Lebua at State Tower
1055 State Tower Si Lom, Silom, Bang Rak, Bangkok 10500, Thailand
| +66 2 624 9999
Sun 12am - 11:59pm
At lebua Bangkok, Mezzaluna Celebrates a Milestone AnniversaryThe allure of Bangkok, with its winding Chao Phraya river, exceptional $10 Thai massage parlors, and the thrill of the tuk-tuks everywhere, can be a never-ending affair. And in a city with a population of over 5 million people, one can expect so many hotel choices.
One spring evening, I found myself at the top of a hotel I had often heard of but quite not explored: the 136-suite lebua at State Tower. I was there to celebrate the opening of the hot "Sukai" nightclub, on the heels of a 12-hour-long anniversary celebration of the hotel’s two-Michelin-starred "Mezzaluna." (The party was an evening to remember, with beautifully crafted drinks including a vodka cocktail served in a shaved sugarcane flute, but that was just the icing on top of the cake).
I did not come with any sense of expectation, but left feeling like I had discovered the next Noma.
Less than twelve hours earlier, I had experienced a seven-course tasting menu on the 65th floor which boasts 180-degree city views, including those of neighboring skyscrapers and the graceful Chao Phraya river boats with their signature multicolored hues. Supervised by the Japanese chefs Ryuki Kawasaki and Koji Chimomura, the menu at Mezzaluna was a tour-de-force, from the white asparagus foam salad – an airy ode to molecular gastronomy – to the painterly dessert of deconstructed Japanese strawberry sorbet served with atap seeds.
The afternoon showed the virtuosity of the chefs whose Michelin stars not just seem to twinkle, but dazzle with a decided brightness (side note: a group of us was fortunate enough to listen to the shimmering playing of a string quartet during this magical afternoon).
Apart from the undisputed culinary chops of Mezzaluna, lebua visitors and guests can sample spirits and wines that are truly one-of-a-kind. I guess I was not expecting the sheer bravura and quality of the world-class (and clearly, unique) spirits I was about to indulge in during my three-day stay there.
At best, I thought, a beautiful glass of Champagne would be nice.
The Alfresco 64 –a Chivas Bar—is an outdoor spirits venue on the 64th floor with mood lighting and views that cannot be beat. The entire venue becomes quite magical at dusk, like a scene from a James Bond film. On the same floor is the world’s highest open-air Champagne Bar—Flûte –sponsored by Perrier-Jouët, one of the hotel’s partners.
Here, I sipped harmonious vintages of the Blason Rosé and Belle Epoque that one can only get at this bar, under the auspices of Hervé Deschamps, Perrier-Jouët’s cellarmaster. The beautifully delicate floral expression of the Belle Epoque was the perfect chilled recipe for the balmy evening, with its delicate floral notes and fruity notes, almost Mozartean in its artistry.
But for me, the crowning glory of my dining experience at lebua was tasting the small-batch 2016 Shiraz release from St. Hugo winery, done by winemaker Ben Bryant, that was served to commemorate the occasion of Mezzaluna’s anniversary. Exclusive to the hotel, the wine is a balanced blend of grapes harvested from the beautiful Barossa valley, an area known for its hot, dry summers and cool, moderate winters.
But bespoke luxury is the way that lebua lives and breathes: the motto is part of their credo.
“We started from the bottom of the pyramid in terms of luxury,” says Deepak Ohri, referring to Louis Vuitton. “And to set ourselves apart, we looked at other brands like Hermes and now, Pernod Ricard, which gave us access to exclusive Chivas, wine and Champagne vintages.”
At Bangkok’s Perrier-Jouët Champagne Bar, lebua sells more Blanc de Blanc bottles than any other place in the world, including the entire country of Singapore. “And these beverages are only available at our hotel,” adds Ohri. Mezzaluna needed a new, exclusive wine dimension for its menu, and that’s how the idea of the St. Hugo Shiraz was born. “Beverages are the new luxury in food,” believes Ohri.
Some visitors could arrive at lebua (which boasts enormous suites with terraces and even in-house massage rooms), thinking that the brand is all about marketing. After all, the phrase, ‘world’s tallest open-air Champagne bar’ could come across as a brag. But after having tasted the products, I fell in love with their quality. All these “nice to haves” became “need to haves”: they were clearly beautifully-selected, carefully-poured, and elegantly-served.
Collaborations, as Ohri explains to me, are good to have, but the execution, marketing and belief in the product are key. “It’s not just about the marketing,” he says. “The product has to be stellar.”
And after experiencing the dining magic at lebua ---even for a short time—I left utterly convinced that a dining experience at Mezzaluna is just the beginning to discover the unique culinary magic that exists only at lebua Bangkok.