One of the best remembered theme buffets is arranged at the Montien Hotel on Second Road (just before the Hard Rock Hotel). During the low season, some of these buffets go into recess, but the International and BBQ Seafood Buffet Dinner is back!
Now there was talk a couple of years ago that the Montien was going to be knocked down and relocated. Plans may still exist, but I can assure you that right now the Montien is very much alive and well! Don’t worry, Pattaya’s ‘icon’ is still there. Actually I have a soft spot for the Montien, having stayed there in 1975 when it was the Regent of Pattaya, and the pool and gardens are still every bit as good as they were back then.
We were met in the marble lobby by Pornpimon Geybui, the Montien’s PR lady, who is always so happy to see the Dining Out team.
The buffet is in the Verandah Coffee Shop, which overlooks the free-form pool. The outer section is covered and supplied by the bay breezes, while the rear section behind glass is air-conditioned. Interestingly, the tourists all went for sea breezes, while the residents go for the air-con!
The ambience is one of being very relaxed, with the attentive staff in floral outfits and gentle background music. We joined the relaxed movement with a glass of well-chilled white wine, before we went outside the air-con area to take in the buffet items. I do recommend you spend time to familiarize yourselves with what is on offer, rather than rushing in and finding no more room left for something else you really enjoy.
There had been a change of executive chef since our last visit, and the new chef had certainly risen to the occasion with the range of food. We were pleased to see that the previously high standard of presentation was still there.
After my initial ‘fact-finding’ foray I began with oysters natural on ice, with lemon and a dash of Thai hot sauce. A great start to the buffet.
On the table are some small laminated numbers, which you take to give to the chefs at the live cooking stations. I then went to the flambé live cooking station and selected a couple of chicken breasts with a curry sauce for a change. Our service lady said she would pick the dish up for me when it was ready, so I sauntered over to the hot food section and chose a pork medallion on mango salsa with some additional mashed potato with roasted garlic.
I did not have to wait long for the curried chicken breast, and it was delightful, but more on that later. After my chicken I went for something from the Thai food selection and chose stir-fried pork with garlic and peppercorn. What I do like with the Montien buffets is the fact that the amount of food in the warmers is kept low, so that you are getting freshly cooked food at all times, not something that has been languishing there for the past couple of hours.
Meanwhile, Madame was making quick work on hot smoked duck breast with orange cream as a starter, followed by some BBQ’d rock lobster and Thai desserts. I indulged in ice cream and chocolate topping!
Montien’s International and BBQ Seafood Buffet is B. 995 net, with children B. 550 net. With over 100 items and several live cooking stations, this represents excellent value in today’s crowded marketplace. The previous high standard has been maintained and the choices almost endless. For me, my favorite dish that evening was the curry sauce BBQ chicken breasts. Not too spicy but best described as piquant. But there is so much more, you will never get through all the choices in a month of Saturdays! By the way, the items also change each week, so make that a year of Saturdays!
Montien’s International and BBQ Seafood Buffet is on Saturday evenings 6.30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Montien Hotel, Pattaya Second Road (about 100 meters past Pattaya Klang intersection and before the Hard Rock Hotel), telephone 038 428 155-6, email [email protected] .com, web www.montien.com, secure parking in hotel grounds.