Somewhere very different this week – the Dining Out Team went to Kabinburi to the Serenity Hotel Spa and Onsen.
A couple of years back, the Tourism Authority of Thailand had a catchy slogan which went “Amazing Thailand.” After spending some time enjoying the Serenity in Kabinburi, we really did feel that we were in an amazing part of Thailand, a part of Thailand that Serenity hotel describes as “affordable luxury.”
For those not used to traveling in Thailand, Kabinburi is around two easy hours from Pattaya and the Serenity is very easy to spot, with seven floors and in its own grounds. Keeping everything progressing smoothly is GM Olivier Daniel, who hires his staff on personality and teaches them the hospitality industry himself. And he has done an excellent job. Small things, but they do matter, such as hot milk with your coffee, and someone to push your chair in.
The restaurant, called Mady’s, has a clean and uncluttered ambience with the kitchen at one end and a small wine cellar at the other.
Olivier is also very proud of his genuine wood-fired pizza oven, built for him by a genuine Italian pizza professional. We did try a pizza (as well as many other dishes), and it was excellent. Moist and not dried out.
Before I get in front of myself again, leave time to study the menu. This is the best, clearest and simplest menu in Thailand. Totally photographic and has representative dishes covering Japanese, French, Italian and Thai. Prices are clearly marked and the majority of restaurants in Pattaya could learn from Mady’s restaurant in the Serenity Hotel in Kabinburi.
Snacks and appetizers are mostly between B. 120-140. Spaghetti Carbonara is B. 210. Pizzas, and there are many to choose from (B. 200-360). I watched the young pizza builder, and he certainly knew his craft.
Many choices in the “Mains” (B. 280-420) with New Zealand Mussels B. 380. Grills are more expensive, with imported steaks being the premium. Australian Rib Eye is B. 750 which is certainly not over the top. The all-time favorite Fish and Chips is B. 320.
Many pages of Thai dishes, as to be expected, but of interest was the fact that they were using Australian striploin in the dishes requiring beef, such as Beef in Oyster sauce (B. 490).
It would have almost been a sin not to have some French Escargot (B. 320), and they were plump and very enjoyable, though the younger and less experienced members in the Dining Out Team were a little apprehensive.
There are a couple of pages of Japanese items with sushi B. 90-120, and sashimi sets B. 500-890, and donburi B. 220-340. In the correct Japanese way, these were brilliantly presented.
The wine cellar is not large, but there are some reasonable wines both new and old world. There are a couple of ‘fruit’ wines on offer at the lower end of the price scale, but if you are partial to good wines, try some of the Chilean in stock.
Mady with the eponymous restaurant? She was the Serenity GM Olivier’s grandaunt who lived to be 107. Was it the food? Was it the clean air? Was it the Onsen spa? We will never know, but one thing we do know from the Dining Out review is that the food and service is first class and the venue is superb.
Want a weekend away? We can highly recommend Serenity and Mady’s restaurant without any hesitation. They also have specials for golfers.
Serenity Hotel Spa & Onsen, 222 Moo 9 Suwannasorn Road, Tambon Muangkao Amphur Kabinburi, Prachinburi, telephone +66 037 625 444, +66 037 625 445, restaurant opens 6 a.m. and closes 10 p.m., email [email protected], secure parking in hotel grounds.