Sunday brunch is one of those tantalizing food traditions that has broken down barriers and become internationally recognized as one of the best ways to celebrate food. It’s not quite breakfast, not quite lunch, but has evolved into something even better where abundance and decadence is the name of the game. Guests who covet Sunday brunch expect nothing but the best; and “Bubble Sunday Brunch” at Espresso in the InterContinental Bangkok is no exception. While many hotel brunches are downsizing, Espresso is bucking the trend by getting bigger and better and offering more of the high end luxury ingredients you love. The venue is elegant with a stylish color scheme of sparkling jewel tones and warm earth tones. It is inviting and modern with an energetic urban edge that is reflected by its mezzanine level dining room that looks down onto the hotel lobby and the fast paced activity of the city streets outside. It’s easy to feel pampered by the friendly and efficient staff and even a bit transported by the live band led by a jazz singer crooning out classic standards.
The kitchen is headed up by executive Chef Leslie Stronach and his focus is on seafood, caviar and the freshest high quality ingredients they can find. “The devil is in the details”, and what I truly enjoyed about my experience here was the little things. The stemware was always appropriate whether drinking white, red or sparkling wine. The dirty dishes where carried away immediately and the buffet was just as fully stocked at 3Pm as it was when it began at noon. I never had to wait for premium dished like oysters and crab legs to be refilled, and the king crab was generously cut so that I could really enjoy the succulent meat; which is a stark contrast to many hotel buffets I have tried before. I also really appreciated that top shelf spirits are used in their “formidable” signature house cocktails such as the Spicy Bloody Mary, the Mojito, and the Lychee Martini.
The buffet has more than 100 items on it and each table of two is presented with a freshly streamed Main Lobster from the USA. I could taste the subtle herbs and seasonings used to cook it and the delicate meat is perfectly executed. Free flow alcohol is another standard for the popular Sunday brunch and Espresso has “upped the ante” by offering several free flow packages to choose from. The basic buffet, priced at $55.65USD (1999 Baht)++ per person, comes with free-flow mineral water, soft drinks, coffee, tea and the fresh squeezed juices on the buffet. You can also add-on free-flow “Bubble Packages” which include cocktails, house wine, and beer:
- $108.54USD (3,899 Baht)++ Louis Roederer Premier Brut Champagne
- $52.86USD (1,899 Baht)++ Chandon Brut Champagne
- $38.94USD (1,399 Baht)++ Prosecco Sparkling Wine
I opted for the Chandon package and enjoyed the brut champagne, but was blown away by the Chandon Chardonnay and Chandon Shiraz. On the food side, eafood lovers will discover no less than four types of caviar on offer, Pacific and Fine de Claire oysters on the half shell along with mussels from both Australia and New Zealand. Also look for Chinese fish maw, Pacific snow fish, Alaskan king crab, Chilean crab as well as langoustines and tiger, river and French prawns. The sushi and Japanese-grade sashimi is another surprise as the quality was apparent from the first bite.
The Wagyu Beef Prime Rib and Roasted Lamb were fork tender, and the pan seared Rougié Foie Gras w/Mango Sauce & Balsamic Vinegar was cooked ala minute and was simply divine. You will also find authentic Chinese dim sum, Thai soups and curries, Australian lamb cutlets and Chef Leslie’s signature lamb hot pot which are all amazing. I also really enjoyed the Wagyu Beef Short Rib w/ Spring Vegetables, The Seafood Gratin, Steamed River Prawns, and the Smoked Mackerel, smoked gravlax salmon and Smoked Beef. On the Asian side, the Peking duck and Crispy pork were both brilliant, while the Sweet Roasted Char Sui pork and Fish Ball Soup where an authentic taste that was not a simple after thought. Vegetarians might enjoy the tasty Mushroom Salad, The Asparagus Salad and the Grilled pumpkin, peppers and onions with some of the amazing chesses like “Fromage de Monsieur Ile de France”, or “Mignon Pays du Nord “ with some house made artisan breads. The dessert bar is as tasty as it is artistic and offers European as well as Thai desserts, a chocolate fountain and exquisite Belgian chocolates and truffles.
This brunch may be a bit underrated, but it remains one of my favorite “boozy brunches” in the city. The service is always top notch and their generosity with alcohol and food makes it memorable. Espresso has the ability to turn an average Sunday into a special occasion and allows you to treat yourself to something above and beyond your average buffet of mediocre cafeteria style cuisine. It is an extravaganza of style and substance with a lovely mix of elegant surroundings, live entertainment and fine dining accruements. For more information or to make a reservation, please call +662 656 0444 ext. 6430 or visit www.icbangkok.com.