A score of years and petals on a plate
To celebrate Banyan Tree Bangkok’s 20th year, the high-in-the-sky fine Thai cuisinery Saffron is offering a set menu featuring a selection of wine-paired, contemporary-traditional dishes that eloquently capture the flavourful essence of Thailand’s rich culinary heritage. And the addition of brilliantly hued edible flowers provides each course with a delightfully delectable soupçon of aesthetic seasoning. The Saffron Edible Flower Set Menu four-course dinner is priced at B1,899 per person (B2,899 with wine pairing for three of the courses).
The cozy, view-swept 52nd-floor restaurant—the hotel’s signature venue—glows with warm, hardwood tones of a refined traditional ambiance, with the city’s skyline of architectural wonders spread out just beyond the table. After guests are treated to a traditional-style hand rinsing with warm, fragrant water from an elaborately decorated bowl, an appetiser of rice crackers and paper-thin saffron crisps is served with an accompanying trio of dipping sauces—eggplant relish, chicken-tomato and shrimp in coconut milk. This is followed by an amuse bouche of savoury Grilled pork salad with basil and a spring roll-wrapped morsel of Stir-fried duck.
Occupying the encore-appetizer slot, the Crispy squid legs salad with assorted flowers and coriander-mint is reminiscent of the classic Thai cuisine staple Som Tam salad—served as it is on a bed of shredded apple and young mango, with a small side-pitcher of spicy-sweet sauce that diners add DIY-style. And those familiar with the intricacies of Thai cooking will appreciate the addition of roasted rice to the squid batter—a very nice touch indeed. Course wine pairing: Blanc de Blancs Sparkling Brut, Monsoon Valley, Thailand.
A clever tribute to coffee-culture, the Cappuccino coconut broth with grilled Japanese scallop is seasoned with sesbania, galangal and kaffir lime leaf. This java-themed creation comes served in a coffee cup with a sumptuous Japanese jumbo scallop skewered on a stalk of lemongrass, and a tuft of coconut foam topped with gold leaf and cinnamon.
The Grilled sea bass fillet with sweet and sour sauce, wok-fried cowslip creeper, and sunflower seeds is ocean-fresh and nicely textured, garnished with grilled pineapple and fried shallot. A banana leaf cone is used to cover a side of steamed Riceberry rice, topped with a tiny rosebud, creating a delightful—if not unintentional—festive yuletide tree effect. Course wine pairing: Fentinel-Pinot Grigio, Friuli, Italy.
Dessert is a light and refreshing Roselle jelly with lychee foam, garnished with intricately carved bites of mango and dragon fruit. Course wine pairing: Muscat, Monsoon Valley Hua Hin, Thailand.
The exquisite service provided by the very personable and highly knowledgeable wait staff is all about creating the best possible dining experience—inquiries are made regarding any food allergies, and guests are asked their preferred level of spiciness, with each order carefully chilli-seasoned according to individual taste.
52F, Banyan Tree Bangkok
21/100 South Sathorn Rd.
Tel: 02 679 1200
Open daily: 6pm-10:30pm