The ‘ultimate’ seafood BBQ?

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Three seafood BBQ chefs.
Three seafood BBQ chefs.

Do you have a spare B. 899 after lunch on Saturday? If so, take it to the Centara Grand Phratamnak at 6.30 p.m. for their Seafood BBQ at their Ruffino restaurant area. And for another B. 600 you can have a free flow of drinks for the next three hours as well.

It had been sometime last year when we last experienced the Ruffino, their roof-top restaurant. We found it more welcoming than before, with a quieter ambience, probably from the more subdued lighting this time, and no extraneous DJ.

The hotel itself is amazing with the central man-o-war jellyfish décor and the glass lifts. You come out of the lift on the top floor and you find yourself walking straight into the BBQ area, with two walls of BBQ offerings. The pool is along one side with the ‘floating’ blue lighting, and the diners are in the middle with large comfortable chairs, and “Would Madame like an extra pillow?”

As I always recommend, walk around the BBQ offerings first, so you know what is there, and what is a “must have” item for the second turn around.

After a busy Saturday I was quite happy to sit back and relax with a glass of the house white, a very pleasant Chilean Sauvignon Blanc (B. 250) before selecting food items. There is a Merlot available for those who prefer a red.

The items for selection are numerous, and include amongst many others, BBQ ribs, chicken tikka, roasted whole red tilapia fish, a seafood lasagna, red curry chicken, extensive salad bar, a pasta station, mussels, rock lobsters, oysters, crab and a multitude of desserts and a chocolate fountain.

A pork bologna from Italy.
A pork bologna from Italy.

I began very conventionally at the salad bar. The lettuce was fresh and crisp, the salmon so tempting with the onion and capers, I could have stayed there all night.

My next trip was to the BBQ itself, with the three BBQ chefs on duty and waiting. While they cooked the rock lobster (AKA Moreton Bay Bugs and Balmain Bugs) I selected half a dozen oysters in the shell. For me, just on their own with a squeeze of lemon, rather than the spicy accompaniments on offer and liked by some.

I would defy anyone to be able to sample everything, it has to be one of the largest BBQ’s in Pattaya.

A seafood lasagna staying warm.
A seafood lasagna staying warm.

Afterwards if you are not ready to go home, there are loungers around the infinity pool for the final indulgences for the road, and even a lifebuoy or two, not that you would really need it.

We had a most enjoyable and relaxing evening at the Seafood BBQ. An enormous range of fresh items, helpful staff and a chocolate fountain to ensure the younger diners leave with smiles on their faces (and a smear or two of chocolate). Go on, spoil yourselves, at B. 899 it is a bargain.

For me, it was the BBQ’d rock lobster, but for junior taster number 1 it was the chocolate fountain all the way, but surprisingly for taster number 2 it was the chicken tikka. Truly something for everyone.

A life buoy just in case!
A life buoy just in case!

The BBQ runs from 6.30 to 9.30 and we were truly satiated in the three hours, even though the service personnel did try to get me back to the oysters! Very tempting.

Whilst the Seafood BBQ is Saturdays, just to show other bargain dining offers, there is a Mid-Week Carvery for B. 399 and a Friday East meets West, also at B. 399. And you get to enjoy the ambience of the Ruffino pool deck for relaxation as well.

Ruffino restaurant, Centara Grand Phratamnak, 352/430 Pratamnak Soi 5, or turn right at the bottom of Soi 6 Pratamnak, tel. 038 250 636, secure parking, in basement.