on February 22, 2013
Vertigo and Moon Bar is a restaurant and cocktail bar on the top floor of the Banyan Tree hotel in Bangkok where we had a meal during our recent trip to the city. The restaurant is completely open air so you are dining under the stars on the 65th floor of the hotel, which is lovely and obviously gives excellent views over the city.I would strongly recommend booking in advance because the restaurant is very popular. This is especially true if you are not staying at the hotel because the booking system seems to be more restrictive if you are not a resident. We actually booked the day before by visiting the hotel and were able to get a table at 9pm the following day. If you know that you want to go and when, it’s probably better to book in advance, which you can do quite easily through their website (www.banyantree.com). There is a direct lift to the restaurant that doesn’t stop anywhere on the way up which is good because otherwise it would take an absolute age to get up there. It is worth bearing in mind that the lift doesn’t actually go all the way up to the restaurant and there are a couple of flights of stairs that you will have to walk up. It’s actually a nice way to get up if you can manage it because there is an excellent photo opportunity on the way past.Even if you get a later booking like we did, you can go and a have a drink in the bar before you table is ready, which is very pleasant and a nice way to start the evening. We got there about half an early with the intention of doing this, but our table was ready straight away.There is not much lighting in the restaurant, presumably to make the most of the open air views. As a result it is very dark and you even get little torches so that you can read your menu. I actually really liked this and thought it added to the atmosphere. It was light enough that you could see you food obviously but the torches were much needed for menu reading.The food was pretty good. I had lobster bisque to start that was absolutely delicious. It comes in a bowl which has a big piece of lobster in and they pour the soup over the top, which was a nice touch. I had the chicken for main course, which was again very good. It was beautifully presented with mixed baby vegetables. My husband had pork medallions which were perfectly seasoned and cooked. For dessert, I had a summer berry millefeuille, which I loved. I’m not normally one for pastry and cream but it was lovely and light. My husband had the tiramisu, which was nice but slightly odd in that it came in a cosmopolitan glass – to be honest I think it was probably more style than substance. To accompany, my husband had a couple of local beers and I had one of their signature cocktails which was absolutely delicious, if a little pricy. The service was good but not great to be honest. I think the idea is right but the execution is not quite there. The idea is that it is fine dining but I don’t think they have quite got it right. There are an awful lot of staff and they don’t seem to know what each other is doing and it seems a bit disorganised. We had different people take our order, bring our drinks, bring our starter, bring our meal, bring our dessert and so on. We actually wanted more drinks but didn’t get any because no one came over and asked us, which I think is down to the fact that no one person was actually serving us. I also noticed that they had this policy of making sure that both of our plates were laid down at the same time and to do this they had two people serve each course, which was all well and good until there weren’t two people available at the same time. As a result our main courses were sat on the pass for at least five minutes before they were brought to us. In fact the whole meal took about an hour and three quarters, which is an awfully long time for two people to get three courses. We weren’t overly concerned because we enjoyed the break between courses, but I think the standard of service was lacking.The price was very high, especially when you compare it to prices of other places in Bangkok and in the Far East in general. We paid £176 for three courses and a couple of drinks (I think it was two beers and two cocktails) which is very high. I think that it probably wasn’t worth it to be honest. The food was very nice but I couldn’t help think that I had been to other places where the food was as good but the bill was an eighth of the price. Overall I would say that Vertigo is a nice place to go if you want to put on your best frock and enjoy fantastic views, but only if you have a couple of hundred pounds to burn.
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