The question that comes up time and time again for the Dining Out team, usually re-directed from the Pattaya Mail itself - “How do we get our restaurant reviewed?” The answer is really quite simple - invite us! There is no charge. You do not charge us, and we do not charge you.
The name Pan Pan and Italian food has been well known in Pattaya since 1976. The first Pan Pan is down towards the bottom of Thappraya Road at the traffic lights, and there are two others, one in Central Festival and recently the other on Sukhumvit Road, after Mimosa and opposite Ocean Portofino. One would have expected the newer Sukhumvit Road venue at Km 157 to be Pan Pan 3, but no, it is called Pan Pan 2. Perhaps Italians count differently, or perhaps I have got it wrong, but no matter, it is easy to find.
We suddenly realized that it had been two years since we last visited Ticino, (pronounced “Tichino” by the way), run by Swiss host Peter Faessler. Ticino gets its name from the Italian speaking Ticino Canton of Switzerland and we noted last time that this was a faithful European restaurant. The Italian Vespa scooters at the door just emphasize the continental style.
An invitation was given to the Dining Out Team to join ‘Oh-so-French’ Christophe and his Francophone wife for dinner at their Parrot’s Inn on Third Road. We had dined there in their ‘Oh-so-French’ restaurant some time ago but now with Christophe on deck all the time, there were many changes they wanted us to experience with their traditional French cuisine.
The newest and ritziest hotel in Pattaya is the new Centara Grand Phratamnak Resort. Owned by the Tulip Group and managed by Centara, it is easy to find at the beach end of Pratamnak Soi 5.
It was brought to my notice that it had been two years since the Dining Out team had reviewed Froggy’s restaurant on Soi Paniad Chang (AKA Soi Yume). Now owner/chef Gilles was promising “Lots of new dishes, many happy customers and a new décor,” as valid reasons for another review. We had enjoyed ourselves previously, having written, “Definitely well worth exploring Soi Paniad Chang. Do try. You will not regret it,” so it was easy to say “yes” to Gilles’ invitation and see how Froggy’s was doing two years down the track.
Information about O’Gara’s Bar and Grill in the Tara Court was received by the Dining Out Team, and we were so impressed on our initial visit (incognito) that we came back for another visit before returning for an “official” review.
Hands up all those who remember Spike Milligan? Hands up all those who remember his excruciatingly funny television series called Curry and Chips, with Milligan in the part of a Pakistani Irishman, known to everyone as Paki Paddy? In today’s age of PC, taken to ridiculous extremes, it would probably be banned, but fortunately, nobody could ban a fish and chip shop on Pratamnak Road between Soi 6 and Tara Court (the building done in faux ‘castle’ architecture) and opposite the Argyle Apartments, with the name of Curry and Chips.
It has been a couple of years since we attended the BBQ at the Mercure Hotel in Pattaya. This was not because we had forgotten about the experience (which was very positive), but because there are so many other dining out venues for us to cover.
At the end of each year, the Dining Out team likes to sit back and discuss the restaurants which have left a favorable impression on our respective palates. We do not try to say, “This is the winner!” because you cannot compare a budget eatery with a five star fine dining restaurant, though both may be very good examples of their genre.