Dining at the Peak – who needs to go to Hong Kong?

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A visit to Hong Kong requires a trip to the Peak. This used to be done by cable-car (or more properly – funicular railway) which took you to the top in fear and trembling. I did the ascent and refused to get back in for the descent and waited till they rang a cab for me.

However, the nice people at the Dusit Thani Pattaya, at the Dolphin Roundabout, have made it easy for you. Get in their normal perpendicular lift, get out at the eighth floor, go up a short spiral staircase and there you are. The Dusit’s top of the world Peak restaurant, with unrivaled views from North Pattaya and around Pattaya Bay.

Soup made from pork spare ribs with Chinese herbs was a dish Miss Terry really enjoyed.

The restaurant has a very warm ambience, and is in a basic semi-circular design, with large windows around the periphery. There are also a couple of large circular tables for those who enjoy a Chinese banquet, and along the back wall is a cocktail bar.

This next course featured a work of art, being a taro “nest” of sautéed shrimp.

After we arrived we were welcomed by Jens Heier, the Director of Kitchens at our local Dusit Thani, an executive chef known to many residents in Pattaya, as well as being the Conseiller Culinaire Provincial of the Pattaya chapter of the gourmet group, the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs. Under his watchful eye is the new chef for the Peak Prasit Kempookleaw, a most enthusiastic young chef, whose five signature dishes we were to try that evening.

The final dish was a Szechuan snowfish, which was slightly spicy as Szechuan cuisine dictates.

After being settled at a table with Bay views we selected a Mapu Baron Philippe de Rothschild, Sauvignon Blanc, a Chilean wine from the Maipo Valley. A very refreshing wine which goes well with Chinese food.

Our culinary journey through China began with roast Duck roll in cucumber (B. 250), not oily at all and the distinctive taste of duck had been retained.

The next signature dish was a soup made from pork spare ribs with Chinese herbs (B. 250), steaming hot to the table and was one dish I really enjoyed.

The next course featured a work of art, being a taro “nest” of sautéed shrimp (B. 690). This was very enjoyable, serving “dish” and all.

Chef Prasit had told us that he was going to let us experience five signature dishes, and so for number four we had stewed pork leg with Chinese spices and Chinese steamed buns (B. 450). With the pork skin still on, this dish reminded me of a German pork knuckle, but more moist.

The final dish was a Szechuan snowfish (B. 550), which was slightly spicy as Szechuan cuisine dictates. A beautiful fish and a beautiful dish!

Chef Prasit said that he does not slavishly follow the traditional cuisines but enjoys creating Fusion dishes, based on Cantonese elements.

We enjoyed every part of our evening at the Peak. The signature dishes had something for everyone, with Madame’s favorite being the Szechuan Snowfish, whilst for me it was the sautéed shrimp with cashew nuts in the amazing taro nest – modeled on the Birds Nest Chinese Olympic arena perhaps? I must also make mention of the very elegant silver-tipped chopsticks, delightful to look at and delightful to hold.

The Peak is an ideal venue to take overseas visitors. Seating of large numbers is catered for, the view is breathtaking and the food is excellent. Not cheap, but not over the top, particularly for a meal of this standard. Highly recommended.

By the way, for the aficionados of Chinese cuisine, there traditionally are eight cuisines. Szechuan and Hunan cuisines are both inland and stand out for hot spice.

Anhui and Fujian are noted for inclusion of wild foods from their mountains.

The five coastal cuisines, south to north, are Guangdong (Cantonese), Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, and Shandong, feature seafood and generally have light flavors, progressing from mildly sweet in the south to saltier in the north (with exceptions).

The Peak, Dusit Thani Resort Pattaya, 240/2 Pattaya Beach Road, Pattaya City, telephone 038 425 611-7, fax 038 410 533, open for lunch 11.30 a.m. – 2.30 p.m. and 6.30 p.m. until 10 p.m. for dinner seven days. Secure parking in the Dusit Thani grounds. One final tip, when coming back down, the lobby is level 4, not level 1.