Linda lands safely with Sputnik

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Following the success of Linda (of Linda’s restaurant) featuring the Norwegian singer “Sputnik” last year, a repeat performance was given at her popular restaurant this year. As a testimony to the popularity of “Sputnik” and Linda’s restaurant, the venue was packed with, it seemed, all of Pattaya’s Norwegian expats descending on her restaurant.

Now “Sputnik” was the world’s first man-made satellite and was successfully launched on October 4, 1957, and entered Earth’s orbit. The word “Sputnik” originally meant “fellow traveler”, but has become synonymous with “satellite” in modern Russian.

Linda’s Diavola pizza gained universal approval.

However, for the Norwegians, “Sputnik” is a musician from the village of Tørdal which is in the municipality of Drangedal, Telemark. Sputnik is the stage name of Knut T. Storbukås (born 23 April 1943). He has also been a benefactor to Baan Jing Jai here in Pattaya.

Linda’s restaurant is very easy to find, being on the left hand side of Thappraya Road heading towards the “Hanuman” statue and opposite Jomtien Complex. (The statue is actually not Hanuman, but of Machanu, the son of Hanuman! Hanuman did not have a fish tail – go and check.)

The airborne salmon was not dry and overcooked and the portion was more than just adequate.

Linda’s restaurant is large, with a covered al fresco verandah outside for those who wish to smoke. Inside, in air-conditioned comfort, there are comfortable chairs and decent sized tables, with white starched napery. Along the back wall is the cocktail bar, and you are looked after by very attentive service staff in maroon uniforms. Beers are B. 115-135 for local brews, and wines are generally under B. 1,500.

The menu has been evolving after a tie-up between the restaurant and Tohkaiya Products, allowing Japanese Executive Chef Katsutoshi (Kato) Ishibashi to introduce his products into Linda’s kitchen. Chef Kato is no stranger to Norwegian food either, having not only worked in Norway, but also has authored a Norwegian cookbook.

Linda’s restaurant is very easy to find, being on the left hand side of Thappraya Road heading towards the “Hanuman” (Machanu) statue.

Linda’s is open for breakfast with most dishes at B. 149, lunch is B. 195-380, and there are also daily Norwegian specials at B. 395 such as Farikal (lamb in cabbage) available on Fridays.

There is one section in the menu for Norwegian dinners (B. 395-595) with Beef Snedder (NZ beef tenderloin with onion and paprika) at the top end.

Chef Kato has another section offering three courses at B. 695 including Norwegian salmon, a Beef Wellington and chocolate mousse.

Now into the “standard” (and very large) menu. Soups are B. 295-330 followed by Salads and Appetizers (B. 330-380) and you can even buy oysters singly, starting with Oysters natural at B. 125 per piece.

Pizzas are of the thin and crispy variety (B. 395-480) and after a couple of pages of pizza you are into the Fish with an airborne salmon B. 695 and the Portuguese Baccalao salted dried codfish (B. 795).

A section called Mains includes Osso Bucco (B. 695), Australian rib eye at B. 795 for 250 gm steak and a Rack of Australian lamb B. 995.

Thai food items include a Thai set menu at B. 395.

On the evening we did the review, the restaurant was packed to listen to “Sputnik”, and yet the kitchen managed to present us (four people) with our dishes at the same time, and hot. An excellent performance by professional staff.

We went for the Diavola pizza which was sampled by us all at the table, and gained a universal approval. I had ordered the Thai yellow curry chicken which was full of chicken pieces and potato plus some pineapple and it was well cooked.

The airborne salmon was not dry and overcooked and the portion was more than just adequate, and the garlic bread came with a small portion of garlic butter to add to that already there, if we wanted.

Linda’s restaurant has been in its current location for many years, and it has not let its standards slip. For Norwegian cuisine, Linda’s Restaurant will remind the ex-pats of home, and for others, there are enough choices to satisfy them.

Linda’s Restaurant, 315/177-180 Moo 12, opposite the Jomtien Complex. Thappraya Road, Jomtien. Open seven days from 7.30 a.m. until late. Tel: Reservations: 038 252 726, www.lindasrestaurant.com, street-side parking. Email [email protected] GPS 12.901655 N 100.869.