by Miss Terry
Once again I am reminded that Jomtien has become
‘the’ dining out area for Pattaya. There are the heavyweights like
Bruno’s which will always be right up there in any culinary polls, Italian
pizzerias like Pan-Pan, through to some quaint and quirky French places and
the British style Ace Cafe. Now add to those the Papa David Restaurant.
We had spotted this restaurant, nestling behind the gold
“Hanuman” statue where the road from Pattaya swings right towards the
Dongtan Beach. In an open-fronted double shophouse, there are around a dozen
glass-topped tables with large comfortable cane chairs (with cushions). A
sign outside promises breakfast from B. 35 and another offers ‘specials’
for B. 195. We were obviously not going to need a platinum credit card to
menu, which has photographs to assist the diner (always a good idea) offers
17 breakfasts from about as many nationalities, covering English,
Continental, Dutch, German, French, Norwegian, Belgian, American, Swiss and
Italian, with prices from the signboard B. 35 toast and coffee through to B.
145 for something larger and more exotic.
The rotating specials follow the same pattern of a soup
or prawn cocktail, main course and dessert for B. 195. Depending upon which
day you venture in, the mains can be fish, pork, bratwurst, beef or half a
chicken. Good choices and amusing spellings!
The menu proper continues with sandwiches (B. 60), or
being toasted slightly more expensive or the British favourite
‘Toasties’ with different fillings (B. 80-95). ‘Specialities’ cover
omelettes and pastas, with the most expensive being B. 125.
Soups and salads (B. 55-75) are followed by Burgers and
Sausages (B. 110-145) and then a general heading of Dinners offers pork,
chicken, fish and beef dishes, with the vast majority between B. 155-195.
There are also two pages of Thai favourites, with nothing over B. 105.
Local beers range from B. 50-65 and a small, but
reasonably varied selection of wines is stocked, with bottles from both the
old and new world. Prices run between B. 600-845, around what you would
expect to pay in the supermarket!
I decided I would try the Norwegian Breakfast, which at
B. 145 included Norwegian smoked salmon, two scrambled eggs, toast, jam, OJ
and tea or coffee. Madame felt the need to try some “British” fish and
chips, but this came with the top of the line Norwegian cod and French fries
(who said the Brits were rigid in their cooking?).
My first surprise came with the size of the Norwegian
breakfast, huge! Presented on a large wooden platter, with large cold serves
of salmon and ditto, but hot, serving of scrambled eggs. A pepper mill was
brought over, without having to be asked for, and the entire breakfast was
most enjoyable (and filling).
Madame’s fish was excellent. In a crispy batter and not
at all oily. She had chosen garden peas, rather than the British ‘mushy’
variety, and they were sweet and succulent, and the french-fries were also
cooked and served correctly. Mention must be made of the tartare sauce that
came with this one, made on the premises and suited the fish perfectly.
Other sauces and condiments were from the better quality brands. The bottles
were clean, too, not encrusted with dried sauce.
For a restaurant that has been going for only seven
months, Papa David is well entrenched, and it is easy to see why. The food
was good quality, both in the cooking and in the raw ingredients, the
servings were not skimpy, the prices were very reasonable (the Norwegian
breakfast is well under-priced), and the premises clean and inviting (the
kitchen was spotless). The service was at times a little haphazard, but
David was on hand to make sure everything went as planned. Well worth a
trip, even if just to marvel at the offering of 17 breakfasts! Highly
Papa David Restaurant, 481/2-3 Moo 12, Jomtien (behind the gold Hanuman
statue on the corner), telephone 038 303 909, 01 949 1399. Open from 7 a.m.
until 10 p.m. (kitchen) or 11 p.m. (restaurant). Closed Sundays during low
season, but open seven days from September 26. Plenty of on-street parking.