BY ASHMIA SETHI
Mahanakhon Bangkok SkyBar takes haute cuisine to new heights.
Ask any Bangkokian if they’re familiar with King Power Mahanakhon and most will be able to tell you a few quick facts, that one: it’s the city’s tallest building, and two: that it’s home to a pretty awesome observation deck complete with a glass floor. However, if tourist attractions aren’t enough, and you’re looking for more reasons to visit the towering landmark, look no further than Mahanakhon Bangkok SkyBar, the city’s highest fine-dining destination.
Nestled on the 76th and 77th floors, the sprawling establishment boasts an indoor dining room fitted with a marble bar and intimate VIP lounge seating; a picturesque terrace area framed by lots of greenery; and a breezy al fresco smoking area. Additionally, as the sweeping panoramas are a major pull, all the seats have been arranged so that every diner can take in spectacular views of the skyline through towering floor-to-ceiling windows.
The interior décor is the innovation of celebrated French architect Tristan Auer of Wilson Associates, who added warmth to the lofty eatery with leather furnishings, dark mahogany features, and accents of copper and gold. Even more notable, however, are the antiques sourced from all corners of the globe, including a stand-out bull’s head sculpture, stuffed parrots, and old books, all of which add ample personality to the upscale venue.
Hokkaido uni panna cotta
Sea bream crudo
48-hour Australian short ribs
As the restaurant’s interiors centre on the theme of world travel, it’s no surprise that the menu features an impressive mix of both Asian and Western specialties. Each delicacy has been carefully thought up by Executive Chef Joshua Cameron who has held positions in some of the world’s most famous establishments, including the Michelin-starred Eleven Madison Park in New York. He is supported by an impressive team, all of whom play their own part in bringing the unique menu to life.
My meal began on a high note with a selection of innovative appetisers. First, the Sea bream crudo (THB 700), featuring refreshing layers of cured Japanese sea bream, zesty lemon gel and tomato water foam. Once served, a vibrant green garlic oil is poured tableside to add an extra depth of flavour to the delicate dish. Next, was the chef’s signature Hokkaido uni panna cotta (THB 900), which was undoubtedly my favourite plate of the evening thanks to its luxurious combination of silky uni (sea urchin), bursts of umami flavour from the ikura, and a yuzu ponzu that balances out the complex flavours.
Moving onto mains, the menu offers two varieties: mains that can be enjoyed solo, and mains from the charcoal grill and oven that are best to share. From the former, we sampled the Larb ped (THB 600) that deconstructs the much-loved Thai salad. The modern variation features cuts of juicy grilled duck breast, crunchy rice chips, and a tangy salad of mint leaves, onions and spices.
For Western varieties that meat-lovers will savour, the Mahanakhon burger (THB 600) comes with a succulent beef patty topped with melted Bordier Truffle Gouda cheese and a side of expertly seasoned fries. Or, opt for the tender 48-hour Australian short ribs (THB 1,200) served with subtly spiced couscous, and eggplant and grapes for some refreshing sweetness.
Looking for an exciting main to share? The Stuffed whole free range chicken (THB 1,400) is more than enough for two. The signature dish is served at the table in a cast iron pot. Once the lid is removed, the whole chicken is unveiled amidst a dramatic puff of smoke. Every mouthful of the juicy chicken was delicious, as the flavours of the stuffing, made from herbaceous mushrooms, black garlic, and brioche crumbs, had become infused in the meat during the roasting process.
To add some extra bite, I recommend ordering side dishes to accompany your meal, such as the roasted Whole cauliflower (THB 240) that is injected with flavours of caper, hazelnut, and raisins for an unexpected surprise; and Carrots (THB 220) seasoned with vadouvan and sumac for a hint of spice.
Kaffir lime cheescake
To end the meal, pick one of the refreshing Sorbets (THB 110) to cleanse your palate, or treat yourself to something more indulgent with the Chocolate tart (THB 300), comprising of a rich mousse and coffee ganache served alongside a chocolate sorbet. However, my must order from the ‘Sweets’ menu is the kaffir lime cheesecake (THB 350). An exquisite testament to the diverse fruits of Asia. it combines flavors of kaffir lime, dragon fruit, passionfruit and mangosteen, while the accompanying mango sorbet adds a zingy punch.
If you’re looking to visit the SkyBar for a tipple or two, prepare to be spoilt for choice. The restaurant offers a wine list with over 100 bottles; delicious mocktails like the refreshing St. Tropez (THB 290), made with watermelon, passionfruit and a touch of vanilla; and classic cocktails like the timeless Aperol spritz (THB 480). Additionally, an exclusive menu of pre-dinner, after-dinner, and to-share cocktails curated by world-renowned mixologists, the Sorum brothers, is also available. It features inventive concoctions like Green-grapes, where vodka is combined with prosecco, and then topped with elder flower, green grapes and a lemon sorbet, and White chocolate / yuzu that has robust flavours of Valrhona Ivoire chocolate, tequila, yuzu and aromatic vanilla beans.