A Meal with a View

Clockwise: gorgeous view from the Eagle Nest, our view from the 3rd floor dining room at the Deck,  glowing Wat Arun and the quiet river at dusk
The possibility becomes endless when you step back into time at Bangkok’s old quarter – the Rattanakosin Island – the birthplace of this capital over two hundred years ago. Here, the treasures of Bangkok are boundless, from the capital’s most precious sights such as the Grand Palace and Wat Po to the charming old-time lifestyle hidden in quiet alleys and shophouses. While Rattanakosin Island can be explored as a one-day trip, given Bangkok’s notorious heat and crowds, I’d say you’d be better off taking it easy or even better staying a couple of days in the area just to enjoy the whole unique ambiance the area has plenty to offer.

Lovely view of Wat Po from the Eagle Nest, the entrance to The Deck and our ambiance on 3rd floor

One of the best places to relax and relish a good river view is The Deck – a riverside restaurant overlooking the glowing Ayutthaya-era Temple of Dawn or Wat Arun. While opening all day as the cafeteria of the adjacent hotel Arun Residence, The Deck is best served at dusk – when the sun goes down and the river becomes subdued with lesser crowds and tourist cruises. The evening’s lazy breeze from the river is a big plus while you get to catch the sight of the sun’s last light shining over the gorgeous temple’s spires.

Grilled mushroom

Serving both Thai and international dishes, The Deck is there to please any palate. If you get there early and want to enjoy the view with no savoury interruptions, you might as well check out their roof-top Amorosa Bar or the Eagle Nest which is on the top floor of the nearby Sala Arun, another property by the same owners, just two sois down. Serving full bar and a stunning view of Wat Arun and Wat Po at the back, both places should prepare you good for the dinner, whether you are coming with friends or a romantic partner.

Trio ravioli

They say the best table at The Deck to enjoy the sight of Wat Arun is Table #19. But since the word gets out, the table has become so popular that the place no longer takes reservation for the table. In fact, as we find out, when you get to the place and the food arrive, you will concentrate more on the tastes of the dishes than the view, even temporarily. However, there are plenty of tables on the first and second floor. But if you come with a group and want some sort of privacy, you can also book a table or the whole third floor that also has a good view of the temple.

Stir-fried rice vermicelli with river prawn

Four of us chose to be spontaneous the night we were together at the Deck. We started our meal with two delicious appetizers we picked off their thick menu – ‘trio ravioli with goose liver & truffle, tiger prawn and ricotta cheese in tomato and rocket juice wine (Bt390),’ and a plate of grilled mushroom with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic (Bt250). Both were nice and scrumptious for all of us.

Linguine with scallops, garlic and dried chilies

Then, we ordered a plate of stir-fried rice vermicelli with chili, river prawn, kale and mushroom (Bt250) that was quite nice but a tad too oily and the prawn a bit soggy. But still tasty and not too bad. Since we couldn’t get enough noodles, we ordered a plate of linguine with scallops, garlic and dried chilies – a tried-and-true combination of a classic pasta dish. The linguine was well-cooked, scallops nice and plump and the stir-frying aromatic. This one was my favorite so far of the night.

Succulent and aromatic Australian tenderloin steak

Then, we went on to a pan-fried Australian tenderloin steak served with fries and vegetables (Bt730) which was superb, the beef tender and aromatic, the gravy thick and tasty. If you like beef, give this steak a try.

Then, there’s a soup we heard the chef was in the process of getting it right. On the same line with the famous tomato-based bouillabaisse seafood soup, this stew is made solely of mussels and clams infused in herbs and the soup that bears distinctive aroma of white wine, which I liked. Served with garlic toasts, this one has not yet been listed on the menu, but you can ask the restaurant if they have it on the day you are here.

Shellfish stew

The Deck’s dessert choices are also extensive and well-prepared! People usually think that a place with such a view and location might fall into the ‘tourist trap’ category with below-average yet overpriced food. But this is not the case, although the prices of the food are certainly not cheap, the food and service are excellent at this place. We had chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream (loved it), millefeuille with fresh cream and strawberry and a bowl of warm lod chong which is Thai-style pandanus noodle in aromatic coconut milk infused with fresh jackfruit and mints. Usually served chilled with shaved ice, lod chong at the Deck is lukewarm and that was interesting. You must try it to know it. And do not forget to look at the view while you are enjoying it.

Wat Arun by night, chocolate lava cake, lod chong and millefeuille

The Deck is at the end of Soi Pratu Nok Yung off Maharaj Road. Since parking is a challenge, take a taxi or if you hail a boat, get off at Ta Tien pier. The place is only a short walk from the pier. Open daily at 8am-10pm (Mon-Thurs) and 8am-11pm (Fri-Sun). T: 02-221-9158-9.


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