A family favorite for many years has been Casa Pascal, a family run venue with Kim Schnyder front of house and Pascal Schnyder kitchen, though you can often find Pascal out front chatting with his regular customers.
However, Pascal does much more than chat with his customers. Given the opportunity, Pascal makes an evening there a culinary experience. Not just the menu items such as Canadian lobsters, chantarelles, truffles, Wild Dover Sole and caviar, Pascal can tell you all about his menu items to incorporate storage, preparation, history, geography and even how to keep your lobster happy and contented. Really!
The menu is multilingual (English, German and French), but the Casa Pascal staff are only too happy to advise you. Mussels come in weekly from Europe and served in three styles – Seamen’s, French Bistro and Sicilian (all at B. 640).
However, you can start from the regular menu with garlic prawns at B. 290 or the very attractive Fisherman’s Delicacies (B. 370) comprising smoked salmon, smoked trout and smoked herring with a Waldorf salad. Beef tatar can be prepared at your table for B. 380.
Fish mains have a rainbow trout at B. 450 and a dory fillet at B. 370 (not to be confused with Wild Dover Sole).
All the usual dishes are there for the carnivores, with many imported items to choose from, but we had come to be educated as well as fed.
After an amuse bouche we allowed ourselves to be encouraged to select some caviar. (Not much arm twisting was needed.) Pascal went to great lengths to explain the origin of (real) caviar and how his offering came from farmed sturgeon in France. He also explained why caviar should be kept chilled and not frozen which would break the outer membrane of the individual eggs and the taste would suffer.
We then asked Pascal about the “correct” way to eat caviar, with accompaniments, toast, etc., our experience, or lack of it, being obvious. Pascal’s response was eye-opening. You could take the caviar with chopped onion, lemon, sour cream, chopped egg white, chopped egg yolk and spring onion and toast, or just taken on its own.
I tried both ways, and for me I found that additional accompaniments confused the natural taste of the caviar, so I carried on, directly comparing the taste of Baeri caviar, which has smaller eggs, with the larger Sturia caviar, with the Baeri winning by a short measure.
Madame, however, was more taken by eating the caviar with all the trimmings and Casa Pascal had all the tableware to let that happen. Between us we managed to devour one tin each of Baeri (30 gm, B. 1,890) and Sturia (50 gm B. 3,150).
We were almost ready to say enough, but we had not had our mains. Madame had a plate of lamb plus chantarelles, while I had chosen the Wild Dover Sole, also with chantarelles.
The lamb was cooked to perfection and my fish just fell off the spine. We did have an Australian Penfolds Koonunga Hill red with our meals which had been decanted and aerated and was a typical Aussie full-bodied wine, particularly suitable for the lamb.
Pascal demonstrated very ably that “dining” can be far more than eating for sustenance. The dining experience can have a much greater depth than that. Next time I see Dover Sole on a menu I can inquire as to whether it was caught on the east side of the channel and be able to select the correct accompaniments for caviar if needed.
The range of items in the Casa Pascal menus (food and wines) is simply phenomenal and Pascal is probably the most imaginative chef in Pattaya. We are lucky to have him. Highest rating possible.
We had dined till late and as insurance, Pascal had his courtesy car drive us home. Thank you again Pascal.
Casa Pascal, 485/M10, Pattaya Second Road, (small soi next Ruen Thai and opposite the previously Marriott but now Avani Hotel’s Dicey Reilly’s Pub) Pattaya City, telephone for reservation 038 723 660, (mob) 081 983 4182, email [email protected], web www.casa-pascal.com. Secure parking. Breakfast and Lunch Buffet from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. (or a la carte if you wish), dinner 6 p.m. until late.