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!
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.
Pork leg sliced thin
Basil leaf (chopped)
Fish sauce (Tiparos brand is best) 4 tbspns