Thursday, July 9, 2009

Buffet Lunch @ Rain Tree Cafe, Plaza Athenee Bangkok

After China and a couple of days in KL I flew to Bangkok for work and met up with May who is helping her sister pack for her trip to Singapore. Ok I must admit, whenever I am in Bangkok for work I do squeeze in an extra day or two to relax and enjoy the great food the city offers.

And since five star hotels are really cheap during this period I stayed at Plaza Athenee (THB 2800 per night) where I had a lunch buffet at their Raintree Cafe.
Smaller than other 5 star hotels’ buffet, Raintree compensates the lack of size with an emphasis on quality.

We started off with a selection of Asian Tapas and worth noting was the Tuna Tataki which was dressed with some shredded coconut flakes.

Asian Tapas: Tuna Tataki

Another favorite was the fried Spring Roll was really crispy and did not feel greasy.

Asian Tapas: Spring Rolls

Chilled seafood was also on the spread and unlike other lunch buffets they actually serve up mini-lobsters rather than oysters. May particularly liked the lobsters whose meat was tender but not mushy like other buffets.

Cold Seafood: Mini-Lobsters

As for me I always love my sashimi and Raintree does not disappoint. Sashimi here is perfectly sliced and fresh. The chefs even took the time to arrange it nicely.

Fresh Sashimi

The salad section is pretty big with your typical greens served with different dressings and also a wide selection of unique salads such as the Prawn with Pomelo Salad which I enjoyed.

Salad Station: Prawns and Pomelo Salad

Another good salad was the pumpkin salad. The pumpkin was soft and sweet and the vinaigrette's acidity help balance the sweetness out.

Salad Station: Pumpkin Salad

There was also a roast section which featured an entire Sirloin Roast that was cooked medium rare. Served with a variety of condiments such as mustard, horseradish cream and gravy the roast was very tender and juicy.

Roast Sirloin Steak

The buffet also serves up made-to-order pasta and a Noodle Bar where I ordered the Thai Noodle Soup with BBQ Pork and Pork Balls. The soup was a little sweet but the BBQ pork was quite flavorful.

Noodle Soup with BBQ Pork and Pork Balls

In addition, there is a cooked section which serves up some Dim sum, Western and Thai Dishes. Cooked dishes include Sea bass with orange sauce, Prawns tossed with butter, Beef Curry and Seafood with Coconut Cream. Dim sum included Har Kow, Pork buns and a variety of balls. I had a little of each but they were sub-par like other buffets.

Pan Fried Sea Bass with Orange Sauce

Prawns with Butter Sauce

Thai Beef Curry

Seafood with Coconut Milk

Assorted Chinese Dim Sum

Last but definitely not least was their desserts which are all made by a French Pastry Chef. May and I tried every single cake, tarts and shooters. Frankly they were all good, so much so that I would only go over the one’s we liked best! For cakes, the Nougat and Coconut Cake was my favorite. Creamy Hazelnut nougat sandwiched between soft coconut flavored sponges and further topped with coconut flakes this cake was an absolute delight to eat.

Dessert Station: Coconut and Nougat Cake

The Exotic Cheese Cake was May’s favourite. Who would figure that dragon fruit, kiwi and goose berries would go well with the creamy cheese cake? Only this pastry chef could think of that!

Dessert Station: Exotic Cheese Cake

Apart from cakes I also loved the Lime Macaroons. Upon biting the crispy meringue of the macaroon one is greeted with a burst of lime flavour from the custard that is hiding within.

Dessert Station: Lime Macaroons

There were also some Thai Desserts such as the traditional mango with sticky rice.

Dessert Station: Mango with Sticky Rice

May and I however, loved the Three Pearls in Coconut Soup. We both had two bowls of the rich and aromatic coconut soup that consist of pearls made from tapioca, taro and mung bean

Dessert Station: 3 Pearls with Coconut Soup

Overall the quality of the food at Raintree was very good and the desserts... probably the best we had in any 5 star hotel buffets. With the starwood privilege card lunch for two was only THB 750 per person which is very cheap considering the variety and quality of the food served. If you would like to view more photos of the spread you can go to my flickr site at

Contact Information:
Address: 61 Wireless Road, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
Tel: +6626508800

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