The black wrought iron and dark wood furnishings of The District, located in the Marriott Bangkok Sukhumvit, are familiar but this superior modern grill is doing a fine job of carving out its own identity. It’s upfront about its objective: produce and technique are key and there’s no room for fancy for the sake of fancy. The name of the restaurant refers to New York’s meat packing district – that shines through in the menu but also in the impressive cocktails. They haven’t limited themselves to pink and fruity, which is a relief, instead coming up with some bold offerings, like the Boss’s Daughter, rum, amaretto, bitters and lemonade, and the Midnight Snack, whiskey, snap liqueur, demerara syrup and egg white (both B270).
The highlight at The District, though, is undoubtedly the seafood. The Ice District Heights, main picture, is a jumble of lobster, prawns, oysters, scallops and crab (B2900), enough to look after a group who feel like sampling a bit of everything.
In reality, though, the appetisers are impressive and varied enough to justify ordering them separately. The lobster ravioli (B720) looks simple but sets the tone for what is a seriously impressive line-up of seafood dishes.
The absolute showstopper, though, are the scallops (B850), a shining example of The District’s straightforward approach and presentation concealing the exacting standards behind the scenes. They come out as an appetiser-sized serving but they could serve them by the bucket and there would be no complaints.
If The District has a problem it is that the appetisers set the bar so high – the food is not ornamental but the taste is spectacular – and it’s impossible for the mains to deliver in the same way, simply because a bigger serving generally demands slightly more complexity.
Still, the Australian lamb rack (B980) is succulent and expertly seasoned and the Tasmanian salmon (B690) has a freshness that fills your nostrils the moment it arrives. But damn it if we weren’t all still thinking about those scallops.
The District wraps up proceedings well, though, with an inspired dessert menu and generously offers its visitors a free bottle of wine if there are two or more diners.
Marriott Bangkok Sukhumvit (Thong Lor), 2 Sukhumvit Soi 57 02-797-0000 | marriott.com | Daily 6pm-11pm