The Ipad Christmas Menu of Bangkok
Who said Thai food is run of the mill and unsophisticated and cheap?
Try the Celdaon restaurant in downtown Bangkok and you will be very pleasantly surprised! Well, I was! It was certainly one of the best meals ever, in a most romantic and sophisticated setting.
The restaurant is set in the hotel grounds, but it is not by any standard a ‘hotel restaurant’ designed to serve the hotel guests on their Bed and Breakfast or Half Board Basis. It is a detached bungalow-type structure set in landscaped gardens. Its transparent floor-to-ceiling glass façades all around the four sides of the building, and the landscaped ponds with lotus flowers surrounding the perimeters of the restaurant make it truly outstanding. In fact, the dining experience is wonderful because you do feel you are eating outdoors all around the lotus ponds when in reality you are sheltered in a cosy and candle-lit atmosphere.
One thing which is exceptional in Thailand is the genuinely outstanding service which only they are able to give. But the most amazing surprise was….the IPad menu! I have always thought to myself that going through a long menu is the most boring thing in the world, especially when you are hungry all you want is relax and eat. More so when you end up faced with a plate which is exactly not what you imagined it would be. So……here comes the Ipad menu! Forget long and boring lists of fayre, where you need to look at every word on the menu and try to figure out what it will look and taste like. The Ipad menu is a visual and sensory experience, and also great fun to go through, until you finally decide what whets your taste buds and place the order.
We simply flipped through the different images of Thai dishes, which were all very conveniently categorised under easy headings such as beef, fish, pork, chef’s Thai specials and so on. Going through the different items was a breeze, and we finally settled for a spicy papaya salad, a green curry, and a shell fish platter with fried rice. Delicious!
Dessert was equally orgasmic. The fresh fruit and sticky coconut rice was simply to die for, all washed down with a glass of prosecco to start with, some surprisingly good Thai wine – both red and white were good, followed by the obligatory cocktails at the bar and the cheesy photo by the massive Christmas tree in the hotel lobby….
The entire experience was somewhat marred in the end, as we headed back to the hotel by taxi which was booked by the hotel concierge. Sadly, taxi drivers in Bangkok are somewhat lazy and illiterate, and I have no kind words for them, save for the exceptional driver who goes out of his way to take you to where you want to go, and to arrive on time. Before I slam them further, I do acknowledge that driving in Bangkok and doing it for a living must be hell on earth – the traffic is just incredible. Endless streams of cars, day and night, clog the Bangkok streets and it is not unusual to get stuck in traffic for over fifteen minutes without making any headway. That said, I could not forgive this particular taxi driver who took us to the other side of the city and dumped us in the middle of nowhere, presumably because it was late and it was on his way home….we did manage finally to get another taxi who took us safely back, and we did not much complain about it because taxi rides are cheap and it was Christmas after all and we were not in a hurry. And it adds to the flavour of travelling in this fascinating and colourful city which is Bangkok!
The Sukhothai, 13/3 South Sathorn Road, Bangkok (00 66 2 344 8888; http://www.sukhothaihotel.com).
Recommended by Conde Nast Traveller, Celadon is a popular Thai restaurant located in the Sukhotai Hotel. Tables are set in a classically designed sala with tall windows overlooking a lotus pond and open-air terraces.