Brunch, Bangkok Style

We recently heard that brunch in Bangkok is a big deal, a must-do dining experience. So when Sunday morning came around, after a rough-and-tumble night spent with cheap Chang beers at the Muay Thai match, we decided to get a little fancy by way of brunch.

We’re working on being better planners–take this to mean we had no reservation and zero clue where to go for brunch. Good thing there’s 1085943798 swanky hotels in Bangkok! We decided on the nearby Four Seasons, but when we arrived, we learned brunch didn’t start for an hour. To pass the time, we lounged, sipped coffee, prepared mentally for the food fest, and swatted off bugs in the hotel’s open-air atrium.

Twelve mosquito bites and forty-five minutes later, the concierge took her post and starting greeting guests. Our learning curve for reservations and planning fell a bit short, as we were ushered aside while the hostess “did her best” to find us a table. Fortunately we had only an additional 15 minute lobby wait before we snagged a small table on the “aqua terrace.”

Here’s the lobby. Needless to say it wasn’t such a bad wait.

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What an aqua terrace is exactly, well I don’t know. It was an indoor/outdoor dining space with palms, koi on steroid ponds, tranquil footpaths, and bridges. By its nature (and that means heat, humidity, and bugs!) it’s also the designated “without reservation” area. But we were happy to be seated–it was a mighty nice a scene, too, with a live jazz band and a dazzling assortments of food and drink spreading in every direction.

aqua terrace

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Once seated, that feeling of Bangkok overwhelmedness set in. It’s a word I’d only use here. The shopping malls, the hotels, the consumerism, the extravagance–it’s all in such excess here. So it was with brunch. But at $40 for unlimited seafood, steak, lamb, caviar, cured meat and cheese, sushi, foie gras, martinis, mimosas, desserts, etc (a case in which etc truly means etc)–how can you resist?

Neither of us foodies, both of us overwhelmed by large-scale shopping and dining, we dove in headlong. This is how I defend our first-plate food choices: a waffle for me and a give-me-one-of-everything plate at the sushi station for the mister. After our first plate, and with our pineapple ginger mojitos in hand, we garnered our appetites for several more assaults on the digestive system.

I cannot tell you the assortment of food we were eating–it’s all a blur and a few pangs of bloat. From memory (and little bit o’ fact-checking from other people’s blogs) here’s a quick list of some of the things we devoured:

  • Dim sum and barbecued meats
  • Tandoori chicken, fresh naan, and tasty curries
  • Sushi in abundance
  • Chicken shawarma and mezze (my favorite!)
  • Sad to say Western breakfast items
  • Grilled rock lobster (as much as we could get our grubby little hands on!)
  • Blue mussels, black sea crab, sea scallops, oysters
  • Jamon serrano and assorted French and Spanish cheeses
  • Tiger prawns (as big as they sound!) with nam   prik, a Thai alternative to cocktail sauce
  • Australian beef tenderloin (though it’s a buffet, all the grilled meats and fish were cooked to order)
  • Lamb chops, veal sausages, salmon, tuna, squid, sea bass…everything you can think of…
  • Apricot berry tarts, flan, flourless chocolate cakes, apple pie, traditional Thai mango sticky rice…and a partridge in a pear tree!                                                                                             Via

steak tartare station

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delicious cheeses

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cured meats

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the seafood mothership

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foie gras station

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dim sum and duck on the right

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traditional thai satay station

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Then there’s this guy.

care for some caviar?

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You can’t quite tell from this picture, but it’s his job to wear waders, stand amidst the koi and ice sculptures, and serve you up some caviar.

Of course last, but entirely most, is the dessert table. Oh my gosh I’m full just looking at it.

dessert table: too pretty to pass up!

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Near sickness, we pulled ourselves from our seats and waddled all the way home. Then we napped because we couldn’t bear our fullness, and then we fasted for 24 hours. So the schedule was, sleep eat sleep. Not bad for a Sunday, right?

PS – Few of these images are ours, but we were there and we have the added poundage to prove it! Plus, I have no idea how to photograph anything food, and things kept disappearing from our plates before we could whip out the camera…

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6 thoughts on “Brunch, Bangkok Style

    • Umm. Good question! There is a pretty strong lack of carbs aside from rice (which has been driving me crazy!), so that could be part of it.

  1. Don’t know what they call it in Thai, but the Italians call it, “la dolce vita” and so do I. Looks like a wonderful feast for all the senses and the tummy.

    • It’s true! I don’t mean to sound stereotypical, but the Thais really love for everyone to be happy! Even when you’re haggling with someone at the street stalls, the vendors are always concerned about getting a price that “makes you happy.”

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