Serving up everything from classic beef Wellington to creative foie gras Benedict, Harrod’s The Plantation Rooms will surprise you with more than just English tea.
by Thomas Sturrock.
There is an immediately identifiable Englishness about the Harrods-branded The Plantation Rooms at Central Embassy (2F Central Embassy, 1031 Ploenchit Rd; 092 225 4052). The white décor and demure detailing recall the kind of tea rooms you’ll find skirting Hyde Park and Knightsbridge in London, all transported to the middle of Bangkok, overlooking Sukhumvit.
The menu caters to those seeking a taste of old-school Britannia, while also acknowledging the Thai appetite for all-day brunch. Because, let’s face it, why shouldn’t you be able to get a foie gras Benedict at 4 p.m.?
A glance at the list of specialty teas reveals some truly exotic brews: try the Sri Lankan Idulgashinna (THB 280) or the organic chamomile flowers from Egypt (THB 240). The perfumes alone are far more interesting than your run-of-the-mill English Breakfast blend.
If you’re after something stronger, the sangria blends (THB 165) are truly first-rate, dialing down the sugar content in favor of crisp, refreshing flavors. The pearl sangria combines green apple, cloves, star anise, cardamom, cinnamon, fresh orange, and white wine, while the ruby sangria uses fresh strawberry and red wine.
After wetting your whistle, order one of the high-tea sets, which combine savory and sweet. For example, the Plantation Rooms Set (THB 1299 for two people) begins with a deluxe pan-seared foie gras with truffle scone before proceeding to a Canadian lobster roll and Scottish smoked salmon rosette. The truffle scone is particularly rich, powerfully flavorful in combination with the foie gras.
There is a commitment to elegance throughout, and this is borne out further in the selection of miniature British sweets, like the bite-sized Eton mess, and traditional scones.
Once the tea set is cleared and the focus turns to mains, its clear that The Plantation Rooms is also willing to present the heartier British staples—it’s not all tea and scones and miniature sweets. In particular, the fish filet and chips (THB 490) is a straightforward but well-executed example of that beloved British favorite, beer-battered cod served with french fries, mushy peas and tartar sauce.
The crispy exterior of the beef Wellington (THB 650) is particularly satisfying, flaking away to reveal Australian beef tenderloin with foie gras and a Madeira sauce that adds a delightful kick. This is rich food that recalls an earlier era of British food before all the bells and whistles of modern gastronomy.
Whether you visit for a high tea, quick brunch or long lunch, The Plantation Rooms channels what could perhaps be described as “colonial cuisine” with real panache and attention to detail.