L’Olivier – but you don’t need to be a Francophone

A hefty plate of lamb chops.
A hefty plate of lamb chops.

Diners in Pattaya are spoiled for choice. As well as the obvious Thai restaurants, there are Indian, Greek, Italian, European, Chinese, Spanish, Mexican, South African and more. However, this week we were invited to a French restaurant, run by the multi-lingual (Thai, French, and English) and very experienced Khun Wan.

The very capable Wan.
The very capable Wan.

L’Olivier in Jomtien been looked after by Maneewan Pongso (Wan) for the past 18 months, but she was previously running restaurants in France and the UK for some 15 years.

The restaurant is very easy to find being in the Jomtien Complex and about 50 meters down and on the right, taking the entrance furthest from the lower end.

There are tables outside for al fresco dining (covered) and more tables inside in the air-conditioned area of the double shophouse. A central cold buffet is well stocked and the Quiche Lorraine is continuously replenished.

The tables are large and covered with white linen. Condiments are already on the tables, including a pepper grinder. Mention should be made of the cutlery, heavy and artistic and enjoyable to use. One wall is devoted to a traditional mural, whilst the other walls have a more European feel to them. The far wall houses the bar.

Wan describes the cuisine as French style Provencal, and has a Vietnamese chef, though she can take over at any time.

There are many offerings with set menus as well as a la carte. These are very reasonable. For example a B. 375 set menu entitles the diner to the soup of the day, a choice of four mains and a dessert. And all that is included for B. 375. The items in the set menu also change three times a week.

There is a B. 495 set which included a choice of starters covering prawn (shrimp), duck or salmon. The mains choice included lamb chops, which Madame selected and was very happy with her choice.

I also went with this B. 495 set with a Duck l’Orange my choice. The plate was full to overflowing and I even asked to make sure this was a standard portion. It was.

Some people come just for the all you can eat salad bar which is B. 200.

A la carte has enough choices and most items are less than B. 200. Lamb chops a la carte were only B. 375.

Another hefty plate with Duck l’Orange.
Another hefty plate with Duck l’Orange.

Wines are generally under B. 1000 for a reasonable bottle such as Jacob’s Creek. House wine is the usual South African fruit wine, but by the glass is only B. 115 for the red or the white. Madame and I are not wine snobs, and whilst we do appreciate “better” wines, the South African by the glass was satisfactory to wet one’s palate.

Prawn cocktail starter.
Prawn cocktail starter.

Of course there is a page of Thai items with most well under B. 200, though the steamed sea bass was B. 275 (again not really expensive).

The food is well presented, the prices are exceptionally reasonable, the venue is clean, and Wan really is very sweet (Thai speakers will understand).

We enjoyed our evening at L’Olivier. A pleasant ambience, comfortable chairs and good food. What more could you want? Do go and try.

L’Olivier is a very pleasing restaurant.

413/9-10 Jomtien Complex, Thappraya Road, Open 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily, telephone 038 251 669, fax 038 250 249, (Mobile) 061 854 4848 (Wan), street side parking on Thappraya Road.