You can be forgiven if you do not know of this week’s dining out venue. The Furama Jomtien Beach is one of the Furama Hotels International properties, with others in Singapore, Bangkok, Bali, Beijing, Chiang Mai, Khao Lak, Shanghai, ShijiaZhuang, Suzhou and Sydney.
Of course, you may have recognized this property by its previous name, the Nusa Playa, as it has only been under the Furama group for the past 12 months. The hotel itself is enormous, with 38 storeys and 450 rooms and a couple of restaurants, and is around 100 meters before the Chaiyapruek 1 intersection.
We went to review the Seafood BBQ which is presented every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, running from 6 p.m. until 10.30 p.m. This event has only been since February this year. When there is little chance of rain, the BBQ is held around the pool, but this being the rainy season, we ate in the “new” restaurant (so new it doesn’t have an official name yet). This venue is quite spectacular. Painted all white with very high ceilings and seating for at least 150, with glass-topped tables and food stations in the center and along the far wall. Along the near wall is a small cocktail bar and cashier’s desk.
The BBQ offerings were in a “boat” just at the entrance and included crab, prawns (some of whom were large, trying to become rock lobsters), skewers, spare ribs, mussels, squid and more. Definitely more than enough, but the food did not stop at the BBQ boat.
Inside there were cold dishes which included Vietnamese spring rolls, cooked and peeled prawns, bologna sausage and the Korean kimji, ham and asparagus rolls and assorted canapés.
Hot soups were on offer with cream of tomato and tom yum talay, plus some sauces (mushroom, BBQ and pepper) being kept hot in a steamer. However, that was not the end of it. At the far end of the room was a live cooking station with different pastas (including a squid’s ink) and meat sauce, tomato sauce and carbonara.
Other hot dishes at that end of the room included fried chicken with cashew, roasted beef tenderloin with pepper sauce and a roasted fish fillet with parmesan.
The wine list was another eye-opener with bottles between B. 750-1020 including the Australian Taras Cabernet Sauvignon (recommended) and the Hardy’s Shiraz. The Taras got the nod, however.
With so much on offer, it really does need you to walk around and peep under steamer covers, read some labels and explore just what is there. So many times you can gorge yourself and then find there were other dishes you would like to have tried, but now have no further room!
As there were actually Madame and myself and two others that evening, we did try a large number of the dishes, and for me, the Vietnamese spring rolls were just delicious. Madame who is partial to soup had two plates of the cream of tomato with croutons, and none left in the plate at the end.
One of the others went to the pasta live cooking station, being a fan of the squid’s ink pasta, and the other helped himself to a (very) heaped plate of chicken and cashews. (Amazing how large buffets bring out the glutton in everyone.)
Of course we did gorge on the seafood BBQ items as well, with the crab being presented pre-cracked, thank you!
The Furama Seafood BBQ was excellent, and in fact there is so much more than just seafood on offer. When compared to the price of B. 800 net for the BBQ or B. 899 net with an hour and a half of free-flow beer thrown in as well, this makes for very inexpensive dining out.
It is equivalent in coverage to many of the more expensive offerings around town, and with the wines also being inexpensive, we can give the Furama our recommendation. Do go. It is worth the trip along Jomtien Beach Road.
Furama Jomtien Beach, 457 Moo 12 Jomtien Beach Road, Soi 13 – 14, Jomtien, Tel: (66) 3 841 8999, Fax: (66) 3 841 8989, secure parking underneath building, BBQ Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 6 p.m. until 10.30 p.m.