Long gone are the days when a pub was a pub and you drank there after work with some mates until sozzled and then crawled home. The social contact side is still there, but in addition you need (these days) good food with a changing menu, internet access, TV screens showing all sports and good attentive service.
I consulted a large dictionary to ensure that “Shenanigans” was an accepted word in English, and there it was described as “Prankishness, Mischief”. And so I thought to myself, just how apt that name has to be for a hostelry run by the mad-cap Aussie Stewart Fraser! Forgive me, Stewart, but anybody who goes round the patrons playing “Toss the boss” with an Australian 50 cent coin is no shrinking violet!
By all reports, Italian food is the most popular cuisine in the world, and I have had some wonderful Italian meals where the chef/owner has joined us at the table and the gourmand has taken over from the gourmet!
The Jomtien Boathouse stands as a monument to hard work and an unshakeable belief in one’s self. I remember it being built, with Kanikar Ottesen on the building site every day as project manager as well as everything else, saying it would open on time. This was on a Wednesday and there was no hope of that happening in three days. The Jomtien Boathouse opened on the Saturday, as she said, complete with palm trees! And that was 10 years ago.
Jameson’s Irish Pub was founded nine years ago, making it a well-established venue in Pattaya, a city where some restaurants close before their ‘grand opening’! Mine host is Kim Fletcher, undoubtedly one of the most professional landlords around, a man who was actually born in a pub, and will probably die in one as well. (Just joking, Kim!)
If you think that being a food and wine critic is an easy life, you are mistaken. We have to try and space the wine events or spend our days in recovery mode, trying to get ready for the next one. Last week went very close to being on the limit of endurance, with events at Bruno’s Restaurant and Wine Bar and four days later, the deVine Wine Club at the Royal Cliff.
Every so often you can stumble across a previously hidden gem. One of those is the ‘Safron’ Kitchen on Pattaya Klang (Central Road). This venue was discovered by Madame (in this case of Indian descent) and it was decided that the Dining Out Team should investigate. Let’s do the “ethnic” thing was the suggestion.
When the Diana Inn opened its Green Bottle Pub around 25 years ago, those who were “in the know” predicted that the business model would fail, as it was “too far out of town!” These days, the Diana Inn and its Green Bottle pub are located in the center of Pattaya, and doing very well thank you! So much for the predictions of quarter of a century ago.
The Manhattans Restaurant and Bar at the top of Thappraya hill in the ground floor of Nirvana Place has had a troubled childhood. At times it was obvious that it had lost its way and then some ownership changes threw the whole concept topsy-turvy. However, the Dining Out team is pleased to report that Manhattans has finally found its true direction under the eye of GM Bart Munsters (and the watchful gaze of a couple of reef sharks in the aquaria).
There are people who think that East Pattaya is still “the Dark Side”, a strange place inhabited by aliens. Likewise there are those who think that Naklua is some far away town close to Sriracha. (But no aliens!) However, let me assure you that Naklua is a very vibrant community adjacent to Pattaya, with some of the best hotels on the Eastern Seaboard. The Pullman Pattaya Hotel G is one of them.