Time to play it cool.
By Tom McLean
Having opened last year, the Carlton Hotel Bangkok Sukhumvit’s Cooling Tower is the newest arrival to the Bangkok rooftop bar scene. Balancing suave, contemporary charms and jaw-dropping views with a laid-back atmosphere, the establishment stands out from the crowd with its exceptional hospitality and expertly-prepared fare.
Walking through the elevator doors upon arrival at the 34th floor, we were pleasantly surprised with how spacious and airy the venue is. With a copper, charcoal, and dark marble palette, the space is effortlessly cool and confident in its urbane identity. Style and luxury come together intuitively, with coloured lighting that changes according to the evening’s theme and desired atmosphere. Large, eight-seater tables, comfortable sofas, and barstools ensure there are seating options to fit every customer; from larger gatherings, to solo revellers in need of a sundown pick-me-up. Insightfully-designed spacing guarantees every guest is treated to astounding views of the city, allowing for that perfect, eventide selfie and serving as the ideal accompaniment to Cooling Tower’s eclectic cuisine.
FOOD AND DRINK
The bar boasts a variety of delectable and authentically prepared international dishes. Kicking off the meal, the cutlery came to us sealed in sterilised, individual packets – a comforting reminder of the kitchen’s dedication to safety and hygiene. We then opted for a selection of their signature dishes, starting with Nacho (THB 240) served with a zesty red jalapeño and tomato salsa, guacamole, and sharp cheddar cheese; and the Devil wing (THB 260), a bold take on classic chicken wings. Coated in a piquant and fruity tom yum chilli syrup, unique touches made this dish a serious cut above the usual bar snack.
Our appetites whetted, we moved onto their Deep-fried calamari (THB 320), which was elevated to new heights by a homemade, avocado tartar sauce; and the Lechon kawali (THB 360), a crispy, carnivorous delight with generous pieces of pork crackling served alongside tangy, tarragon mustard and pickled radish.
Next up came a cavalcade of mouth-watering skewers from their Mediterranean-inspired Spiedo menu. First, we tried the tender Octopus tentacle (THB 290), a spectacle of umami flavour served with roasted garlic aioli; followed by the primal Australia beef flank (THB 290) with a Spanish-inspired Salsa verde; and the tasty Chermoula chicken (THB 190) which came with a peppery and rich harissa sauce.
On the vegetarian side of things, the Verdura (THB 190) skewer, with grilled zucchini, eggplant, lady finger, eryngii mushroom, asparagus, and harissa sauce was a showcase of satisfying textures and savoury goodness. We combined that with their homemade Roman-style pizza Primavera (THB 260), which balanced creamy mozzarella with salty olive tapenade and parmesan shavings.
As the sun began to set, we moved onto their specially-curated drinks menu. Each of their signature cocktails have been individually created to tell a story or set a mood, making for a memorable tipple. We started off with their Golden hour (THB 350) cocktail, which uses a glass jar filled with wood smoke to subtly flavour and reveal the golden-orange, vodka, and Campari-based beverage within, emulating the rise and fall of the sun. We then sampled the ocean-like Pearl azur (THB 350) which blends plum-infused vodka with blue curacao and comes with a shell filled with plum-jelly ‘caviar’.
Following that, their Star chaser (THB 350) had the essence of a Southeast Asian margarita, featuring pineapple-infused tequila, Himalayan pink salt, and chilli flakes. Finally, we settled down with the Ethernal cosmos (THB 390) which matches spiced rum with aromatic bitters, before being capped off with cherries soaked in brandy. Each of the cocktails was an unforgettable treat, and, like their other drinks, came with complimentary copper bowls filled with specially-seasoned, and incredibly moreish, popcorn.
The Mussels and fries (THB 390) cooked in Chardon sauce. This classic French dish was an absolute delight. Paired with the intoxicating sights of the 6pm sunset and the resident DJ’s easy-going beats, the combination made for a magical moment that will keep us coming back again and again.
34th floor, Carlton Hotel Bangkok Sukhumvit,
491 Sukhumvit Road, Klongtoey Nua,
Wattana, Bangkok 10110
Time: Open Wednesdays to Sundays, from 5pm to 12am
Tel: 02 090 7888