Nong Bistro rises from the trenches

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Living on the Dark Side, as we do, it is difficult enough to cross over Sukhumvit, thanks to the expensive tunnel due to be finished next century. However, the City Fathers made it doubly difficult by digging up Siam Country Club Road leaving the traffic to find its own way around, after the Wanasin Market. The situation reminded me of photographs from WWI and the trenches at Verdun. Unbelievable that in this day and age no thought was put into a staggered restructuring of the road and not all at once, making it well nigh impossible to get to some of the businesses. And one of those was Nong Bistro.

Nong Bistro interior.
Nong Bistro interior.

We reviewed Nong Bistro 12 months ago and we were impressed with the young restaurant at that time. Our opinion then was, “This restaurant is definitely worth visiting. Highly recommended.”

As we pulled up outside this time, we wondered if it would have maintained such a high standard for a little Dark Side restaurant, having had to endure the trenches being dug across its entrance!

The first difference we saw was a brightly lit sign across the front proclaiming “Nong Bistro Restaurant.” No longer can you drive by and miss it! Now let’s get the way in. Coming from the Sukhumvit Road end of Soi Siam Country Club, follow the road past the Wanasin Market and you have a choice – a muddy detour on your right, or left at the 7-Eleven for a bitumen detour and then follow the arrows. The two come together again and go straight on, passing Soi 13 on your left. Another diversion but look for the Nong Bistro sign on your right and you can double back to the new concrete road in front of the restaurant. Nong has been told that the road works will be finished in one month. Can we believe it?

Great presentation of escargot.
Great presentation of escargot.

We were met at the door by the friendly maître d’ and ushered to our (very new and comfortable) chairs.

We ordered a Belgian Leffe Blond beer and sat back to take in the make-over which has been done to Nong Bistro since our last visit. A large blackboard with the specials menu now adorns the back wall, and a sit-up bar is situated along one side. The kitchen is at the rear, which was spotless on my visit. The tables have new covers and napkins and the room looks better than before.

The menu has been expanded, and remains mostly photographic, as is the wine list. Nong Bistro now has a good spread of wines covering Australia, France, South Africa, Italy and Chile, with the whites around B. 1,700 and the reds around B. 1,500.

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The food menu begins with Appetizers (B. 120-350) with oysters at the top end. These are followed by Salads (B. 150-220) and Soups (B. 150-200)

Going further into the menu, Imported steaks are B. 420-710, Beef items B. 390-550, Pork B. 350-400, Lamb B. 550-600, Chicken B. 390-400, Seafood B. 400-600, Pasta B. 200-350 and Thai dishes B. 150-200.

We chose the Chilean Echeverria Sauvignon Blanc as the wine with our meal and it was a very satisfactory choice.

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I enjoyed an Oysters Mornay as my appetizer, while Madame waxed eloquent about the Escargot.

I chose one of the week’s specials which had thinly sliced pork loin wrapped in bacon around asparagus with a blue cheese filling. This was a superb dish and congratulations to the chef on coming up with such a flavorsome combination.

Madame had the rib eye steak with a Gorgonzola sauce which was perfectly cooked to order and sauced.

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Nong Bistro was good before – now it is excellent. Friendly staff, an immaculate kitchen with professional chefs, a very pleasant décor and superb food. It is now one of the best restaurant on the Dark Side and incidentally cheaper than most similar restaurants in Pattaya, making for good value for money. Highly recommended. Do go and try.

Nong Bistro, 99/6-7, Sirisa Building, Soi Siam Country Club, Moo 6, (about 50 meters past Soi 13 and on your right, email: [email protected], telephone: 038 115 701, mobile: 082 131 3411. Open six days (closed Mondays), 1 p.m. till 11 p.m. Plenty of parking in front of the restaurant.