Pattaya has a plethora of venues for evening dining, but
a veritable paucity of places for lunch. While I was searching for somewhere
different for lunch the Montien Hotel’s bubbly PR lady, Pornpimon Geybui
suggested their Marco Polo Restaurant’s Dim Sum.
had been some time since we last dined at the Marco Polo, and the interior
has had a total refit, with new carpets, wall cladding and a brightly lit
ceiling. The lovely serving ladies have also been given new uniforms, and
the welcoming smiles as we entered brightened up what was an overcast and
rainy day outside. Suffice to say, the restaurant has a bright new
‘feel’ to it as well.
We were joined for lunch by the Chinese chef, Khajorn, on
hand to explain any intricacies of the cuisine. As soon as we were seated,
hot towels were brought and my first cup of Chinese tea ceremoniously poured
by our attentive waitress.
Dim Sum menu is a photographic one with all the items between B. 50-70.
There are 24 choices in this menu, and each serve has enough for two people
sharing in Asian fashion. Description of each one is in Thai and English, so
everyone was appraised of what was sitting there!
Although we had come expressly for the Dim Sum, food and
beverage manager Chamnan Kucharoen insisted that we should also have a
couple of items from the a la carte menu, as these are always available as
Choices having been left to the ‘experts’, the
serving staff began to load the carousel in the middle of our table with
small containers of chilli vinegar, Chinese vinegar, chilli sauce, mustard,
plum sauce and a Schezuan sauce.
We began with the Marco Polo spring rolls Hong Kong
style. These are not the usual ‘done to a crisp’ deep-fried items you
meet everywhere, suitable for breaking teeth, but a beautifully softly
textured prawn spring roll. I was prepared to stop there, they were just so
However, Dim Sum we had come for and Dim Sum we were
going to try. The notable part here was that each individual item had its
own taste/texture and flavour. The steamed crab leg with curry sauce was
particularly good, with very plump and succulent crab, though the steamed
fish with sauce and the steamed prawns were equally as good.
And so to the Marco Polo’s almost signature dish - the
Peking Duck. I have to admit I am a sucker for this dish, loving the
‘theatre’ that goes with it. I have always said that food should be fun
as well as sustenance. Chef Khajorn told me that one Peking duck offers 22
pieces of the roasted skin, enough duck soup for four people and another
duck meat dish as well. A complete meal for four for B. 1,200, making it a
relatively inexpensive item on a ‘per head’ basis in an up-market
facility such as the Marco Polo. I must say that I really enjoyed the spicy
minced duck meat with lettuce wrapping too!
At the end of lunch, the serving staff ignored the sauce
spots I had left on the previously spotlessly white starched tablecloth, and
smoothed a mini-cloth down in front of me, and then coffee and a fortune
cookie. Needless to say, it was a ‘good fortune’ cookie, but if it had
said “You will come back again” it would have been correct.
There can be no getting away from the fact that the
Montien’s Marco Polo Restaurant has maintained the very high standards
that it has shown in the past. The make-over of the venue just adds to the
enjoyment of a meal there, and the Dining Out Team was more than impressed
with the food and the facilities. The restaurant continues to be one of the
best Chinese restaurants in Pattaya, but yet not the most expensive. Very
Marco Polo Chinese Restaurant, Montien Hotel, Pattaya 2nd Road, (100
metres up from the Central Pattaya Road intersection), telephone 038 428
155. Secure parking in the hotel grounds. Dim Sum lunch 11 a.m. till 2 p.m.,
open every day.