by Miss Terry Diner
Dining Out Team has just returned from the most memorable evening this year.
It is very rare to find a ‘complete’ package in any restaurant, but Mez in
the Sheraton Pattaya Resort has to come very close.
When reviewing any restaurant one looks at the food, the wines, the service
and the surroundings. To get to the top of the tree requires excellence in
all these aspects. Let me tell you from the start that Mez does (almost) all
Beginning with the food. This is under the control of one of the world’s
most enthusiastic chefs, Matthew Woolford (who was the subject of the Local
Personality interview last week). He has worked all over SE Asia, including
Singapore, Korea and Hong Kong, and he has put this Asian experience into
the menu. However, he has not followed the ‘fusion’ concept, but has taken
Asian techniques and refined them. The steamed snowfish, for example, uses a
Chinese style of preparation, but adds to it with subtle flavors produced by
some non-Chinese ingredients. This is the ‘secret’ of his cuisine.
wines. Mez has a very carefully selected range of wines, which features some
outstanding wines, such as the Penfolds Bin 407 for which you will pay a
premium, but also has many good-drinking affordable wines such as Tyrrells
Long Flat Red. Representative wines from both Old and New Worlds are on the
menu, including some Monsoon Valley wines from Thailand. It is also pleasing
to see some locally produced wines making their way into the local wine
The service. This is another high point at Mez. Elegantly attired young
ladies who are just bursting with enthusiasm. Nothing is too much trouble,
flashing smiles that will assure them of forgiveness no matter what sins
might have been committed, and yet knowledgeable at the same time. From the
very first welcome, you are made to feel that you are important.
so to the surroundings. Mez is very elegant as well. Open plan and on split
level, large wooden tables and chairs (though I found I needed a few
cushions behind me to fill the space between me and the back of the chair).
The lower level houses a cocktail/wine bar, looking out over the Sheraton’s
private beach and would be a marvelous venue for a relaxed ‘sundowners’.
However, the restaurant does take some exploring to get there. The
topography is such that the architects were forced to design the resort on
descending levels, linked by winding pathways and steps. For the elderly, or
those with walking problems, this could be daunting. However, the Sheraton
does have a buggy service which will get you close enough, but you may have
to ask for it, as the charming staff in the lobby appear to want you to take
the guided scenic tour on foot!
The menu is not huge but even a brief perusal will bring up names you may
not have heard of, such as Hamachi (imported Japanese fish) Sashmimi, which
has celery salt, tomato and caramelized walnut to contrast softness and
crunchiness (B. 260) or maple grilled young bamboo shoots, Edamame, Enoki
and asparagus (B. 480). They are designed to “Ignite your senses,” said Chef
Matthew. There are enough vegetarian, seafood or meat and poultry items on
offer, and every one is something new. It is a culinary exploration.
As I stated at the outset, this was a most memorable meal and a magnificent
evening. Chef Matthew is inventive, and the snowfish dish was the best both
Madame and I have ever tasted. The food is very artfully presented and there
are no knives at the table, nor or are any needed. Even for the beef. It is
not a cheap evening, but is not ‘over the top’ and the superb mélange of
tastes, textures and flavors make it all worthwhile. Highest recommendation
possible. I would also suggest you try chef Matthew’s five course offering.
Given his head, he will personally produce something extraordinary for you!
Mez, Sheraton Pattaya Resort, 437 Pratamnak Road, Pattaya, telephone 038 259
888, fax 038 259 899. Open six days 6 p.m. until 11 p.m. (closed Sundays),
valet service and secure parking.