One of Bangkok’s boutique hotels with a stunning riverside view of the Temple Of The Dawn, Arun Residence also boasts an excellent open air restaurant where you can soak up the ambience
Wat Arun at dusk © Chris Mitchell
Located on the opposite riverbank from Wat Arun, Bangkok’s iconic Temple Of The Dawn, the Arun Residence is a small (6 rooms) boutique hotel that’s had rave reviews from the likes of Time magazine. Besides the hotel, there is all day dining at The Deck, which provides open air views directly across to the Temple – you can sit inside too in the air con, but outside in the evenings the temperature is fine and the night time riverside ambience much more pleasant. Wat Arun is one of the most spectacular temples in Thailand, if not the world, and to be there as the sun goes down and then see it lit up at night is hard to beat for a backdrop to your dinner.
Physically The Deck is very simple, two rows of tables running backwards from the river. As such, if you want to get one of the two tables nearest the river view, best book well in advance. Food wise there’s a good mix of Thai and international dishes which you can mix and match. Appetisers are around 200 Baht, Mains 300 to 500 Baht and desserts around 300 Baht. We had a very good bottle of Lucky Country Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 from (where else?) Australia, for 950 Baht. This is good value for wine in Thailand, which rarely is much lower than this per bottle at restaurants. It’s a good, mellow wine, lots of black fruit taste to it, no sourness.
Foodwise, the appetisers of spring rolls and jumbo shrip tempura were OK but a little bland – no special sauces from the chef to give them a twist. The stuffed chicken breast with chicken mousse and a mushroom sauce as well as the super crispy duck leg on a bed of pasta were both excellent mains, but also pretty small for the fairly long wait. That said, I felt stuffed by the end of the meal, so the food sizes work well. The dessert was a magnificent chocolate fondant with pistachio ice cream.
The Arun Residence has a daytime menu of sandwiches and coffee too, and serves a big cocktail list, although the Cosmopolitan that was brought to our table was pretty bad. Service was friendly if a little hesitant due to language issues, but that’s usual if you don’t speak Thai. Speaking of which, there were many Thai diners here, so clearly the Arun is a trendy evening spot for the locals. No problems with making a reservation by email though – I got a response within a couple of hours of requesting a table.
In all our meal was just under 3000 Baht including tip for the two of us and a bottle of wine. If you don’t want a big evening meal, there are plenty of cheaper choices and also you can come during the daytime too – Arun Residence is located behind Wat Po, so it’s a great place for lunch after sightseeing.
To get there from the river, go to Ta Tien on the river taxi, get off there, then turn right on the main road. Walk down the road for around 100 metres, passing a couple of small sois on your right as you go. You will see a sign saying “Arun Residence” with a silhouette of the temple hung up on a lamppost to let you know you’re in the right place. Turn down that soi and walk to the end, where you’ll find the hotel and restaurant.