Dining Out and getting in the MOOD

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One of the newer clubs in Pattaya is the MOOD Blues Café, so you are excused if you are unsure of just where it is.  For those not au fait with the Pratamnak area it is on Pratamnak Soi 6 on the lower floor of Thepthip Mansions, on the right hand side towards the ocean end of Soi 6.

The person behind the MOOD is Peter Windgasse from Thepthip Mansions, a man who has been associated with music all his life, a man with an enviable collection of guitars, and a man who is also conversant with food, having been a member of the gourmet group Chaîne des Rôtisseurs for many years.

The venue is in three distinct sections.  The first is the covered, but open air patio for al fresco dining.  This is connected to the band’s sound system, so the diner can still enjoy the music, and additionally, there is a glass wall along one side, so you can watch the band as well.

The second area is inside with a sit-up bar along one side and a large comfortable settee for lounging and listening.

The third area is a “pit” in front of the musicians’ dais, with some tables and chairs as well.  What is particularly interesting is the décor, which has photographs of famous musicians including our own King Bhumibol playing with Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa, and several guitars previously owned by notable musicians, such as John Lee Hooker.  I was taken round the ‘walls of fame’ by award winning guitarist Ken (Snowman) Minahan, who’s knowledge of the Blues scene is encyclopedic.  Do you know how Bo Diddley got his name?  Snowman does (and now so do I)!

We initially chose al fresco to eat and later came inside to really appreciate the music.  The menu is predominantly Thai with most dishes between B. 150-190, and is for the most part photographic, something which I applaud.  In cosmopolitan Pattaya, not everyone speaks English!

The house wines are worth noting, with the red being a Montepulciano d’Abruzza available for B. 200 per glass or B. 1,000 per bottle.  (A wine that has been chosen more than once by the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs.)

We chose an (Italian) spaghetti Bolognese for Madame and a tom kha gai (traditional Thai) for me.  Madame was perfectly happy with her pasta and remarked on the large size of the serving.

Now for my tom kha – probably the best tom kha I have had in Thailand!  It was cooked to my request as far as spiciness was concerned.  The soup was made with the cream of the coconut, not the water, which makes for a smooth and creamy consistency.  The chicken pieces were sliced from chicken breast fillet, not roughly chopped chicken pieces from the thigh.  It was not overpowered by galangal or lemongrass, it was, in one word – perfect!

After eating, we settled back in the “pit” to listen to the house band “Slow Ride” made up of musicians well known in Pattaya who are performing at the MOOD Blues Café Friday, Saturday, Sunday from around 9 p.m.  Slow Ride consists of Ken (Snowman) Minahan (lead guitar), Tony Stevens (bass guitar) and Oi Somchai Sihaampai (drums).  World class performers.

Peter Windgasse said, “We are here to change the mood of going to clubs in Pattaya.  We are not a go-go, beer bar or disco.  No hassles, friendly good trained staff, good prices, plenty of parking, clean and fresh, no smoking law upheld but a big patio where you can indulge and still see the band and not be left out of the fun.  We are sure once you spend an evening with us you’ll always be in the MOOD!”

Did we enjoy the evening at MOOD?  We certainly did.  The food was correctly cooked, and the evening was fun.  If you enjoy live Blues music, do yourself a favor and drop in one evening.  You won’t regret it.

MOOD Blues Café, Soi 6 Pratamnak, kitchen open from 6 p.m. and live music (Friday/Saturday/Sunday from 9 p.m. www.moodpattaya.com; phone 081 862 2250 (Peter Windgasse), plenty of on-street parking.