International and Seafood BBQ at the Montien

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The Montien’s International and Seafood BBQ is on again, and I have to admit that I was very pleased when Pornpimon Geybui, the Montien’s happy PR lady contacted me with the good news!

The Montien is an icon amongst the better hotels in Pattaya, and has been there on Second Road (about 100 meters up from the Central Pattaya Road intersection, and before the Hard Rock Hotel) for more years than people imagine. I remember staying there in 1975, when it was known as the Regent of Pattaya.

We were not only pleased to hear of the return of the Saturday International and Seafood BBQ, we were also very pleased (and surprised) that it has been held at the same price as last year – B. 995 (net) with children under 12 B. 550.

Another surprise was in the range of items on offer (95) and the number of live cooking stations (15).

The event is held in the Verandah Coffee Shop, and every year I say that it is far more than a coffee shop. There are two areas, one getting the sea breeze over the pool, and the other behind glass and air-conditioned. We chose the natural breeze, being a cool night as we head into “winter”.

With so many different items, it becomes essential to go right around the buffet display before lining up to start the culinary voyage. For example, I was so pleased to see a salmon steak that I (almost) missed the fresh oysters on ice in the central island.

The offerings are truly international with items from Italy (including a beef tenderloin on a Chianti sauce), Mediterranean region (Kofta with raisin and walnuts on yoghurt cream), Thailand (curries and khanom), Japan (Japanese salmon salad with caviar), Norway (baked Norwegian salmon with puff pastry), New Zealand (mussels), France (roasted lamb leg “Grande Mere” and crepes Suzette), and much more!

The flambé station (which was busy with fiery theater all night) had beef tenderloin, pork steak, chicken breast, lamb chops, salmon steak, shrimps and sirloin.

The seafood BBQ has rock lobster, river prawn, squid, mussels, white fish in banana leaves and salmon fillet.

One particular feature of the Montien buffets has always been the exceptional presentation of the food, and even with the 95 items, they were still displayed with artistry.

The house white wine is perfectly suitable for the BBQ buffet, and with my (first) glass in hand, I then began with the oysters with just some freshly squeezed lemon, a great appetizer and palate cleanser.

After a detailed walk around, I decided on the tenderloin steak flambé with roast potatoes and herb butter. The tenderloin was truly tender, most enjoyable. And the herb butter just raised the humble potato.

The children soon cottoned on to the fact that they could indulge themselves – and did. I admit that the children (and I) were unable to go past the live ice cream station, though I only went up once.

The Montien buffets have always represented good value for your baht, and this year’s high season International and Seafood BBQ is no different at B. 995. In fact, with the improved range, it is even better value for money. I cannot imagine that there could be anyone who could not find something to their liking, and that goes for junior diners as well as gourmet adults. One of our junior testers was enthralled with the beef in green curry and the Thai vegetarian rolls, while the other excitedly watched his lamb get the flambé treatment. I have always said that food should be fun as well as sustenance. The staff are always helpful and I appreciated the fact that they went out of their way to assist the children. (Good training, Montien.)

By the way, there are three rotating menus for the International and Seafood BBQ, so it is not the same each Saturday, so you can go each Saturday without getting bored.

Montien’s International and BBQ Seafood Buffet is on Saturday evenings 6.30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Montien Hotel, Pattaya Second Road (about 100 meters past Pattaya Klang intersection and before the Hard Rock Hotel), telephone 038 428 155-6, email [email protected], web www.montien.com, secure parking in hotel grounds.