Getting through the traffic jam in Bangkok can be tricky. But if you know your way through the Sukhumvit sub sois, and take alternate routes like Rama 4 and Petchburi it could be a breeze especially when we have a dinner reservation, at “Rang Mahal”. Located on the 26th floor of the Rembrandt Hotel, Rang Mahal is probably the only rooftop indian restaurant in the middle of big chaotic city we call Bangkok. Well-known among Indian food lovers. It has been in business for 16 year.
Exiting the elevator at the 26th the scent of the herbs ans spices are obvious we have reached our destination. As we walk to our table, we noticed the magnificent view of central downtown Bangkok in the area of Sukhumvit and Asoke intersection through the floor to ceiling glass window. There is an open air terrace to take some fresh air and appreciate the brilliant views. The ambiance has a mix of modern and old feel, with controled warm tone lighting. It is decorated with Indian paintings and textiles.
Our table has a large very comfortable cushioned sofa cylindrical pillows, close to the traditional Indian band that produce easy Indian melodies. During our conversation at the table we ordered drinks just to obey our thirsts. We found an interesting drink “Salty Yogurt lassie” served chilled with crushed nut. It is a strange drink more like meal because it doesn’t have any sweet taste only saltiness. But there are other lassies to choose from.
Our starter “Tandoori Prawns”was served on fine indian ceramic and silver wear. The prawns marinated with yogurt overnight giving an intense taste, it works out perfect with the sweetness of the prawn combined with the almost burnt scent and texture when cooked in the tandoor oven.
It is followed by “Murgh Malai Kebe” chicken preserved in cream cheese cooked in tandoor. It looks like an ordinary Thai roast chicken, but the taste is much different, it is flavorful with spice and hot (not chilli hot, but spicy hot). Though we share some of the same ingredients Indian food is a lot about preparation, marination, much more spices are used than Thai food. Indian food are not as sweet as Thai, more spice. And off course the Tandoor oven is a specialized cooking instrument that blows away all other oven at the highest temperature of 800 c(most other oven goes as high as 500c). Does this mean Indian’s are good at roasting? Probably, most of the meat dishes are roasted.
Our next big main dish was “Raan E Khyber”, it is lamb leg marinated in rum, herb, spices. It is roasted on a revolving stick, the part of the meat that are sizzling turns into a crust are shaved out to be served. It has a combination of texture, the juicy part and the crusty part and it is very tasty. At the same time, we were served an assortment of dips and curry to have with naan bread and rice.
“Rogenjosh Kashmiri”, mutton roasted in a pot cooked in onion gravy and Indian spices. Its taste like a familiar Thai Mussamun Kai (มัสมั่นไก่) but without the sweetness. The motton (old lamb) is very tender. Another dish was “Dal Maa Rang Mahal” black lentils cooked with asafoetida, garlic and tomatoes, simmered over night on a charcoal fire, enriched with butter and cream. It resembles a Mexican dish, the red bean stew but more creamy and tasteful.
(Pulao with saffron)
After finishing all the main dishes, it is a perfect time for the desserts. We were suggested try a variety of cold and warm desserts with “Elaichi Tea”or cardamom milk tea. “Kulfi Falooda”, an indian ice-cream made with pure milk and added with cardamom and pistachio serve also with clear noodles and sweet syrup very similar to salim(ซ่าหริ่ม). Compare to a normal ice cream, it is not as creamy but rich in flavor.
“Kesari Rasmalai” a cookie like dough in sweet and creamy milk. Then follow with “Gulab Jamun” brownish dough in a sugar syrup, it does resembles donuts and the Thai thong yod (ทองหยอด). It is the most famous Indian dessert, like Italian “Tiramisu”, Indian “Gulab Jamun”. Next is a warm dessert “Gajjar Halwa”, chopped carrot mixed with raisins and garnished with pistachio. It is a mysterious one, we really wonder how they cooked the carrot to be so fine and delicate almost jelly like.
The food here can be very heavy and the complex and intense flavor, can make you sweat. It requires lot of preparation and time to create each dish. If you’re into roast meats with spices this is the place to be. What ever comes out of the tandoor oven is always good.
Tandoori prawns baht 675.-
Tandoori murgh half chicken baht 395.-
Raan-e-khyber baht 1,175.-
Murgh makhanwala baht 395.-
Roganjosh kashmiri baht 425.-
Dal-maa-rang mahal baht 250.-
Choice of pulao baht 295.-
Navrattan korma baht 295.-
Makhani naan baht 100.-
Lahsooni naan baht 100.-