restaurant has ended up being situated in a restored old stately home.
Objects d’art are dotted around, wooden architraves set the tone, subdued
lighting sets the mood, Edith Piaf recordings sets the auditory background
and mein host and chef, Jose sets the ambience for the entire evening. Make
no mistake, this is a very personal restaurant.
At one end of the restaurant building there is an art
gallery, where Jose allows budding artists to display their art, while at
the other end is his bar. In between there are several tables, with
tablecloths and runners, padded chairs and individual overhead lamps. The
atmosphere is laid back, as is the owner Jose, who moves around greeting
everyone in his trademark overshirt, surrounded by an air of bonhomie.
menu is in two sections. There is the standard menu which encompasses a B.
290 set menu as well as a la carte, and there is another menu with the daily
specials. Taking the set menu first, there are four choices of starter -
house salad, fish pat้, country pat้ or beef and potato salad.
For mains there is a choice of three - rib eye steak, pork tenderloin or
fish of the day. The set menu finishes with a choice of desserts or coffee.
The a la carte has several starters, including snails
fricassee at B. 190 (it is a French restaurant, after all). There are
several salads (B. 60-120), cold cuts and soups. Mains include beef, lamb,
pork, chicken and a duck in green pepper sauce, which sounded interesting
all within the range of B. 190-320.
There are also daily specials with their own dedicated
menu. We dined on a Thursday and this menu included a goat’s cheese salad
(B. 150), and a shrimps in pastis. Mains covered a rack of lamb (B. 390) or
leg of lamb (B. 290). There were three fish choices (B. 190-230) and a duck
confit (B. 250). On our Thursday, the beef special was a Boeuf Bourguignon.
Jose suggested he would recommend and cook some items for
us, and you never turn down a chef’s selections. We began with Jose’s
home made duck pat้ with green peppercorns, filling and wonderful,
followed by his shrimps saut้ed in Ricard - a wonderful subtle taste
permeating through the plump prawns.
This was followed by a goat cheese salad, with grilled
tomatoes. I asked Jose whether this was a standard item, to which he
replied, “Depends on what we ‘ave - we make zis or we make zat.” So
now you know.
We tried the Rillettes, a pork pat้ eaten at Le
Mans during the 24 hour race, Jose assured me, followed by two mains -
grouper done in a shrimp sauce and the Boeuf Bourguignon. The grouper was a
hefty fillet, with no bones, and again, the French cooking with sauces came
to the fore - delightful. The Boeuf Bourguignon just fell apart, the red
wine having done its job on the beef. This was wonderful, washed down with
Jose’s smooth house red.
To say we enjoyed Au Bon Coin would be an understatement.
This place offers good French based cuisine, with relaxed eating in pleasant
surroundings. This is the sort of place you can break the French bread and
not worry about scattering crusts. You can also sit for a while afterwards
and share a glass or two with mein host and just savour the evening’s
flavours. Au Bon Coin is a very personal restaurant. Au Bon Coin is very
Jose, and we loved every bit of it. Highly recommended, even if you are a
trifle wary of French cuisine. Try it!
Au Bon Coin, 291/1 M 9, Soi 5 (Beach Road end), Central
Pattaya, telephone 038 361 401. Off-street parking. Open from noon till
around 10.30 p.m.