Though the proliferation of rooftop bars in Bangkok has become the norm rather than the exception, Vertigo Grill and Moon Bar of Banyan Tree remains reputed as one of the best. In fact, a quick search on-line has it listed as number one on countless lists, and these registers include at least 20 considered worth naming! So… if we’re going to partake in a rooftop experience, I guess on the roof of the Banyan Tree it will be!
|Vertigo Grill and Moon Bar, Banyan Tree Bangkok|
Feeling like the deck of a ship, Moon Bar, the bow, ploughs through the city in front heading towards the sunset and seemingly leaving waves gushing round the sides – traffic in the principle streets that border the block. The stern – Vertigo Grill – backs the ship, and on the night we board the boat, has the moon at its aft.
|Vertigo Grill and Moon Bar, Banyan Tree Bangkok|
Multi-level platforms allow all guests to capture a unique panorama no matter what their table. Furnishings and adornments are chic, however barely given any attention as the breathtaking 360-degree views snatch all eyes outwards. The night air is cool, making an agreeable environment to pass a number of leisurely hours. As such, we’ve booked a table to sample a four-course menu with wine pairing.
|One of the Night Views|
Chilled scented wet towels, a bread basket and water is on our table before we’ve even sat from taking photos. The staff here are not only professional, but we soon learn extremely patient and great photographers (as photo taking is a constant request as the light changes over sunset and morphs into the glimmering night).
Seared wagyu with Japanese pickle and red onion makes a pretty amuse bouche. Pink squares of flesh are lifted with the fermented veg adds a faint sweet and mild sour to the small bite.
Both appetizers arrive much larger than we had expected. Long rectangular platters hold both our meaty and vegetarian options in all their brilliant red glory. Hubby’s Angus Beef Carpaccio, deep crimson in hue, with its interlaid circles of thinly sliced flesh, runs the length of the plate. A tangle of verdant greens, Parmesan and black truffle shavings contrast in colour and flavour and are mirrored in my Mozzarella and Tomato starter as accompanying friends too. Enormous heirloom tomato slices are strewn across mydish with halved cherry tomatoes, basil, black pepper, and olive oil, making a fresh clean, appetite-opening beginning.
|Angus Beef Carpaccio|
|Mozzarella and Tomato Salad|
Our meal is kicked off with a white wine pairing: 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, “Convento Viejo” from Chile’s Central Valley. It’s light and refreshing, with passionfruit aromas, and faint citrus notes in the palate. A clean medium-length ending makes it easy drinking, and I find it quite palatable on its own or as an enhancement to food.
|2012 Sauvignon Blanc, “Convento Viejo”|
Both soups, Lobster Bisque and Butternut Pumpkin, arrive mysteriously covered with grand silver helmets atop heated plates. Once lifted, petite bites of lobster and tortellini respectively are revealed. A silver pot of thick broth is poured over each yielding a spot of table entertainment in their preparation.
|Lobster Bisque and Butternut Pumpkin Soup|
Hubby’s crustacean choice is scented with truffle and dotted with black caviar. There’s a faint spice to the creaminess and we deem it a fine example of a well-executed bisque. My soup is a grain thinner than the bisque. It’s smooth and manifests as a light in-between dish.
A whippy Peach and Mango sorbet refreshes our palates before the main. A photo of us happy diners is too snapped between courses with a promise of it being printed and presented as a memento before the evening is through.
|Mango and Peach Sorbet|
Wild Mushrooms and Spinach stuff two large white Cannelloni with a generous amount of filling. Red pepper and basil salsa, mildly bitter rocket leaves, and a drizzling of truffle oil season the moist rolls expertly.
|Wild Mushroom and Spinach Cannelloni|
Flame Grilled Salmon is accompanied by a chorizo and green pea puree and Moroccan salsa. Fish is done just as requested and the verdant mash makes a tasty chaperone. The coral tinted sauce that pools around the base of it all is delightfully creamy and filled with de-skinned cherry tomatoes, black and green olives, and capers. Yum!
|Flame Grilled Salmon|
All dishes so far have been liberal portions. We’re having difficulty cleaning our plates not for lack of flavour, but for serious undersupply of tummy space. Considering the ambience, incredible views, quality and quantity of food, we think the price tag is justified.
A choice of an Australian Shiraz or Chilean chardonnay is presented with the mains. As we have fish and vegetarian plates, we consider the white a suitable drop. The “Gato Negro” 2012 Chardonnay from San Pedro, Central Valley, Chile displays a tropical bouquet, which transforms into a fruitiness in the palate, a boldness in the mouth and a persistent finish. It performs aptly with both the pasta and deep-sea fish.
|Gato Negro Chardonnay|
Toffee’d Fig Pavlova is a splendid morsel loaded with lemon mascarpone, topped with tropical fruits, and mizzled with a luscious liquid toffee. After the meal we’ve just devoured, the petite parcel is just the right size, and I have no trouble cleaning the plate – especially ridding if of that delectable toffee. Mango Cheesecake is all that hubby hoped for with its dense rectangle of whipped cheese and fruity crest.
|Toffee’d Fig Pavlova|
A fruitily sweet and intense fortified wine completes the line up with Taylor’s Fine Ruby Port from Portugal. It couples proficiently with both the desserts, but its fragrant syrupy nature would make it do on its own for a light ending.
The four-course set is priced at THB3,800 per person and THB5,150 with wine. There are vegetarian options for every course, and chefs are happy to cater for most dietary requirements. Advance bookings are highly recommended.
Reasons to visit: spectacular 360 degree views of the city; chic ambience; excellent service; generously portioned set menu.
Vertigo Grill and Moon Bar
61st Floor, Banyan Tree Bangkok
21/100 South Sathorn Road
Bangkok, Thailand www.banyantree.com/en/ap-thailand-bangkok
+66 (02) 6791 200Open daily: Vertigo, 6pm – 11pm
Moon Bar, 5pm – 1am