Meet a gourmet grill man serving up steaks in a rich bachelor’s penthouse pad
The Penthouse Bar and Grill
Picture a dashing half-Thai, half-British bachelor in his mid-30s, who lives in a stunning penthouse apartment in downtown Sukhumvit decorated with eclectic artefacts he has collected from his world travels. He’s also an avid vintage motorcycle fan who loves to explore the world and invite his friends over for relaxed drinks and dinner, with spectacular city views through full-length windows from the 34th floor.
At The Penthouse Bar and Grill, in the recently opened Park Hyatt Bangkok hotel—located in the luxury Central Embassy mall—customers are provided with an experience to make it seem as though this aforementioned “fictional” character actually exists. In turn, the design concept here is out of this world stunning. The restaurant space, cocktail bar, and what has to be the coolest looking whisky room in the city, create their own world, and the effect is dizzyingly wonderful.
Playing the lead role in the kitchens in this restaurant narrative, and dictating how the menu is received by its audience of lunch and dinner diners, Chef de Cuisine Andrew Dickie. The Canadian-British cook trained in iconic restaurants like celebrity-favourites Nobu and Sketch in London, before moving into hospitality and hotel restaurants. In real life, it is Chef Andrew who is the globetrotter and his career has taken him to some of the top restaurants in Europe, North America, North Africa, the Middle East, and the South Pacific, before landing him in Southeast Asia in 2017.
The Grill features an open grill kitchen where steaks and other meaty morsels sizzle succulently. The menu also features glorious seafood dishes such as Canadian lobster. For Chef Andrew the focus is on putting quality meats on the grill.
“I’m really product-driven,” he states. “I believe in good steak, cooked well. We’re not trying to catch onto the next trend and you won’t see any foams here. There’s nothing wrong with these techniques, but only the best places can use them properly. What you see is what you get at The Grill and I think with so many restaurant choices there’s something appealing about the simplicity of creating amazing flame-grilled flavours with great charcoal cooking.”
In the evening, the steak menu is extended, whilst the lunch menu serves up more salads, pastas, and burgers. The atmosphere too is more laid-back during the day. With a two-course set lunch for under B1,000, as well as a three-course lunch, and à la carte option as well, The Grill is absolutely a foodie-must for the corporate business-lunch crowd close to Ploen Chit. It is already gathering a word-of-mouth reputation for offering good quality, well priced menus. As Chef Andrew points out, the grill formula just works.
“This style of cuisine is timeless and it’s never going to go out of style,” he adds. “Good steak and grilled meats are always going to be popular. I stick within this grill concept, but I do add in some touches from my travels, such as sumac spice to create extra flavour or my own interpretation of a Stroganoff, using Wagyu beef cheeks.”
What has to be applauded is that unlike so many restaurants in Bangkok, The Grill is not trying to masquerade as fine-dining. The burgers are good, but they do not contain flecks of edible gold and are not topped with caviar. The toasted bun and homemade patty are tasty though, and whilst you can order duck fat fried potato wedges as a side, even mid-end eateries of this calibre should be making their own fries.
The Grill can hold its own in the Bangkok dining scene, and as a hotel restaurant is in a high-class league, according to Chef Andrew.
“Back in the day, hotel restaurants were often viewed negatively but today, especially in Bangkok, these restaurants are the top dining brands and are pulling in the customers. For me, running a place like The Grill at such a dynamic hotel as the Park Hyatt means I’m involved in so much more than cooking.”
The onion soup with caramelized onions and Comte cheese is hearty rather than sophisticated; perhaps revealing even our imaginary bachelor enjoys a bowl of comfort food from time to time. It may be rare to critique the crockery, especially when the portions are perfect, but the small bowls and bread plates are not as showy as the décor and design flair of The Grill and perhaps could do with being given a style makeover.
The three-course set lunch includes dessert, one of which is a creamy lemon tart with a caramelized top and fresh blueberries. Not too indulgently decadent, the sweet dish balances with the rest of the menu, leaving diners feeling sated without feeling overly stuffed.
A steak connoisseur, Chef Andrew’s advice to customers who rarely stray beyond the softness of Wagyu is, “don’t be afraid to chew! Texture is good! Personally, I love a juicy, well-seasoned ribeye, grilled medium-rare, with a green salad and a good glass of red!”
Interview by Nadia Willan