The view stretches to Infiniti

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Seafood on the carousel.
Seafood on the carousel.

There’s money to be made replacing signs in hotels. What was once the Sheraton is now the Intercontinental Pattaya Resort. The name (and the notices) might have changed, but the welcome from the staff was just the same, I am pleased to say.

The resort is an amazing display of inventive architecture, being built on the side of a very steep “mountain”. The Infiniti restaurant is about half way down, but unless you are a triathlon competition runner, take the offered buggies everywhere, and which will drop you right at the entrance to the venue.

Watch your fingers on the hot rock.
Watch your fingers on the hot rock.

The restaurant is open on two sides, and on a clear day you can see Alcatraz (or Koh Larn at least). Open to the Bay of Siam you do get a very pleasant breeze coming through. On one side is the open plan kitchen and on the opposite side is the cocktail bar.

For wines, we were very tempted by the Cabernet Sauvignon, Penfolds, Koonunga Hill, South Australia, B. 390/glass or B. 1900 bottle; however, we decided to sample the Cabernet Sauvignon, Reservado, Concha y Toro, Chile, B. 290/glass or B. 1,400 bottle. Give it 10 minutes to breathe and it was very pleasant. (If after ten minutes it is not breathing, give it mouth to mouth!)

Going over the a la carte menu, appetizers, soups pizzas and pastas are all generally less than B. 500, while mains are generally under B. 800. Of course imported Australian steaks are at a premium and a tomahawk steak (the current rage) is B. 1950.

In addition to the normal a la carte menu we also indulged in a special Ultimate Seafood set which contained for the first course, in a wire basket, crab, mussels, oyster, prawns, salmon in Wakame seaweed salad and Alaskan crab legs. These deserve a mention on their own. Huge, the beast must stand 30 cm high at least (and more on that later). This was B. 3,200 for two.

The Ultimate Seafood set begins with chilled seafood served over ice in a wire basket mentioned above and it was followed by the second course called Seafood on Fire. This was presented on a three tier carousel and contained Canadian lobster, river prawn, salmon fillet and calamari with garlic bread on the side.

There is actually another course in the set, but we were too full.

After the magnificent display of seafood we decided to try a couple of the meat dishes (the Dining Out team was four persons that evening) and we began with their “hot rock” Australian beef tenderloin, extra virgin olive oil, roasted garlic and truffle aioli (B. 390). This comes in a special bowl with a metal “rock” which has been pre-heated. Make your cooking time under eight minutes or your rock starts to get too cool. Place the medallions of beef on the rock for around 20 seconds a side. A new twist to a Korean BBQ. Great idea and fun eating.

The other meat dish was the Kurobuta pork cutlet B. 790, judged as of a large size and very tender and enjoyable.

The famous Kurobuta pork.
The famous Kurobuta pork.

To finish an evening of gluttony we also had a Pizza Margherita, roasted Roma tomato, mozzarella, parmesan and fresh basil B. 370 and was one of the best Margheritas I have eaten for quite some time.

This was an excellent meal in a beautiful setting. A musical duo played in the background and understood what was required to make pleasant, easy listening. Now I mentioned the Alaskan crab legs before, and I have always found that for me, even with the supplied nut-crackers there is too much work for too little return. The helpful waitress took the crab away, dissected it and returned it on a plate ready for eating. That’s service for you!

Perhaps an ideal venue to take guests from overseas. Highly recommended.

Intercontinental Pattaya Resort, 437 Pratamnak Road, Pattaya, telephone 038 259 888, fax 038 259 899, open seven days, 12 noon until 10 p.m. Secure valet parking (and buggies to get you up and down to the restaurant).

Try the Reservado, Sir.
Try the Reservado, Sir.