Around the world in 80 minutes (or much less)

Friday, 14 October 2011 From Issue Vol. XIX No. 41 By  Miss Terry Diner

The Food Loft in the Central Festival Shopping Center is not, as you would expect from its title, on the highest floor.  It is actually on the third floor, on the Beach Road side of the building, but easy to find (once you have the correct floor).

The concept is one of clustering seven cuisine outlets, plus another couple of outlets for sandwiches and a bar.  Since the cuisines are of a regional basis you have kitchens preparing Italian, Indian, Thai, Korean, Japanese, Chinese and now the latest being Russian.  More than enough choices!  With each outlet also preparing several dishes, you have a larger range of items than in any standard restaurant.

Chinese stir fry and spring rolls.Chinese stir fry and spring rolls.

We decided to go one lunchtime, and we were met by the restaurant manager Lloyd Srisugda and the media and marketing lady, Yawadee Pueaksawan, so with now enough people at our table we were able to sample dishes from each outlet.

The first impression we had was the cleanliness of it all, and then the professional demeanor of the cooks (in traditional whites) and the service staff (in smart black outfits).  Restaurant manager Lloyd informed us that since the Central group is very large, with many branches, the Pattaya cooks were all sent to Bangkok to be trained in the preparation and cooking of their cuisine.

The open kitchens are on full view, and each one has representative dishes on the front counters, so you can see just what it is you are ordering - almost like a photographic menu, but in real time and place.

Chicken pesto sandwiches.Chicken pesto sandwiches.

The bar section has many beers, but being middle of the day we went for the cold Thai herbal drinks, and there is a complete range of these.  My pick was the guava.

The Russian beetroot salad was very filling with good hefty meat dumplings with it.  Italian pizza is always a favorite, and pizza slices are B. 69, a personal pan pizza B. 150, or a big pizza is B. 400.  Lamb Osso Bucco was B. 390, also from the Italian outlet.  Caesar salad was prepared properly, with plenty of Parmesan on top.

The Korean menu is also very varied, with a selection of nine hors d’oeuvres in rice wrappers B. 350.  The Korean Tokpoki was also very tasty and slightly spicy.

Indian items from the Indian outlet were mainly well under B. 200 and we all enjoyed the vegetarian Biryani rice dish.

Beetroot salad.Beetroot salad.

Whilst all the dishes we tried were excellent, as a lunchtime repast I was totally captivated by the chicken pesto sandwiches.  Toasted, warm, crunchy bread with plenty of chicken filling.  Being in company, I tried being polite and using my knife and fork, but it was even better when I just picked it up and munched my way through.  I’ll be back for sandwiches on another lunchtime.

We were impressed by the international aspect of the Food Loft.  It was well run, and the individual kitchens were all spotless.  With the concept really being a la carte, you receive excellent dishes, cooked to your order, and brought to your table from the major cuisines of the world.  Around the world in a lot less than 80 minutes!  Well worthwhile keeping in mind when you are out shopping and getting hungry.  And it might also be worthwhile remembering that Food Loft does a delivery service as well 038 930 988.

Desserts.Desserts.

However, if you are in Bangkok and get the hungries you can go to their other branches at Central Chidlom, 7th floor; Central Chanegwattana, Department Zone, 3 floor; or Central Lardprao, Department Zone, Basement level.

Food Loft, 3rd floor Central Festival Shopping Center, telephone 038 930 988, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , website www.centralfoodloft.com.  Plenty of parking in the multi-level car park for the shopping center, which has entrances and exits from both Beach Road and Second Road.

The Food Loft is in the Central Festival Shopping Center.The Food Loft is in the Central Festival Shopping Center.

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