It had been a while since we had dined at Alois Restaurant and Wine Bar, but the warm welcome from owner Vichai Priyatrakulruji was just the same. It was also interesting that evening that at other tables I spotted the food and wine critic from another of Pattaya’s media outlets and at another, one of the well known “foodies” of Pattaya. It turned out that they were dining on the Set Dinner menu, so we received two impressions, before we even sat down!
The restaurant is easily found at the Pattaya end of Thappraya Road, and almost opposite the Captain’s Corner, one of Pattaya’s best known restaurants. Adequate parking alongside the restaurant building.
The venue is in three parts, there is the air-conditioned main area, another smaller and air-conditioned area suitable for parties/groups and an outside section for smokers. The décor is understated elegance with large tables covered by starched white tablecloths and good quality napery. Along one wall is the bar/cocktail station and the temperature controlled wine cellar is at the rear.
The wine selection is sensibly restricted to the range of B. 990 through to B. 7,000, with the emphasis on good drinking but inexpensive wines from both the new and old worlds. The Chilean house wine (the Antares Merlot) is at the lower end, and we were perfectly happy with it, and it can be ordered by the glass at B. 210 net.
We had decided that we should try the Set Dinner menu as well. This has four courses with three choices of mains (fish, pork, lamb/beef) and changes every Friday each week. The price for this set menu is B. 590 net, but if you opt for the imported beef choice in the mains this comes with a premium to make the dinner B. 850 net.
The first course in our week was salmon rolls stuffed with cream cheese mousse served with wasabi sauce (just love that wasabi) and vegetables julienne. A great starter, which was followed by the leek cream soup with shrimps. This was served piping hot and there was plenty of shrimp meat. This was one of the more satisfying soups, and served at the correct temperature, something many restaurants do not get right.
A palate cleansing sherbet was next, followed by the choice of mains. These were pan-fried John Dory fillet with black ink fettuccine and saffron cream sauce or grilled pork escallops served with gratin risotto in tomato with deep-fried mashed potato and onion sauce, or finally the NZ rack of lamb with grilled capsicum and roasted potato. As there was three of us dining we chose a different one each and shared to allow us to evaluate all three dishes. For Madame, it was the NZ lamb as her favorite, whilst for me it was a toss-up between the John Dory (not one bone) and the pork, and I loved the deep-fried mashed potato.
There was a yoghurt lime mousse with mango sauce in the set menu, but we were totally satiated and skipped the dessert, going straight to the coffee.
In our discussion afterwards we could not find fault with the individual items, both in size of portion (large!) and the way they were presented. It had been a most enjoyable evening.
We were very impressed with the Set Dinner menu, providing excellent food, with good presentation and at the price of B. 590 is really too cheap. This opinion was also the one offered by the ‘foodie’ who was dining there that evening. To be offered an ‘Amuse Bouche’ (deep fried fish and shrimp with rice noodle) before the set menu was such a nice touch, and Vichai was obviously pleased at the way we remarked on it.
We can wholeheartedly recommend the Alois Restaurant and Wine Bar, and the Set Dinner menu is undoubtedly one of the gastronomic bargains in Pattaya. Go before he realizes and puts the price up to where it should be!
Alois Restaurant and Wine Bar, 191/4 Moo 10, Thappraya Road, South Pattaya (opposite The Captain’s Corner), open seven days, 6 p.m. until late for dinner (last orders taken at 10.30. p.m.), telephone 038 267 191 – 2, off-street parking, email [email protected]