Azure – a lot more than light blue

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Blue lit interior.
Blue lit interior.

There have been so many new hotels in Pattaya (and environs) in the past couple of years it is easy for one to slip through the net! The Centara Azure Hotel is one of them. I honestly did not know where it was, even though I was later to find I passed it at least once a week! However, after our visit, please keep this Centara Azure in the forefront of your memory, as I have done with mine. It is worth your while.

We went there at the invitation of Ms Jyoti Singh, the assistant sales manager, and after finding the hotel which is on the soi which runs from Soi Bua Khao to the rear entrance Avenue Shopping Center and Mercure Hotel.

It is a busy soi but the Centara Azure has secure parking in the basement.

Take the elevator to the lobby and you will find soft blue lighting around the Atlantis restaurant which has a huge circular aquarium in the middle. The name “Azure” begins to make sense. Along one wall is an open kitchen with access to the buffet items. Comfortable chairs and large tables complete the area.

Schnitzel a la carte.
Schnitzel a la carte.

Being a hotel property, the Atlantis is open for breakfast (6.30 to 10.30) then stays open for the lunch and dinner trade (10.30 a.m. to 10.30 p.m.) incorporating the buffet (6.30 p.m. to 10.30 p.m.).

We began by looking at the a la carte menu which has burgers at B. 250 and fish and chips for B. 180. This is not an expensive menu.

Curries range between B. 140-190, pastas B. 160-240.

The steaks are Australian and at B. 490 underpriced, the schnitzel B. 300 and a Norwegian salmon only B. 360 likewise.

Fresh moist salmon.
Fresh moist salmon.

Before ordering a la carte we perused the wine labels while enjoying an Australian Birchgrove house white. By the bottle they fall mainly in the B. 900-1400 with the pleasant newcomer Silverlake Rose at B. 1235.

The next eye opener was the buffet. An all you can eat offer priced at B. 299, Monday to Thursday and a weekend buffet at B. 399. Some (not all) of the items on offer are prawn crackers, pork ribs, cream of corn soup, fried and steamed rice, stir fry mixed vegetables, salads, chicken in red curry and pork in a masaman curry, chicken stew, pork in a Rosemary sauce, macaroni cheese, Sautéed potatoes, seasonal fruits and plates of different desserts.

The items are in the view of the chefs, so nothing is old and tired, but everything is freshly cooked and kept in the heated containers.

We were a group of four, with the masaman pork reported as fairly spicy, as was the chicken in red curry.

Stir fry mixed vegetables.
Stir fry mixed vegetables.

I decided to sample the schnitzel from the a la carte menu. This came in a stainless steel container with tomato sauce on the side. Excellent and not overcooked and dry either. The Norwegian salmon flaked easily with the fork. Naturally, the two children made more than one trip to the desserts!

We were all very satisfied with our choices, and I am sure you will be too.

Roast potatoes with Rosemary.
Roast potatoes with Rosemary.

The Dining Out Team went to the Centara Azure not knowing what to expect. In return it provided us with excellent food, good presentation, and prices that cannot be beaten. B. 299 for an all you can eat quality buffet has to be a loss leader. Even at B. 399 for the weekends it is not over the top. Atlantis may be Plato’s lost fictional island, but Pattaya’s Centara Azure Atlantis is very real. The Atlantis restaurant gets our highest recommendation. Do go and try it.

Two styles of rice.

Centara Azure Hotel, Atlantis restaurant, 198/31 Moo 9, (on the run down from Soi Bua Khao to the rear entrance Avenue Center and Mercure Hotel), secure parking on site, tel. 033 083 333.

For the curry lovers, red curry chicken.
For the curry lovers, red curry chicken.