You’ll be left in love with an uptown grill.
By Aiden Jewelle Gonzales
Epicureans look out, CHAR Restaurant has a license to grill and they’re not afraid to use it! Perched on the 25th floor of Hotel Indigo Bangkok Wireless Road, the restaurant, with its stunning panoramic views of the urban jungle’s juxtaposition of concrete and greenery; soundtrack of old-time hits designed to entice if not seduce; and luxe but relaxed atmosphere; is the perfect after-work haunt to decompress with friends or impress a date. Opened as an homage to its sister restaurant in China, in Hotel Indigo Shanghai, CHAR offers contemporary grill options, from juicy steaks to fresh and premium seafood options; as well as signature dishes.
While I’d been to CHAR Restaurant before, walking into the space never fails to take my breath away. To the right, a mural of jazz artists and celebrities from Hollywood’s Golden Age catches your eye, while all around, the cityscape lies just beyond your feet. Sophisticated shades of grey, brown and cream create a soothing palate that ensconces you in luxury, while by the windows, intimate nooks for couples have been curated by artful dividers that give the appearance of privacy without compromising on the money maker; the spectacular view. It’s easy to see it as a haven for Bangkok’s glitterati and gourmets looking for the next big thing in Bangkok’s food scene, and I recommend you visit just before sunset so you can enjoy it during golden hour.
FOOD AND DRINK
Chef Jaime Rojas is an affable and charming character, one who’s clearly enthused about bringing his creativity and experience to the dishes at CHAR Restaurant. Born in Mexico but with a wealth of knowledge borne out of his peripatetic journey that’s brought him to kitchens across 17 countries, he combines Mexico’s love of bold flavours with spices and ingredients from around the world.
We started with the Panzanella salad (THB 550), a refreshing classic from Tuscany comprised of succulent tomatoes, Italian bread, and in this case, a silky-smooth helping of burrata to offset the piquancy of the vinaigrette. Appetites whetted, we moved on to the mains, starting with the CHAR-grilled broccoli & cauliflower (THB 550). A vegetarian dish that I can’t recommend enough, the bitterness from the charred vegetables was only elevated by the Jordanian spices, adding depth to their flavour and perfectly complementing the selection of delicious Lebanese dips spanning hummus, muhammara, and tzatziki. Puffed rice added an extra and surprising element of crunch to a deceptively simple dish.
Next, we tucked into the delectable Grilled jerk chicken (THB 800), made with a Jamaican spice marinade. Each bite is a toothsome delight, while miso pineapple and pickled red onions add extra zest to the dish.
For the meat lovers, trying out their much-lauded steaks is a must, and I suggest you splurge out on their Meat deluxe (THB 2,500) platter, which serves 2-3 people. Comprised of three different cuts of premium beef, we enjoyed a selection of Australian Wagyu tenderloin (220g), Angus 150-day grain-fed rib eye (220g), and Australian Wagyu flank steak (220g). I’m no meat connoisseur, but even I could tell that the cuts were tender and grilled to perfection. While the tenderloin is considered a premium cut, and it certainly lived up to its reputation, I found the rib eye to be especially juicy, particularly because of the fat that gives it flavour. The platter was served with pink salt and black volcanic salt from Hawaii, both of which packed a punch, as well as two different sauces and two sides; a true extravagance from start to finish.
Make sure to pair it with their side of buttery Mashed potatoes (THB 250), whose consistency was like velvet, and which we could have eaten as an entire meal – probably one of the best iterations of this classic dish that I’ve had in this city.
Finally, for dessert we were treated to their Lemon bars (THB 500), comprised of lemon curd, raspberry sorbet, and almond crumble and torched meringue for texture, which cut through the indulgent meal that we’d just had. A perfect ending to a truly spectacular experience.
While CHAR Bar on the floor above serves a selection of cocktails, mocktails, wines, and other spirits, the restaurant also has a range of drinks to choose from. Their Wireless passion (THB 220), made with pineapple, passion fruit, pandan syrup, egg whites, and black pepper, is a taste of the tropics in a glass; while they’ll also make mocktails on request such as their refreshing Pink me up drink that they’d concocted on the spot and was refreshing in the extreme.
The Caribbean jumbo crab cake (THB 700), which was indescribably good and extremely moreish, especially with the addition of their chili aioli. Beautifully plated and replete with edible flowers, make sure to have each bite with the mango salsa and radish salad provided, for an orchestra of flavours in your mouth that you won’t be able to get enough of.
25th floor, Hotel Indigo Bangkok Wireless Road 81 Wireless Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
Open Mondays to Sundays from 6pm to 10.30pm
Tel: 02 207 4999
Facebook and Instagram: @Charbangkok