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A rooftop dining experience in Bangkok is one of the must-do experiences for any visitor to Bangkok where, these days, it sits higher than the old clichés of floating markets or old city temple tours. Even if it’s only for a quick drink at the rooftop bar, or the Moon Bar as it’s known at Vertigo, it is still an experience not to be missed. But choosing where to go can be somewhat daunting as, with almost all rooftop restaurants in Bangkok, the cocktails alone will start at around 500 Baht. And the resulting bill, for just one night out, can again be daunting. We’ve shopped around over the years, looking for bargains, but all the best rooftop restaurants in Bangkok have similar prices so the choice can be hard. Therefore, to find the Best Rooftop Restaurant in Bangkok, we have decided on three defining factors which make up the overall rooftop restaurant experience. These are, the value for money, the views, and the typical clientele. Each can really make or break the overall experience. Anyway, for Fanfan’s birthday we go with the Vertigo Rooftop Restaurant, found on the top-tier of the Banyan Tree Hotel, and, in honesty, we were wowed by the experience.
The prices will likely factor high for most visitors and this is why the set menus work well, as they can settle any pre-meal nerves. It’s always good to know the final bill before stepping into the elevator. For example I remember Fanfan’s birthday last birthday (not at Vertigo) where we found an additional 500 Baht charge for Evian water, which we had no idea we were quaffing (we had asked for normal water). Anyway, there will be no chance of similar here, unless you ask for high-end water of course, and this makes the night more relaxed. So we plumped for the set menus which start at 2,700 Baht pp for the 3 course menu. This goes up to 3,800 Baht pp when paired with complimenting wines, which is definitely worth it. We however go with the 4 course set menu (3,600 Baht) paired with the complimenting wines at 4,900 Baht pp. The four courses include an appetizer, a soup, a main and finally dessert. Each course with a perfectly matched wines, and a sweet port with the dessert. Our personal highlights include the marble five Wagyu steak (of course), the lobster bisque, and, all of it really. In the end it was great value for money and as far as rooftop restaurants go in Bangkok I couldn’t be happier.
The layout of Vertigo is extremely smart where tiered levels maximize views for almost every diner. While we weren’t actually the closest table to the building edge, it felt as if we were, as the table next to us was also below us. This meant we had panoramic views over surrounding skylines, as shown below. Amazing right? Not only does this offer fantastic views for all, but it makes the restaurant feel less squashed and claustrophobic. And, ultimately, the dining experience feels more intimate and romantic. This is of course important for rooftop restaurants, as the sole reason for eating up at these heights, is for the views. However, I do suggest booking in advance for tables, as I am sure the better views book up quick. We also made our reservation for early in the evening (18:15) so we would catch sunset and the evening twilight when the city begins to light up. We also beat the crowds, so in all, it worked perfect.
Rooftop restaurants will often come with a pretentious stigma attached but, at the Vertigo Restaurant and Moon Bar, I find the opposite. The service and ambiance is relaxed and enjoyable, which to be honest surprised me. I am often anxious that we may turn up under dressed, or feel out-of-place among a clientele of Hi-So stereotypes, which often come hand-in-hand with these high-end dining experiences. Obviously flip-flops and muscle tops aren’t allowed, and it is smart casual, but it’s definitely not some trendy cat walk either. It is part of the Banyan Tree Hotel as well so there are well-heeled tourists along with some nice tourist touches, such as the free photo book handed to us at the end. So in all the clientele was mixed bunch with families, couples, returning discerning expats, and visitors from all over of the world. The restaurant will also be busy on most nights, more than likely, so again be sure to make advanced reservations, and failing to find a table, the Moon Bar attached does some fantastic cocktails with similar views. No reservations are necessary the Moon Bar. In the end, we couldn’t have felt more comfortable and, with the set menu prices and unrivalled views, I would say Vertigo is among the best rooftop restaurant in Bangkok.