By : JOHN GRANVILLE
08 November 2018
On top of the 55-storey structure of the five-star Centara Grand at CentralWorld is an arched structure that represents a lotus blossom, and directly behind that is the open deck of Red Sky, the indoor seating area, and the Red Sky Bar.
The views up here are astonishing, even by Bangkok rooftop restaurant standards, for you have 360-degree views from one of the busiest parts of the city. Even the notorious traffic jams at this junction, which taxi drivers declare is the most congested in Bangkok, take on a beauty from this height, the streams of red tail-lights wriggling along the roads like a living thing.
Both the outdoor and the indoor areas are cosily lit, and with the restaurant and bars consistently busy there is a convivial atmosphere.
The theme is to serve bistro cuisine, the kind of robust, hearty eating that can be found in neighbourhood restaurants throughout France. Finding this kind of food served in the sky is a Bangkok phenomenon.
We had half a dozen Cap Horn Fine de Claire No 1 oysters at 995 baht, and salmon tartar (755 baht), made from North Atlantic salmon, the raw fish mixed with horseradish and avocado and moulded into a moist square sausage shape.
One of us had a Wagyu beef tenderloin Rossini (2,155 baht), a particularly tender cut of beef topped with foie gras and served on a bed of creamed potato with a rich Madeira sauce. We divided this into two, for the other main course was a Surf & Turf Tower (5,955 baht), a signature dish of the restaurant, and designed for two people. This extraordinary heaping consists of two trays, stacked with Wagyu rib eye, rack of lamb, grilled Maine lobster, giant Andaman prawns, US scallops, and, poking from the top like giant horns, two legs of Alaskan crab. Vegetables, potatoes, dips and sauces are included.
For dessert we had a dark chocolate fondue (395 baht), served in a neat little white tub. We finished with a sampler of French artisan cheeses, at 855 baht, a nicely chosen selection that includedCamembert au Lait Cru, Reblochon Femier Edelmont, Comté 24 mois, Sainte Maure Cendré, and Roquefort Papillon Noir. The cheeses came with truffle-honey walnuts and a crusty baguette.
Red Sky has been around in a largely unchanged format ever since the hotel opened, and is one of the Bangkok rooftop experiences that is consistently popular with all types of clientele, ranging from locals through to tourists, business visitors, and delegates from the integral convention centre.
Most rooftop restaurant prices are high, those at Red Sky included, but here they are not unrealistically high. If you venture into the charcoal grilled beef section of the menu you can end up paying almost 5,000 baht; but elsewhere you can dine handsomely for less than 2,000 baht. The menu is admirably concise, bistro-style.