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A sense of Zense
Publication Date : 31-12-2012
Closed for two years after the arson attack on CentralWorld during the May 2010 riots around Ratchaprasong intersection in Bangkok, sky-high dining venue Zense on the plaza's 17th floor has undergone a sophisticated facelift and is once again welcoming customers with a smile.
Gone is the contemporary industrial look in dark tones with architect Amata Luphaiboon opting for a lighter and more modern look. The black ceiling that used to show off the steel beams and air-ducts has given way to more dynamic elements with hundreds of steel lines angled on the walls and ceiling. The dark brown floor tiles and stair treads are now a space-giving light grey.
The slanting staircases in the centre of this multi-level restaurant remain, while the walls mimic the fold of pleated fabric and several chairs are upholstered in houndstooth tweed. The lighting is brighter too and seating is random and comfortable, with a range of options that include long and low tables in the air-conditioned indoor area that can seat up to 170 guests, plus beanbags, divans and comfortable sofas in the bar zone. A private room for 12 people is available along with a private party zone for 20 on the mezzanine floor with plenty of cosy corners.
Ideal for enjoying the ever-changing views of the city, the alfresco dining area has been rearranged and expanded to accommodate 225 seats and there are three alcoves, each accommodating four. A clever light design using coloured light boxes adds depth to the floor and outdoor bar and enhances the ambience.
Eating at Zense makes sense if you're in a crowd, as the menu features dishes by five renowned restaurants. There's Thai food from White Cafe, Italian by Gianni Ristorante, Indian by Red, Japanese by Kikusui and contemporary European by To Die For. The desserts are made by Zense's own patisserie team. The menu of each restaurant has been revised to celebrate the reopening.
White Cafe is known for Thai cuisine with a creative flair and its recommended appetiser is Crab and Shitake Cigar Spring Rolls. The crabmeat and shitake mushroom are cooked with pepper and salt before being wrapped with filo and deep-fried until golden brown. It is served with a salad of kiwi, beetroot, orange and pineapple and sweet plum dipping sauce.
Another tempting appetiser is Mushroom Fritters from To Die For that features fried champignon, eringi and shitake served with spicy cream sauce while Kikusui presents Sushi Roll with fillings of tuna, squid, ham, amaebi, sweet omelette, shrimp salad and cucumber with mayonnaise cocktail sauce.
Fish fans will be tempted by Sea Bass with Cheese Sauce by To Die For. Dense and fresh, the grilled sea brass on a bed of sauteed spinach is served with creamy Dijon mustard cheese sauce with sauteed baby carrots and fried saffron potatoes.
Gianni Ristorante offers Lamb Shank with thyme scented red wine gravy. It's slow cooked in rosemary, thyme and onion for four hours and served with mashed potato and seasoned vegetables.
If you love rich and creamy dishes, order Red's Paneer Lababdar. The cottage cheese is marinated with herbs and baked in the tandoor before being sauteed in creamy tomato-onion gravy with fresh coriander. It's best enjoyed with Garlic Nan that's dusted in saffron powder and sprinkled with garlic oil.
For dessert, Strawberry Elements is presented as a seven-course meal - all in one platter. Designed as an amuse bouche is deep-fried strawberry milk, where the strawberry mouse is lightly coated with breadcrumbs before being fried. Next is soup or strawberry consomme while representing the salad is strawberry and pineapple salsa toped with balsamic caviar. The two "main dishes" are strawberry shortcake nigiri and strawberry macaroon stuffed with vanilla ice cream. The refreshment is fizzy strawberry mousse while the dessert is fresh strawberry covered with chocolate crumb.