Dining with Vlad

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An enormous Tomahawk steak as devoured by Genghis Khan.
An enormous Tomahawk steak as devoured by Genghis Khan.

Flames restaurant at Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort

Sorry, did you think I was referring to the Russian leader? There are many Vladimirs in this world, and that includes some in Pattaya who long for food from their home country.

This week we went to the Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort (get there via Soi 18 Naklua) which has introduced Russian food at their Flames restaurant. Yes, Russian standard food and if you look carefully at what you are ordering, you can even get a free bottle of Russian standard vodka to add to the Russian experience.

Baked Alaska and I fell in love again.
Baked Alaska and I fell in love again.

However, let me begin with a gripe. The Centara Grand Mirage has the Lost World as its theme. It works, as every time I try to find a specific restaurant I get lost. Please Mr. Centara how about some signs to direct your guests to their destination. And while I am at it, a sign on the Indiana Jones rope bridge to advise no jumping, as I was almost catapulted off by some adventurous young souls!

So to Flames restaurant where we were met by the lovely PR lady Deta and the EAM Mario Mendis who selected a table for us with a view of the Bay of Siam and to enjoy the gentle sea breezes.

We settled on the comfortable chairs with a bottle of Stonefish Cabernet Sauvignon, a very mellow and pleasant red, and perused the menu. Flames is a grill house Mario explained, with a large grill just around the corner from the central dining area.

To also give us an idea of the different dishes, the ever smiling Mario arranged some small ‘tasting’ portions including a very enjoyable Chicken Kiev (B. 280 for full size) and a tomato salad with cheese and garlic.

Getting a taste for the Russian Standard vodka, we ordered some Fine de Clair oysters which come with two shots per six oysters. Sheer gluttony but I loved it.

However, the prime item (and ready for the other Vlad) was a Tomahawk steak weighing in at 1.2 kg (huge) and enough to feed a small army of Genghis Khan’s raiders. Not cheap at B. 3,950, but by the time you divide your tomahawk by the number of guests it is quite reasonable. We were three and could not finish it, so go there hungry! The tomahawk cut comes with the rib attached and the meat was very tender, coming straight from the grill to our table. Sauces? Yes, there’s a Jack Daniels or a mushroom or a bacon. Escoffier would be proud of the Flames kitchen.

You are also eligible for a free bottle of Russian standard vodka. Be prepared to dine slowly and enjoy as Mario suggested!

Being adventurous, we tried the Farshirovannye blinchiki, which is pancakes filled with minced beef and served with sour cream. Like an educated Thai Larb without the chilli.

Spell it and it’s yours – a Trubochki.
Spell it and it’s yours – a Trubochki.

Having proved to all and sundry that we were gluttons, a desserts course was brought to our table. A Baked Alaska, a Trubochki crispy wafers and a Syrniki cheese pancakes. These Russki’s certainly have a sweet tooth! The Baked Alaska was just superb and I ate most of it, leaving a small remainder on the plate for the others in the review team.

Of course Flames has more than just Russian items, and the menu states clearly which items are Russian or otherwise. For example there are four different types of Caesar salad. The menu also flags items that contain alcohol, contain nuts or contain pork. Seafood is well covered with everything from traditional fish and chips to a Tasmanian Salmon steak. Char grills feature Wagyu rib eye from Australia and even a free range duck breast. There is also a photo page showing steak temperatures, great idea.

Anyone fancy a Farshirovannye?
Anyone fancy a Farshirovannye?

As the Centara Grand Mirage is a five star property, it is not inexpensive, but not over the top.

Flames is a restaurant to take visitors from overseas so they can get rid of the idea that we are living in a third world country. Flames is world class.

Flames restaurant, Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort, 277 Moo 5, Naklua, telephone 038 301 234, email [email protected] Open 7 days, 6 p.m. until 11 p.m., secure parking in hotel grounds.

Flames flame-proof interior.
Flames flame-proof interior.