A hidden gem


Pattaya is an amazing city. We have enough hotel rooms to house an army, bars to keep AA in work forever, and enough restaurants to feed the rest of SE Asia. However, amazingly there are restaurants that bob up in places you would not expect a ‘quality’ restaurant to be. This week’s review is one of those.

I had been chatting with Max Sieracki, the GM of five different properties in Pattaya (now there’s a busy man), and asked him if he had any interesting restaurants for our Dining Out team to review, to which he said, “Yes, The Bistro in the Amari Nova Suites.”

For me, that was an interesting start. First I didn’t know where the Amari Nova Suites was (perhaps I should get about a bit more) and secondly, I had never heard of The Bistro in the Amari Nova Suites.

So as a good beginning to the review, here is how to find the Amari Nova Suites – the ‘official’ address is Soi Petchtrakool, and that can be accessed from either end. First, from Pattaya Klang end, it is around half way from Second Road to Third Road on your left. There is a sign to Jameson’s on the corner. Follow the road as it wriggles and turns and the Amari Nova Suites is a large white building on your right.

Now the other end, coming from Second Road and turn right into Soi 4, following this up and round to the right where Nova Park and Jameson’s are, then on to a sharp right and sharp left in the road and the Amari Nova Suites is about 50 meters on your left.

The venue is nothing like a bistro but reminded me of a plush restaurant in London with huge easy chairs, sofas, starched white napkins, quality glassware and excellent cutlery. The service staff are in smart uniforms and our waitress had a most engaging personality.

Wines are mainly Australian or from Chile and are mainly in the range of B. 1500 – 2000. Sparkling Pommery Brut at B. 3,990 if celebrating.

The menu is quite comprehensive, under Sapannetr Chotichuangmankhong with appetizers (B. 190-250) includes tempura prawns and Chicken Yakitori and then on to sandwiches and burgers (B. 200-250) with the quaintly named “Afternoon Tea burger” at the top end. (I found out later that the restaurant had previously been known as the Afternoon Tea.)

I should mention there is an American breakfast buffet at 6 a.m. for B. 200 for the early risers.

Continuing with the normal menu, most pasta dishes were B. 220, though the mixed seafood comes at a premium. There’s even four pizzas around B. 220. These are followed by five main courses (B. 250-590) with a pork chop at the lower end and the grilled beef tenderloin at the top.

The Thai menu follows with all the usual favorites and all round about B. 200. We enjoyed an excellent dinner, with the tempura prawns done correctly and in fresh oil. The salmon steak was cooked to perfection, whilst my chicken was an explosion of tastes with the chicken, ham, cheese, mashed potato and spinach all adding to it. The portions were also very generous.

It is worthwhile finding the Bistro. We are sure you will enjoy the experience.

As the venue is part of the hotel, there is the additional 10 percent service and VAT to be factored in as well, but it is still a very inexpensive restaurant.

The Bistro, Amari Nova Suites, Soi Petchtrakool, tel 038 489 488, hours 6 a.m. until 11 p.m., secure parking at the front of the building.