New brunch offers a relaxed and indulgent approach to wining & dining
It’s easy to shudder at the thought of hotel buffets. I check into a hotel for privacy because I don’t want to be mixing with the grubby public, let alone joining them for bacon and eggs in the morning. And don’t even get me started on what happens if a stranger gets their coffee before me. I’m forced to question loudly and emphatically “WHERE’S MY COFFEE?” I’m just too important for that to happen.
Le Méridien Bangkok understands this. That’s why their new La Dolce Vita Lifestyle Buffet, available in their first-floor Latest Recipe signature restaurant, encourages guests to stay longer and indulge—free from time-constraints and customer hassle.
I’m told that the launch of this new buffet concept is to demonstrate how the Le Méridien brand places great importance on the celebration of cultures and cuisines. With a “distinctly European spirit” that is expressed as La Dolce Vita, the popular Italian phrase meaning “the good life” or “enjoying pleasure and indulgence”. The brunch offering is available throughout lunch (B900/person), dinner (B1,100/person), and as a Sunday brunch (B1,700/person). Each timing actively encourages guests to eat, drink and, to put it frankly, wallow in excess.
A series of chef stations dot the dining room floor with an army of chefs cooking meals to order. So often buffets are the dumping ground for odd bits and leftovers, but here, the concept is raised to something higher, with fresh ingredients across an international and eclectic mix of cuisines. Best of all, there’s no standing in line, elbow-to-elbow with other hotel guests, fighting over the last pain au chocolat. You can either order from your table or take a walk around the stations, peering into frying pans, observing pastry boards, and inspecting the worldly ingredients. Then, leave a peg with your table number and the order will be prepared and delivered within a few minutes directly to you.
There’s a make your own salad corner; freshly-baked wood-fire pizzas and bulging calzones; a fresh seafood counter with an impressive display of mussels, clams, oysters, blue crab, baby octopus and banana prawns; and a pasta station with made in-house pasta varieties cooked fresh to order. I ordered a porcini and Parmigiano risotto, then collected some salmon sashimi on my way back to the table. It wasn’t long before I returned for a scallop tartar topped—I’m not ashamed to admit—with several crab legs each thick with meat, plus a sticky mango ice cream with all the trimmings (whipped cream, mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, and a caramel macaroon).
Along with free-flow plonk and specialty coffee, there is a bubbly free-flow package too, offering guests Bollinger champagne in a package priced at B2,355 per person (Sundays only). So, when a glass of champagne is offered to me, I graciously accept. And then, it’s back to surveying the stations for maybe a confit duck leg or a chocolate éclair but definitely more ice cream.
1F, Le Méridien Bangkok, 40/5, Surawong Rd.
Open daily: Mon-Sat, 12pm-2:30pm, 6:30pm-9:30pm, Sun, 12:30pm-4:30pm
Tel: 02 232 8888
By David J. Constable