The Dining Out Team was fortunate to be invited to the opening of the Hilton Pattaya’s Horizon roof top a few weeks ago. The view is just spectacular from the 34th floor, but we decided to wait a few weeks to allow the kitchen under chef Shaun Venter to get into its stride before coming for a formal review.
The Horizon restaurant and bar has two main areas – first an open-air section with its own bar and lounging seating, though still covered with a high roof, other than a wonderful blue rimmed “hole in the ozone layer” through which you can see the moon and the stars.
The Horizon’s “hole in the ozone layer” through which you can see the moon and the stars.
The second section is the covered and air-conditioned interior which still offers the diners the spectacular views of Pattaya City, as the walls are all glass. This interior section also has three private dining rooms with floor to ceiling glass panels for views over the city and the bay. The private dining sections are for up to eight people. The black ceiling has pin-point lights, giving the guests the impression of dining under the night sky.
Chef Shaun Venter.
We spent a little while in the open-air section with a glass of French champagne, at the Infinity Bar while taking in views of the skyline. Bat-Bites are available there, includes salt and pepper squid, seared with herbs and five spice salt, and Kurobuta pork ribs with an apple and pear salad, and chipotle BBQ sauce. And yes, there are individual oysters with a choice of French Fines de Claires or American Eagle Rock.
You cannot describe this venue without it sounding over the top, but after you go, you will see why. Hilton calls it a “new level of style” and it certainly is.
The venue is sensational and the different menu items are very special.
The menu is not enormous and has indicators to cater for all nationalities and tastes, with a V for vegetarian and P to indicate pork. The individual items are most likely ones you will not have experienced elsewhere. For example, roasted snowfish done with a chermoula sauce, butternut pumpkin, chorizo, scallops, and lemon velouté. The chermoula (or chrmla) is a marinade used in Algerian, Moroccan and Tunisian cooking, and is made of a mixture of herbs, oil, lemon juice, pickled lemons, garlic, cumin, and salt. It may also include onion, fresh coriander, ground chili peppers, black pepper, or saffron.
After discussion with chef Shaun, it was decided we would experience a “tasting” menu of small portions to allow us to sample many different dishes. Please note the size of the portions in the photographs does not represent the dish as you would receive.
We began with a selection of starters with a Beef Carpaccio on a Parmesan custard, with pickled mushrooms and golden shallots, followed by a Moroccan Spiced Eggplant with natural yoghurt foam, golden raisins, red pepper reduction and micro salad and the third a foie gras brulee on a mango carpaccio. All were exceptional.
There are three items designed to be shared and we tried the 48 Hour Lamb Shank with herb falafel, edamame and feta salsa and roast garlic aioli. Chef Shaun confirmed that this dish does take 48 hours and the meat just fell off the bone. Incidentally Chef Shaun spent six years in Dubai, so he knows his falafels!
In the Mains we sampled the Atlantic Salmon with braised cucumber, Japanese rice, poached egg (which you break over the salmon) and red pepper sabayon and a Kurobuta Pork Tenderloin wrapped in bacon, on a parsnip mash, with grainy mustard, Medjool dates and sage butter. This dish was my pick of the evening, whilst Madame went for the lamb shank.
Despite Shaun’s entreaties we could not find the room for desserts, but we had enjoyed a spectacular evening at Horizon. The venue is sensational and the different menu items were very special. It is not cheap night out with the snowfish B. 1050 and the lamb shank for two B. 2,200 for example, but the total experience makes it worth it.
Horizon Restaurant, 34th floor Hilton Pattaya, above the Central Festival center, Beach Road. Open seven days for dinner 6.00 p.m. until 11.30 p.m. Dress code smart. Valet parking available. Booking recommended 038 825 3000.