I will come clean, right at the beginning - Songkran is not my favorite time of the year. Getting wet for a week as “fun” soon begins to pall. However, this year Songkran was not all dirty ice water and white paste - there was also an invitation to lunch from Vanjie Lauzon the effervescent Assistant Director of Communications of the Dusit Thani Pattaya. The Dining Out team readily accepted!
There are many ways that can lead to the Dining Out team going to review a restaurant. This week it was following the recommendation of one of the PMTV staff, who did warn us that it was a little difficult to find! We also knew that this was not a five star fine dining restaurant, which pleased us, as sometimes we get accused of only going to the expensive places!
The Mantra restaurant is renowned for doing things in its own special way, and the Chakana Wine Dinner was no exception to that rule. When you think South American wines, you immediately think of Chile, but this was a young winery from Argentina that was not well known in Thailand at all. The Mantra has changed all that!
One of the newer clubs in Pattaya is the MOOD Blues Café, so you are excused if you are unsure of just where it is. For those not au fait with the Pratamnak area it is on Pratamnak Soi 6 on the lower floor of Thepthip Mansions, on the right hand side towards the ocean end of Soi 6.
Every so often, in the hectic pace that is Pattaya with new hotels springing up every 10 minutes, you need to slow down and have another look at venues that have been here for some time - and stood the test of time.
The phrase ‘In Vino Veritas’ has been used for centuries by all societies, recognizing the fact that wine can loosen lips. In actual fact, the phrase in its entirety is ‘In vino veritas, in aqua sanitas’, i.e., “In wine there is truth, in water there is health.” At the latest wine dinner promoted by the Royal Cliff’s deVine Wine Club, there were more than adequate volumes of both!
Eleven years ago I spoke with the owner of the Jomtien Boathouse, Kannikar Ottesen. It was the Wednesday prior to the grand opening on the Saturday and Kannikar was busy planting palm trees across the front of the restaurant area. I looked at the building site and the newly placed trees and voiced the opinion that the Jomtien Boathouse had no hope of being ready for business in three days.
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.