[email protected] and a bottle of Bolly

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Ample supplies of bread.
Ample supplies of bread.

The [email protected] hotel is a relatively new addition to Pattaya’s resort hotels, having opened in 2014. It is like no other hotel in Pattaya, and the website gives an inkling of what to expect before you get there. “There” being Sai 2 opposite Central Marina. You really cannot miss it.

Back to the website, and you read, “Step into an underwater world of vibrant colors and eccentric detail. [email protected] Design Hotel Pattaya, a refreshing escape yet a provocative immersion.”

I read their website with some amazement, I have to admit, but after one minute of being there, I realized the description was probably as close as you could get. In many ways it was like standing in the MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) and wondering at what the imagination of human beings could produce. The more you looked at the big fish on the wall, the more fantastic it all was.

The Seafood BBQ Restaurant, called the Big Fish, is on the sixth floor, and one side is dedicated to food, one side to the kitchen/grill, the musical entertainment (Guitar plucker Santos again, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.) on another side, and guest seating in between.

The way it all works is very simple, a numbered clip is on your table and when you select the items for the BBQ, the clip indicates on which table you are seated. Very simple, it is the selection that is difficult. There is Wagyu beef, pork, Australian lamb chops, oysters, mussels, shrimp, sausages, curries (rad na), sea bass, squid, river prawn, rice fried and steamed and much more, even a row of different sauces to go with the different cuts of meat including Dijon, Spicy Tamarind and Mint.

Some of the BBQ items.
Some of the BBQ items.

To prepare yourself mentally and refresh the palate before dinner, the wine list is adequate (France, Chile, Argentina, Australian, Italy) with most bottles around 2,000 baht, other than a bottle of Bolly at B. 10,500. Worth looking at is the French Chateau Barrabaque Canon Fronsac. Worth missing is the house wine being a “South African” Fruitine. Plenty of other alternative inexpensive tipples.

I say this every time when reviewing a buffet, walk slowly right around to take stock of what is on offer. This way you find everything you might like and don’t end up with the “wish I had what he’s having!”

Yes, I’ll have some oysters.
Yes, I’ll have some oysters.

Now here comes another amazing aspect to the [email protected] Seafood BBQ – the BBQ plus free flow wine is only B. 990. If you don’t want wine, the food alone package is B. 700. That makes it one of the gustatory bargains of the year. The quality is there and the price is right, just don’t expect the Bolly in the free flow package.

Those were some of the good points from our evening, but there were a couple of not so goods (not major items such that we wouldn’t go again). The staff uniforms were very drab in a restaurant with such over the top décor, and most were not wine conscious at all. Easily fixed with some wine label lessons and a change of dressmaker.

Replenishing the BBQ.
Replenishing the BBQ.

Another good point was the untapped talent in the kitchen. The chef decided to surprise us with wonderful presentations of some of the BBQ items. Presentations you would expect in fine dining in five star properties. Have some on display perhaps to show the diners just what is possible?

[email protected], 390 Moo 9, Pattaya Sai 2 Road, opposite Central Marina, Big Fish BBQ restaurant, tel. +66 (0) 38 930 600, fax +66 (0) 38 427 627, email [email protected] , secure parking, hours 6.30-10.30 every day.

Cocktails anyone?
Cocktails anyone?
The amazing big fish.
The amazing big fish.
Plenty of sauces.
Plenty of sauces.
As Marie Antoinette said, “Let them eat cake”.
As Marie Antoinette said, “Let them eat cake”.
Waiting to be BBQ’d.
Waiting to be BBQ’d.

(Photos by Marisa Corness)