Stars Restaurant and Bar

An intriguing evening

by Miss Terry Diner

Perched on the top of the Pattaya Hill Resort is Stars Restaurant and Bar. The view from all four sides of the restaurant is sensational, and I know of none better. Stars director, Paul Ryan, an affable Irishman, knows this and has even installed a telescope for the guests to explore the outer reaches of space - well, at least to the moon. On our night you could see the craters and a message in the moon dust “Wish you were here” signed Neil Armstrong. Obviously I have used some literary license here, but this restaurant does that sort of thing to you.

The restaurant has three main areas, indoors air-conditioned, outdoors terrace eating and a bar section, also with a terrace extension. The d้cor is Thai, with much wood on the walls, floors and carved showpieces.

The tables are granite topped and each has its own pepper grinder - a small thing, but it does add to the overall impression. Wonderfully comfortable high backed chairs, too, inviting you to linger. The glasses are worth a mention too. I think there has been a contest between Pattaya’s restaurants as to who can provide the largest wine glasses. Stars present you with wine glasses that any self-respecting goldfish would be happy to call home. Enormous!

Since we last dined (officially) at Stars, there have been some momentous changes in the kitchen, but that has now settled, and Paul assures us that consistency has been reached, both with staff and menu.

The menu begins with cold appetizers ranging between 175-325 baht, with smoked Norwegian salmon at the top end. Warm appetizers follow, then salads (B. 155-175) and soups (B. 90-175). There is a section dedicated to fish (B. 295-455) with imported salmon again at the upper end, while towards the lower end was a baked sea bass in a herb crust.

Pastas were up next (B. 150-250) including tagliatelli and lasagne, and then it is into one section entitled “mains’. These range between B. 295-395 and include a Coq au Vin, fillet of beef or sirloin with pepper, mushroom or a b้arnaise sauce.

The next section of the menu has the ‘set’ items, commencing with the special which includes an appetizer, a main course and a dessert for 195 baht. This is followed by the 4 course romantic set menu (B. 395) which begins with a salad with marinated salmon, followed by the “Chef’s style” fish soup, then a pork fillet with red wine sauce or fish of the day and dessert, or finally the Candlelight Dinner (B. 545) which includes smoked salmon, soup of the day, shrimps with tomatoes and garlic, then the Stars trio of beef, pork and lamb (or fish of the day) and dessert.

Finally there is a Thai favourites (B. 120-190) and desserts (B. 100-195).

We chose the house wine (Tyrells Australian Chardonnay that evening) and Madame had an assortment of dishes, while I went for the Romantic set menu. Her shrimp cocktail was superbly presented with large prawns in a star shaped dish. My salmon appetizer was good, but not as nicely presented.

Madame’s beef fillet was excellent and I could even cut off a small piece with my fish knife, to taste. My sea bass was very pleasant and contained no bones. I also had a soup and finally dessert with this set, but struggled by the end. For me, the set menu was really too much to eat, but represented incredibly good value.

The Dining Out Team had a very difficult job assessing Stars Restaurant and Bar. The surroundings are absolutely top class, and the view is, as Paul Ryan says - priceless, yet the food prices are middle of the road only. It is not ‘fine dining’ but the restaurant itself gives that impression. My final thoughts were that this is one of Pattaya’s best medium priced dining choices, located in one of Pattaya’s most exclusive restaurants. Confused? Don’t worry, so were we. Go and try it. Highly recommended.

Stars Restaurant and Bar, 23rd floor Pattaya Hill Resort, Soi 2 Pratamnak Road, Pattaya, tel. 038 250 329, 01 795 4767, email [email protected]