Healthy weekend buffet satisfies the heart & mind
Buffet dinners often conjure up images of overflowing heaps of decadent menu items—from fatty foie gras, to marbled slabs of beef and heart-stopping (literally) hunks of blue cheese and camembert. And while your tastebuds might now be tingling, remember that healthier dining options can be just as flavourful. With this in mind, it’s worth noting that the recently opened Novotel Bangkok Sukhumvit 20 hotel is now hosting healthy weekend dinner buffets at Food Exchange, their 200-seat, 7th floor restaurant.
The concept here is relatively simple. Every Friday and Saturday from 6pm till 10:30pm, just B999 net per person gets you access to an all-you-can-eat buffet full of healthy dining options. The selections include both Thai and international favourites, while the juicing station supplies diners with a free-flow of healthy fruit smoothies and juices. And while some might bemoan the fact that there’s no red meat on offer, there’s plenty of delicious alternatives to make up for that absence.
The restaurant itself is spacious, airy, and well-lit, with blonde wood walls and partitions, Danish-modern chairs, neutrals and grey tones in the floor tiling, and a few splashes of deep blue in the cushioned upholstery of the rounded group table booths. But it’s the food that ultimately commands one’s attention, and two live-cooking kitchen kiosks are the true centrepieces of the restaurant’s interior. In the aptly named “Japanese corner” the selection of colourful sushi and sashimi is a powerful magnet—several trips were made—but I also found myself drawn to the selection of Middle Eastern treats, including couscous, hummous, falafel, chicken kofta, and pita bread. I also scooped up a healthy dollop of the tangy guacamole, adding a Mexican touch to my increasingly international plate.
Both of the restaurant’s kitchen kiosks also offer chef prepared items, which are then delivered to your table. I made a point of sampling the Indonesian Gado Gado salad (steamed vegetables and hard-boiled eggs, with fried tofu, tempeh, bean sprouts, and a yummy peanut sauce dressing) as it’s not often you find this on a Bangkok menu. Other made-to-order items include stir-frys, noodle soups, paellas, and pastas— although I’m still puzzled as to how the deliciously creamy carbonara qualifies as a “fit” food.
But the carbonara isn’t the only guilty pleasure available, as a cheesy chicken lasagna, a bechamel-heavy moussaka, and an never ending steam of (mainly vegetarian) pizzas are also on offer. There’s even some delectable desserts to choose from, including a divine mango yoghurt ice cream, and the all-time Thai classic mango with sticky rice. Finally, a well chosen selection of red and white wines are available by the glass (B280-340), or you can accompany your meal with signature cocktails, or imported premium beers. After all, you can be healthy but still have a bit of fun, right?
Novotel Bangkok Sukhumvit
19/9, Soi Sukhumvit 20
Tel: 02 009 4999
Open daily: 11:30am-11pm