Thailand is known for its delicious cuisine, which features spicy salads, creamy curries and a whole host of both fiery and mild stir-fried dishes. However, there are times when even the most adventurous diner craves a taste of home and a little luxury.
Situated on the ground floor of Bangkok’s Millennium Hilton hotel, the Cheese Room at Millennium Hilton Hotel offers just that. This is one of only eight rooms in existence that are stocked with cheese from all around the world, which makes dining here a real treat.
The evening begins with a quick trip across the Chao Phraya River in the Millennium Hilton’s private boat. The doors of the Millennium Hilton swish open and I am given a prime seat right next to the Cheese Room.
I am greeted by Jack, my waiter for the evening and led into the Cheese Room, which is specially cooled, to ensure that each of these high quality cheeses retains its unique flavour. There are around 60 cheeses to choose from, all exquisitely presented along with fresh fruit, preserves, dried fruit and freshly baked bread.
Although I long to pile my plate high, I manage to restrain myself and just take a small sample to start with. After all, this is a buffet, which means that diners are allowed to return as many times as they like, even cutting slices of some of the world’s most expensive cheeses completely unsupervised.
Heaven for cheese and wine lovers.
The cheese buffet comes complete with five glasses of wine as well as a few specially created dishes. The first of these is a chilled tomato and EVO oil infusion soup with Burrata cheese, which is accompanied by a glass of 2007 Fire Finch Sauvignon Blanc from South Africa.
After cleansing my pallet it is time to enter the Cheese Room once more. The second glass of wine is a 2008 Signos Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc from Argentina, and although I’ve been shown which cheese will bring out the wine’s subtle flavours, I can’t help adding slivers of my favourite soft cheeses as well as fresh strawberries, raspberries and blueberries to my plate.
Before long I am presented with the chef’s signature salad, which is an exquisite blend of baby spinach leaves, artichokes, pine nuts and thyme, topped off with a sun dried tomato vinaigrette and croutons with melted Roquefort cheese.
The third wine hails from Argentina and is a bold Paso El Portillo Malbec and Tempranillo, which bring out the flavours of the artichokes and vinaigrette beautifully.
After taking time to fully appreciate this masterpiece, I head back into the Cheese Room to choose the cheeses that will accompany the satiny and full bodied Chilean Cantavida Merlot. One of the highlights of the feast is the Brie Royale aux Truffles, which is a firm, yet creamy Brie encrusted with the finest truffles and featuring a layer of rich truffle paste in the centre.
You have plenty of time to enjoy al what’s good.
After all of this deliciously creamy food, I cleanse my pallet with some sparkling mineral water and gaze in awe at our desserts, a small yet perfectly formed Sicilian cannoli filled with Ricotta, drizzled with apricot coulis and accompanied by a glass of sweet and fruity 2007 Borgo Tesis from Italy.
The great thing about the Cheese Room experience is that diners are allowed plenty of time to appreciate the full flavours of their food, and before I know it three hours have passed.
The Millennium Hilton’s Cheese Room is open every evening from 18:00. Unlimited access to the Cheese Room costs just ฿ 950++, while people who also wish to sample the wine flight and the chef’s signature dishes pay ฿ 1,600++ per person. The Millennium Hilton can be reached by taking the Skytrain to Saphan Taksin station and then taking the Hilton’s boat across the river.
By Kirsty Turner