The Rang Mahal : The Rembrandt Hotel, Bangkok
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The Rang Mahal

The Rang Mahal at the Rembrandt Hotel, Bangkok
 Indian Food

By Michael Moore

It is rare for an ethnic restaurant in a hotel to achieve the status of "most authentic," but this is precisely what the Rang Mahal at the Rembrandt Hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 18 has done. Ask a member of Bangkok's Indian community for the name of the city's best Indian restaurant and the answer will most likely be "Rang Mahal."

The reason for the success of the restaurant lies with the ownership of the Rembrandt Hotel; this large and impressive independent hotel is owned by Thai nationals of Indian descent. Although all of the hotel's restaurants are excellent, the owners are proud of their heritage and make a special effort to ensure that the Rang Mahal is of signal quality. Located on the top floor of the 26-storey hotel, the popular dining spot is spacious, heavily carpeted and elegantly decorated in a style that communicates it is Indian without the artificial excesses found in many ethnic restaurants.

Blessed with enormous windows, many of the tables at Rang Mahal offer spectacular views of the city and the nearby Queen Sirikit Convention Centre. One of the tables, described by the restaurant's manager as the "Honeymoon Table", is located where two seamless windows form a corner with a view that is probably the most spectacular offered at any restaurant in Bangkok. The table, which is extremely popular, must be reserved well in advance and has a special menu available featuring champagne.

Another unique element of the Rang Mahal is the private dining room, which is a great place for a private party or company meal, as the terrace, which is directly attached to the room, provides an impressive setting for cocktails while viewing Bangkok's spectacular skyline. For those who simply prefer cocktails and Indian snacks while enjoying a stunning view, the terrace can be used without reserving the private dining room. There are also two other private dining rooms available.

The tables without views are in the middle of the restaurant near the group of Indian musicians who perform authentic and relaxing Indian music six nights a week. The musicians, have been flown in from the Indian subcontinent and add immeasurably to the restaurant's intriguing ambiance.

The Rang Mahal features food from northern India and this means the tandoor oven plays a role in much of what is served. The Rang Mahal possesses two of these ancient charcoal-fired clay ovens and they turn out a wide selection of breads and other delicious items. If you have never seen a tandoor oven in action, ask the manager to show you the kitchen. He will proudly describe the ovens and what is cooked in them.

During our visit, we particularly enjoyed the murgh tikka; tender pieces of boneless chicken marinated and cooked in the clay oven and the tandoori prawns; jumbo prawns marinated in Indian spices and finished in the charcoal oven. The tandoor is known for the flat breads it produces and those served at Rang Mahal are spectacularly good. Our party also thoroughly enjoyed the roganjosh kashmiri; pot-roasted mutton cooked in thick onion gravy with selected Indian spices and the palak aap ki pasand; creamed spinach with cottage cheese. In fact, everything we ate was delicious and we are sure the other items on the menu are just as good.

There are numerous vegetarian items on the menu, including some outstanding kebabs and some delicious vegetable curries. There are vegetarian and non-vegetarian set menus available at both lunch and dinner. One of the most popular lunchtime meals is the special Vegetarian Thali Lunch.

The Rang Mahal is open daily for both lunch and dinner. On Sundays from 11:00-14:30 there is a popular buffet brunch with live music and over 60 different items on offer. If you have never eaten Indian food before, the buffet provides a marvellous introduction to this unique and delicious cuisine. At only THB 510++, it represents great value for money.

For Indian food at its finest, served in an elegant and sophisticated setting, the Rang Mahal is the place to go when in Bangkok. Reservations are a must at this popular restaurant. The number to call is 0-2261-7100.


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- Febuary 2003, Volume 6 Issue 2

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