Known as one of the most romantic restaurant settings in Pattaya, the Bali Hai Sunset restaurant really does have an incredible view of the sunset over Koh Larn.
To be honest, it is a trifle difficult to find but it can be approached from the Bali Hai pier (thread your way through the tour buses), then run along the sea front and turn up the hill at the lighthouse and Bali Hai Sunset is on your right. Coming from the Jomtien side, turn off Pratamnak Road at the top of the hill as if going to the Royal Cliff and then on down to the Sheraton and continue along till you start to go down the steep hill and Bali Hai Sunset is on your left. There is a car park in front of the restaurant, which would be safer than street side on that very twisty climb, though there are a couple of lay-by’s which will take two cars each.
From the car park, the entrance to Bali Hai Sunset cannot be missed and you descend to a deck which is over the beach and rocks and gives an uninterrupted view across the Bay of Siam and the local islands. (Take your camera if you get there before sunset.)
The wooden tables and chairs are somewhat rustic, as befits an open air restaurant subject to sea breezes, but the crockery and glassware are of a good standard, and not the ‘picnic’ sets one often is given at seaside venues. There are several large tables, able to seat up to 10 diners, so this venue is good for groups. The kitchen is in the far corner, and there is a function room along one side.
The menu has many photographs, something I push for always, especially where visitors are concerned – not everyone can read English. The Euro items begin with Appetizers (B. 75-250) with salmon at the top end and garlic bread at the other. There are also some stand-alone items such as a Farmer’s Plate (B. 245) and NZ mussels and cheese (B. 195).
Soups are up next (B. 95-125), followed by 10 different pastas (B. 145-245), and then it is into the mains, with seafood choices first up (B. 275-359) with the garlic and parmesan baked prawns looking very interesting.
Duck and chicken items were next and then pork (B. 245-395) followed by a Chateaubriand (B. 395) and a fillet mignon, also at B. 395. These are all made using Thai beef which can be a lottery at times. A section called “Imported” has rib eye at B. 795 and sirloin at B. 695, a safer bet for the carnivores.
The largest section in the menu is for Thai items, with several pages covering soups, stir-fries, curries and noodles, with most under B. 200. There are also specials such as steamed whole sea bass (B. 425).
There are pages of cocktails, but local beers are available (B. 70-85). The wine list was not available, and wine lovers will have to make do with the house white.
Having decided to go Thai cuisine for the review, as there are far more Thai items than western ones, my choice was the deep-fried crab rolls and the garlic scallops. The crab rolls were excellent and I enjoyed them very much. The scallops were presented with sliced tomato and pesto, and whilst enjoyable, did not have enough garlic for my taste. To wash them down I selected the house white (an Italian Casanova), which was eminently drinkable without being memorable.
Bali Hai Sunset was a pleasant and relaxing dining out venue. It was not expensive; however, the emphasis is certainly on Thai cuisine, though there are plenty of choices on the European side. I would recommend this restaurant as a good place to take overseas visitors to give them an idea of the laid back life we have here. And remember to take your camera for the sunset.
Bali Hai Sunset Restaurant. Tel: 08 2202 7718 (Thai) or 08 0004 1616 (English). Open six days from 3 p.m. to midnight Thursday to Tuesday (closed Wednesdays).