Loma Seafood at Cholchan Resort

A short drive for a long pleasant dinner

by Miss Terry Diner

Hands up all those who remember the Mercure Hotel? Well, it changed its name to the Cholchan Resort, but in doing so, much else changed as well. One of the ‘agents of change’ is the food and beverage director, Prayoon Chaitosa, who invited the Dining Out Team to come and sample their Seafood BBQ.

I will admit that during the 4.5 km drive from North Pattaya Road (yes it is that close) I was not expecting much. On walking into the open-air restaurant, around the large swimming pool next to the beach, I was totally taken aback. It was a fairyland of lights wrapped around the palm trees, tables covered with white linen and a musical trio playing softly. It was spectacular, reminding me very much of Hi-So dinners around the pool of one of Pattaya’s 5 star resorts.

We were met by Prayoon, who was quick to point out that there was more to his BBQ than just a great atmosphere. There were food stations dotted all over for me to see!

Beginning at the noodle station, the progression is to the Japanese sushi corner and round past the coconut ice cream stand to a long row of hot food warmers containing soups, such as a double boiled chicken soup with lime or asparagus cream. There were saut้ed potatoes and roast pork loin with fruit juice. There were steamed Chinese buns and pork leg in brown gravy, rice, fried rice and more.

Further around the dining area there were the ‘live cooking’ stations, with numerous eager chefs ready to cook in front of you, with three types of satays, rotisseries going full tilt with grilled pork, chicken and cuttlefish, tempura vegetables and BBQ plates cooking crab, rock lobster and very large river prawns. “I can guarantee all my seafood is totally fresh,” said Prayoon, obviously very proud (and justifiably so) of what he was achieving.

To go with the BBQ, they do have a full wine list, with French reds and whites starting from 830 baht, but you can buy a ‘budget’ sparkly for B. 580. House wine (French) is B. 145 a glass or B. 690 for the bottle. There are also wines from Italy, Chile, America, Australia, South Africa and Spain, so both the new and old worlds are well represented.

I will also admit that Miss Terry is particularly partial to rock lobster, while Madame, a real seafood lover, likes crab, so we sat down to a veritable feast of these two delicacies (plus some river prawns and calamari for good measure). Prayoon was correct when he said his food was fresh, no complaints there, and the items were also properly cooked, so no complaints all round.

There are so many choices that it would have taken the Dining Out Team three weeks of going there every night (yes, the BBQ is on every night) to sample everything. However, let me assure you that we were not disappointed with anything we tried. An ‘all you can eat’ seafood BBQ generally tends to be an expensive evening (especially with quality items on offer) and we were expecting a hefty price tag with the usual hotel style of (++) after the bill. Again it was a very pleasant surprise to see it was B. 530 net.

The Dining Out Team was still talking about what a revelation the evening had been by the time we returned to Pattaya. The BBQ was excellent, and the price very reasonable compared to what is on offer around town. At 530 baht all up (and not plus plus) this makes it a very well worthwhile option. Add in the fact that the Funtasea Pub is available after dinner (snooker and pool tables too) and you have a complete evening’s food and entertainment venue on our doorstep. Great food, good fun and good value. Very highly recommended. (By the way, their New Year event around the pool is a Rock and Roll ‘60’s night. Elvis and Tom Jones fans please note!)

Loma Seafood Restaurant, Cholchan Resort, (turn left off Sukhumvit Highway outbound to Bangkok), telephone 038 702 777, email [email protected]