Sometimes and only sometimes, when you have been on the road for a long time. You just reach a point when you get fed up of the local food and just crave something familiar. After 3 months in Asia we were there. Lina was craving cheese and wine. I was just craving a good steak and potato's. Although the thought of a good bottle of wine wasn't to hard to resist either.
So where could we go. Obviously for what we were wanting, one of the major hotels fitted the bill. Luckily for us, quite a few were situated alongside the Chao Prad River..... in Bangkok. After a visit to their websites. The Mandarin Oriental looked the best bet, as they had a nightly buffet on the terrace overlooking the river itself. A quick shave and we popped on our glad rags. Thankfully we have one nice set of clothes that we keep, just for this type of occasion. Also thankfully the easiest way to get to the hotel was on the Skytrain. So at least we wouldn't end up arriving like we'd been trampling through the jungle all day. Looking slightly red and dripping with sweat.
The best thing about the 5 star hotels on the river front. Is that they all have small boats to take you from the landing dock by the Skytrain to your chosen hotel. The boat for the Mandarin Oriental was built of wood and had very comfortable seats. It resembled a small junk. Very atmospheric. After a few minutes of cruising the river, we arrived at the dock for the hotel. With the customary bows of the hotel staff, we were beginning to believe, like them that we were staying there.
We made our way to the Riverside Terrace Restaurant and admired the buffet. I always believe you can tell a lot about a place that puts on a buffet selection. If it's badly presented or looks a bit thin on the ground, then normally the quality of the food is a bit so so. Nothing to fear with this one. There were 5 stations as they call them. Everything was presented to the level you'd expect from a hotel of this class. We'd made the right choice. So after seating on a table outside under the stars, (we were both praying for no rain) and browsing the wine list. I settled on a nice bottle of crisp Italian White, which came chilled in a wine bucket full of ice. After having a sip, yes we have both missed this.
So we made our way to the selection that awaited us. The first station, was your salad selection, ranging from your usual leaves right the way through to a good seafood selection with various vinaigrettes and sauces to go with.
The next section had a nice selection of cold meats and oddly enough a nice sushi and sashimi selection also. Not something I would have put side by side, but we live in an age of fusion. Time to get with the times.
Next in line was the grill. Now this looked really tempting. I think it had something to do with the large prawns slowly chargrilling away and the lovely looking and tasting tandoori lamb and fish pieces. Also a nice beef madras was on offer, and some lovely selections of grilled steaks.
Finally before we hit the puddings was what I had really been missing. The good old carvery. It really was like Sunday lunch was here and alive in Bangkok, even the Yorkies looked pretty darn good. Nice piece of gammon, beef and poultry.
Now in my view, the puddings really make or break a buffet selection. There has to be a good varied selection, all have to be presented to lift you to a spiritual high, and without a doubt the ice-cream has to be homemade and it has to be to die for. God I love the Mandarin. It was all fantastic. I did reach a spiritual high, in fact me and God were about on the same level for a while that night, especially after having a chocolate truffle or two. The blackcurrant pannacotta really gave my taste buds a work out.
We knew it was gonna be expensive, and it was, but as a one off it was really worth it. Not going to be doing it again for a long time. So we justified it to ourselves. The ride back on their boat and the Skytrain was fantastic. One thing about nights like these is a damn shame it has to end.
We both slept very content that night. Very.
Next morning, we were both still very happy and the noodle soup from a small stall on the side of a road for breakfast tasted pretty good.