Looking for the perfect pour?
By Ashima Sethi
In a bid to diversify Bangkok’s culinary scene, Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit has established the city’s first contemporary Belgian restaurant, Belga Rooftop Bar & Brasserie, in the sleek, expansive space that once housed L’Appart.
The restaurant’s interior is a testament to its casual brasserie spirit, with dark wood furnishings complete with maroon leather, marble table finishes and warmly-lit copper light fixtures. Moreover, the walls are brought to life thanks to a variety of colourful murals, including one that features characters from The Adventures of Tintin, the much-loved comic book series penned by Belgian cartoonist, Hergé.
However, it is the red brick kitchen that truly ties the entire space together. The openplan concept allows patrons to experience culinary theatre led by celebrated Chef Nicolas Basset. There couldn’t be a better arrangement, as you can see the chefs conjure up all kinds of mouthwatering delicacies with flair.
And if you need another reason to fall in love with Belga, simply make your way out onto the panoramic terrace 32 floors up. It is the perfect setting to enjoy sundowners, light bites and unparalleled views over Bangkok.
Belga offers the best of Belgian cuisine by elevating the nation’s signature dishes using quality imported ingredients and Chef Nico’s distinct culinary approaches. We began with Salade liégoise (B290 for small, B480 for large), an appetiser of crunchy lettuce, juicy bacon and flavourful roasted potatoes, tossed in a zesty vinaigrette. Another staple starter is breadcrumbed croquettes, which come with either Grey shrimp (B350) or Cheese (B290) fillings. These crunchy and creamy bite-sized rolls are the epitome of comfort food, best enjoyed with a smoky mayonnaise dip.
A Belgian meal is not complete without Moules and frites, also known as mussels and fries, the country’s national dish. At Belga, you can opt for classic variations like Moules Hoegaarden (B590 for small, B1,090 for large), where the shellfish are prepared in white beer and cream to highlight their naturally briny flavour, or you can explore more fusion fare with Moules tom yum (B590 for small, B1,090 for large). Whichever you pick, you will receive an enticing side of crispy fries and a personalised batch of mayonnaise prepared tableside by the Maître Mayonnaise, Khun Min.
Also well-known for their meat-centric creations, you must order the traditional Carbonnade à la flammande (B790) which is given a modern makeover. Here, the beef is braised in dark stout beer, alongside savoury cuts of pancetta and smoky mustard. Served with a hearty portion of root mash, the creamy side perfectly complements the succulent meat’s rich flavour. Waterzooi (B650) is another regional delicacy, although Belga’s version comprises of a tender slow-cooked chicken breast accompanied by seasoned root vegetables and mushrooms, topped with a creamy white wine sauce. A well-balanced dish that even the most discerning of diners will relish.
For dessert, you cannot go wrong with Belgian chocolate, which is the star of Dame blanche (B260 for small, B390 for large) an indulgent creation made of luscious vanilla ice cream and delicate Chantilly drizzled over with a rich warm chocolate sauce. For something lighter, Bruxelles waffle (B290) is a perfect choice, coated with powdered sugar, and best enjoyed with a spoonful of whipped cream and the same decadent cocoa sauce. It is simply divine!
Beer aficionados can choose from a list of over 40 varieties, including Vedett IPA (B300) and La Chouffe (B390). There are also four beers on tap that aren’t available anywhere else in Thailand, such as De Koninck (B250) and Duvel (B300). If you aren’t sure of which to enjoy, ask the restaurant’s Master of Beer & Ceremony Peter Laird, to assist you in finding the perfect brew or curating a selection of five Belgian beers, should you wish to sample a range.
Not a beer drinker? Worry not, as the menu also features non-alcoholic refreshments, imported wines and innovative signature cocktails like Frenchtini (B320), a fruity concoction of pineapple and raspberry juice, Smirnoff vodka and Ricard — a liquorice-flavoured aperitif. However, if you prefer something stronger, definitely opt for Desarae (B320), which combines Evan William Black Bourbon with a rich coffee liqueur, topped off with a dash of sweet coconut syrup. A fitting choice for an after-dinner indulgence.
BELGA ROOFTOP BAR & BRASSERIE
32nd floor, Sofitel Bangkok Sukhumvit
189 Sukhumvit Road Soi 13-15, Klongtoey Nua Wattana, 10110
Open daily from 5pm to 1am
Tel: 02 126 9999