As the sun dips below the horizon, casting a fiery glow across the River of Kings, the striking crystal glasshouses that line the Asiatique pier reflect the warm colours of the sky. To the left of The Crystal Grill House is the majestic, permanently anchored, Sirimahannop beckoning diners to indulge in its popular dining experience.
I sit back and sip on a signature gin cocktail with a delightful Matcha foam topping that Japan inspires. The other four signatures are from America, India, Persia and China. Each country alludes to the voyages of the original trader Sirimahannop. The crystal, metal-edged greenhouse I’m in is the bar, an elegant and inviting oasis with a bar counter.
On my right, five other air-conditioned crystal pods named after the five countries that traded with Thailand in the early 1900s offer an intimate dining experience: America (6 seats), India (6 seats), Persia (4 seats), China (4 seats) and Japan (6 seats). Fronting all the glasshouses is an expansive deck offering a charming alfresco seating area overlooking the river. Bringing up the back is the open-plan kitchen, nestled under a glasshouse roof, with counter seating for diners wanting to keep an eye on the chefs and the charcoal-wood-fired Josper Grill that is the heart of the operation. Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park manages the grill house like it does Sirimahananop.
Fabulous as the drink is, I am here for the food. The menu, designed by the hotel’s executive chef, Stephen Doe, focuses on the finest cuts of meat and fresh seafood cooked to order on this grill. The chef has put his spin on everything, including the classic grill house offering - the Steak tartare. Made with succulent Australian Black Angus tenderloin, the beef is carefully hand-cut into tiny cubes, giving it a unique texture. Topping it off is a perfect sous vide egg yolk that adds a rich and jammy flavour. But the real magic happens when you blend it all, and the spice-blend seasoning, the lemon and the egg work together to bring out the flavours of the beef and have your taste buds singing. Josper-grilled Spanish octopus is served with a perfectly balanced romesco sauce, new potatoes and arugula. If you like octopus – do not miss out on this.
The scallops get a refreshingly new treatment - the Hokkaido scallop crudo is served atop compressed watermelon and dotted with avocado-wasabi puree. The Thai staple, Kung Saraong (prawns wrapped in noodles and deep-fried) is also reimagined. Doe’s version has tiger prawns wrapped in kadaifi or shredded phyllo dough and deep-fried. Deliciously crunchy, these, unlike the Thai inspiration, are not oily. The mains feature a pork burger (that I didn’t try), crab linguine topped with bottarga (creamy and delish) and roasted cauliflower topped with Vadouvan spices - a French Masala with origins in the French colonial territory of Pondicherry, India. I keep that for another time to focus on the perfectly executed wood-fired grilled Wagyu striploin and the Black Angus tenderloin – both served with a steak sauce. But steaks this good don’t need a sauce, so I skip it. For sides, there are steakhouse chips, broccolini with Parmesan garlic crumbs, and charcoal-roasted pumpkin with raisins, chilli and pine nuts.
Desserts offer the classic Portuguese custard flan, double chocolate mousse pot and a baked cheesecake. Delicious all.
If you’re looking for a dining experience combining elegance, exceptional cuisine, and a dramatic setting, step into the glitzy gastronomical haven that is The Crystal Grill House, and you won’t be disappointed. Open daily from 4 pm to midnight. Reservations are recommended.
Click HERE to make reservations.