The high season is approaching, and the hotels around town are predicting that it will be a good high season, if their forward bookings are anything to go by. This in turn brings forth many special items to attract the tourists, and we, as residents, get to enjoy these as well.
This week, we returned to the Montien for their BBQ and Seafood Buffet, which has always been one of our favorites. Held on Friday evenings (6 p.m. till 10 p.m.), it has developed over the years to be an excellent dining opportunity and a relaxed venue in the Verandah Coffee Shop, overlooking the pool and gardens of the Montien.
Being one of the longest established hotels in Pattaya, I really should not have to describe the location, but for visitors and newbies, it is on the left side of Second Road, shortly after the Pattaya Klang (Central Pattaya) intersection and before the Hard Rock Hotel. Plenty of parking in the grounds. The Verandah Coffee Shop is down the sweeping staircase and to your right, where you will be met by a smiling hostess in tropical dress.
There are two main seating areas, one under cover but open to the ambient air and the other behind glass and fully air-conditioned. We chose air-conditioning and relaxed with a glass of house wine (both the red and the white are eminently quaffable) before moving out to the buffet.
It was while walking around and perusing the multitude of items on offer, that I was struck by the wonderful presentation of the food, something at which Thai people excel. With a Thai executive chef (the very shy Chairat) at the helm, each station showed artistic arrangements of the items. So much so that I felt embarrassed at disturbing the rows of prawns set in a tomato, for example, but they looked so appetizing, I broke the symmetry anyway!
Take your time as there are about 14 stations, with each one having numerous offerings. Around the perimeter are the cold items, salads, Japanese sushi and oysters, while in the central table are hot food items with both Thai and Western offerings, and then next to the garden are the BBQ stations featuring rock lobsters, river prawns, blue crabs, squid, snapper fillets, mussels, beef burgers, pork chops, chicken breast steaks with lemon butter, chili sauce, Thai garlic sauce, herb sauce, limes, and pepper sauce, BBQ sauce, apple sauce and mustard.
I began with the oysters, and followed them up with some cooked prawns and asparagus spears wrapped with ham (again I broke up the artful décor on the plate) and followed that up with some Japanese items, complete with wasabi (which I love).
From there it was on to a plate of beef stroganoff which was hot and excellent and I then went for BBQ rock lobster. Delicious!
By the time we were ready for desserts, I was (almost) ready to say “enough”, but then I spotted the deep-fried ice cream. How can you turn down something like that? Simple answer – you can’t. So Madame and I had a deep-fried ice cream each, with mine covered in chocolate sauce as well. Hardly a weight-watcher’s dessert, but sinfully superb.
The Dining Out team can continue to recommend the Montien’s BBQ and Seafood Buffet. The Buffet is B. 795++ and B. 450++ for children, which makes it one of the more inexpensive buffets in Pattaya, and yet has many, many items on offer. And by the way, there is even more to enjoy at the Montien with their other Theme Buffet evenings including Wednesdays at the La Mer Restaurant which has its Mediterranean Buffet Dinner (6.30 p.m.- 10.00 p.m.) and adults are B. 695++ and children B. 400++. Now here is another bonus from the Montien – after your first Theme Buffet dinner, you will receive a 10 percent discount voucher for your next Theme Buffet (Mediterranean or BBQ and Seafood), making it even greater value (valid up till November 30).
The Montien Hotel, Pattaya Second Road, Pattaya City, telephone 038 428 155, or 038 361 340 ext 1620, 1621, email [email protected] Secure parking in hotel grounds. Friday buffet 6 p.m. until 10 p.m.