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Dining Out


Dining Out: La Cuisine - c’est tres bonne!

by Miss Terry Diner

Two months ago the La Cuisine Restaurant opened its doors on Pattaya Tai (South) Road, between the Shell service centre and the Third Road intersection. Run by Guy (front of house) and Geert (chef) this is not really a new venture for them, having had two restaurants in Belgium for the past 18 years, this is just a new venue.

The restaurant area is divided into the downstairs section plus a mezzanine section for larger groups or private parties. The atmosphere is definitely “continental” with salmon and cream walls, tiled floors, old wooden dressers, some wooden boxes of wines, heavy curtain drapes and old photographs of movie stars circa 1950. (You can have fun spotting who is who - classic movies and Barbara Streisand being Guy’s hobbies.) The waiters and waitresses are also dressed in the classic long aprons.

The cuisine is unashamedly French. The menu reflects this, naturally, and is quite large. It is also tri-lingual - English, French and Thai - a nice touch to attract “international” clientele. It begins with cold appetizers (around 175 baht) with salmon, chicken and shrimp on offer. These are followed by three soups (B. 80-150), with a consomm้, a lobster bisque and a tomato cream. Seven hot appetizers are next (B. 150-300) including grilled oysters in champagne sauce, stuffed crab and a Flemish style green asparagus.

Seafood is next (B. 395-575) covering fresh salmon, eel, prawns, lobster and a bouillabaisse of fish and seafood. The next category is the “Viandes” and the meat dishes run between B. 285-500 with chicken, duck, pork, beef and NZ lamb dishes.

Four pasta dishes are next, offered in small and large sizes (around B. 150 and B. 200) and then desserts.

The next few pages are quite a surprise, with not just a token Thai menu of selected favourites, but a full 85 item Thai menu, generally around 120 baht a dish. In fact, Geert has split the kitchen in two with several wok cookers on the Thai side, and his salamanders and the like on his French side.

There is also a small 3 course set menu at B. 395 which rotates weekly. This is interesting because there is a choice of Thai or European food for each course. A great idea!

At Guy and Geert’s suggestion, we had a bottle of their personally imported 1995 Clocher, de la Digne d’Amont, Limoux white wine to go with the food, and it is a very nice full bodied accompaniment to go with it, I can assure you. Mention should also be made of the wine glasses - excellent quality and one in particular holding half a litre at a rough guess!

While on the place settings, La Cuisine has a wonderfully eclectic selection of serving plates (see photograph for just one of them) and with each course you get another different style.

We began with the lobster bisque for Madame and the marinated salmon with fresh green pepper for me. The smoothness of the salmon is highlighted with the sharpness of the green pepper and was very pleasant. The lobster bisque, with a goodly dash of Armagnac was fantastic, with a whole (in two halves) rock lobster “swimming” in a rich creamy broth.

For mains, Madame chose the NZ lamb with herbs and ratatouille, while I went for the Coq au Vin at Geert’s suggestion. The servings were large, not at all “nouvelle cuisine”, and came with side dishes with potato and garden vegetables. The lamb was excellent and cooked “rose” as requested, while my Coq au Vin was in a large bowl with a thick red wine “sauce” with mushrooms and onions. Really superb.

La Cuisine is positioned at the upper end of the “middle” market and its food is generously served and is excellent. It is not the place to go to eat and run, but rather is a restaurant to sit back and enjoy, savouring the food and the wine. Definitely worth a visit by Pattaya’s “foodies” - highly recommended.

La Cuisine, 124/53-54 South Pattaya Road, tel. 038 419 080, [email protected]

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Other Side of the Coin: Although I generally write about love-struck foreigners being taken to the financial cleaners by working girls, the following incident shows that it’s not all a one-way street.

The management of the Giligin’s ogling den (Pattayaland Soi 1) have an ongoing policy of giving away free bar fines to anyone who enters their chrome pole palace clutching a piece of paper specifically offering such a freebie and downloaded from their website.

Unfortunately, the promotion backfired in somewhat unforeseen circumstances recently when an American man came in, waved the appropriate piece of paper and took a chrome pole hugger back to his sleeping palace.

The last thing the young lass remembers is being given a brandy and, quite some time later, being woken up by the hotel maid. The room was empty and the girl was suffering intense pain. It transpires that the low-life had slipped the girl a ‘mickey’ and then proceeded to do as he liked with her before skipping out without paying.

The girl wound up having to go to hospital and missed a couple of days of work into the bargain. Needless to say, the scumbag hasn’t been seen since.

Giligin’s have now changed the policy to a Sierra Tango-style bar fine, thus ensuring that there cannot be repeat of the above incident.

Nobody deserves to be treated in such an inhumane fashion and I can only hope that the perpetrator eventually gets his comeuppance in an appropriate fashion.

Spice up yer date: I’ve been threatened with the non-surgical removal of a vital part of my reproductive anatomy if I disclose the name of the person at the centre of the following story; however, in the spirit of true ‘damn the torpedos’ journalism, I feel it is my duty to present the foibles of Fun Town wherever and whenever I find them.

So just who was the bouncy manager of a local ogling den who had four Japanese tourists come into his play palace and, after three of them paid the bar fine for three dancing maidens, was asked by the fourth man if he [the manager] was available? I thought he was walking in an unusual fashion recently.

Auditioning for Fashion TV: The Blues Factory lounge lizard libation room (Soi Lucky Star, bottom end of Walking Street) runs a weekly fashion show on Monday nights, kicking off at around midnight. Working damsels from various establishments are coerced into pretending to be runway models, with financial prizes as the major incentive.

Young maidens from places like the Tahitian Queen 2 and Dollhouse ogling dens, as well beer boozers from as far away as Soi 8, have all had entrants in the lingerie shows which attract a sizeable audience each week. Come early to get a good ogling seat.

New name, new location: The Hot and Cold 2 ogling den, which was located in the lane between Soi 7 and Central Pattaya Road, recently found itself among those places targeted in the crackdown on licences and moved to temporary accommodation in the old Super Lady chrome pole palace in Soi 6/1. By the time you read this, it should once more be back in the laneway between Soi 7 and Central Road but with a new name: Full Moon Night.

I rather think the name, Full Moon Night, suits the den, given the amount of ‘mooning’ that tends to feature as part of the entertainment. The operators of Full Moon Night are in no way connected with the Hot and Cold ogling den in Soi Post Office.

A rose by any other name: The Las Vegas ogling den (Soi Post Office) was one of the places compelled to close down for a few days during the recent crackdown, but now all the requisite licences and other bits of official looking paper have been issued and the place has undergone a name change to Club Nevada. Don’t expect to enter the premises and be faced with a bank of poker (or, as the Americans say, ‘slot’) machines and roulette wheels; it’s still an ogling den offering cheap drinks.

My e-mail address is: [email protected]

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