There are always times when you don’t want to go out for dinner, yet you
don’t want to cook - or even more likely, you want something just a little
bit more gourmet than you can prepare at home. The answer was never in the
fast food delivery system. Fast food is just that - fast food. It does not
pretend to be gourmet food.
couple of years ago we dined out at the original Stone Oven in Soi 6.
Unfortunately this was the wrong venue for a gourmet restaurant, and one
that had innumerable parking problems. This was a shame, as we enjoyed the
fare, remarking at the time, “To sum up, the food is superb at the Stone
Oven. Madame described the pizza as ‘the best pizza I have ever eaten’ and I
agree. The other dishes all exhibited wonderful flavors, and the portion
sizes were large. This is one restaurant you owe it to yourself to try.
So when the owner/restaurateur Peter Miller informed us he would diversify
into home delivery, the question in our minds was whether the standards
would have slipped, and was this going to be ‘just another take-away’?
We rang the home delivery number and had a menu dropped out to us, and were
immediately taken with the colorful 20 item, photographic menu. The
predominance is on an Italian cuisine, and as per the original Stone Oven
restaurant, the implied emphasis is on quality. If you are going to offer an
Italian pizza, it should be made from Italian flour and cooked in a stone
oven, is Peter Miller’s credo.
are 10 pizzas (B. 195-295) and these are 32 cm diameter pizzas, weighing 800
gm, Peter told me when I rang him later to apologize for over-ordering! (I
ate pizza for breakfast and lunch the next day!) The range covers the
standard Margherita, Genovese, Capricciosa, Bolognese, Mexican, Greek (with
black olives, garlic, grilled meat, salad, Feta cheese and parsley added
after baking), Marina Roma and Milan Royal Chicken.
After the pizzas come four ‘Giant Pita’ offerings (B. 145-195) covering a
Doner Tenderloin, Protein Blast (with tenderloin, ham and chicken), Grilled
Chicken (with capers, salad, cucumber and herb dressing) and Feta.
There are also three Panini (grilled Italian sandwich) on offer (all B. 95)
with fillings such as low fat salami, pesto, tomato, mozzarella, tuna, black
olives and tomatoes.
Finally there are three fresh salads (B. 95-145) with a mixed salad, ham and
cheese or tuna (with olives, eggs, salad, tomato and mustard dressing).
We ordered two pizzas, one giant pita and a salad. We were three people and
when we saw the size of the helpings had to call in reinforcements, and
still we had food left over.
The pizzas are on the traditional Italian thin base, and were especially
notable in the fact that they contained real shredded meat, as well as being
wonderfully tasty. The Giant Pita was also full to overflowing, with again
plenty of shredded meats, as well as the salad, tomatoes and dressing. And
the tuna salad contained real tuna, as well as all the other ingredients
promised in the menu.
We certainly did enjoy our gourmet food (just as we had done when we dined
at Peter Miller’s Stone Oven two years ago) and for Madame, the Greek pizza
was the narrow favorite, and for me it was the Giant Pita. However, I can
honestly say they were all enjoyable, and certainly a ‘cut above’ the other
fast food suppliers.
To contact the Stone Oven Home Delivery service in the Jomtien area
telephone 038 236 083, or in the Pattaya area telephone 038 361 740. Do give
them time to prepare your order, as Peter says, “In business you cannot give
high priority to everything and at the same time hit the right target
prices. We have therefore chosen to give lower priority to ‘the need of
speed’ which other players on the pizza/ pita/ sandwich scene emphasize on.”
This has meant that you get a very high quality gourmet item, at the same
cost as the ‘faster’ item. For us, it was definitely worth it. I cannot
remember a better Sunday dinner eaten at home!
Creamy Oyster Bisque
While many people imagine that soups are a winter item
only, this is incorrect. Soups can be a nourishing meal on their own or a
wonderful starter for the evening meal. This recipe came from Australia and
featured the world famous Sydney Rock Oysters, but any style will do and the
recipe as presented calls for bottled oysters which makes it even easier.
The recipe also mentions Guinness beer, but any of the heavy British brands
will do which can be purchased in cans in Pattaya.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the stock in a large saucepan and add the
onion and celery. Cook over low heat until onion is transparent. Add the
Guinness, remaining stock, potato and thyme and cook until potatoes are soft
and most of the liquid is absorbed. Transfer to a blender with half of the
oysters, milk and pepper and puree until smooth. Bring back to the boil and
serve immediately with a few oysters placed on top of each dish. Garnish
with fresh parsley.
Serves 4 - 6
Bottled oysters (reserve the liquid)
Fish stock (including water
drained from bottled oysters)
Small white onion diced
Potato peeled and diced
Low fat milk
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Parsley for garnish