Open kitchen, casual vibe, and great views of the Chao Phraya
After receiving a recent makeover, the Riverside Grill restaurant at The Royal Orchid Sheraton is aiming to attract locals and expats with a new cocktail menu focused on whiskey.
The main attraction here remains the river, and unfettered views of the traffic on the waterway are the emphasis for both indoor and outdoor seating. Inside, the dim evening lights help the dark wood paneling mix with the few splashes of maroon paint. Meanwhile, an open kitchen exudes a casual vibe, and the music is a little bouncy but still allows for conversation.
The French food and beverage manager for the hotel came up with the whiskey cocktail theme, which has a menu divided for the sexes. And if you think that means the women’s menu has a monopoly on all the sweet drinks, think again. From the guy’s menu we sampled the McClaine (B350), which combines Jim Beam, Angostura bitters, and red grenadine, as well as the Mad Hatter (B320) which makes use of Jim Beam, Midori, amaretto, lime juice, and peach in syrup. Both were satisfyingly sweet, as was the restaurant’s take on the Old Fashioned (B300) which has a sugar cube right in the drink.
However, if you’re keen on something decidedly different then veering from the whiskey drinks may prove to be the tonic—and the signature Negroni (B300) will give a well-needed bitter kick to the proceedings.
The Riverside Grill serves plenty of food as well, and the Austrian executive chef has designed what he describes as a “healthy menu”. True to his word, the Quinoa and Arugula Salad (B320) with baked goat cheese, pomegranate seeds, citrus and raspberry vinaigrette provided a tart start to the meal.
The Beetroot Gazpacho (B290) came with homemade kefir yogurt, deconstructed egg components and dill. The soup was satisfying and hearty, whetting the appetite for the grilled delicacies still to come.
The Jumbo Tiger Prawns (B990) were served with plum tomatoes provençale (B150), that offered an acidic contrast to the succulent seafood. A juicy T-bone steak from the US (B1,700), grass-fed 180 days, was rich and filling—with a pleasing pink hue in the middle—and so tasty it did not require any sauce.
There is also a theme for the dessert menu, with chocolate holding sway for the moment. The Valrhona Chocolate Jar (B290) featured a glass piped full of two tones of the bittersweet mousse, with biscuit crumble, strawberries, and mint on a slate slab. Meanwhile, the Choco-Cake (B290) was a variation on a classic, with chocolate flan enrobed in a chocolate shell, served with vanilla bean ice cream, Chantilly cream, and a ribbon of white chocolate. The cream helped cut the heavy flan nicely.
The bar also opens at 4pm daily so the venue can function as a meeting spot for sundowners. Be aware however that although the bar stays open late, the kitchen only operates from 5pm till 10:30pm.
By Robin Banks
Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers
2, Charoen Krung Soi 30
Tel: 02 266 0123
Bar open daily: 4pm to 1am