Authentic Indian spice at stylish Savio in Bangkok
By Rama Gaind
It’s the ‘wow!’ factor on first sight that sets the stage for a happy sojourn like the scenario where fantasy touched reality — at the Chatrium Grand Bangkok.
Snuggled in the heart of Siam, this five-star hotel blends the timeless grace of Thai culture with the impressiveness of splendid luxury hospitality, a personification of stylishness.
Getting to the hotel is easy. Not only does it boast a sought-after location in a bustling neighbourhood, but it’s positioned behind the iconic Siam Paragon — the biggest world-class shopping destination in Thailand that has become a must-see landmark for local and international visitors. As well, the vibrant Siam Square, Siam Center, MBK Center, Platinum Fashion Mall and Siam Discovery are all in close proximity, along with the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre.
The capital of Thailand — or as the locals call it Krung Thep — is as invigorating as it is varied, a melting pot with visual treats, exceptional aromas and fascinating sights.
Infinite layers make up Bangkok with many hidden treasures that have given this city an iconic status.
Go for the traditional must-see attractions including The Grand Palace complex and the scenic riverfront along the Chao Phraya River, nicknamed ‘The River of Kings’ by King Rama I.
The river is used by an estimated 50,000 people choosing ferries to get around each day. Slow barges carrying cargo coast upstream. It’s the lifeblood of Bangkok, not just because of the rich history, as it flows through the City of Angels and then into the Gulf of Thailand.
It may be surprising to learn that Bangkok actually has more than 400 temples.
At least three of them are more popular among visitors. Not only are they breathtaking, but also conveniently located near each other, which enables you to visit them all in one day.
Wat Phra Kaew (also known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha is in the centre of The Grand Palace complex); after a ferry crossing you arrive at the smallest of these temples Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn) on the other side of the Chao Phraya River; and the last one for the day is Wat Pho where you see the impressive statue known as the Temple of the Reclining Buddha.
If you seek the ultimate bargains on branded goods, then you’re in the right spot for factory outlets, and also day tours to sacred and religious sites, special museums and night cruises.
My preference was to stay inhouse and savour the authentic flavours, fragrances and spices of India at Savio, a stylish, all-day dining destination, inviting us to ingest and unwind. Savio celebrates the best of East meets West, classic and contemporary cuisine. High ceilings coupled with stunning glass architecture and a crafted modern Thai interior are made for relaxation.
Some of the district’s finest dining options can be found at the Chatrium Grand from refined French-Mediterranean cuisine to light bites and laidback poolside drinks for a fun vibe with stunning views of the expansive Bangkok skyline.
Every day, a talented team of chefs create a spectacular selection of dishes from around the world at ‘live’ stations and open kitchens. A key element of this cosmopolitan concept is Indian cuisine, and chef Pravin Baban Gayke is a culinary master who brings these vibrant dishes to life with classical cooking techniques and contemporary flair.
Having spent the last 14 years working in top restaurants in Thailand and his native India, Pravin is an expert. Offering something for every palate and preference, Indian cuisine is a mosaic of scents, colours and textures, creating a truly sensory experience. Such was the ambience at Savio as chef Pravin deftly crafted a collection of dishes, including fresh seafood, prime meats and breads cooked in a traditional tandoor oven.
Specialties included Chicken Tikka Masala (marinated chicken breast in a rich masala sauce, cashew nuts and coriander), a powerful combination of spices and aromatics; the Tandoori Prawns (Goa-style marinated banana prawns with coconut chutney) were flavoursome; and Tandoori Gobi and Mushrooms (cauliflower) was simply tasteful. Richly appetising curries, tantalising tandoori breads and light and fluffy pulao rice added to what was a delectable journey!
Another mouth-watering option is the Thali of the Day with a selection of small dishes and dips, served with rice, pappadams and chutneys. Inspired by Bangkok’s melting pot of gastronomic culture, foodie adventures are the best, but it’s also about indulging in flavouring that makes life delicious!
In the hands of a skilled chef, Indian food can take you on a culinary passageway that is both exotic and comforting, offering a symphony of taste and fragrance transporting one’s olfactory senses into a different world.
Laughter was certainly the brightest where there was food — at Savio — in Bangkok, Thailand!