My gal and I recently stayed at the Hotel Indigo Bangkok Wireless Road for a little staycation in the Big Mango. During our stay, we visited CHAR, their contemporary grill restaurant offering global flavors in a refined yet approachable setting with spectacular views. See for yourself…
It would be an understatement to say that this is a gem for great views of Bangkok’s cityscape that also offers an impressive AND affordable menu because they also offer diners some surprises.
To really unlock the value of the experience and the creativity of the chef and CHAR’s kitchen team, I highly recommend letting them surprise you with “THE SURPRISE MENU”. You tell them what you can’t eat, and the rest is up to them to surprise you. That’s what my gal and I did and it was a culinary journey and highlight of our staycation at this 5-star boutique hotel!
Let me show you…
What a view!
Our first surprise came as soon as we entered the restaurant. Standing 26 floors tall, the Hotel Indigo Bangkok Wireless Road isn’t a giant amongst Bangkok’s skyscrapers so we weren’t expecting such an impressive view of the cityscape. Because the hotel is located directly across from the US Ambassador’s residential compound and the Embassy of the Netherlands they offer guests (and diners!) an unobstructed view of Bangkok that just seems to get more and more impressive as the sun lowers.
Let the Chef surprise you!
On to the dining…as I mentioned the menu is full of surprises but to really experience a food journey, go for “THE SURPRISE MENU“. There are two menus: a 3-course menu (1,500 baht/per person) and a 5-course menu (2,500 baht /per person). You can also add a wine pairing option to each course (700 baht or 1,200 baht per person respectively). We chose the 3-course option and opted to get a bottle of wine (their wine selection and prices were too good not to enjoy!).
The GREAT thing about this menu is that you get a choice of 2 options for each course. If you’re a couple who likes to share, you’ll each get a chance to try a lot of great food. See for yourself!
For appetizers, we had two choices, both seafood: lobster or scallops. Both were an introduction to just how delicious food can be when mixing global flavors together for a synergistic taste explosion.
Our first dish that hit the table was this grilled octopus starter. First impression, they go all out on the presentation. It’s a colorful dish that is presented beautifully and also gives off some funky sci-fi, “It Came From The Deep” vibes. I understand that people also eat with their eyes and that presentation is important. But for me, flavor is what I want. This dish doesn’t disappoint in that department. The perfectly grilled octopus is served with baby potatoes, crispy chorizo, edamame, and burnt garlic aioli, with salsa verde.
Starting a tasting with this dish is like entering a boxing ring with Mike Tyson. Hold on–because your tastebuds are about to get rocked. POW!
The second appetizer we received was this tasty Hokkaido scallops dish. Another heavy-hitting flavor contender, the perfectly cooked fire-grilled Hokkaido scallops are topped with mushroom purée drizzled with seaweed brown butter, and served with a side of rocket salad with lime-truffle vinaigrette, with shaved parmesan.
On to the mains!
I’ve found that often with tasting menus the dishes can be quite small. I was pleasantly surprised when our appetizers were more than just one or two bite samples. It made us wonder if that’s the appetizer, what’s the main look like? Something even more substantial, actually!
The first main we received was the beef tenderloin. The dish consisted of not one but two tender and juicy tenderloin filets served on creamy polenta, with sautéed bok choy, and a rich beef jus. Dishes like this are why I highly recommend couples get both options in each course category. The portions are just perfect for sharing!
Though, this beef is so good, with the knife still in hand I did have to wrestle with the urge to get a little “stabby” when my gal’s fork approached the plate…
The second main we received was this seabass dish. The roasted seabass was served beside carrot-ginger puree, accompanied by a side of shredded cabbage with grapes, and crispy quinoa. The fish skin was perfectly crispy with the flesh remaining flaky and succulent. It was also fairly portioned so that we could share and not descend into an arm wrestling match for that last bite.
My gal’s got quite a grip and has been studying the “Over the Top” movie for pointers…
We finished off our tasting with something sweet, two desserts that were very tasty and unique. The first was this Crêpes Suzette, a thin crêpe filled with fluffy cream and mango. A nice light dish that provided a sweet finish to our food journey.
The second dessert for sharing was this CHAR-style Raspberry Sponge Cake. It is a unique cake that if I had to describe it I would say that’s it’s a cross between a traditional sponge cake and a NY-style cheesecake. It’s spongy, but also thick. It’s also very tasty!
A chat with the Chef…
We had the good fortune to meet with Chef Jaime “Jimmy” Rojas, the new Chef de Cuisine responsible for the magic behind CHAR’s inventive worldly cuisine. Born in Mexico, Chef Jimmy has traveled around the world working in hotels and resorts as well as Michelin-starred restaurants in 17 countries and counting. His globe-trotting experience has directly influenced his cooking, and diners can experience how he’s expertly blended these varied regional flavors in his unique dishes.
His “food philosophy” is that dishes should be like conversations. Just as you get to know a person by asking questions, and actively making an effort to understand the individual and their background, and want to learn more about them, each dish will engage your taste buds, question what you’re tasting, and keep you seeking more with each bite.
Dining at CHAR, I can say from my experience I thoroughly enjoyed the internal conversations I had with my food, the external conversation with my gal (often about the food and view), and the restaurant vibes, too.
CHAR is a perfect place for intimate dining, but it also offers private dining spaces for larger groups. So if you’re looking for a place with a delicious reasonably-priced menu, amazing views, and semi-private or private spaces for large families, groups of friends, or corporate gatherings, put CHAR on your radar.
Bonus! CHAR Rooftop Bar
As a bonus, after dinner, my gal and went upstairs to their CHAR Rooftop Bar for some tasty after-dinner cocktails and light snacks al fresco with incredible unobstructed views.
I was very impressed with their drink and snack menu. For a Bangkok rooftop bar, I’d wager they have one of the best snack menus in town, too. I’m a fan of whisky-heavy drinks like an Old Fashioned. Their signature drink, “Secrets in the Smoke” has been added to my short roster of favorite drinks to enjoy in Bangkok. Try it!
I’m hungry. Where is it?
Here are some key details:
- CHAR Restaurant is open from Monday to Saturday for dinner service starting from 6:00 pm until 10:30 pm.
- CHAR Rooftop Bar is open daily from 5:00 pm until midnight (Sun-Thu) and until 1:00 am (Fri-Sat). Live DJ sessions every Friday and Saturday from 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm.
- Reservations are essential, and you can book directly here: https://bit.ly/3CNXJ3i, email CHARBangkok@ihg.com, via LINE at @charbangkok or call them at 02-207-4999.
- IHG® One Rewards members are entitled to their full benefits and can earn points with every meal.
- To see their specials, follow their social media channels: Charbangkok, IG: Charbangkok
They have an a la carte menu, that also offers a 3 and 5-course surprise tasting menu. If you try the 5-course surprise tasting menu I’d love to hear from you! My gal and I want to know what those other 2 surprise dishes are.
I want to hear from you!
Should you decide to experience CHAR, I’d love to hear your feedback in the comment section below, directly to me, or via message on either the Chow Traveller Facebook page or Chow Traveller Instagram (and feel free to like/follow these pages if you want to learn about more about the foodie gems I find). However you choose to reach out, I’d love to hear from you!