Dine To Your Heart’s Content

The large open restaurant Red Oven at SO/ Bangkok has been satisfying the appetites of diners from all over the world with its contemporary cuisine, live cooking stations and market-style layout. Of course, the signature Red Oven takes pride of place as you enter the modern eatery and perfectly sets up an eye-catching a backdrop of floor to ceiling glass windows overlooking the expansive Lumpini Park.


In most instances, reservations at Red Oven are recommended, but with the Covid-19 pandemic still raging around the world, bookings are now a must. Health and safety is paramount at Red Oven and signs inform diners to always wear a face mask when away from their tables and browsing the various food options, which I must say are substantial.


Depending on who you are dining with – and how intimate you want to get – there is a choice of three distinct seating options: the long table for large groups such as families, friends or work colleagues; the long butcher block-type bar with high-back stools for smaller gatherings; and traditional table and chairs for intimate tête-à-têtes. However, it’s the cuisine people come to Red Oven to enjoy and the seating arrangements and views over the city are added bonuses.


The seafood stall is very popular with guests and offers diners a wide choice of freshly cooked dishes.


In keeping with the new normal, social distancing and a one-way system have been implemented at Red Oven, but things can sometimes go awry when twenty or thirty hungry people descend on the main live cooking station, salad bar, noodle stall, fresh seafood section, Japanese cart or indeed the SO Sweet dessert counters. But as anyone familiar with Thai society knows, things may look a little chaotic at first glance, but ultimately everything works just fine in reality.


We were presented with a nice table for two overlooking Lumpini Park and as soon as we’d ordered our refreshments, we both set off to discover our favoured epicurean delicacies. When ordering from the fresh seafood section, diners only need quote their table number; there are no chits or tokens to hand over. Our seafood items included fried crab in black pepper sauce with bell peppers and onions, half a dozen grilled prawns and a spicy fish with red chillies. Filling our table to capacity were dishes from the pre-cooked section such as beef stew, fried chicken and a few French fries, a small helping of spinach with garlic, pasta with a couple of slices of fresh pizza, a selection of sushi and a bowl of freshly made Caesar’s salad.


Chefs constantly check, stir and update the wide selection of pre-cooked meat and vegetable dishes and thanks to their culinary skills we were not disappointed with any of our selection. The beef stew was just how my grandmother used to make it; melt in the mouth beef and a sauce so rich you almost felt drunk. The breaded chicken was a little on the dry side but the fries were perfect while the spinach possessed a pizazz I’d never tasted before. As each dish was dispatched, service staff seemingly appeared from nowhere to clear the empty plates.


Apart from live cooking stations, Red Oven has a huge selection of cheeses, cold cuts, breads and much more.


As we waited for our seafood to arrive – the restaurant was almost full to capacity and the seafood bar was the most popular section by far – we took another look around stopping at the dessert bar and were pulled in to the SO SEEDY bar, a huge choice of seeds and nuts from which my wife took her fair share. I, on the other hand, opted for some fresh bread and a selection of cheeses.


Back at our table, the main courses had started to arrive. Six huge prawns served with a delicious spicy seafood sauce and the fried crab in black pepper sauce. The prawns were cooked to perfection, firm and juicy and with a splash of seafood sauce they were absolutely to die for. Unfortunately the crab dish wasn’t quite as good with the claws and legs overcooked making the meat all mushy. Our waitress obviously registered our disappointment and offered us a fresh dish, but with our fish yet to arrive, we politely declined. If you enjoy spicy food, then the fish served with red chilli peppers should be high on your list; it’s a real mouth pleaser.


Now, with just about every section of Red Oven raided, our attention turned to the final frontier and the dessert and fresh fruit section. A choice of cakes, coconut and vanilla ice cream plus a few slices of watermelon, pineapple and papaya and our gastronomic journey was complete. All that was left was to enjoy a wonderful hot latte while watching the cars stuck in traffic slowly move along the main road towards their final destinations.


Families and friends continue to enjoy the delicious fare served up at Red Oven.


The chefs at Red Oven are meticulous in their work and menus change from day to day, so the fantastic fare we feasted upon may not be available when you dine there. Red Over is open for dinner from 6pm as well as Sunday Brunch, but due to the Covid-19 situation and subsequent restrictions reservations are highly recommended.


For more information and reservations, please call 66 (0) 2624-0000 or email: h6835@sofitel.com.


Source: Punch Media Digital.

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