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
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