Dusit Thani lays on six courses and Stonefish

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The Dusit Thani Resort in Pattaya recently revived one of their glamor events, a wine dinner. With six courses and Australia’s Stonefish wines, this could not go wrong. This was held in their Bay restaurant, the home of the international skewers, which we experienced a few weeks ago.

As well as the venue overlooking Pattaya Bay, add in service ladies in gold dresses and the Dusit Chef Pathma checking with the diners to ensure enjoyment, it certainly did not go wrong. “It should be fun,” said Chef Pathma, echoing my sentiments after trying his skewers previously.

We began with the first of the six wines and courses, being a Stonefish Cuvee Brut NV, a wonderful palate cleanser, with just enough bubbles not to go up the nose as some over-carbonated Brut wines can be. Along with this, Chef Pathma presented what I like to call his “mini skewers” with lime flavored compressed watermelon, Parma ham and a smoked chicken and feta cheese.

Stone fruits and root vegetables in a sauvignon blanc gelatin.
Stone fruits and root vegetables in a sauvignon blanc gelatin.

After the welcome, it was into The Bay and comfortable seating and a glass of Stonefish Sauvignon Blanc 2016. This was a very clean wine, but one that has not yet reached maturity in my book, remembering always that wine tasting is a very individual pastime. You may love a wine that leaves me indifferent, and that is half the fun with wine tasting.

The Sauvignon Blanc was taken with the starter of stone fruits and root vegetables set on sauvignon blanc gelatin, with a bouquet of Mesclun sprinkled with mild aged balsamic vinaigrette. Visually this was spectacular, but did not tickle the taste buds too much, and it was fortunate to combine this with the wine which was also not strong on the palate.

From there, it was into an entrée accompanied by a Chardonnay 2016. This was much more to my taste, having a good body (the wine, the wine) and went very well with the poached white king prawn and USA chilled scallop in a local herbs spiced broth, grilled peach and lemongrass hollandaise.

At this juncture, Chef Pathma dropped by to make sure we were having “fun” with the first of two “main” courses presented, and we were! This was a pan-fried lamb loin on a sweet potato cake in a reduction of port wine with 54 percent bitter dark chocolate sauce.

The first main was taken with a Stonefish Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, a good age and a very pleasant wine. It was able to hold its own against Chef Pathma’s 54 percent!

When we were ready it was into the second main with a famous Stonefish Shiraz 2014. What a great wine! Peter Papanikitas, AKA Peter Stonefish, really knows how to give his Shiraz a great finish. A wine to savor.

Australian beef goes well with an Australian Stonefish Shiraz.
Australian beef goes well with an Australian Stonefish Shiraz.

The food was another Australian tour de force with a grain fed black Angus brochette, asparagus, crispy carrot noodle and morel mushroom jus. Tender and wonderful with the Shiraz.

By this stage we were certainly replete, but the Dusit wasn’t finished with us yet. The dessert was called “Mango Mania” featuring mango mousse on a sponge, mango flavored sticky rice (very Thai traditional), and a mango cold pressed cheese cake. The mango lovers were delighted with the three choices all on the one plate.

The dessert wine to go with the mango was a Bird of Fire Botrytis Semillon 2003, which reminded me very much of the amazing Flying Finix dessert wine of a decade back, (which had a very long and involved story about the name Phoenix) and today’s folklore phoenix bird which arose from the fire. A bird of fire, perhaps, Peter?

A very pleasant evening at the Dusit Thani Resort. It was indeed “fun” Chef Pathma, and the Stonefish wines continue to please even the most stringent critics. Altogether a very enjoyable wine dinner. Thank you Vanjie Lauzon for the invitation (and for the lovely birthday cake for the Junior Taster).

The Bay International Skewers Restaurant, Dusit Thani Resort Pattaya, 240/2 Pattaya Beach Road, North Pattaya (opposite the Dolphin roundabout), telephone 038 425 611, fax 038 428 239, email [email protected], open six days (closed Sundays), 6.30 to 10 p.m.