March 10 2010
Mark C O’Flaherty
Sirocco, on the rooftop of the Lebua Hotel, on the 63rd floor of the State Tower in Bangkok, is easily the most iconic restaurant in Asia. I’ve always loved its adjoining Skybar for cocktails, but Sirocco’s much less photographed, but similarly open-air sibling Breeze, on the 51st and 52nd floors, is better for dinner. In fact, after a recent four-hour banquet there, I’d say it’s the best pan-Asian fine dining in the city.
The setting is, as with upstairs, Imax-worthy sci-fi. You enter via an underlit, 25-metre catwalk (first picture) that constantly changes colour, with twinkling views across the skyline. Star Wars obsessives like myself can’t help but feel pure glee at the immense Imperial Tie Fighter-style feature window.
Visual wows aside, chef Ho Chee Boon – a protégé of Alan Yau – creates a menu with serious substance. I’m so in love with dim sum that I have it for breakfast and lunch nearly every day when in Asia. The Breeze dim sum basket (third picture) is the best, and most luxe, yum cha I’ve ever tasted: Siu mai comes with a lobster filling, while the Chilean sea bass mooli rolls are exquisite. Elsewhere on the menu, a dish of roasted silver cod with Moët & Chandon champagne sauce, caramelised with Chinese honey, is perfectly sumptuous.
For the full experience, opt for the Breeze tasting menu (Bt5,052, around £100), which currently includes seared Hokkaido scallop with Petrossian Ossetra caviar; shark’s fin braised in chicken stock; Sichuan stir-fried Kobe beef with flowering cabbage; abalone fried rice with baked cod; and a dessert of warm spiced pineapple with pina colada sherbet chocolate sauce. It’s all more than a match for a dazzlingly unique dining space.