical birds fill the indoor area, which includes VIP areas and an “escape lounge”. Two outdoor seating areas complete the space, which is designed for romantic dinners, a large group of friends or business meetings.
Sit at any table and the curves of the Chao Phraya River and all of Bangkok and beyond are visible through the floor to ceiling windows. The views are so spectacular that even the bathrooms are privy to it. (Do take a minute to look down — at the eggshell tables, which were popular in the 50s in France, and are handmade to represent a starry night).
Beyond the views and cosy restaurant is American executive chef Joshua Cameron’s menu, which draws inspiration from his travels through Europe and Asia. The menu is much like the restaurant it is served in — a marriage between French elegance and Thai culture. A mix of casual and fine dining, Cameron says: “We are trying to hit different levels. You can come in for the common burger or if you want something a bit more refined you can go for the foie gras and uni.”
His signature dish, the Hokkaido uni panna cotta (900 baht) is the star(ter) of the show. Combining Japanese elements with French techniques, luscious uni is paired with ikura and served with a yuzu ponzu to cut the richness that the sea urchin brings. The dish captures the essence of the ocean with its subtle flavours.
Banana blossom salad with local tiger prawns and micro coriander is another starter worth ordering, merely because it’s not a dish that is often found on menus. Yum hua plee (650 baht) is served in its traditional version with not too much of a spin on it. The foie gras (650 baht) is a starter that will cater to your fancy taste buds and uses Périgord foie gras in a terrine served with caramelised onions and grilled sourdough, with a side of pork crackling “crumble” for texture.
The sea bream crudo (700 baht) is the prettiest dish on the menu. Japanese sea bream is dyed in beetroot juice and cured. Under the fish is a lemon gel, zest and herbs, and is served with tomato water foam and garnished with aromatic flowers. A green garlic oil is poured over tableside to give it that herbaceous yet zingy taste. I would have preferred the marigold petals were not added to the dish as it gives it a rather strong bitter aftertaste.
The menu also consists of bar snacks should you just want sundowners and finger food. I ordered the poutine (220 baht) as it is a dish that is extremely hard to find in Bangkok. Inspired by the go-to bar snack of Canada, it is served in Cameron’s style with twice-fried hand-cut chips with a 21-month aged Comte and gravy, with a sprinkle of salted coriander. No cheese curds, though.
Mains are a good mix of surf and turf and my favourite was the whole grilled squid (650 baht), which was brushed with miso and a lemon yuzu gel. This dish is what good cooking is all about — highlighting local products in the simplest, tastiest way. The squid was firm and had that lovely chew, a sign that it is cooked to perfection.
The signature main course is stuffed whole free range chicken (1,400 baht) and serves two. The stuffing is made with duxelles, black garlic, miso, butter and brioche breadcrumbs that are piped under the skin and massaged over the organic chicken. As it roasts, all the flavours of the stuffing bastes the breasts, infusing flavour into the bird. Once the skin is crisped to a golden colour, the chicken is smoked with hay. It is presented tableside in the smoked hay, carved in the kitchen and brought back to the table with each plate consisting of a breast and a leg. Served with a two-day reduction of the essence of chicken jus, the bird is moist and delicious.
The Australian Wagyu rib-eye (950 baht for 250g) is grilled and doused in brown butter and served with a tamarind nahm jim, which at first may seem rather unusual but does go well with the slab of beef. The menu also consists of sides that can be ordered to complete your main course.
Whole cauliflower (240 baht) is a bit of a surprise and what appears at the table looks like it has just been plain roasted. But within its head are four injected flavourful purées — raisin, hazelnut, capers and garlic. As you cut into the vegetable, each bit contains a wonderful little bite. Don’t miss out on the carrots (150 baht), which are sprinkled with vadouvan and grilled in the charcoal oven that imports a smokey flavour. Served with labneh, the Middle Eastern soft cheese, and sumac, which imparts a tartness to compliment the sweetness of the baby carrots, the side goes well with the rib-eye.
If you’re more of a sea fan, go for the Andaman Sea bass (1,600 baht), which serves three. Served with a nahm jim emulsion and lemongrass, the fish is served whole.
There may not be as much of a choice when it comes to desserts, but they will satisfy your sweet tooth. Chocolate tart (300 baht) is chocolate mousse served in a tart shell, with the bottom and top layer being a chocolate coffee ganache. The tart comes with three gels — coffee, milk and cappuccino — and is served with a chocolate sorbet. The chocoholic in me was rather pleased as the dessert captures the richness of chocolate and coffee.
If cheesecake is your thing, the kaffir lime cheesecake (350 baht) will not disappoint. Striking bold colours hit the eye. This dessert pays homage to Cameron’s time in Asia and “being excited about all the fruit”.
“These are fruits I don’t get back home and I need all of them in one dessert,” he said. The base is classic Graham cracker, with a kaffir lime base and topped with a gelée of purple dragon fruit for the burst of colour. It is served with yuzu and passion fruit gels, fresh mangosteen for freshness (because cheesecake can be heavy) and a mango sorbet to even out the richness.
It is not hard to see why Mahanakhon Bangkok SkyBar is the”it” place in town. An elegant restaurant, which is not overly intimidating; casual yet a little fine, it achieves the balance of accommodating everyone. As Cameron says: “We are not trying to pigeonhole ourselves into one category.”
BY: Nianne-Lynn Hendricks, Bangkok Post
POSTED: August 9,