Incredible views at Saffron in Bangkok — Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis
The suave and sophisticated restaurant is located on the 51st and 52nd floor of the swank Banyan Tree Bangkok Hotel, and your jaw will drop in awe from the moment you walk in. The views from the dining room offer a vista of the entire Bangkok skyline, most attractive just after sunset, when all the lights come on and the city glows below.
The adjoining Latitude Lounge makes the perfect spot to start off the evening in, with panoramas even better than the indoor dining area. And the Saffron kitchen has plenty of signature cocktails to welcome the night, such as the local tom yum, made with white rum, lemongrass, kaffir lime and chili.
Royal appetizers at Saffron — Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis
The food here is as superb as the views , with many diners opting for some of the restaurant's signature dishes such as the appetizer khong wang ruam, a dish of popular Thai nibbles for two. The set comes with grilled chicken breast satay, fried sea bass rice noodle rolls, banana blossom salad and crispy rice noodle wrapped prawns, all served with a variety of sweet and sour sauces.
Another favorite is the goong yai pad prik gaeng karee saffron, consisting of mammoth jumbo king prawns served in a saffron curry sauce with coconut and potatoes. These are some of the largest prawns you'll come across in Thailand – ultra fresh, juicy and soaking up all the saffron curry flavor.
The tom sab spicy Isaan northeastern Thai soup is also highly recommended. While most local restaurants make their tom sab with stewed pork, Saffron uses chunks of finely braised Australian short ribs; they're melt-in-the-mouth soft and tangy, really adding zest to an already tasty stock base.
Saffron curry, a signature dish at Saffron — Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis
With wooden tables topped with cracked glass tabletops, high-backed chairs upholstered in fine silk, walls paneled in lotus flowers and soft ambient lighting, the decor here is soothing and relaxed, making it easy to focus on the fine food, smooth drinks and knockout views.
While the view and fine cuisine certainly don't come cheap, they're both well worth it. Saffron, the spice after which the restaurant is named, is one of the priciest spices in the world by weight, partly because it takes 75,000 flowers to produce just one pound of the fragrant spice. The restaurant here takes from a wide myriad of authentic flavors, classic recipes and ingenious culinary skills; the end result is a finely perfected product.
With great flavors; adherence to tradition; and exquisite, high-end fresh ingredients – along with the Banyan Tree's impeccable attentiveness and service – Saffron should remain at the top of the epicurean food chain for many years to come.