A new, semi-alfresco tapas bar and restaurant on top of Centara Grand.
Alfresco 54th-story views complement a fresh, Mediterranean decor that feels anything but stuffy. It's a fitting backdrop for an equally laidback menus of authentic tapas: some 40-odd treats like Joselito ham, live Boston lobster sashimi, oysters, Cochinillo suckling or wild porcini mushroom croquettes. Thirsty? There are whopping 36 wines by the glass here.
The buzz: Centara Grand, the towering five-star hotel and exhibition center behind CentralWorld, has smashed down the windows of what used to be its top-floor fine-dining restaurant, Fifty-Five, to create this new, semi-alfresco tapas bar and restaurant where casual sharing plates meet with premium produce and swanky hotel service.
The decor: Anyone familiar with the austere, starched white tablecloths which used to occupy the space won’t recognize much in Uno Mas’ blend of bamboo ceilings, rustic sofas and a warm palette of orange, yellow and marine. Capitalizing on the massive success of upstairs’ Red Sky rooftop bar, the space has been opened to the elements. There’s still a roof over your head, but those panoramic city views are even better with the glass removed and the 54th-floor breeze allowed through. A new bar’s been built around the vast, 2-story-tall walk-in wine cellar (always the space’s trump card), while for dinner you can choose between more formal seating beside the cold tapas station and a terrace where they grill the meat.
The food: Some 40-odd hot and cold tapas dominate the menu, alongside a selection of very fancy cold cuts like Joselito ham (self-described as the best Iberian ham in the world and recipient of some serious foodie praise too, B790-1,290) as well as live Boston lobsters (B1,200 for tail sashimi) and all the big-name oysters (B160-190). But the really exciting stuff happens out on the Josper charcoal oven, where they roast up Cochinillo suckling pig the Spanish way: halved down the middle, perfectly salted and permeated with the flavor of fresh rosemary (B1,490, serves 2-4 people). From the tapas menu, don’t miss the wild porcini mushroom croquettes (B190), raw Galician razor clam ceviche (B490) or what the chef calls “Mock Tuna” (B290); cubes of Sangria-drenched watermelon on ice—perfect to cut through the fatty profile of some of the other tapas. Oh, and that 36-month-cured Joselito ham: it’s worth the hype.
The drinks: A top-drawer list of Spanish reds and whites, with a total 36 wines offered by the glass in both 9cl and 15cl pours (priced from B170-820). Try the minerally, almost-Riesling-like 2013 Alberino from Martin Codax (B190/9cl, B320/15cl, B1,600/bottle), or the La Vendimia 2013 Rioja (B170/9cl, B280/15cl, B1,400/bottle) for a characteristically Spanish red. There’s also a new menu of fruit-heavy cocktails at B390 each.
Why you should care: For one, much of the pricing remains on a level that’ll not alienate us locals. Sure, the fancier stuff like lobster and Iberco ham costs a fair whack, but there’s plenty at the B200-350 mark too, and that roast pig will stave off anyone’s hunger. There’s some serious flavor behind the dainty plating, too. Competitors? It begs comparison with Dusit’s 22 Kitchen & Bar, not for the food (one’s Spanish, the other’s Nikkei) but the fact that both are top-floor hotel restaurants doing casual small-plates. By virtue of the open-air setting, this one kinda wins out.
|Uno Mas, 54/F, Centara Grand at CentralWorld, 999/99 Rama 1 Rd., Bangkok, Thailand
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