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28 May 2023

Dine with a city view

By Maha Obeid

Bangkok’s Sirocco Restaurant is the one of world’s highest alfresco restaurants, overlooking the city skyline and the Chao Phraya River.


Since it opened in 2003 at State Tower, one of Thailand’s tallest buildings,  the 230-metre high Sirocco has won awards for its panoramic views and international cuisine. American Express voted it “My international favourite restaurant” in 2006 and 2007.


The restaurant is located in the Dome of the building, which also features an Italian restaurant. It offers a stunning view of the Chao Phraya River, the principal river of Thailand, which flows south for more than 365km to the Gulf of Thailand.


It claims to bring a breath of fresh air to the dining scene, and it literally does during the warmer months in Bangkok, with the cool air fanning the restaurant from its vantage point on level 63 of the building. It has a sweeping deck, which extends from the floor to the middle of the sky, freezing mid-way in space. From the deck, a beautifully lit stairway takes you to the open-air Sky Bar, a popular stop for a pre-dinner drink.


Sirocco is open for dinner every evening from 6 to 11 and accommodates up to 150 people. It is always heavily booked so advance bookings are essential. Adding to the breezy and relaxed atmosphere is a live jazz band, with five musicians and a singer, who perform nightly.


Chef de cuisine Stephen Dion has created the menu, drawing on years of experience, including working as personal chef to the King of Jordan. Dion, a Canadian, started his career in Quebec and then worked throughout Asia. The specialty dishes are lamb, foie gras and lobster and the ingredients are flown in from all over the world. The menu includes Almas caviar from Iran, lobster from the United States, cold water lobster from Australia, Kobe beef from Japan, foie gras from France, fine de claire oysters from France, vegetables from Australia and Italy, and sea bass from Chile.


The array of choices is endless, and luckily the dirham-baht exchange rate works in tourists’ favour. The average amount spent on meals alone per guest is $120 (Dh440). One of the most expensive dishes is Sirocco’s signature dish, grilled Maine lobster on wild rice and grilled corn salad, which is priced at 2,800 baht (Dh345).


Located 35km from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, the State Tower’s hotel, lebua, is a big draw for international visitors. Many lebua guests dine at the dome’s venue, and about 20 per cent of Sirocco’s visitors are hotel guests. The Mediterranean-themed menu appeals to a whole spectrum of visitors, some of whom have traversed the globe to visit Bangkok.



Taste the extraordinary


-          Pan-roasted black sea bass and tiger prawns on a Kalamata olive, sun-dried tomato and kipfler potato stew


-          Pan-fried Dover sole with glazed Spanish artichokes, scallops and hibiscus dressing


-          Pan-fried snow fish with olive tapenade and saffron sabayon on a bed of pine nut rice


-          Spicy deep-sea jumbo prawns with garlic, chilli, tomato and olive oil-tossed spaghetti


-          Sirocco stir-fried black pepper crab “casserole” with vegetables and fragrant rice


-          Grilled Maine lobster drawn with sea urchin butter served with wild rice and sweet corn salsa


-          Pan-roasted Barberie duck breast on fig and blue cheese polenta with baby spinach and sun-dried cherry sauce


-          Lemon grilled French spring chicken with forest mushrooms and fussili gratin


-          Slow braised lamb shank with Greek vegetables, roasted garlic and goat’s cheese crushed potatoes


-          Sumac marinated Australian lamb rack with ginger and pumpkin mash and grilled scallions


-          Seared veal medallion topped with ricotta and spinach ravioli served with a potato galette and a Pommery mustard sauce


-          Cepes mushroom marinated prime beef sirloin with roast potatoes and baby root vegetables


-          Mediterranean salad of tiger prawns, scallops, mussels, Australian rock lobster on a baby herb salad tossed with aged French, banyuls dressing