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Thai - $$$

Fantastic views, delicious food, a warm atmosphere and friendly service come together at Saffron Thai restaurant, ensuring that every visitor gets an authentic taste of Thailand and a chance to experience the Banyan Tree’s special brand of hospitality. The restaurant is split over two levels, high above the city on the 52nd floor of the Banyan Tree Hotel on Sathorn Road. The closest station is Lumphini MRT, but we recommend taking a taxi; the hotel is well known to taxi drivers. There is a smart casual dress code at Saffron restaurant, so no flip flops, shorts, sportswear or open shoes for men.

Saffron has floor to ceiling windows maximising the view of Swiss Replica Watches Bangkok, which from the 52nd floor of the Banyan Tree Hotel is pretty impressive. The decor is a careful mix of modern and traditional Thai, with a wall filled with pinkish lotus buds and candles, and rich red highlights in the drapes and silks. Although this is a fine dining restaurant, the space is welcoming and unintimidating. Dinner at Saffron restaurant starts with a traditional hand washing ceremony, where a friendly waiter pours jasmine scented water over your hands. It can feel a little awkward at first but the staff were so friendly and attentive that you soon get over any shyness, and enjoy the exotic experience. Every team member we spoke to was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the dishes, which made selecting our dishes much easier.

If you’re a fan of Thai food be sure to try the Thai inspired cocktails. Tom Kha – inspired by the traditional soup – is a blend of coconut milk, Malibu and garnished with chilli. Tom Yum cocktail had strong flavours of lemongrass and galangal, but lacked the prawns that you normally find in this broth, which can only be a good thing! The amuse-bouche was a selection of Thai dips together with saffron and rice crackers. The three accompaniments were served warm – the red chilli, tomato and chicken paste had a Mediterranean flavour with an extra kick, the coconut, shrimp and chicken was comforting and the green chilli and eggplant had a real bite to it. The beautiful golden saffron cracker was delicate and flavourful, whilst the rice was a perfect base on which to pile these strong flavours.

We started our meal with a selection of appetisers (770 baht), a great way to experience a little of some of the most popular small Thai bites. Served on a teak tray, the assortment includes juicy chicken satay served with a spicy peanut dipping sauce, fresh prawns wrapped in deep-fried noodles, spicy banana blossom salad and deep fried betel leaves served with crispy seabass. The quality of ingredients and the time put into both the flavouring and appearance of the dishes is obvious, and sharing plates of food the way meals are traditionally taken in Thailand is very convivial. It also means you won’t be jealous of your companion’s choices! Staff at Saffron are careful to ensure that the dishes are spiced to suit your palate, whether you want plenty of chilli or only a hint. Even without the heat, Thai cooking has enough flavouring to ensure each dish is extremely fragrant.

Main courses are also ideal for sharing, split into salads, curries, soups and a decent selection of vegetarian dishes. One of the standout dishes was the yum pla salmon (500 baht): meaty chunks of Tasmanian fish served with a salad of pomello, coriander, mint and pork crackling that showed the skill of the kitchen in creating innovative Thai dishes. The vinaigrette was a pleasing blend of spicy and citrus and there was a generous amount of perfectly cooked salmon. We tried two soups: the more traditional spicy prawn tom yum goong (330 baht) and the tom sab (330 baht), a deeply satisfying sour broth full of Australian short ribs and flavoured with shallot and lime, the tender meat fell of the bone at first touch. Saffron restaurant serves the rice on what appears to be a western dessert trolley, but instead reveals different kinds of grain, including hilltribe rice and delicately scented saffron rice.

Vegetarians are also well catered for, with crispy fried corn cakes with a chilli sauce (300 baht), massaman curry with pumkin, tofu, chestnut and lotus seed, served with roti (400 baht) and a vegetarian phad thai with a side of banana leaf salad (400 baht). For dessert, it was another Thai favourite, yet again presented in an alternative fashion: mango and sticky rice (330 baht). As well as being accompanied by a scoop of unconventional but delicious coconut ice-cream, the sticky rice came deep fried and in a roll. Another delicious sweet treat is the coconut crème brûlée served with warming ginger syrup (280 baht).

Saffron Thai restaurant at the Banyan Tree delivers a wide-selection of Thai dishes, some classics and some updated, all prepared with care, using the finest ingredients available. The excellent service and great views completed the experience, making Saffron a great choice for those looking for a fine-dining Thai meal.

Getting There:

by taxi to Banyan Tree Hotel on Sathorn Tai Road (51-52th Floor) or by MRT subway exit to Lumpini sation (then little walk on Sathron tai road)


Banyan Tree Hotel 51-52 Floor,
21/100 South Sathon Road,
Tel: +66 (0) 2 679 1199

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