Samba San comes to Bangkok
Virtually all of Bangkok’s major hotels have an all-day restaurant featuring a buffet. The Crowne Plaza Bangkok in the heart of the Silom business district is no exception. But the hotel’s version of this ubiquitous phenomenon far exceeds most of the competition: It has verve, elan and an imaginative array of food that puts it near the head of the class.
For starters, there are great views of the Royal Bangkok Sports Club and the surrounding city skyline from its floor to ceiling windows on the 23rd floor. The décor itself is several steps above the norm: soft lighting, lots of warm dark wood, an open kitchen and a smashing bar that fronts on the massive windows. In addition to the 200 regular seats, including a goodly number on an outside terrace, there is a small dining room where guests can enjoy dishes prepared specially for them by a personal chef.
Although the restaurant serves breakfast and lunch, it is the dinner buffet designed by Executive Chef Marco Turatti and his team that has tongues wagging. Affectionately named “Samba San,” the buffet (B1200, Sun-Thurs; B1800++, Fri-Sat) features Brazilian spirit and Japanese finesse – and lots of signature dishes from each cuisine. Start a la Japanese with sashimi or sushi, or go Brazilian and opt for the ceviche, seafood marinated with lime and a mix of cilantro, onion garlic and sugar.
Next up try the Brazilian churrasco grill specialities available from servers roaming the restaurant with giant skewers of grilled goodies like beef picanha fillet, lamb rack, chorizo sausage, pork chops, baby chicken marinated with thyme and yogurt, plus some delectable grilled pineapple flavoured with cinnamon and brown sugar.
For those who prefer a more traditional buffet, there is an excellent salad bar; a great selection of cold cuts and terrines; a fresh cheese station; a capital selection of bread and rolls and a small oven to heat them up; many great desserts prepared by pastry chef Hakim Ounas; and a selection Asian food, including those all-important noodle dishes. On Fridays and Saturdays there is a huge selection of seafood on ice that includes Alaskan king crab, tiger prawns, black mussels, rock lobster and much more.
The extensive wine list has something to satisfy everyone and a great selection of cocktails, including several that add Sake to the mix. A must is a caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail, a heady blend of cachaça – a distilled spirit made from sugar cane juice – sugar and lime.
Crowne Plaza Lumpini Park | Rama IV Rd | 02-632-9000 | crowneplazabkk.com | Open Daily noon-2pm, 6pm-10.30pm