Dining Out – the half year report

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With the year almost half gone, the Dining Out Team decided to look at the reviews done this year up till June, and when we wrote them down, there was definitely a very eclectic mix.

Right from a roadside no-name restaurant doing 39 baht steaks, the reviews in the past half year went through to the very, very up-market Flare fine dining at the Hilton.  And we enjoyed both of these venues.

Despite what people think, doing a restaurant review is not a case of ‘gobble and go’ thanks very much, but is trying to appraise where the restaurant and its food stands in the group of its confreres.  Obviously a 39 baht steak cannot compare to a fine dining item, but this is where relative values come into play.

New restaurants were experienced in My Corner (almost opposite Royal Garden Plaza) and we enjoyed it so much we have been back.  Now that’s a good recommendation.

One restaurant where we had not been for some years was Café des Amis, and it had not only kept to its previous high standard, but had in fact many improvements, making it indeed elegant dining.

One restaurant that featured a couple of times was Casa Pascal.  Chef Pascal Schnyder can turn his hand (or kitchen) to anything and in the six months had a special Italian evening and a Korean one as well.

Sunday brunches are a popular family outing, and in the past half year we went to the Pullman Pattaya’s version.  I began the review by writing “Imagine drinking champagne (or even Prosecco!) overlooking a tropical beach, with palm trees gently waving as you sip and enjoy succulent salmon with capers and cocktail onions.  Imaging being able to leave the children in the care of someone else while you lounge there licking the chocolate from fresh strawberries.  Well, imagination is not needed – this is the scene at the Pullman Pattaya’s Sunday Brunch.  A feast of pure hedonism from noon till five in the afternoon, and one that we enjoyed last Sunday.”  Need I say more?

We even went to Walking Street one evening and had a memorable repast at the Food Fair seafood restaurant over the waters of Pattaya Bay.  I judged Food Fair as being an ideal venue to take overseas guests, for them to experience Thai hospitality and cuisine, on one of the world’s more remarkable streets!

Back in the budget end of eating, we had an excellent and inexpensive buffet evening at the Thai Garden Resort.  We wrote, “With the prices being B. 299 net for adults and B. 199 net for children under 12 and infants under four years of age free, this certainly does make the Thai Garden Resort buffets great value for money, and we have not experienced better value at this level.  More than just “better” value – “amazing” value is probably more to the mark.”  However, I believe this offer runs out at the end of June, so go there soon!

‘Ethnic’ eating can be a problem, as many people hold very firm views on this.  We experienced the Baadshah Indian restaurant during this past six months and were told by a British chap dining there that this was the “best Indian food in Pattaya.”  We certainly enjoyed it.

While still ‘ethnic’, the Amari’s Tavern by the Sea has a South American Churrasco evening, about which I wrote, “Churrasco is a fun experience, and regular readers of this column will know I am a great proponent of the fact that food should be fun as well as filling.  We were very impressed, and when looked at with the price of only B. 690 net this is a real dining out bargain.”

Looking back at the last six months, we have experienced some excellent restaurants, and we see no reason that Pattaya will not continue to impress in the culinary world.  Now if you are a restaurateur and would like us to review your establishment, just ask.  We do not knock on your door, you knock on ours!  Contact the Dining Out Team through the Pattaya Mail’s fax and web, or email Tony Malhotra on [email protected] and he will pass on your message.