reviewed by : Ken Barrett
25 August 2019
Approaching So Sofitel allows one a choice, because the hotel stands at the very top of Sathorn Road, where it meets Rama IV Road, and wedged in as it is, has an entrance on both roads.
On a Sunday morning, however, traffic is unlikely to be a problem, and we hit congestion only when we entered the lobby and found what must have been a very large group checking in, or out.
Red Oven is on the seventh floor, and is So Sofitel’s all-day restaurant. As the structure has an atrium design we could hear the vague sounds of the tour group in the ground-floor lobby as we settled down at our window table to enjoy the view out across Lumpini Park.
For Sunday brunch there are two packages available, with the standard package at 1,900++ baht, and a package that includes free-flow white, red, rose or sparkling wine, or beer, at 3,000++ baht. Youngsters between six and 12 years eat for half price, while there is no charge for the very young ones.
The layout of Red Oven is rather odd, and again it’s that atrium, for although a large number of tables have space by the huge two-storey windows, there are also a large number tucked away along the side of the atrium, and at first unsuspected.
There is also an outdoor deck, with astonishing views eastwards along Rama IV, and we were interested to see just how huge is the plot of land that is now being developed on the site of the old boxing stadium.
Red Oven has a particularly striking design, taking its theme from a traditional red oven and with reds and blacks colouring the decor. Rustic kitchen touches such as wooden tubs, dark-wood cabinets and hanging lamps add warmth to the room, and a blackboard proclaims the specials.
The main buffet table takes up the centre of the restaurant, with other smaller ones dotted around, and with the sushi counter, manned by a cheerful chef who slices to order, somewhat perplexingly on its own at the far end of the atrium leg.
There were two types of oyster on offer, and we naturally had both. Crab, lobster, mussels, and all the most popular seafood items are grouped here. A large and well-selected cheese counter had the very pleasant addition of small slabs of quince paste as a condiment.
Where Red Oven really stands out for its brunch is that there are nine live cooking stations, and if you tell the chef your table number, your hot dish will be served to you. We tried this with the roast beef and lamb, which arrived promptly, and it adds an extra touch of leisured contentment to a long and lazy brunch,
We had only one quibble, in that there was no choice of wine other than the colour, and that the label available during our visit was far from impressive. A house wine should be good enough to promote the restaurant.
Otherwise, the variety of food, the space available, and the restaurant ambience all made for an agreeable Sunday brunch. And of course there is that view, which is gorgeous.