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Hard Rock Cafe:

 by Miss Terry Diner

Things can change very quickly in Pattaya. Since the last time we reviewed the Hard Rock Cafe the Hard Rock GM has changed (now the very amiable George Hazard) and the Hard Rock Cafe manager is now Frenchman Laurent Levraud. What other changes would we find?
The location, however, was just the same on Beach Road, and street parking is currently easy in the low season, though most times I would suggest you leave the car in the hotel’s secure parking off Second Road. Outside there were a few changes with a magnificent ‘piano’ decoration and some different tables and chairs, but inside it was the same very welcoming Hard Rock Cafe, with bouncy serving girls and boys all enjoying helping people enjoy themselves!
The walls still had the amazing rock memorabilia, including Elton John’s platform boots, many guitars, gold records and other items that have people walking around just to photograph them. The bandstand has the (now apparently compulsory) plexiglass wall around the drummer, (just in case a drumstick gets loose and impales a reveler, I wonder) and the Filipino group plays weeknights 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. weekdays and 9.30 p.m. until 1.30 a.m. weekends.
The Hard Rock Cafe has special nights, with Fridays being Ladies Nights (with discounts for ladies), alternating with Mexican Fridays which feature Mexican food and drink. Hard Rock worldwide is now also promoting a “Recession Survival Kit” with a set menu (with choices in the courses) for B. 500 commencing at 11 a.m. through till 9 p.m. There are also Happy Hours from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. That sounds like a fun way to beat the recession!
The menu is not an extensive one, but one that has the most popular items from all the Hard Rock Cafes, and as part of the hotel, prices are plus, plus. It has also photo thumbnails, so you can see what you are ordering. (All menus should be like this.)
Drinks and cocktails at the beginning, then on to Starters, which include several dishes that can be shared, such as the jumbo combo (B.450) with Santa Fe spring rolls, hickory smoke chicken wings, onion rings, potato skins and tupelo chicken tender, served with four different sauces for mixing and matching.
Mains (called “Entrees” - don’t get confused) include New York strip - 12 oz. Angus beef topped with Merlot-garlic butter (B. 820), fajitas (B. 480-500) and a pork chop (B. 380).
Burgers and Smokehouse items follow (B. 360-520), then sandwiches and salads (B. 220-360) with a Caesar salad at the lower end and a smoked BBQ beef sandwich at the top end.
The Hard Rock desserts are suitably sinful with the Sinful hot fudge sundae at B.260, plus many others. And as an added bonus, kids under 12 eat free. Nice touch to attract families.
Mindful of the fact that the Hard Rock portions tend to be very large (“American size” said Laurent) we decided to share a starter of Tupelo Chicken Tenders - a great choice with the slightly spicy chicken and a fabulous BBQ sauce to go with them.
For mains, Madame went for the salmon steak, while I chose the BBQ chicken (B. 360). Again, both of these were large servings and thoroughly enjoyable, and I have to make mention of the ‘Crocodile Dundee’ knife that comes with the BBQ.
Throwing all calories caution to the winds we splurged on a raspberry sorbet for me - wonderfully palate refreshing, and the Hard Rock giant fudge for Madame, who needed several people to help - it is simply enormous! As well as being delicious.
As I sat back and enjoyed the wine, the dessert and the ambience, on the video screens around the Hard Rock Cafe came the original tape of Ray Davies and the Kinks with their 1964 smash hit “You really got me”. Hard Rock Cafe, you really got me too! It was a great evening.
Dining at the Hard Rock Cafe is not just eating - it is an ‘experience’. Highly recommended.
Hard Rock Cafe, Hard Rock Hotel, Pattaya 2nd Road, telephone 038 426 635, fax 038 421 673, all major cards accepted. Open seven days from 11 a.m. until early mornings. Secure parking in the hotel parking areas.

Capsicum (Bell Pepper) Som Tum

The som tum range of Thai salads is much greater than you would imagine, much more varied than the usual green papaya and salted crab varieties. Most som tums, however, are very spicy, and often beyond the palate capabilities of the average foreigner. Even some Thais find the Isaan som tums nuclear! I have tamed the temperature in this recipe, but if you want it to Thai taste then double the garlic and chilli in the recipe and be prepared to sweat.

Ingredients                                        serves 4
Yellow and green capsicum chopped         4 cups
Medium prawns, cooked, de-shelled          8
Garlic                                                      4 cloves
Chillies medium                                        4
Roasted peanut                                        4 tbspns
Lime juice                                                4 tbspns
Tamarind juice                                          4 tbspns
Fish sauce                                               2 tbspn
Palm sugar                                              1 tbspn

Cooking Method
Using the mortar and pestle, crush the garlic and chillies. Be careful not to splash any juice in the eyes, or rub the eyes during preparation of this dish. Add the fish sauce, lime juice, tamarind juice and palm sugar and continue pounding until the palm sugar is dissolved. Add capsicum, prawns (cooked and chopped roughly) and roasted peanuts and pound lightly while mixing and turning the ingredients. Serve immediately (with sticky rice if you prefer).

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