WINE ME DINE ME
Given how many eateries there are in Bangkok, it must be quite brain-racking to come up with creative ways to distinguish the type of food available. In the case of Crave, they define their offerings as "Western and Asian senses". While we're not too sure what that means, judging from the menu, it seems to be international dishes with twists and some fusion fare. However, the mix-and-match approach here isn't as mundane as spaghetti pad kee mao.
There's a reason for us to return to Crave at Aloft Bangkok for the second time because it has been updated with an entirely new menu. The second incarnation is courtesy of Chef Mark Hannon who seems to have a knack for combining different elements from various cuisines. His experience working at leading establishments in different countries translates into a menu catered to diverse tastes.
The iPad menu doesn't require much study (so you should easily comprehend it even after plenty of wine) since it's only seven pages long and divided into curious-sounding sections from "Lite Bites" (appetisers) to "Even More" (mains).
The spacious venue with its very high ceiling is unchanged, decor-wise. The terrace offers a view of the soi below and nearby buildings. You can't help but notice the glistening and modern-looking open kitchen producing savoury wafts in the centre of the main dining area. There's a wine cellar at the back where you can browse over 200 labels.
Twice baked (B80++) is an appetiser ample in flavours and textures. Five baby potato balls are baked twice to achieve the desirable quality of being crisp on the outside while its inside remains tender. They are deliciously dressed with melted Emmental cheese and crispy bacon and served with a dollop of mayo. Drops of French vierge sauce, usually paired with seafood, adds brightness and zest to the dish.
Mojito salad (B125) is very light and refreshing but heavy in surprises. Pieces of watermelon are mixed with rum in a bag and marinated. Other strange elements include a mojito foam and crumbly feta cheese.
NYC kao soi (B195) is an example of taking things a little too far. While the green-lipped mussels from New Zealand enhance the aromatic northern curry with a salty touch in a way that a chicken thigh never could, the dish replaces noodles with French fries to strange effect. The potato pieces feel more like someone accidentally dropped them in the curry and don't quite absorb the delicious flavour.
Churrasco tenderloin (B295) is flat charcoal-grilled Aussie beef served with chimichurri salad and jaew dip. The meat itself is cooked just right, remaining juicy and pinkish in the centre. It doesn't get swallowed up by the dip that has been tamed down from Thai standards.
Fun-guy (B245) is one of seven flatbread items on offer. Obviously inspired by pizza, the unleavened bread has been elevated with various toppings including shitake, shallot, mozzarella and truffle oil.
Cheesert (B165) is a sweet treat with a savoury twist, which consists of blue cheesecake paired with different items. It goes well with green apple, while orange sherbet can send you off on a refreshing and light note.
Crave is currently offering a "Pop Clink Munch!" promotion to mark the new menu. For B990, you and your favourite person can enjoy five items from the menu and drink them down with a bottle of red, white or sparkling wine.
The new version of Crave should impress diners as it offers something new to expand eating horizons. It could work as a place to relax after work for people in the area or have a nice sit-down dinner before you're on your way to Levels or any other neighbouring nightspot in the soi.
Crave Wine Bar & Restaurant
Aloft Bangkok Sukhumvit, 35 Sukhumvit Soi 11
Related search: Bangkok
About the author
- Writer: Pornchai Sereemongkonpol
Position: Guru Reporter