There are those readers who imagine that it must be a wonderful life to be a restaurant reviewer. After all, dining in all those five star hotels and up-market restaurants every week. Being fawned upon by attentive service staff. What a life! However, there is more to ‘dining out’ than just the fine dining section of Pattaya’s restaurants. Pattaya has an enormous number of other restaurants, and there are also some great bargains to be found, and this week we found an exceptional one.
We discovered a small and very unassuming Thai restaurant on Siam Country Club Road producing good food, with steak and salad for B. 39-59 depending upon whether you want chicken, pork or beef. Considering you can pay upwards of B. 1,000 in the fine dining places, B. 59 is hardly expensive! Sure, the fine dining restaurants are serving you the most tender imported steaks, and you are seated in luxury… but, B. 59 for a steak salad and fries represents a saving of over B. 900. Not to be sneezed at!
It is easily found, being on the corner of Soi 18 Siam Country Club, and almost opposite Soi 13 and a 7-Eleven (though there are numerous 7-Elevens on Siam Country Club Road!). Parked right on the corner there is a tuk-tuk, not for pick up or delivery, but is part of the kitchen of this rather amazing place. There is also another cook-house along the side wall. There is one lonely sign outside announcing B. 39 for a chicken steak, but you can’t miss it.
It is mainly open air, with seven concrete tables and concrete benches, so be prepared to bring your own cushion if you want to make a night of it. The staff are attentive, and although English is not their native tongue, they do try hard, but to have a native Thai speaker as your dining partner certainly helps.
Wine is not a drink you would look for in an establishment such as this, but the local Leo beer is available, but in large bottles, not small. This will set you back B. 55. As you can see, you are not going to be spending much at all. Perhaps I should really have contacted our lady Prime Minister to confirm that it is cheap to live down here in Pattaya.
The menu is a simple laminated affair and the offerings include the afore-mentioned steaks, then a pork chop 200 gm for B. 89, a rib eye 200 gm B. 129, and a T-bone 350 gm for B. 250. Noodle soup is B. 10, Kanom Jeen buffet, all you can eat B. 49, Jim Jum B. 79. Cocktails are B. 59, while fruit punch is B. 30 per glass.
The staff appear to be from one family, and obviously a happy family too. Nothing was too much trouble and the service was quick and smooth. They also had no objection to your ducking across the street to the 7-Eleven and bringing back anything you wanted which they did not have (such as a San Miguel Light, for example).
Two of us had the pork steak, which were not small, and came with salad and french-fries. They were tender and came with mushroom sauce, and a wicker basket was put on the table with chilli sauce, ketchup, mayonnaise and white pepper. No complaints at all and at B. 49 for the pork fillet represented incredibly good value for money.
Madame had asked for a simple salad, which came on a large plate and at B. 39 was again difficult to beat value-wise. The vegetables were fresh and crisp and the salad had been made on the spot, not pre-prepared and limp and lifeless.
Would we go back again? You bet we will (and have been already) with Madame saying, “I’ll never have to cook again!” This restaurant has to provide one of the best value for money dining out there is in Pattaya.
39 baht Steak restaurant, corner Soi 18 Siam Country Club Road (opposite soi 13 on the other side of the road), plenty of on-street parking and about three cars inside, open seven days, 5 p.m. until 11 p.m.