Since our last visit, The Conrad’s Café@2 has taken on a ‘French Brasserie’ theme. However, its lunch buffet still offers a smorgasboard of world cuisines, with enough variety to keep most gluttons happy. Curving commandingly around the atrium above the lobby, this spacious blonde wood diner boasts a good range of home-style hot French – a cauliflower au gratin and ratatouille, to name just two highlights – all of them made fresh by the French-Thai team led by chef de cuisine Nicholas Reynard. But swoop around Café@2’s food islands, like an eagle circling its prey, and you’ll discover more than just a heavy Gallic leaning –from other hot fare such as chicken tajines and chick pea curries to a spotless sushi and sashimi bar, vibrant/exotic salads, cold cuts, fresh crusty breads and solid Thai fare. The latter is the biggest surprise, with salads, such as the yum pla chon (snakehead fish salad), boasting spice levels that have been turned up to 11. Other nooks boast other treats, from goat cheeses to marinated vegetables and hunks of roast beef nestling under heat lamps. If you the antipasti and pre-prepared fare doesn’t appeal, you can also go à la minute with pastas, noodles and grilled seafood and meats. Or wobble over to the Peking duck stand, alongside which sits a vat containing one of the smoothest tomato basil soups in town. As for that denouement (final act) of any spread, dessert, things go a little French again as far as Café@2’s are concerned, with a preponderance of opera cakes, gateauxs, cheesecakes, macaroons, mousses and fruit tarts in addition to a smattering of traditional Thai desserts. A crepe and ice cream stand is also notable, mostly for its sumptuous, melt-in-your-mouth strawberry sorbet. All in all, while some dishes impress more than others, this is a blow-out worth skipping your breakfast for.
The Conrad Bangkok
87 Wireless Road | 02-690-9999 | BTS Chidlom (then cab) | double check buffet timings for lunch and dinner | Lunch B790++