Eleven years ago I spoke with the owner of the Jomtien Boathouse, Kannikar Ottesen. It was the Wednesday prior to the grand opening on the Saturday and Kannikar was busy planting palm trees across the front of the restaurant area. I looked at the building site and the newly placed trees and voiced the opinion that the Jomtien Boathouse had no hope of being ready for business in three days.
I was wrong – one should never underestimate Kannikar and husband Ib Ottesen. It opened on time, and since then has become one of the success stories of Jomtien. An integral part of the “Ottesen Empire”, even though the palm trees grew so high they had eventually to be removed!
The Boathouse restaurant is very easy to find on Jomtien Beach Road, on the corner of Soi 8, and is on the ground floor of the Jomtien Boathouse Hotel, which has 24 top class rooms available for rental, but book!
The restaurant area is divided into three; the outside covered area has a ‘rustic’ feel to it and is facing the sea and relying on the cooling breezes from the Gulf of Thailand and has its own small sit-up bar overlooking the street. Finally there is an air-conditioned inside section, which has its own bar and raised stage, where you can catch ‘Elvis’ on Monday and Tuesday evenings from 9 p.m.
The wine list is predominately Australian, with most bottles around the 1,000 baht mark. We chose a Broken Hills red while we sat back and perused the menu. This menu is one of the best menus in Pattaya, not that it is the largest or most exclusive, but that every dish is presented with large photographs. You know what you are going to get, whether you are British, American, Russian or Scandinavian. In a cosmopolitan place like Pattaya, photographic menus are the way to go!
Starters and Appetizers, feature at the front of the menu at B. 140-190 and include spring rolls, salmon and asparagus rolls and mussels in garlic butter. Dinners are (B. 220-375) with steaks at the high end.
The next item is a page of brochettes (B. 310-475). On our previous review I mentioned that these were not really skewers, but were more like swords. It is the same today, with the surf and turf (B. 395) looking very inviting.
Of course there are all the Thai favorites as well (B. 160-395), so Thai partners are also catered for.
We began with fried mussels and salmon and asparagus rolls, which we shared. Madame gave the mussels 10 out of 10, to which I could only agree. We moved on to mains and I selected the stroganoff with beetroot and mashed potatoes. (Looking back through my notes, I selected this dish last time as well!) Madame decided on the tapas, and was very pleased with the different items and the size of the plate.
Kannikar and Ib pushed us towards their chocolate soufflé with vanilla ice cream as a dessert and Madame succumbed, and did not regret it in any way. Desserts not being my strong suit I selected the Irish coffee, which was a perfect way to finish the evening.
Did we enjoy the experience? Yes we did, noting that the standard has not slipped in any way. The meals were as the photographs in the menu and were cooked correctly, the service was fast and with a smile and the venue has stood the test of time. It was a Tuesday when we dined out at the Jomtien Boathouse and we caught ‘Elvis’ before he left the building. We must once again give Kannikar and Ib Ottesen our highest recommendation. If you haven’t been, then do go. If you have been before, I don’t need to tell you to keep it high on your restaurant list.
The Jomtien Boathouse, Hotel, Wine and Grill; Jomtien Beach Road (corner Soi 8), telephone 038 756 698, fax 038 756 144, email [email protected], website www.jomtien-boathouse .com. Open seven days, 8 a.m. until 11.30 p.m. Breakfast from 8 a.m., lunch 11 a.m. till 6 p.m. and dinner from 6 p.m. until late. Entertainment by “Elvis” on Monday and Tuesday evenings. On street parking.