Dining with a view: Bangkok's best sky-high restaurants

Dining with a view: Bangkok's best sky-high restaurants

A round-up of the newest skyscraping perches to hit the city, plus a few old favorites

Even with fab company, lovely decor and great service, having a bird's-eye view of the city at your feet never hurt anyone on a dinner date -- save maybe their wallet.

Whether you're craving good 'ol hearty burgers or dainty molecular treats to go with the supersized panorama, here are 11 of Bangkok's finest view purveyors, listed in no particular order.

Scarlett

At Scarlett, 40 lucky diners can park on the open air terrace and squint at the street action 37 floors below.There's no need to head to Paris to satisfy your cravings for the delights of famed Le Relais Louis XII when you can just trek down to Silom Road.

The menu at this wine bar and restaurant in the recently rebranded Pullman Bangkok Hotel G (formerly Sofitel Silom) is inspired by the Michelin two-starred restaurant and includes master chef Manuel Martinez's old time faves, still served in his Parisian eatery. 

Scarlett's menu runs the gamut of pan-European comfort food, including a large variety of imported cheese and cold cuts, pasta, surf 'n turf and daily specials.

Living up to its "wine bar" moniker, there are over 160 labels on offer, 10 of which are by the glass (rotated weekly) should you choose to have a modest night. 

37/F, 188 Silom Road; +66 (0) 2 238 1991; open Monday–Sunday, 6 p.m.-1 a.m.; www.pullmanbangkokhotelg.com

Park Society

To take in the city in all its al fresco glory from 29 stories up, grab a seat out on Park Society's terrace.Set in what's billed as the capital's first true urban design hotel, Bangkok restaurant Park Society carries on the theme with wonky mirrored walls and intimately lit interiors.

But the real visual attraction is streamed through the full-length windows -- a battalion of tall buildings held back by the verdant sprawl that is Lumpini Park.

The menu has heavy hints of French gastronomy. Items change daily depending on the harvest of the day. Dictate your desires at the chef's table, or let chef Paul Smart take the reigns with the monthly tasting menu.

If you're really looking to impress, an extra 500 baht++ (US$16++) will get you a pre-dinner sundowner up at the private cabanas -- named "Hi-So" in reference to the Thai term for high society -- one floor up.

29/F, 2 North Sathorn Road; +66 (0) 2 624 0000; open daily, 6 p.m.-1 a.m.; www.sofitel.com

 

Above Eleven

Above Eleven's drink menu is a cultural mashup as well, heavy on both South American and Japanese cocktails. Serving Peruvian/Japanese food, Above Eleven, on the 33rd floor of the Frasier Suites Sukhumvit, overlooks nightlife hotspot Sukhumvit soi 11.

Filled with stretches of fake grass and wooden furniture, the restaurant aims to give diners a New York City Central Park vibe. That might be a bit of a stretch, but Above Eleven is certainly more relaxed than most sky high venues in the city and far more affordable.

The menu is a mix of Peru's more iconic dishes such as ceviche and plates that highlight the Japanese influence on the South American country's cuisine, with various sushi, sashimi and tempura offerings given Peruvian twists -- referred to as "Nikkei cuisine" in Peru.

Nice touches include comfy couches and a men's bathroom that lets diners relieve themselves while enjoying fantastic views of the city. 

33/F, Fraser Suites Sukhumvit, 38/8 Sukhumvit Soi 11; +66 (0)2 207 9300; open daily, 6 p.m.-2 a.m.

D'Sens

D'Sens tasting menus change four or five times annually to incorporate seasonal ingredients from France.D'Sens is the only restaurant on this list open for both lunch and dinner.

Located on the highest floor of the Dusit Thani Hotel, the menu is the culinary lovechild of the hotel's own chef Christian Ham and twins Jacques and Laurent Pourcel of Michelin starred Le Jardin des Sens fame.

All seating is indoors, but the slanted walls mean the large windows are perfectly angled to frame a well-composed snapshot of the city skyline behind Lumpini Park in the foreground.

For intimate moments, book the curtain-veiled alcoves. For views, book early and ask for a window-side table or the 10-seater private dining room.

22/F, 946 Rama IV Road; +66 (0) 2 200 9000; open Monday–Friday for lunch, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., dinner Monday–Saturday, 6 p.m.-10 p.m.; www.dusit.com

 

L'Appart

L'Appart's wraparound balcony gives diners a panoramic view 32 floors above the city, including the Chao Praya River to the south.In contrast to the hotel's imposing exterior, with its geometric art deco patterns, the interconnected spaces at L'Appart have an organic flow to them.

Eclectic artwork and photographs fill the wall spaces, shelves are stocked with real cookbooks and there's even a faux fireplace to complete the homey feel, which manages to stay posh without feeling contrived.

The brief menu is made up of chef Jeremy Tourret's ever-changing "inspirations from the market," a handful of French classics and a selection of tapas to share.

Seating is scattered so you can have your dinner party in the library corner, or near the open-plan kitchen, in the comfy lounge, out on the wraparound balcony or in the more formal dining room.

32/F, 189 Sukhumvit Road Soi 13-15; +66 (0) 2 126 9999; open daily, 6 p.m.-2 a.m.; www.sofitelbangkoksukhumvit.com

 

Zense

The sprawling space at Zense can accommodate some 400 diners at one go, more than half of which enjoy al fresco seating.After a two-year hiatus, Zense re-opened in late July, this time bigger and better.

Redesigned by renowned Thai architect Amata Luphaiboon, the multi-level floor layout sections off the large space into varying dining corners, from elevated seating on a large landing halfway up the interior staircase to a table on the terrace overlooking the Royal Bangkok Sports Club.

Wherever you decide to plop down, dropping by the rooftop bar on the terrace to drink in the skyline before getting down to business is recommended.

For diners that like page after page of menu choices, Zense offers five cuisines from some of capital's already famed eateries -– Thai cuisine by White Cafe, Italian by Gianni Ristorante, Japanese by Kikusui, Indian by Red and Mod European by To Die For. Zense's own patisserie team serves up the sweet treats.

17/F, Zen World, CentralWorld, Rajadamri Road (BTS Chidlom); +66 (0) 2 100 9898; open daily, 5 p.m.-1 a.m.; www.zensebangkok.com

 

Elements

Once the food starts arriving, the view at Elements won't even matter.Elements was inspired by the Michelin two-starred Ciel Bleu restaurant in Okura's sister property in Amsterdam, employing the same modern cooking style to create an alchemy of textures, tastes and temperatures, sometimes with unexpected combinations.

To experience fine dining as both an art form and a precise science, there's the eight-course molecular "Tasting Micro Experience" set menu, priced at 2,900 baht++ (US$93++) without wine pairing.

Elements has an outside terrace which shares the same cantilevered deck as the swimming pool, 25 stories high, but to some the view of the gastronomy lab at the chef's table might be more captivating.

25/F, 57 Wireless Road; +66 (0) 2 687 9000; open daily, 6 p.m.-1 a.m.; www.okurabangkok.com

 

Saffron

Leave Banyan Tree's Vertigo to the first-timers. Those in the know head down a couple floors to Saffron. Lying in the fame shadows of Banyan Tree's rooftop Vertigo restaurant, the hotel group's signature Saffron eatery quietly serves up sweeping panoramas from its 51st to 52nd floor perch to view-hunters in the know. 

The restaurant offers authentic Thai dishes, with the a la carte choices including classic appetizers, Thai "yum" salads, soups and curries, with convenient set menus for bring-it-on diners.

Full length windows hold in the air-conditioning, good for offsetting the spices while giving unobstructed views of the Chao Phraya River and city skyline.

The attached Latitude Lounge & Bar on the lower floor offers just as good a vista as Moon Bar (can you really tell the difference between a view from the 51st or 61st floors?) with a fraction of the camera happy tourists.

51-52/F, 21/100 South Sathon Road, +66 (0) 2 679 1199; open daily, 6 p.m.-11 p.m.; www.banyantree.com/en/bangkok

 

RR&B

RR&B is famed for grilling some of Bangkok's best steaks. The views are just a side dish. At 25 years of age, The Landmark might not be the sexiest hotel around, but its Rib Room & Bar on the 31st floor serves up some serious meat to go with the encircling city skyline.

Hard-core carnivorous calling cards include the 1.5-kilo Tomahawk rib bone for two, Wagyu beef spare-ribs and 400-day Australian grain fed beef.

Having said that, the "Millionaire Salad" (with Maine lobster, pan-fried foie gras, salmon caviar and 25-year-old balsamic dressing) gives the meats an unashamed run for their money.

There's also spit roasted chicken, Maine lobster, lamb and other meat and seafood on offer, along with two vegetarian dishes that look awfully lonely on the menu.

The extensive wine list leans heavily on the red side; a sommelier is on hand to guide you through the private selection of vintages to go with your meat fest.

31/F, Sukhumvit Road soi 6; +66 (0) 2 254 0404; open daily, 6 p.m.-11 p.m. (until midnight Friday–Saturday); www.landmarkbangkok.com

 

Sirocco

It's quite possible that Sirocco has appeared in more travel magazines than any other restaurant in Thailand. Located atop the second tallest building in Bangkok -- Baiyoke holds the honors, for now -- Sirocco takes the crown for being the highest al fresco restaurant in Thailand.

The menu prices reflect its exclusive vantage point 247 meters above the commoners.

Mediterranean fare is complemented with drinks from the quintessential Sky Bar. If you have the urge to relieve your wallet some more, the restaurant also carries caviar, including Almas, the most expensive Beluga roe in the world.

Snagging a dinner reservation later than 7:30 p.m. is recommended, as the live jazz band with a daily soulful belter (other than Mondays) really puts the arrival experience over the top, especially for first timers.

A strict dress code applies and getting there tipsy might not be a good idea due to the narrow steps leading down from the 64th floor arrival terrace.

63/F, 1055 Silom Road; +66 (0) 2 624 9555; open daily, 6 p.m.-1 a.m.; www.lebua.com

 

Long Table

At Long Table, guests dine elbow-to-elbow. Don't like sitting beside strangers? Ask for a private table. Situated on the 25th floor of an office tower/ serviced apartment block, Long Table is just one of two inclusions on this list waving the banner for non-hotel restaurants with a sky high view. 

The manifestation of the funky minds behind Bed Supperclub, Long Table bears the design signatures of its creators –- unique interiors that include the namesake 25-meter long table and cleverly placed LED installations.

The fare is Thai fusion, which can be a hit and miss, but their creative cocktails are all smash hits, and we hear they're currently revising the menu.

Prices err toward the high end, putting them on par with hotel offerings. Diners can take advantage of the F&B promos between 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m. and catch the sun set behind Sukhumvit Road but book 2-3 days in advance if you want a terrace seat on the weekends.

25/F, 48 Column Building, Sukhumvit soi 16; +66 (0) 2 302 2557; open daily, 5 p.m.-2 a.m. (dinner 6 p.m.-10:45 p.m.) www.longtablebangkok.com

 

The Speakeasy

The Speakeasy's 24th floor terrace puts you right smack in the middle of the Langsuan and Rajadamri cityscape. Revisiting the Roaring '20s nearly a century on, The Speakeasy has plush dark décor, a "secret" scotch and cigar lounge, newspaper-style menu, and swinging jazzy tunes.

The 15-page beverage menu allows guests to knock back the drinks like there's no tomorrow, while diners not on a liquid diet can choose from a humble list of food that leans more towards nibbles, with a few meat and fish dishes providing sufficient sustenance.

For a back-to-basics throwback, a selection of gourmet sliders (think Wagyu beef with truffle oil, lamb with mint, teriyaki salmon with wasabi mayo) prove burgers and beer do live happily ever after.

The 24th floor terrace inserts you right into the Langsuan and Rajadamri cityscape, while for a less vertigo-inducing experience, head through a secret sliding door to the 25th floor rooftop lawn or the three dining domes for some hushed conniving.

24-25/F, 55/555 Langsuan Road; +66 (0) 2 630 4000; open daily, 6 p.m.-1 a.m.; www.hotelmusebangkok.com

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