One thing I have learned in the restaurant
business, both in my own and observing others, is that you cannot afford to
stand still. Constant improvement is needed, no matter how well it all seems
to be running, and I am pleased to report that Manhattans Steakhouse has
been following that dictum. This American style steakhouse burst on the
scene last year, and while looking good, there were a few teething problems.
Management listened, changes were made, and a ‘new’ and ‘improved’
Manhattans was the promise. The Dining Out team went along to see just what
the differences were.
Arriving, the valet parking is certainly a boon, and we
were soon in the Piano Lounge section, seated in the swivel chairs and
perusing the list of aperitifs and wines. With Eddie tinkling away on the
piano, it is easy to spend time there, sipping and nibbling on the
complimentary hors d’oeuvres. We decided to try some of the available 14
wines by the glass, and there was certainly a wide choice. I settled for an
Estrella Chardonnay 2004 (B. 250 per glass or B. 1,000 per bottle), while
Madame went for the J.W. Morris Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 (B. 215 per glass or
B. 850 per bottle). The cabernet sauvignon, in particular, was excellent and
you will hardly get a smoother red anywhere, at that price. We spent an
enjoyable 30 minutes in the Piano Lounge, and were not hassled in any way
Moving through to the restaurant section, you are again
reminded of the simple word "elegance". The raised carpeted dining
sections each side of the central marble ‘runway’ have large tables and
large comfortable chairs, complete with additional back cushions. You are
definitely beginning to feel that you are someone special by the time you
We had enjoyed our wine choices so much that we stuck
with them while perusing the menu, another area where Manhattans has rung in
a few changes. There are two new appetizers, a crispy fried calamari with
marinara sauce (B. 260) and an interesting pork and pistachio terrine (B.
260). Three salads were also added (B. 295) and a smaller cut of prime rib
roast at 250 gm (B. 810) in the US Certified Angus beef. Incidentally, the
potato and vegetables are now included in the price of the main course.
Other additions included a grilled snow fish with prawns,
lobster, scallop and mussels in a saffron broth (B. 795), an Asian steamed
white snapper (B. 565) and a sautéed eggplant with mozzarella, parmesan,
marinara sauce (B. 450). There is also a Thai food section, with most items
between B. 150 and B. 375.
I ordered an onion soup gratin (B. 220), which arrived
piping hot in a very large plate and was delicious. Madame went for the
Manhattan garden salad (B. 295) and this was also a huge serving. We had had
a great start!
For mains, Madame chose the new snow fish item and this
was simply superb, whilst I had the 250 gm prime rib, unbelievably tender
and more than enough for me at that weight.
Both of us felt that our two courses, which more than
filled us, adding up to less than B. 1,100 per head were exceptional value,
taking into consideration portion size, the elegant surroundings and fine
We came away from Manhattans very impressed. The
restaurant has certainly found its feet, the staff was much more relaxed and
confident, and the additional menu items have elevated the
"steakhouse" concept to much more of a "restaurant" with
wider appeal. The pricing is keener, and the portions served seemed just
that little bit larger (the soups and salads were very large). Like all
things in life, you pay for quality, but we did not consider that the
pricing was in any way over the top for what we had received.
Manhattans Steakhouse, Ground floor Nirvana Place, top of Thappraya Road,
Jomtien, telephone 086 103 4497, open seven days, Piano cocktail lounge 5
p.m. until 1 a.m., dinner in the restaurant 6 p.m. until 10.30 p.m. (last
orders). Secure parking and valet service. Complimentary limousine pick-up
in Naklua/Pattaya/Jomtien area. Email tvicario@ manhattans-pattaya.com,