For the first time in 15 years, Conrad Bangkok has undergone a stylish revamp. While the hotel welcomes a new look, exciting developments are brewing in the kitchen as in-house restaurant Café@2 launches a whole new menu of culinary delights to mark the hotel’s next chapter. The ‘Wine Pairing Menu’ offers an array of palatable choices, carefully paired with new and old world wines for a taste of the finer things in life. With a cosy-meets-sophisticated vibe, tasteful delicacies and an impressive selection of aperitifs, the upscale dining destination makes an ideal spot for nights out with the family, or a refined meet up over bubbly at the heart of Bangkok.
What to expect?
In a culinary scene dominated by the ‘more is more’ approach, Café@2 begs to differ. The brainchild of executive chef Ashley T. Coleman and chef de cuisine Jarno Van Den Broek, dishes go by a ‘simplicity is tasty’ philosophy — each course is prepared with less seasoning, emphasising instead the premium ingredients used.
Having worked in nearly every continent around the globe, Australian-native chef Ashley’s cuisine is a delicate blend of international tastes. Expect a specially curated three-course menu that takes you an epicurean journey that is authentic, novel and yet full of warm familiarity.
What to order?
Start with an appetiser of Iberico ham and goat cheese. Finely sliced ham shavings— aged 18 months — are served with port wine onion jam and incredibly juicy, succulent Thai blue figs. A nuanced balance of savoury and sweet, the flavourful ham is complemented by creamy goat cheese rolled in crushed hazelnuts, peppery rocket salad and a crisp breadstick. When the contrasting textures and flavours are brought together, the result is remarkably complete. You can opt to enjoy it with one of three wines, but it is best paired with the Durvillea Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough — a soft blend of gooseberries, black and white currants and grapefruit, medium-bodied with lime and citrus flavours.
Another must-try on the list of starters is the pan-fried foie gras. Served with salt-cured cherry duck breast, the creamy texture of foie gras is nicely harmonised by granola crust, a sweet rhubarb compote and wild rocket leaves, laid on finely toasted brioche. For salmon lovers, begin your gastronomic adventure with a dish of salmon and halibut Carpaccio. Thin slices of ora king salmon—imported directly from New Zealand—and wild halibut are laid out, accompanied by meticulously rolled cucumber flowers, herbs and horseradish.
If you prefer to kick off your meal with something lighter, go for the seafood broth—boasting scallops and tomatoes from Chiang Mai, zested up with a touch of bell peppers and lime leaf—or a salad of roasted baby beets, nasturtium flowers, pomegranate and feta cheese, drizzled a healthy balsamic dressing.
For mains, Café@2 offers a selection of culinary dreams come true. The classic rib-eye is an absolute delight, topped with a rich swathe of chestnut mushroom cream and boasting that melt-in-your-mouth kind of tender. Cooked using premium corn-fed Angus beef, the juicy meat comes with sautéed kipfler potatoes. With red wine jus, the dish is invigoratingly palatable.
Another must is the Boston lobster. Incredibly chewy lobster is juxtaposed with soft black cod, complete with slow-dried cherry tomatoes and crunchy spears of asparagus. The ingredients are already cooked to a delectably savoury result, but the lobster bisque adds a new dimension of flavour that pulls the whole dish together. Pair the course with a glass of Castello di Albola Chardonnay—a well-balanced fruity wine, with fresh notes of pineapple, grapefruit, lime skin and a hint of bananas and apples—for an exquisite experience.
For a taste of home, try the free-range, corn-fed chicken roasted with freekeh for a mouthwateringly juicy texture. Served with baby pink apples, spinach and a touch of cinnamon and cloves, it comes pot-roasted and makes a warm, aromatic course perfect for those in search of a filling meal.
A lighter option is the fish filet—very soft, the dish of red spotted grouper fillet comes complete with Thai jasmine rice, candied ginger and lemon dust. For a final touch, it is dressed in a black bean butter sauce, and finished with aromatic coriander.
Catering to a range of palettes and culinary needs, Café@2’s new menu also comes with vegetarian options. If you prefer your plates sans meat, go for the truffle tortellini. Meticulously hand-rolled, they’re filled with baby globe artichokes, wild muxhroom duxelle, heirloom carrots and garden peas. The dish is topped with torn sage, butter and vegetable nage for a light finale.
What about the sweeter things in life?
Sweet-toothed gourmets, don’t fret! The culinary team at Café@2 have created five incredible dessert choices to satisfy your sugar cravings. From fruity to rich and creamy, there’s something here for everyone. Chocolate lovers definitely do not want to miss out on the Valrhona chocolate and mint mille feuille. The rich chocolate treat is layered with mint chocolate mousse and accompanied by a refreshing mint choc chip ice cream and chocolate crumbs for the best of both worlds in a bite.
Also on the menu are Café@2’s delicious lavender cream tartlets, served in a set with a floral lavender strap and crushed meringue bits. There’s also a fresh iced poppy seed and lychee honey parfait, laid on marinated orange and mint lychees and surrounded by sweet, crunchy peanut caramel brittles.
If you’re starting to feel the effects of the generous main course portions, you can take the guilt-free route and opt for a plate of fresh, seasonal fruits, served with citrus sorbet.
Our favourite on the dessert list though is by far the Tahitian vanilla crème brûlée. Lush and deliciously buttery, the heavenly treat is the perfect way to end your meal, and comes with seasonal berries, churned vanilla ice cream and a selection of fruity wines to choose from.
Located on the second floor of the Conrad Bangkok hotel, Café@2 is open daily from 11:30-2:30pm for lunch, and 6-10:30pm for dinner. The three-course set menu comes at 1,200++ baht, including wine pairings. To book your table, call 0 2690 9999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, you can check out their website relishbangkok.com/cafe2 or their official Facebook page.