There are some goddesses in Jomtien, but only one with a famous name and history. Athena is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, strategic war, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill in ancient Greek religion and mythology. She represents intelligence, humility, consciousness, cosmic knowledge, creativity, education, enlightenment, the arts, eloquence and power. She stands for Truth, Justice, and Moral values. She plays a tough, clever and independent role. That is some lady!
However, our Athena at Jomtien Beach Road Soi 12 displays courage, inspiration, the arts and creativity and may I say, eloquence, through the concepts of GM Richard Burk, a man who has been intimately involved in the Pattaya restaurant scene for many, many years, probably best remembered for his long tenure of the Amor restaurant in Pattayaland 3.
We descended upon Athena during its soft opening period, after just a little trouble finding Soi 12 off Jomtien Beach Road. If counting the sois as you come along Beach Road, it is quite some distance after Soi 11, with a couple of un-named sois in between, just to confuse.
Athena is quite large and easily spotted on the left of Soi 12 with an open air dining area outside, complete with a fountain of cherubs. Move further in and the main section is air-conditioned with traditional checked tablecloths and comfortable seating and a rather ‘cozy’ ambience.
The menu reminded me of the one in Amor, though not with the 200 plus items on offer at Amor. However, there are also several ‘budget’ options for the diner. A set lunch with two courses is only B. 249 or B. 295 for three courses.
Minced pork and three mushrooms ravioli with a pomodoro sauce.
A similar offer for a set dinner menu is B. 295 to B. 365, but if you want the more expensive items that brings you to B. 565.
Richard also has a pizza and pasta set for two at B. 299 and an ‘Early Bird’ menu (3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at B. 186) with soup and chicken schnitzel, or fish and chips, or fried chicken or spaghetti. Whatever, you are not going to be breaking the bank with any of Athena’s specials.
Wines are also inexpensive with the house white a South African Chardonnay or the house red a South African Cabernet sauvignon at B. 120 for a glass or one liter for B. 700. I tried the white and it was a very pleasant drop. Local beers are B. 80-90, and popular smoothies are B. 85.
The menu proper begins with all-day breakfasts (B. 170-295), after that is a page of pizzas (B. 219-299 with extra toppings B. 60).
The official starters (B. 90-195) are next with garlic bread at the low end and deep-fried mozzarella sticks at the top. These are followed by salads (B. 90-195) with a beef salad at the top. Soups are fairly standard and all are at B. 119.
A category just called stews and all served with crusty French bread included a Hungarian goulash (B. 195) and a country beef stew (B. 280).
Mains included traditional fish and chips (B. 140) and a cottage pie (B. 270) – and, by the way, Richard makes his own sauces – followed by grilled chicken breast (B. 195) and Norwegian salmon (B. 450).
Thai favorites are around B. 150.
I began with the deep-fried prawns which were excellent and Madame had the tomato soup, about which she said, “Loved it!”
For mains, Madame chose the minced pork and three mushrooms ravioli with a pomodoro sauce (B. 220) and this was a very tasty dish. I had chosen the Hungarian goulash which had chunks of meat which just fell apart with the spoon (B. 195). One of the best Hungarian goulashes I have had for some time and it was a generous serving as well.
Being as inexpensive as it is, Athena restaurant will be a very popular venue once the word goes out. The Dining Out team can definitely give this restaurant the ‘thumbs up’.
Athena Restaurant, 249/1-2, Moo 12, Jomtien Beach Road Soi 12, open 11 a.m. until 9 p.m., plenty of on-street parking, telephone 092 465 8616 or 038 757 531, email [email protected]