This is a condensed version. Pick up our April print edition to read the full story – available in fine bookstores across Thailand, and via online subscription.
Photography by Kaan Suchanin.
With our new series on our beloved Sunday tradition, we aim to showcase and review the most decadent feasts the city has to offer.
In aiming to set itself apart from the various global luxury hotels that can be found all around the city, The Sukhothai Bangkok has been steadily carving a niche over the years to present itself as the quintessentially Thai experience, with opulent colonial-era design, top-of-the-line service, and old-world charm to boot.
At noon each Sunday, the hotel’s international restaurant Colonnade transforms into a playground for food connoisseurs from near and far to take on the renowned Sunday brunch. Being the first hotel in Bangkok to provide lavish brunches, The Sukhothai has long been commended for upholding the tradition of delivering the best service, as well as sourcing the finest quality food products available. Rather than being swept away by the latest trendy cuisines, expect the focus here to be firmly on classics that have stood the test of time.
Begin your gastronomic expedition by visiting the oyster selection to uncover five types of freshly shucked European molluscs, including the famed Saint-Vaast-la-Hogue and Prat-ar-Coum varieties. Next to it, find the fresh array of crustacean specialties like Alaskan king crab, Maine lobster, Sicilian brown crab, snow crab leg and rock lobster.
Continue the “from the sea” themed trek by a pit stop at the newly expanded Japanese section for a mouthwatering selection of sushi and sashimi with engawa, foie gras, hamachi, hotate, unagi, tamago, katsue, suzuki, hogigai, maguro, ikura and many more.
Visit the antipasti and salad section before devouring into the carving section where carnivores will be treated with roasted Wagyu prime rib in red wine sauce, roasted pork porchetta in prune gravy, 24-hour beef ribs roasted in garlic oil, and grilled lamb chops, to name but a few of the highlights on offer.
Switch it up and pop by the cold cuts, paté and terrines section complete with foie gras paté, black truffles, port jelly, terrine whole duck foie gras and duck rillettes, served with brioche bread and pickles.
Finish your trip off by visiting the cheese and bread section (good cheese being notoriously difficult to find at most dining venues in Bangkok) to sample a vast selection of imported farm-house cheeses and whole bread, bread rolls, along with grilled raclette cheese and boiled new potatoes. Served in the same room are also the desserts and the demo section, where you can enjoy a custom-made tiramisu or ice cream of choice.
Not To Be Missed
For something that’s a bit unusual and most people aren’t accustomed to, try the wild boar terrine. It has a strong flavour like most game and it’s much lower in fat than its cousin, the pig. Combine this unique texture with the magic of slow cooking and the result is simply mouth-watering.
Lobster bisque flambé with Pernod and lobster butter is an interesting take on a true classic. It’s a little-known fact that certain flavour compounds in shellfish are released only in alcohol, but go a bit overboard and the bisque is ruined. A touch of Pernod, however, provides a nice syrupy consistency to the creamy dish.
Sinfully rich with a distinct sweetness, the key to a great pan-fried foie gras is to heat it just right to allow its fat melt at just below body temperature. What goes into your mouth semi-solid starts to slowly melt away, leaving a coat of flavour on your tongue. Top that off with apple salsa for a bit of zest and side it with a toasted brioche and you’ve got a winning ticket.
Beef cheeks are in high demand for those in the know and usually need to be ordered ahead of time from the butcher. This is because once you braise the cheeks, the connective tissue, which is extremely tough thanks to the animal chewing almost constantly throughout their life, melts, leaving you with gooey goodness that is intense in flavour. Pair that with truffle and brown butter-infused mashed potatoes and you’re guaranteed to be transported to carnivore heaven.
The drink variety is quite subdued, which is a bit odd, considering the outstanding quality of the food on display. Sure, you have Roederer Brut, Prosecco Zardetto and Domaine Houchart along with house wines to choose from, but true gourmands should plan ahead and bring their own bottles. Corkage fees are 750 and 1,200 Baht (plus taxes) for wine and champagne, respectively.
Since joining The Sukhothai Bangkok in January this year, American jazz diva Coco Rouzier has certainly brought a new flare to the Sunday brunches. Backed by The Sukhothai’s resident three-piece Filipino band, consisting of bass, guitar and piano, expect to hear her very special brew of jazz, bossa nova and soul.
When it comes to setting up a buffet-type brunch, many high-end hotels fall victim to a haphazard set-up of the food stations, which oftentimes ends up in a not-so-pleasant experience – certainly something you want to avoid on a lazy Sunday afternoon. At Colonnade, there has clearly been some thought put into the flow of people and general layout of the stations.
Considering the high quality of food and the pleasing atmosphere (largely thanks to the talented Coco), the lacklustre service comes as a bit of a disappointment. The staff wasn’t the most attentive, so do expect to occasionally ask for your champagne flute to be filled. Mileage may vary upon corkage.
All in all, a delightful experience that certainly does justice to The Sukhothai brand, and one that is definitely recommended for those with demanding tastes. Reservations are highly recommended as the mid-sized venue can get packed quite quickly.
(Brunch is served from noon until 3pm. It’s priced at 3,000 Baht ++ per person for food only, and 4,500 Baht ++ per person for food and free-flow champagne and wine.)