Often touted as one of Bangkok’s sexiest rooftop restaurants, Park Society is repositioning itself with a fresh new dining concept called ‘Social Dining’ and a talented new Chef de Cuisine Joost Bijster. In previous years, Park Society had firmly established their reputation as a premier spot for romantic urban dining, but that’s all about to change. Although they aim to maintain a sophisticated vibe, the focus will now be on more casual and tapas style dining that will appeal to romantics as well as small and large groups who covet a shared dining experience.
Located on the 29th floor of the Sofitel So Bangkok, the restaurant still offers unobstructed views of Lumpini Park from the terrace and the dining room, as well as an opulent, yet modern design ascetic that features geometric angles, mirrored walls and a bustling and energetic open kitchen. Another highlight of dining at Park Society is having access to their international wine cellar. I suggest getting your evening started right by ordering a tantalizing bottle of Santa Carolina, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2014, from Rappel Valley, Chile.
The new ‘Social Dining & Wining’ concept features an intriguing set menu of either 6, 10 or 12 dishes for the table priced between $57USD (2000THB) and $102USD (3600THB)++ per person. It includes several shared seafood and meat platters along with a steak, seafood or lamb main course and dessert to share. “Although we have moved away from a fine dining concept, we are still using the freshest globally sourced ingredients possible”, assured Chef Joost “ I spend a lot of time making sure I find the best high end food producers and suppliers and build relationships with them. For instance, the beef we use here is only found in one other restaurant in Bangkok”. Chef Joost should know, as the other venue serving that beef is his previous employer the internationally acclaimed Savelberg. “This is exciting and new for me, I am moving away from my comfort zone of fine dining, but still keeping those standards. I am open to everything. I just want to make good food, ” Shared Chef Joost.
You won’t be disappointed, as good food is exactly what you get. I of course opted for the 12 course menu and was thrilled with the presentation, flavor and creativity of the dishes tried. My favorite dish hands down was the Chilean Sea Bass w/ Green Asparagus, Miso & Yuzu Sauce. The rich and flakey fish was perfectly seasoned and seared. The smoky, sweet umami elements made it a stunning east meets west offering. I also really loved the Prince of the Sea which was succulent whole live Canadian lobster and angel hair pasta served with a lobster reduction and Thai red curry sauce. This is a brilliant dish that was even better when enjoyed with a white wine such as the Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc, 2014 from Martinborough, New Zealand. I also really enjoyed the Pan Seared Hokkaido Scallop w/Pata Negra Ham, Asparagus, Orange & Vanilla Gel and the Fin de Claire Oyster w/ Thai Style Dressing. Other highlights included the tangy and wholesome Quinoa Salad, the Pan Seared Foie Gras w/ Red Fruit & Acero Balsamico and the Risotto Tom Yum w/ Tiger Prawns & Coconut. The foie gras was a very generous portion cooked to perfection and the risotto is made with orzo pasta instead of rice for a super creamy and flavorful version that was not as heavy or rich as a traditional risotto. For the main course I opted for the Peppoli, Chianti Classico, 2012 from Toscana, Italy and the Cape Grim Sirloin w/ Crispy Potato, Vegetables Garden & Truffle Jus. The free range, grass fed beef is toothsome and the superior taste of the meat is bold, intense and clean. The desserts on offer are just as fabulous and the Banoffee Pie and Apple Tart are both stunning.
I suggest when you visit Park Society you come early and make a night of it. The music inside is much more upbeat and reflective of the new laid back vibe, but the outside terrace is worth spending a bit of time on. The live DJ spins an evocative mix of techno pop tunes and their signature cocktails and alfresco city views are not to be missed. After dinner I checked out some of their unique cocktail menus (they have 3 in all) and highly recommend the The Gold Fashioned made with Johnnie Walker Gold, orange bitters, honey and gold dust from the ‘So Classic’ cocktail menu, as well as the Water Melon Basil Margarita from the ‘So Creative’ cocktail menu and The Le Bivre made with Tanqueray gin, ginger and cinnamon syrup from the ‘So Signature’ cocktail menu. It’s easy to lose track of time while enjoying the balmy breezes, sultry music and formidable libations. Park Society has definitely upped the ante by making the dining experience eclectic, hip and fun. They are serving cuisine that is modern, simple and undeniably fresh, and providing a venue where everyone can take their time, share some laughs, soak up the ambiance and have an unforgettable evening that won’t soon be forgotten.