We were seated among a crowd of mostly expats and what Bangkok calls its hi-so (high society) locals. Chandon and prosecco were free-flowing, as we were cutting through our slabs of beautiful foie gras and savoring our freshly-cooked lobsters. The view was as spectacular as the cuisine—the Royal Bangkok Sports Club, no less. It was Sunday brunch at Viu at The St. Regis Bangkok, and lucky were we to be afforded a table at the sought-after weekend affair. Read more…
Among colonial America’s most illustrious families at the time, the Astor family established their take on decadent high-society brunches, suppers, and afternoon teas. Building around that legacy, the St. Regis—first of which was established by the prominent John Jacob Astor IV in New York—brought these lavish mealtimes to its luxurious properties around the world.
The St. Regis Bangkok is fortunately hosting these time-honored traditions, and among them is the famous Sunday brunch held at Viu, the hotel’s international cuisine restaurant. The setting is very fitting—the restaurant enjoys sweeping vistas of the Royal Bangkok Sports Club, a venue for such activities as golf, rugby, and cricket open only to the true local elite.
Paying homage to the traditional New York bistro with its swanky interiors and furnishing, Viu has three elegant dining rooms that converge into the rustic European farmhouse-style open kitchen. Floor-to-ceiling windows illuminate ample light to maintain a breezy atmosphere perfect for brunch, while a string and keyboard duo plays melodies that set a mellow mood.
Soon as we were seated, we were offered their beverage menu. Apart from fresh juices and smoothies, on offer were sparkling, red and white wines, prosecco, a variety of martinis, and of course, the entire collection of The St. Regis Bloody Mary’s from all over the world. Aside from the cherished Red Snapper from New York, I went for the Siam Mary, a spicy, zesty, sweet, and salty adaptation of the classic that combines Thai chilies, coriander, tomato juice, and a hint of wasabi. My Bloody Marys were later served in 14-ounce sterling silver tankards as per tradition.
We were introduced to a selection of exquisite dishes made from fine ingredients: foie gras, Wagyu beef, lobsters, and fresh pasta, among others. Everything sounded irresistible, but since the buffet, which exists alongside with the a la carte menu, was still waiting to be explored, we had to restrain ourselves to select a few dishes.
The brunch’s buffet is a bountiful conglomeration of classy Western, Asian, and Thai dishes. For starters, we were offered an ensalada of burrata cheese and tomato, along with a handful of charcuterie items, sushi and sashimi, mixed greens, and an array of Thai salads and relishes. For the mains, meanwhile, there were seafood on ice, pizza to complement the pasta, and at the carving station, slow-cooked prime rib, roast pork, and roast turkey.
Soon after we sat down, they served us our orders masterfully prepared from the open kitchen: pan seared foie gras, lobster thermidor, Bloody Mary lobster, Wagyu rib eye steak, and clams in white wine. Presented to us hot off the grill were churrasco (grilled meats) plus vegetables.
To satiate our immense craving for sweets, we purposely saved room for a staggering selection of desserts, including French macarons, chocolate tarts, several flavors of ice cream, chocolates, cakes, sweet pastries, and mousses, among others. We later capped our exquisite meal with an impressive selection of fine PDO cheeses, wine, and eventually, coffee.
Although it ranks among the most upscale buffets in the city, every baht spent for Sunday brunch at Viu at The St. Regis Bangkok is well-spent with what sumptuous food, elegant ambiance, and spectacular views it provides. An extraordinary experience in itself, it’s certainly a must-try for discerning travelers to the City of Angels.
The St. Regis Bangkok, Rajadamri Road, Bangkok, Thailand
Telephone: +66 2 207 7819
Notes: Sunday brunch runs from 12:30 PM to 3:30 PM. Attire is smart casual.