A must-visit if you’ve got a predilection for plenty.
By Shruti Kothari
I’ll be honest, I’m rarely a fan of buffets, for a few reasons: you can’t ask to have any of the offerings customized, the sheer quantities of food in containers is off-putting, it looks and often tastes stale, the presentation is sloppy, largely because others have taken from the same vat, and of course, there’s a lot of food wastage. This is why I was stunned by Goji Kitchen & Bar, Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park. It offers a stunning variety – with none of the downsides.
As you enter, you see a fully-stocked bar, followed by a cornucopia of cheeses and desserts, promising a sweet end right from the start. The space is vast, and regularly hosts around 700 people for lunch; this is the reason they are able to maintain an immense array. The most striking thing is the lack of silver buffet containers. There are a few, each with burners to keep small batches of food piping hot, but for the most part it looks like an open kitchen, with chefs preparing exactly what you want, exactly how you want it, right in front of you. The plates you receive are dainty; the small portions give you the room to pick your own food adventure, without generating waste. I found each chef to be warm and accommodating; especially as a vegetarian, which greatly increased my comfort level.
FOOD AND DRINK:
While you can order à la carte, to immerse yourself in the aesthetic of abundance, choose a drinks package from fruit juices and soft drinks, beer, or free-flow alcohol depending on the occasion. If you have the time and inclination, the latter includes delicious classic cocktails like the Margarita or fusion twists like the Thai mojito for a bit more local flair.
I recommend starting with a salad; not just for your health, but because you can choose your favourite toppings and then have it tossed for you in a perfect mix of vegetables, seeds, cheese, croutons, and tangy dressing.
Follow this with light bites, like handmade Chinese steamed buns and sushi, all made with premium ingredients. My favourite starters included the Jelly mushroom salad, which had a mélange of flavours and textures, and the Som tam from a street-style stall made to my specifications.
I thoroughly enjoyed the flaky Garlic naan with creamy Kali daal, which was hearty and flavourful. I switched back to Thai cuisine for a moreish Tom kha soup, an explosion of piquancy which cut through the rich coconut milk. The local fare here packs local-level heat, so specify if you are going a milder route! I had a savoury Chinese vegetable stir fry next, which helped cool the fire.
Don’t overlook the pasta station as being too generic; each of their sauces is what you’d expect from a top-notch restaurant, and each plate is made to order. Their Pesto, Kee mao, and Alfredo al funghi were delightful. For those who enjoy meat and seafood, Goji Kitchen + Bar specialises in South American Parrilla-grilled meats and ocean-fresh seafood. Their spicy green chilli seafood sauce was a thrilling accompaniment to the ice-cold Blue crab and Blue mussel.
Leave room for dessert, as there is enough to constitute a meal of its own. Don’t miss the Signature young coconut cake, which is fluffy and rich all at once. In contrast, the Chocolate cake is dark and fudgey; save it for the last bite. I particularly enjoyed the Strawberry pudding, and the Salted caramel cream puff for an airy, melt-in-your-mouth treat. The cherry on top was the homemade ice cream bar; I went for Chocolate, and covered it in nuts, crumble, fresh cream and a caramel drizzle, and I don’t think I could have chosen better.
The classic Spaghetti pomodoro. When an eatery can turn a simple dish into a spectacular experience, you know they’ve got skill and use high-quality ingredients. This basic pasta was the unanimous table favourite, the umami tomatoes and al dente spaghetti delivering a mouthwatering experience that actually has us ordering more of the same – unheard of in buffet culture!
EMBRACING THE NEW NORMAL
To prioritize health and safety, guests will no longer be able to serve themselves from the buffet line until further notice. Instead, attentive staff donning the appropriate PPE are more than happy to do the serving for you as food stations now have clear acrylic dividers between chefs and patrons. Furthermore, all tables and chairs are thoroughly cleaned once vacated, and utensils are provided to guests in a sterilized ‘cutlery pack’ for convenience. Guests can also rest assured that the choice of food continues to be just as vast as before!
Goji Kitchen & Bar
Ground floor, Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park
199 Soi Sukhumvit 22, Khlong Toey, Bangkok 10110
Time: Open daily from 6.30am to 9.30pm
Tel: 02 059 5555
Price: THB 968++ for breakfast buffet and weekday lunch buffet; THB 1,498++ for Saturday brunch and dinner buffet (Sunday to Thursday); THB 2,128++ for Sunday brunch and dinner buffet (Friday and Saturday). Add-on beverage
packages are available. Prices listed are per person.