The Mata Hari Restaurant is no ‘new kid’ on the
block, and after eight years is probably one of the most established and
well-loved restaurants in Pattaya, with an ardent group of followers. The
Dining Out Team returned to Mata Hari to see if the restaurant had moved
with the times or was stuck in the nineties, and whether the rave reviews we
had been given recently were justified.
restaurant is in a single shop house in Second Road, on the block between
Sois 8 and 7, a polyglot of bars, guesthouses and cafes. Mata Hari is a
veritable oasis in the midst of madness.
The restaurant has a very small pavement area reserved
for the die-hard smokers, but the rest is enclosed and fully
air-conditioned. Being long and narrow, seating is limited and it is hard to
see how the superb service staff can continue to function so well, sliding
past each other and the tables, while carrying plates of food. Especially
since the restaurant also has to house the ‘larger than life’ Louis
himself, who visits every table with another anecdote, joke or tall story.
wine list has a good range with whites from B. 750-2,200 and reds B.
850-5,900. There is another section called “Exceptional” with high class
wines that will set you back between B. 19,000-29,900 (Domaine Romanee Conti
La Tache 1993 if your palate and pockets are deep enough). House wine is
available, with two choices of grape treaders, Italian or Australian, at B.
110 or B. 130. We chose the Australian house white and it was eminently
The menu is very comprehensive, with soups B. 100-130
including a Turkish wedding soup. Salads B. 190-280 with a warm goat’s
cheese and honey vinaigrette and walnuts. There are pastas (B. 260),
starters generally around B. 220 with escargot, oyster, scallops and
Mains range in price generally between B. 280-350 and
cover all meats, poultry and fish with the grilled US or Australian steaks
top ticket items at B. 595. Desserts B. 150-220.
We began with the Dutch green pea soup for Madame and the
scallops on creamed spinach and grilled cheese sauce for Miss Terry. As
starters, they were sensational, and I can honestly say I have not tasted a
better pea soup.
We next had a taster of Middle Eastern vegetarian
appetizers, which came with a story of Louis’ hiding in Beirut for three
months while they waged a war around him! The appetizers did whet the
appetite, and contained no hand grenades or Scud missiles.
For mains we had the fillet steak Mata Hari with chicken
liver pate, mushrooms and green asparagus (Madame) and the chicken fillet
stuffed with fresh herb cheese and Parma ham for me. Madame’s meat was so
tender it did not really need the sharp steak knife she had been given
(“It’s not where it comes from, it’s where you buy it,” said Louis
on his 17th trip past the table). Both items were served on hot plates, were
large servings and were very good. There was no room for dessert, even
though I had spied the Cr่me Brulee Amaretto!
We left Mata Hari, not only well fed, but well filled.
The ebullient Louis Noll and his team have taken the venue, the menu and the
food to new heights. This restaurant would have to have one of the more
imaginative menus, with a wide variety of international items. The price is
not over the top, particularly when looked at with respect to the quality,
quantity and flavour. It is easy to see why this restaurant has such a loyal
following. And if the food were not enough, it has Louis! A man who will
make any night memorable. Very highly recommended.
Mata Hari Restaurant, Pattaya Second Road (between Sois 8
and 7), Tel/Fax 038 420 939, email firstname.lastname@example.org
As we are not the first to recognize the standard of this restaurant, we
strongly suggest you book, to avoid disappointment - the venue is very
small! Open from 4 p.m. till late Tuesday to Sunday. Street parking only,
grab the first space you can after Soi 9!