In Bangkok, street food might be the top draw for hungry visitors, but in recent years the city’s high-end restaurant scene has expanded dramatically, giving culinary travelers more reasons than ever to visit the Thai capital.
Two Bangkok venues earned spots on the 2019 World’s Best Restaurant list. Meanwhile, Michelin launched its own dining guide to the city in 2017, with the most recent edition awarding stars to 26 Bangkok restaurants, as well as one in Phuket.
Now, there’s a new fine dining experience that takes Bangkok’s food and drink scene to even greater heights.
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Open in early July, Mahanakhon Bangkok SkyBar is now Thailand’s highest restaurant and bar. It takes up the 76th and 77th floors of the King Power Mahanakhon skyscraper, which towers over the city at 314 meters (1,030 feet).
Billed as a “modern brasserie” offering both Western and Asian dishes, SkyBar’s menu comes from the skilled hands of American executive chef Joshua Cameron, formerly of New York’s Eleven Madison Park — awarded World’s Best Restaurant in 2017.
Highlights sampled by CNN Travel on a recent visit include Andaman sea bass with a Thai nahm jim (seafood sauce) emulsion, Hokkaido uni panna cotta and a delicious plate of Australian 48-hour short ribs served with couscous, grape and eggplant.
The menu is accompanied by a huge list of classic cocktails and over 100 wines.
Once diners finally yank their gazes from the unrivaled views of the city outside, they’ll notice plenty of original touches in the stunning space. Designed by Tristan Auer and his team at Wilson Associates, it combines French elegance with Thai-inspired patterns.
We recommend reserving a seat in the stunning outdoor glass-encased open-air dining area.
“The scheme for the outdoor terrace plays on the concept of an urban jungle, surrounding guests in abundant greenery to evoke the feeling of a forest in the sky,” says the Wilson Associates design brief.
An added perk of dining at SkyBar is free access to the Mahanakhon SkyWalk, which is just one floor up.
This 314-meter-high (1,030 feet) observation deck and rooftop bar — Thailand’s highest — presents 360-degree views of the city.
The big attraction here is the terrifying glass floor, which juts out over the edge of the building. Before stepping onto the platform, visitors must slip protective fabric booties over their shoes.
Both the restaurant and observation deck are part of the King Power Mahanakhon, a mixed-use project, claimed to be worth close to $1 billion.
Its 2016 completion earned it the title of “Thailand’s highest building,” knocking out long-time titleholder Baiyoke Tower II, a 304-meter-high hotel in the city’s Pratunam district completed in 1997.
Mahanakhon’s time in the spotlight was short-lived though — according to the Skyscraper Center, Magnolias Waterfront Residences stole the crown upon its completion in 2018.
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Nevertheless, Mahanakhon remains one of the city’s most striking pieces of architecture, its eye-catching three-dimensional strip of “pixels” weaving its way down the steel and glass building — a trick achieved through the construction of “sky boxes.”
The skyscraper is made up of 78 floors. Floors one through 18 will be occupied by soon-to-open Orient-Express hotel.
Floors 23 to 73 are reserved for the Ritz-Carlton Residences — 209 residential units managed by Ritz-Carlton, of course, including penthouse SkyResidences, which range in size from 125 to 844 square meters (two to five bedrooms).