Focus On - Sunday Brunch at Tables Grill
reviewed by : Michael Moore
15 November 2015
Sunday brunch has become a Bangkok institution. It is a seemingly required ritual at virtually every major hotel in the city, plus numerous standalone restaurants. The drill at most places – although there are a few exceptions – is an “all you can eat” buffet with a large variety of items, including mounds of boiled and steamed seafood. Although the food is usually of reasonable quality, it is rarely anything to write home about it. And the setting is frequently the dining room of the hotel's all day restaurant, a cavernous space where those on room packages eat their buffet breakfast in a setting reminiscent of a cafeteria.
It's not like this at Tables Grill; to start with there is the setting. The restaurant was designed by famous New York based designer Tony Chi. He combines modern influences and traditional features that evoke a feel of a classical European restaurant with lots of wood paneling, copper topped cooking tables and two private dining rooms. The overall effect is a bit like that of an elegant private club.
The system of dining is also different and combines the best of both “regular” restaurant and buffet dining. Instead of you making a trip to a buffet, more often than not chefs and servers do the walking. Many dishes on the Tables brunch menu (which is handed to you once seated) are prepared by a chef table-side while you watch. Most other items are ordered by you and then brought to your table by a server.
Although this might sound a bit convoluted, it's not. There is a constant stream of chefs and servers strolling about and you will soon develop a relationship with a couple of them who will take care of your needs.
Space limitations prohibit discussing each dish, several items deserve special mention. The imported oysters on ice were sparkling fresh and a fabulous treat to eat. On the day of our visit Tasmanian Oysters and Fine de Claire Oysters from France were being featured. Although both were fabulous, we preferred those from Australia. We also loved the Lobster Thermidor (only one order per person) and the Champagne Risotto. Risotto is a difficult dish to prepare and definitely not something for a buffet, but since Tables prepares dishes to order, this selection was at least as good as what we have found at Bangkok's leading Italian restaurants. I was also very impressed with my slice of prime rib and my dining partner couldn't stop talking about the delicious, thinly sliced pieces of seafood trout from the area serving canapés and starters.
Perhaps the most spectacular item at Tables is the “dessert room”. The restaurant gussies up one of the separate dining rooms and each month dedicates it to desserts from a specific region of the world. We dined during “USA” month and were able to gorge ourselves on things like New York cheesecake, apple pie, brownies and a lemon tart that conjured up visions of what mom used to make.
The prices for Tables Sunday Brunch are as follows: 3,999++ baht with a free-flow of beverages including Moët & Chandon Brut Impérial, excellent wines, beer, cocktails, homemade iced tea and soft drinks; 3,000++ baht excluding alcoholic beverages; and 1,500++ baht for children, aged 6-12.
Brunch at Tables Grill isn't cheap, but if you are looking for the finest rendition of this Bangkok tradition, this is where you will find it.