Sirocco is often listed as one of Bangkok’s top ten restaurants. Located on the 63rd floor of State Tower, I’ve had a drink at the rooftop bar several times but never eaten there until recently. Sirocco is famous for, up until recently, having the highest al fresco view in the world (that honor has now been taken by a Singapore restaurant) so, of course, Bangkok’s famous and trendy love to go there.
Recently, a friend and I decided to splurge so, one Wednesday night, off we headed for an al fresco dining experience we’d never experienced before and, yes, you can say that again. Sirocco turned out to have the world’s most beautiful al fresco view, paired with some of Bangkok’s worst food at an exorbitant price.
Sirocco’s Location – Of course, Sirocco is famous for really nothing more than its location. You can’t help but be amazed at the sheer height of the thing – plonked on top of a building 63 stories above Bangkok with views in absolutely every direction. On hot summer nights, which are most nights in Bangkok, heading up 63 floors for a breathtaking view along with a cool breeze is heaven.
From Sirocco you can see the Chao Praya River, nothing but a thin trickle below snaking its way through the city, the blinking lights of millions of cars and enormous highways and buildings stretching for miles and miles and miles. If you’re not taken with it, there’s seriously something wrong with you.
Sirocco’s Design – The owners of Sirocco went all out in their design of Sirocco. All wooden decks, glass, bright colorful neon lights, white tablecloths and beautiful people – there’s no better place in Bangkok for design. Stunning, simply stunning. Pair that with an if-you’re-bothered-by-heights-don’t-visit-Sirocco view, it’s amazing everybody in Bangkok isn’t clamoring to get up here (well, read on for the prices and then you’ll know why).
Sirocco’s Food – Sirocco promotes its ‘Mediterranean Cuisine’, using only the freshest and most unusual ingredients, as well as superb service. While I’ll agree their service is wonderful (our waitress was absolutely delightful and extremely professional and knowledgeable not only about the food but Sirocco itself), the food is a different story and, no, it’s not ‘Mediterranean’.
Upon being presented with the menu, I saw my friend gulp at the prices but, putting on a brave face, we both ordered. I had the King Salmon Steak and we ordered a small salad to share. My friend ordered the rack of lamb, which came with some pretty nice looking pumpkin mash – and, dare I say it again, not even remotely ‘Mediterranean Cuisine’.
When it arrived, it looked lovely but was the smallest salmon steak I’ve ever seen. Upon taking a bite, it was dry and tasteless, and the salad also small and with a particularly unscintillating dressing. My friend declared her rack of lamb to be overcooked and tough and, if it wasn’t for the price, she wouldn’t have even eaten it. She did however love the pumpkin mash.
With prices and the terrible food the way it was, (we didn’t even order wine – read on for how much that was), after dinner we decided to forgo dessert and coffee and go somewhere else instead.
Prices at Sirocco – For our small meal, one salmon steak, a small organic salad and a rack of lamb, and a bottle of water our total bill was $164 plus 10% service and 7% tax – almost $200 for two small meals and a salad. Rip-off was too kind of a word for it.
We could of course just had a burger, they were around $80 each, and if we had wanted wine an average bottle of table wine that’s about $15 in the UK or the US was $145 at Sirocco.
There’s not a reason in the world why I would ever go back to Sirocco and my friend, who is from one of the wealthiest Thai families in Bangkok talked about it for days afterward, telling all her friends “If you want your money stolen from you – let a pickpocket take it from you and don’t give it to Sirocco” – that’s how violated she felt.