Mövenpick and Jonathan Livingston Seagull

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Chef Tofu preparing his burger.
Chef Tofu preparing his burger.

It was fairly recently that we reviewed the Mövenpick Na Jomtien “Bistronomie” menu. It was superb. So when the Mövenpick invited us to review their new food promotion, we automatically said yes!

To get there (which is actually the easiest part of the whole exercise), head towards Sattahip, do a U-Turn at Ocean Marina and Mövenpick is about 200 meters along on the left. A long driveway gets you to the secure parking area. There is an elevator which will then take you up to the Lobby where a staffer will take pity on you and guide you down again and to their Twist restaurant.

Mövenpick group is celebrating its 70 years of existence by revamping some favorite menu items, paying tribute to the company’s founding principle – doing ordinary things in an extraordinary way

The ‘70 years of culinary excellence’ promotion, available in restaurants at all Mövenpick properties globally from 10 March to 20 April 2018, introduces seven inventive dishes that pay tribute to Ueli Prager, who when founding the Mövenpick brand in 1948, redefined the European restaurant scene based on a simple premise: ‘doing normal things in an extraordinary manner’.

The Twist restaurant is an ideal venue for the very upmarket dishes which came from the kitchens. These dishes included: Scallops and avocado tartar – a reinvention of Mövenpick’s popular beef tartar, mille feuille salmon and caviar d’olive – a savory take combining delicate smoked salmon, puff pastry and golden olive caviar; mushrooms and vegetables Zurich style – a meat-free version of Zurich-style veal that pairs aromatic root vegetables and smoky Shitake mushrooms; seafood Casimir – a medley of steamed seafood, fish and sea asparagus, and an assortment of citrus fillets, paired with wild rice; bare beef burger Café de Paris – a prime beef cut paired with crispy ultra-thin parmesan-dusted fries; and carrot waffle – a quirky reinterpretation of classic Swiss carrot cake.

As a lead up to the sit-down dinner, we watched the chef prepare one of the special dishes, a “bare beef burger, Café de Paris”. This burger differentiates itself from the usual burger by having no bun, hence the name a “bare” beef burger. Incidentally there were 17 items in the burger, including quail eggs.

Seafood Casimir.
Seafood Casimir.

Every dish in the seven anniversary specials was presented in an impeccable way and a tribute to the chefs in Switzerland and also to Mövenpick’s own local Chef Tofu in Na Jomtien.

So where does Jonathan Livingston Seagull come into all this? For those who have forgotten, the book, written by Richard Bach, explores that for seagulls, life consists simply of eating and surviving. However, Jonathan Livingston Seagull is no ordinary bird. Against the conventions of seagull society, he seeks to find a higher purpose and become the best at doing ordinary things in an extraordinary way.

Still stumped? Well, “Möven” in German is seagull, and when Prager was looking for the name for the hotel, Prager and his architect watched people throw bread at the gulls. “They were so hungry at the time that they pulled the bread out of our hands,” said Prager. That’s why the architect came up with the word Mövenpick.

Today, Mövenpick is still striving to be the best in an extraordinary way. Do go and try. It is not often you get to try excellence. Not cheap, but superior dishes never are.

The burger with no bun!
The burger with no bun!

We dined with Marc Sittl, the GM and Pete Seeda, the Hotel Manager. Thank you both for your company and insight into the Mövenpick ethos.

Mövenpick’s story is astonishing, founded on a commitment to service, authenticity, culinary excellence and innovation, and in 2018 they celebrate these values and their rich heritage in the way they know best – by treating the guests around the world to an inspiring gastronomic experience.

“The ‘70 years of culinary excellence’ promotion is a fitting tribute to Ueli Prager who was truly ahead of his time when he founded the company, and we continue to build on his legacy with experimental cuisine and new concepts that keep his original vision in mind – doing normal things in an extraordinary manner.” Mövenpick Siam Hotel Na Jomtien Pattaya, 55 Moo 2, Sukhumvit Rd Km156.5 Na Jomtien, telephone +66 33 078 888, secure parking in the hotel’s grounds.