Those who live in Pattaya often forget what a wonderful city this is for tropical dining – especially on the famous Walking Street. One of those venues is the Food Fair Sea Food Restaurant. We may have forgotten, but the tourists have not; with currently so many Russian tourists eating at this restaurant, the owner has even an addition called the Food Fair the “Russian Café” (in Cyrillic script).
For those who have not been to Walking Street for some time, the Food Fair is very close to the Bali Hai end of Walking Street (200 paces from the archway actually) and is on the side over the water.
Food Fair entrance
It had been some time since we had been to the Food Fair, and it has certainly grown in the past couple of years. In addition to the ground floor restaurant, there is now an upper floor reached by an escalator, which catches even more of the balmy breezes from Pattaya Bay.
The two levels can accommodate up to 600 patrons at one time and the tables and chairs are sturdy, and seats padded! Good quality cutlery is also used (none of the Uri Geller bending spoons variety) at Food Fair.
Over a Heineken palate freshener we perused the wine list. Whites predominate, as you would expect in a seafood restaurant. The prices were very reasonable, with for example, 16 Australian whites on offer between B. 1,050 and B. 1,590. The vast majority were under B. 1,500, with only a good French above B. 3,000.
In common with this genre of restaurant, the menu was huge, with 205 items on offer. There was also an additional menu, which was photographic, of recommended items. (I am very much in favor of photographic menus in an international tourist city.)
Whilst many seafood items are costed out by weight, there were also many others at a fixed price. Soup dishes (both Thai and European) were around B. 120. Dishes featuring rock lobster could be ordered from as little as B. 260, and there were even steak items from B. 270, for those carnivores who have to have meat. There were even lamb items around B. 250. And if that were not enough, there were even Japanese and Chinese dishes on offer as well.
We began with a tempura plate with (very large) prawns, fish and even some chips. These were not greasy at all, and the oil used was obviously fresh. A great start.
A Tom Yum Talay was suggested by our waiter, and he assured me that it could be made non-spicy if I wished. I was a little reluctant when the steamboat arrived, but I did not need to worry. It was absolutely delightful. There was a side dish of chilli paste for Madame, who does enjoy the spiciness. However, I personally feel that chilli masks the true flavors of this traditional Thai dish.
Our final splurge of the evening was a seafood platter with crab, a whole fish, rock lobster, prawns, and calamari. This dish easily fed five people and at B. 2,500 (B. 500 a head) was a bargain. We were unable to finish our platter and unashamedly asked for a doggy bag. The food was just as good the next morning after a quick spin in the microwave!
We were very happy with our food. The items were cooked correctly and the prices were most reasonable. Whilst many people seemed to like the lower deck, I enjoyed the upper deck very much. The service was excellent and the Miss Chang Beer hostess was almost enough to get me away from Heineken! We were not rushed into leaving, even though there was a steady influx of diners all the time we were there. It was a good leisurely dining out experience.
This would be an ideal venue to bring overseas friends to experience Pattaya-style relaxed dining. Highly recommended.
The Food Fair Seafood Restaurant (Russian Café), 147/1 Moo 10, Walking Street, South Pattaya, telephone 038 428 813, 038 710 984, website www.foodfair.co.th, email [email protected] Parking area close to the Walking Street archway, and will be plentiful when the new Bali Hai car parking building is completed.