Dusit Thani Bangkok has been open as the first Thai-owned five star urban hotel since the year 1970. Now, the latest news update, along with this magnificent weekend brunch, is that they are closing for a US$1.1 billion new development on January 5, 2019 at 14.00. Those who would like to be the last guests of this legendary hotel should now book their rooms.
For me, there are loads of memories at this hotel. As a reporter back in the 1990s, I attended a lot of hi-so events here. There were also a lot of interviews, gala dinners and a glorious chance to interview its founder Thanphuying Chanut Piyaoui for The Magazine of Bangkok Post that added another feather in my journalism cap. But now, upon its closure, the hotel has recently launched yet another weekend brunch for those wishing to indulge in their mega arrays of seafood and absorb the hotel’s luxurious ambiance at Benjarong Thai restaurant.
This ‘Beyond Boundaries’ weekend brunch might also be the brunch with the longest munching hours ever. From 11.30 – 17.00 for food and then with an extension to 19.00 during which the guests can be lounging away at the lobby with one additional drink and a set of canapé. The brunch is Bt2,900++ per person including free flow soft drinks and juices, Bt3,600++ per person including beers, wines and sparkling wines, Bt4,900++ with the second option plus free flow Taittinger champagne. No matter which package you choose, you are entitled for the aforementioned night cap and snack at the lower lobby during the extended two hours. This is so beyond boundaries. A great escape from the outside urban fuzz of Silom and experience for yourself a true physical explosion. Your rubber band will expand until the point of no return after this meal. However, you must like the seafood, though, because they have tons and tons of them for your leisure.
Benjarong Thai restaurant usually serves lunch and dinner. Their ambiance a retro intricate. You’ll know you are at Dusit Thani when you see this era of interior designs and elements. Lot of wooden panels, carved intricately, plush sofa, more set of wooden furniture, some bulky and stately rich and then there’re those chandeliers, too. There’s nothing here that say minimalist, just the opposite. Hues are luxurious purple and pink-grey. All grown-up and mature. Views for this brunch (if you mind looking up from your plates) are the hotel’s signature 1970s-era cascading waterfalls and a lush surrounding oasis. Live band and outdoor cooling mist create a weekend vibes.
The food selections at this brunch is seafood-centric to say the least. Unlimited Canadian lobster, Alaskan king crab, Thai mud crab, French brown crab, mussels and blue swimming crab on ice with the usual trimmings. Sashimi that also features uni or sea urchin. Fresh oysters. Salad bar (now who wants to be healthy here;) with salt-baked salmon and ham in one corner. Outside is the BBQ section where river prawns, squid, cod, salmon, razor clams and mussels can be ordered fresh from the charcoal stove.
- Amuse bouche is salted salmon cooked/steamed on hot stone.
- Main courses are made fresh per order from the extra menu with choices including assorted Mayflower dim sum, pan-fried duck liver with fig chutney and raisin sauce, pan-fried New Zealand rack of lamb with mustard sides, grilled US rib eye with red wine sauce, deep-fried river prawns with pepper and garlic sauce, duck in red curry, Benjarong slow-cooked beef short ribs in light green curry and oven-baked Thermidor.
- Desserts take a whole room + cheese and boulangerie corners. PLUS an outside table covered with arrays of Thai desserts – delicious sticky rice dumplings, sticky rice with shrimp topping, and Thai style shaved ice assortments.
What I like best is their freshly grilled BBQ river prawns. So fresh with luscious head butter (liver). With steamed rice and Thai-style nam pla prik and I felt like million dollars! Delicious.
The quality of their chilled seafood was also good. The lobsters were bouncing off the shell, the blue swimming crabs are tight-muscled. Lovely. The rock lobster, chilled, was also sweet and fresh. I didn’t expect much beforehand because it was, forgive me, a hotel buffet. But the meal turned out to be quite delish. Just order the champagne and sit away.
Dusit Thani Bangkok, 946 Rama IV Road, Bangrak, Bangkok. T: +(66) 02-200-9000. Beyond Boundaries Weekend Brunch at Benjarong + the lower lobby, Saturday + Sunday: 11.30 – 17.00 that can be extended to 19.00 with one additional drink and a set of canapé.