Casa Pascal - coming up for seven

by Miss Terry Diner

The Dining Out Team has spent many very pleasurable evenings (and some very pleasurable Sunday brunches) at Casa Pascal over the years. With Kim and Pascal Schnyder at the helm, they have built up this free-standing restaurant to be undoubtedly one of the top venues in Pattaya. However, it has not been easy, and it is only through their attention to detail that this restaurant has consistently performed so well in the competitive culinary stakes. Make no mistake, Casa Pascal is very firmly in the Dining Out Team’s top three, and has been so for many years, since it opened on March 17, 2001.
There are many aspects that have kept Casa Pascal at the top. The venue just oozes that indefinable feeling called “class”. It is immaculately clean, the chairs are large enough to be comfortable and the tables spaced far enough apart so that private conversations can remain private and the toilets are without peer. They also have semi-private alcoves that can seat up to 10 for larger groups or parties.
What else? The service staff is always in clean uniforms, which must be difficult to do when you are ferrying full plates from the kitchen and returning dirty ones, but I have yet to see a soiled sleeve. The staff is always welcoming, right from the minute you arrive at the door, having already surrendered the car keys to the valet parking attendant. After selection of the wine for the evening, the sommelier will open it, allow you to taste, and pour without spills. Professional service personnel do so much more than just carry plates.
Of course, a restaurant will not continue to exist if the food is no good. Pascal Schnyder is a graduate chef from the best cooking academies and kitchens of Europe. This included the Geneva Noga Hilton Hotel. From there to the kitchen in Switzerland’s best known hotel, the Dolder Grand in Zurich. The Ramada Renaissance is also on his resume, and private restaurants such as the famous Zeughauskeller Zurich.
His sterling work with the Chaine des Rotisseurs, the oldest gourmet group in the world is well known by those in the local culinary clique. He is thought upon as one of the most creative chefs in Pattaya, and I would have to agree. On one memorable evening he turned the entire kitchen into a Greek Taverna, just because he was given the challenge. He produced Greek food that even the Greeks raved over.
He does also try to stamp his own individuality into his menu. “If you can create one dish that nobody has done before, this is a lot. Not just giving a dish a different name. It is very difficult - a clam is always a clam,” says the down-to-earth Pascal.
For any chef with an ounce of ambition, the concept of having their own restaurant represents their dream. For Pascal Schnyder it was a little more pragmatic than that. “I had a lot of good ideas that could not always be implemented when you are an employee,” he said, and both he and Kim had decided that they should invest in their own future, not just adding stars to the reputation of an employer.
With rotating gourmet set menus as well as a la carte, dining at Casa Pascal need not be financially daunting either. The gourmet sets also offer choices in the courses, and you can choose ‘food only’ at B. 1450, or with unlimited beverages from the white and reds on offer with the set at B. 2,900. Those prices include VAT. We indulged ourselves with the Valentine’s Day set menu and were delighted at the quality for the price.
Casa Pascal comes with the highest recommendation and is off Second Road, on the right next to Ruen Thai, not far after the Marriott Resort and Spa on the left. Parking is plentiful, and remember the valet parking service!
Casa Pascal, 485/M10, Pattaya Second Road almost opposite the Marriott Resort’s Moooore Bar, reservations recommended 038 723 660, email [email protected] Limousine pick up if required. Open seven days 11 a.m. until late. Lunch menu till 2 p.m. High season Sunday Brunch from 10.30 a.m. till 3 p.m.

Pork with Basil

This recipe comes from a very talented Thai chef who worked in restaurants overseas. It is a very traditional Thai recipe and one that is easy to do. A true ‘wok’ dish, it has a tantalizing flavor that comes from the combination of so many items. By the way, it is important to crush the garlic and chilli together. As usual, if this is a little hot for your taste, you can reduce the amount of chilli and remember to remove the seeds before combining!

Cooking Method:
Add oil to the wok and heat. Crush the garlic and chilli together and add to the oil and fry quickly. Now add the sliced pork and stir fry until cooked (do not overcook). Add the onion and the capsicum until cooked, followed by the sugar, fish sauce and oyster sauce. Finally, add the basil leaf and stir for one minute and then serve with steamed rice.

Ingredients                  Serves 4-6
Pork leg sliced thin                    500 gms
Onion sliced                             200 gms
Red capsicum                          100 gms
Green capsicum                       100 gms
Basil leaf (chopped)                         5-6
Garlic                                      2 cloves
Chilli (red)                                       3-4
Vegetable oil                            4 tbspns
Fish sauce (Tiparos brand is best) 4 tbspns
Sugar                                         1 tbspn
Oyster sauce                              1 tbspn