L’Olivier -Totally French Provençal

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Central salad bar included ‘quiche’.
Central salad bar included ‘quiche’.

This week we made another foray into the Jomtien Complex, looking for a restaurant called L’Olivier.

There are two entrances to the complex and the one you are looking for is the closest to Thepprasit Road, with the Poseidon restaurant on the corner. Walk down about 50 meters and L’Olivier is on your right. There is an al fresco area at the front to walk through to the main restaurant which encompasses a triple shophouse.

The tables are large and covered with white linen tablecloths. Condiments are already on the tables, including a pepper grinder. Mention should be made of the cutlery, heavy and artistic and fun to use. Chairs are large rattan and cushion style and comfortable. 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.

When you open the door to this restaurant you know immediately it is French. There are tables of voluble francophones looked after for the past couple of years, by the “Maitresse d’ the multi-talented Maneewan Pongso (Wan) who was previously running restaurants in France and the UK for some 15 years.

Wan describes the L’Olivier cuisine as French style Provençal, and has a Vietnamese chef, though she can take over at any time. Vietnamese cuisine is a cross between Asian and French and there is a page of Vietnamese favorites and a few pages of Thai items as well, with most around B. 200.

We began by looking at the wine list and were immediately taken by the prices. With wines from both the old and the new worlds, there was a standard bottle price of B. 995 for all but three, which were only B. 1295. (One diner was so impressed with the performance versus price that he insisted a photo of him be taken!)

Brochettes Provençal.
Brochettes Provençal.

There is an a la carte menu with most items under B. 400 but what caught our eye were two fixed price dinners at 395 baht and 555 baht. Both of these had ample choices both in starter and mains, and were so inviting we ordered one each.

Both specials begin with the soup of the day, which on our day was a vegetable, hot to the table and generous in volume.

Along with the soup there is a central salad bar with upward of a dozen items including quiche (French remember), cold cuts, stuffed tomatoes and cheeses. One of the most comprehensive salad bars in Pattaya.

Duck l’Orange earned top marks.
Duck l’Orange earned top marks.

Madame began with a prawn cocktail which had three juicy prawns along with the usual lettuce and Thousand Island.

From there it was into our choices of mains. Madame going for Duck l’Orange to which she gave top marks. Lamb chop was another choice at our table, judged as being flavorsome and tender.

For myself, I chose the pork cordon bleu. The pork was correctly cooked and the chips and vegetables not overpowering. A great choice. Our youngest member chose the brochettes which were tender and not overdone, as these sometimes can be.

Crêpe with vanilla ice cream.
Crêpe with vanilla ice cream.

This turned out to be an amazing evening. Good quality food, good portion size, attentive serving staff and far too cheap. Despite the low prices this is not a bargain basement style of restaurant. All members of the Dining Out were in agreement. Do try, you will not be disappointed.

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.

Lamb chops, flavorsome and tender.
Lamb chops, flavorsome and tender.
Pork Cordon Bleu.
Pork Cordon Bleu.
Prawn cocktail.
Prawn cocktail.