Regular readers of this column will know that I firmly believe that food should be fun and not just sustenance. The world is far too serious, so it was with a smile on our faces, that the Dining Out team descended on Shamalama Ding Dong on Pattaya Naklua Road. After all, with a name like Shamalama Ding Dong it would be difficult to keep a straight face.
OK, where exactly is it? Coming from the Dolphin roundabout it is on the left hand side of Pattaya – Naklua road, between Sois 18/1 and 18 and if parking is a problem turn left into 18 and walk back 50 meters.
The restaurant itself has al fresco dining outside (actually very pleasant in these balmy evenings) or inside away from the elements. The walls are cladded with wood with amusing wall art hangings such as “Money isn’t everything but it does buy you ice cream.”
The restaurant itself is the brainchild of three Portuguese, Nuno, Joao and Vania. They have used their world-wide experiences to produce a menu covering Portuguese cuisine, Thai food, Mexican items and an amazing range of burgers. With all true modesty they will say they have the best burgers in Thailand.
After sitting down, I suggest you order a Sangria (B. 555 for 0.5 liter) while you take in your surroundings and the largest menu you have ever seen. Not large as in items, but large in the sheer physical size!
If you are not conversant with Sangria, it is a Portuguese/Spanish punch, and the sangria traditionally consists of red wine and chopped fruit, often with other ingredients such as orange juice or brandy. Alcohol content varies according to the whims of the bartender, but work on about 12 percent.
The top “page” of the menu has a number of items all at B. 88 and buy two and get three. This included items like fish and chips, Thai green curry and fried rice with shrimp.
Next page has Portuguese items such as Cane do Porco Alentejana (pork with clams) at B. 250. You have a choice of eight items here.
There is a page of drinks, hot, cold, the sangria, local beers (B. 75-85), smoothies and tea.
Burgers, best in the world says Nuno (or at least Pattaya), get a page to themselves along with some hot dogs and range in size and fillings. A double cheese burger with French fries is B. 299 and a Mexican chilli dog is B. 140.
The Chilli com carne (Portuguese spelling I think) is B. 245 and is described as “so authentic Trump would build a wall around it.” Or a Burrito also at B. 245. Definitely a fun eatery. Take your time
We began by sampling some dishes and the first was a Chilli con carne, which was spicy but not impossibly so.
Next was a mini Bifana (a Portuguese item said Joao), a small pork steak sandwich, is made from pork marinated for 6 hours and was so enjoyable I had a second one. At B. 88 on the specials page it certainly was a bargain as far as I was concerned.
Madame (who was Thai) went for the Green curry and complimented the chef on his Thai cooking for using coconut milk with basil and long bean. It was quite spicy for my palate, but for those who eat Thai or Indian food regularly, was not over the top.
And Shamalama Ding Dong? The décor is so very much 50’s to 70’s, it all fits together somehow.
Otis Redding penned these lyrics:
“Shama Lama, Baby! In the Rama Lama Ding Dong
You put the Ooh Mow (Oh, oh, oh, oh)
Back into my smile child
That is why, that is why
You are my shooby dooby doo.”
And Shamalama Ding Dong? There is another one in Portugal!
When you are ready to leave, just say “Obligado” which is Portuguese for Thank you. You will be rewarded with a big smile.
A young trio entering a very competitive marketplace, but they have something different. Do go and try!
Shama Lama Ding Dong Restaurant, 157/81, Pattaya-Naklua Road, tel. 086 374 7891, Hours 12 noon to 11 p.m., on-street parking.