Edelweiss, Edelweiss (sing along if you wish)

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The Sound of Music was a very successful movie starring Julie Andrews as the Austrian Maria Von Trapp, with the number Edelweiss remaining in every movie-goer’s memory. However, “Leontopodium alpinum” (the scientific name for the Edelweiss flower) can also be found in Pattaya, in Thappraya Soi 13 opposite the Pattaya Self Storage building. But not the flower, it is a restaurant! And to make it a little more interesting, it is not an Austrian restaurant, but is Swiss. And for another snippet of trivia, the Edelweiss number was neither Austrian nor Swiss, but was written by Rodgers and Hammerstein for the musical, on which the movie was modeled.

Edelweiss (the restaurant) is one of those homely venues, tucked away from view of passing traffic on Thappraya Road, where it has been happily situated for the past 10 years. Before that it was on Beach Road.

It is unashamedly a family business, with Swiss Robert, the husband and maître d’, surrounded by his Thai wife and her extended family. And it seems as though it is a win-win situation for them, with a busy restaurant and serving staff in red aprons with the Swiss white cross proudly on show.

The venue itself is not large, but with some clever table placements you can get a surprising number of diners in at one time. There is also an area outside which is a haven for the smokers, with a wall of greenery adding to the quaint atmosphere, giving it an almost “grotto ambience to it.

The menu is quite extensive, and has all the European items you would expect, as well as Thai items, which are also expected of a restaurant in Pattaya these days. In addition, the items are displayed photographically, a feature all restaurants in Pattaya should have by now (but don’t).

The chef is Thai, but has an extensive experience in Swiss and German restaurants and has been with Robert and his wife for 15 years.

As another good idea, Edelweiss gives all its customers who have a main dish a free accompanying soup and salad bar selection.

House wine is Chilean, eminently drinkable, is B. 115 per glass, and the white was served at the correct temperature.

There are daily specials which come in around B. 225-275 including a macaroni pasta dish and a goulash, but the items Robert is most proud of are his very Swiss item Raclette (B. 325) and the fondues (B. 395-425) including beef or cheese.

The Swiss style dishes include a pork fillet with roesti potatoes. Other Euro items include spaghetti with chicken (B. 180) and a Piccata Milanese with spaghetti.

We made our choices and then went up to the salad bar and began with the piping hot vegetable soup, which was excellent. I am particular about my soups, which have to be hot (other than gazpacho and vichyssoise, of course).

Following the soups, our main meals arrived, and Madame added the salad items to her Piccata Milanese, but for me, the Zurich style pork fillets with roesti was more than enough. In fact, the portion size was such that I asked Robert to confirm this was ‘standard’ and not something larger for reviewers!

I also enjoyed my dish very much, the pork fillets were not overcooked, the sauce was great and the roesti correctly prepared and cooked.

Madame also loved her Piccata Milanese. Neither of us could eat any more salad, but did manage another glass of the Chilean white.

We enjoyed Edelweiss and feel that it is an ideal place to go with a group of four. Cozy, informal, a ‘family’ feel to it, and with the soup and salad bar, not expensive at all. Definitely worth a visit (but not on Mondays).

Edelweiss Swiss Restaurant, Soi 13 Thappraya Road, plenty of off-street parking, hours 4 p.m. till 11.30 p.m. (Closed Mondays), tel 081 844 6037 (English) or 086 141 9561 (Thai), email [email protected]