Louis in Naklua

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Around three years ago we did a restaurant review and I began, “It had been a while since we had dined at Alois Restaurant and Wine Bar, but the warm welcome from owner Vichai Priyatrakulruji was just the same.”  Change the name of the restaurant “Alois” to “Louis”, with the same warm welcome, and you have the introduction to this week’s restaurant review.

Now a little history.  You may remember that many years ago, there was a hotelier who was known as “Mr. Pattaya”.  His name was Alois X. Fassbind.  Alois (or Louis as he was generally known) had a great friend in another hotelier, Bruno Forrer.  Bruno had, for 13 years, a personal assistant called Vichai Priyatrakulruji.  Alois and Bruno have both passed on, but they have certainly not been forgotten by Vichai, who originally set up the Alois restaurant, but now has opened another restaurant and just called the Louis Restaurant.

Not quite so easy to find, but follow these simple instructions and you cannot miss.  If coming from the Pattaya-Naklua Road turn into Soi 31 (close to the Dolphin roundabout) and drive up until the T-junction with North Pattaya Road Soi 6 and Louis is on your left.  If coming from North Pattaya Road, turn left into Soi 6 and Louis is about 500 meters on your left.

The venue is in an open-fronted double shophouse and has numerous fans to move the air.  We were quite happy with a table near the front and the temperature was pleasantly cool.  Along one side is the kitchen, and at the back is the bar.  Padded seats mean that you can linger over a bottle or two of wine, with the majority of them being under B. 1,000, or by the glass of house wine at B. 90.  We chose the Montepulciano D’Abruzzo, very pleasant, and under B. 1,000 as well.

This “new” Louis restaurant has actually been going for two and a half years (time does fly) and the menu has similarities with the “old” Alois.  This is in content, but even a brief perusal shows that the prices are significantly lower.

It begins with Cold appetizers (B. 130-160) and then the Hot appetizers (B. 130-350) with a Foie Gras at the top end.  Soups are only B. 80-95 and Pastas (B. 150-190).  Salads come in at B. 90-170 and then you are into the Mains (B.195-600) with a beef tenderloin at B. 290 and imported Australian Angus at the top.

Seafood items (B. 195-450) give way to a Chargrill (B. 195-550) with imported beef at the top.  All items come with a choice of potato and sauces.

I decided to go with the Set Dinner for that week (B. 490 covering four courses).  I began with the grilled fish and vegetable salad with vinaigrette dressing and was rather taken aback by the size of the portion, even verifying from Vichai that this was a standard portion.  This was a wonderful palate cleanser, though I did have to ask Madame to help me finish!

The second course was a cauliflower soup with bacon and croutons, which I opted to skip, as I foresaw that I would have trouble getting through four courses.

The main I chose (from the others being spicy chicken breast or pan-fried John Dory) was a breaded pork fillet gratin with cheese, vegetables, fries and a mushroom cream sauce served on the side.  Again I questioned the size of the portion as there were two fillets!  Healthy appetites needed!

The dessert was an Amaretto parfait with strawberry sauce, loaded with calories, but a great finish.

It was an enjoyable evening, catching up with Vichai, a man who has seemed to stay the same age forever.  Whilst Louis Restaurant is a different concept from the Alois Restaurant, Vichai provides the common link.  This new restaurant is quite inexpensive and the weekly rotating Set Dinners at B. 490 with a choice of mains are excellent value.  Well worth your while renewing the acquaintanceship, or making a new one!

Louis Restaurant (Pattaya Naklua Soi 31 or North Pattaya Soi 6), open six days (closed Mondays) 6 p.m. until last orders 10 p.m., on-street parking.