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DINING OUT &  KHUN OCHA'S COOKBOOK

Tequila Reef:

Much more than Tex-Mex

by Miss Terry Diner

It had been a while since we last reviewed Tequila Reef Cantina, and we were to find that much had changed since then. And for the good.
Tequila Reef is situated on Soi 7, close to the Beach Road end of the soi on the right hand side. Soi 7 is one of those ‘interesting’ streets, jumping with people, music and reverberating with calls of “Hello sexy man!” However, Tequila Reef remains an oasis of normality in the noisy environment outside.
There is an outside terrace for those who wish to smoke, or the newbies, for whom the vibrancy of Soi 7 is still an amazing experience. Inside it is air-conditioned, with a long bar running across the back wall, and an eclectic décor with an overall Mexican theme.
Since Tequila Reef is well known for its Margaritas, we began with a frozen one for myself, whilst Madame went for the ‘hand-shaken’ variety (B. 130-140). Both were delicious (and by the way, potent)! We were also enjoying the salsas and corn chips which came to the table while we pondered over the menu.
The menu begins with 19 appetizers with the majority between B. 100 and B. 200 including items such as Cajun Popcorn Shrimp (B. 155) which comes with cocktail sauces, Grilled Pork Quesadilla (B. 135) or a Garlic Cheese bread (B. 105).
The next items are Soups, Salads and Chili, one section which is being expanded including Caesar salads and a Tortilla soup flavored with Chipotle chilli (B. 90 for a small serving).
Next up are some steaks (B. 315-395) with most around 300 gm and come with your choice of potato, corn on the cob or vegetables and even horseradish sauce if you want it.
BBQ ribs follow along with chicken, duck and fish. Half a rack is B. 275 or a full rack for B. 415. Some New Orleans style ‘blackened’ items as well, including a grilled salmon filet, so you don’t get the bones. There is even fish and chips with deep-fried red snapper at B. 285.
Of course there are still plenty of Mexican items (B. 185-325) which includes a giant Burrito called the Pregnant with Twins!
Burgers are around B. 135-160, plus plenty of side dishes and desserts. Some Thai food for partners as well.
With owner Darrell Woolley on hand to advise us, it was decided that we should have a ‘tasting’ evening to allow us to experience some of the popular items as well as some of the new dishes that have been added to the menu. “We wanted to bulk up the menu to attract a wider audience,” said Darrell, “so burgers, schnitzels and soups and salads are being introduced.”
Amongst the items suggested were the BBQ ribs, which Darrell assured us were so popular that people drive down from Bangkok at weekends, just to have the Tequila Reef ribs. These were flavorsome, moist and simply wonderful. We could see why their BBQ ribs are such a popular item. Mention must also be made of the guacamole, made with imported Australian avocadoes as Darrell feels this produces the best taste, and we certainly enjoyed it. Another very interesting item was the tortilla soup, which was very flavorsome, and in some ways similar to a French onion soup or the Thai Tom Yum, though not as spicy. Again a different taste.
We came away from Tequila Reef still discussing the different flavors and tastes that this restaurant offers the diners, and in a fun environment. Tequila Reef receives one of our highly recommended ratings, and although there are many Tex-Mex/New Orleans style items, the restaurant offers much more than that one style of cuisine. Do go and try. And incidentally as you have read from the review, the prices are very reasonable.
By the way, Tequila Reef does do outside catering for parties or social events, and has successfully catered for 600 hungry golfers. Give them a call to enquire about this service.
Tequila Reef Cantina, Soi 7 (close to the Beach Road end on the right hand side, with parking behind the beer bars on the left). Telephone 038 414 035. Open seven days, 11.30 a.m. until 12 midnight.


Powerful Oyster Shots
One of the new menus in Jameson’s Irish Pub featured a Khun Ocha’s recipe last week (prawns in cognac), so as a return thanks, here is one based on the Jameson’s oyster shot recipe, but this is a rather more potent version! Don’t let the children try this at home! It does call for freshly shucked oysters, but bottled oysters are quite suitable (just don’t tell anyone!).

Ingredients            Makes 12 oyster shots
Crushed rock salt, for coating the glass rims
Oysters, freshly shucked, with their liquor       12
Tomato juice chilled                                       1 cup
Red bell pepper minced                            2 tbspns
Coriander leaf finely chopped                     1 tspn
Parsley leaves finely chopped                     1 tspn
Shallots finely chopped                                1 tspn
Tequila                                                           330 ml
Ice

Cooking Method
Crush the rock salt and moisten the rims of 12 shot glasses with water, then dip each glass in the salt to coat the rims. Put an oyster into each shot glass.
In a medium bowl, combine the tomato juice, red bell pepper, shallots, coriander, and parsley. Pour one tablespoon of the tomato juice mixture into each of the 12 shot glasses over the oysters. Pour the tequila into a cocktail shaker with ice cubes and shake to chill the tequila. Add about two tablespoons of tequila to each of the shot glasses. Serve immediately.



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